Auckland, one of the brightest Pacific pearls’ capital, can rarely disappoint when it comes to wonderful places and good people, but also hedonism and love for small life joys such as food. If by any chance you find yourself there and don’t set aside at least one evening to enjoy the local specialties and atmosphere, it couldn’t be said that you’ve really felt its spirit. Numerous street and venue festivals throughout the year and vivid gatherings of all generations belong to the greatest pleasures you can experience in the corners of this city. Thousands of people visit the most prominent markets, stands and wineries to enjoy the best products that kiwis are proud of.
Of course, where there’s amazing cuisine, there’s also a great booze for a complete atmosphere, therefore if you’re a fan of great wine, pleasant crowds and good mood, then events like this are definitely something you shouldn’t miss.
1. Queens Wharf
Queens Wharf is, in addition to being one of those places from which it’s a real pleasure to watch the beautiful shiny water surfaces and boats that adorn the harbor every day, a place where something always has to happen. Amazing location and accessibility have given it even more importance since it’s easy to reach, and at the same time it’s located within the center of Auckland. In addition to the two main spacious buildings within this place you can see and visit the legendary lighthouse and quay.
However, what makes it popular, as well as curious tourists and gourmets, is the openness to receive countless visitors to several local festivals. The most famous among them is Taste of Auckland, which unfortunately won’t be held this year due to the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, but it has recorded exceptional attendance in recent years. Guests have a unique chance to try a variety of specialties from the best-known Auckland’s restaurants and dedicated chefs, often in the presence of special guests from the culinary world.
In addition to this event, Queens Wharf hosts other cool gatherings like The Chocolate and Coffee Show, an ideal festival for those who have sweet tooth every day, featuring chocolate treats, cupcakes, but also cheeses and crackers. It’ll be held on November 14 and 15, and besides it, we can hope for the Auckland Fried Chicken Festival in the same place, but next year, since this year it was held on August 8.
2. The Hunting Lodge
Here’s an idyllic place whose charm annually brings a bunch of people in search of great wine and good company. The Hunting Lodge is located just over half an hour from downtown and, if you expect a classic fair with stalls and everything, you might be a little surprised, as this venue actually includes a complex of facilities such as a restaurant, bar, winery and a special place to organize celebrations and weddings. The pleasant and relaxing atmosphere makes this property the perfect choice for numerous events that include tasting and presenting a variety of delicacies, and those who have previously enjoyed this ambience praise them for their efficient staff always ready to provide more information about what you eat or drink.
This is where the North West Wine, Beer & Food Festival takes place every year. It’s accompanied by an appropriate music program and is characterized by a fantastic selection of beverages from the most prominent surrounding wineries and breweries, as well as tasty specialties made by both the hosts and the surrounding masters of New Zealand cuisine.
It’s a real pleasure to come even out of the festival season, according to satisfied tourists, since the family that runs this business is extremely hospitable and always wants to ensure that you come back again after a wonderful experience. People who enjoy the atmosphere in objects of this kind can also find similar objects on BestRated, a platform that suggests top-rated places in all bigger cities in New Zealand.
3. The Wine Cave
That’s right, you noticed – kiwis love wine. Who doesn’t? You may notice as well that wine isn’t food, but since festivals and evenings dedicated to this drink of gods are top-listed as successfully as food festivals, it’s cool to mention them as another attraction, too.
The first thing that’ll catch your eye at this facility is the luxury and effort with which the space is equipped and a bunch of bottles that entice you from the shelves to try them and drink them like there’s no tomorrow. Being a retail space at the same time, The Wine Cave constantly receives new interested wine lovers and gives them the opportunity to find joy in sipping a little bit from more than 430 species of various kinds of this drink.
Their tradition includes a monthly program that combines the activity of the venue with other aspects of life such as yoga, but one of the more prominent events this year was the Gimblett Gravels Wine Tasting Night. On August 26, they had the opportunity to host producers from 16 wineries that adorn the entire district, and in addition, a decent food market was organized inside the facility. What is certain is that in an environment like this, you’ll feel like you’re attending an elite event at least – we guarantee that this place will knock you off your feet.
4. ASB Showgrounds
ASB Showgrounds thrives right there, in the heart of the city, and is one of the oldest venues that exist in Auckland, as it has served its purpose as an exhibition space and venue for festivals and fairs for 160 years. Its excellent reputation has spread to other parts of New Zealand, and many come from other cities to negotiate the use of this space for their own events.
At the beginning of November, the already well-known Auckland Go Green Expo will be held at this place. As you can guess from the title itself, this is an initiative that promotes a healthy lifestyle and preserving and nurturing the environment. What stands out within it is a special festival of healthy and organic branches called The Better Food Fair. Great chance for all vegans, vegetarians and people intolerant to gluten, since only foods that meet these criteria are promoted. There are also practical workshops, as well as a bunch of super useful pieces of information related to healthy life.
5. Smales Farm
As the fifth and final point, we chose the fantastic Smales Farm located on the North Shore. It has an open space full of greenery whose capacities are simply ideal for large events, but that’s only a part of what this facility has – among other things, there’s the possibility of renting conference rooms where seminars or business meetings can be held. Fantastic lighting, modern technology and perfect catering – is there anything better?
Yes, there is – the wonderful Sunsetter Food, Wine and Music Festival, which won huge sympathies and left great impressions this year, and we can hardly wait for the continuation of next year in February, with the hope that the pandemic will allow it. This outdoor gathering, in addition to providing a perfect visual and musical atmosphere, also provides large quantities of original New Zealand food, keto desserts, vegetarian and vegan specialties, as well as Filipino, South American and Thai cuisine. A treat for all five of the senses!