Auckland Nightlife

After sunset the bar action is split across four distinct areas, with the waterfront and central city a common ground between the largely loyal Parnell and Ponsonby crowds. Be warned that Auckland can be quite unpleasant in the small hours of the morning when young people from the far suburbs spill out of bars drunk and rowdy. To avoid this, head to Parnell where the restaurants and bars are frequented

by a polished, free-spending crowd, or for a more relaxed scene, head to Ponsonby Road, west of the city center, where you'll find street-side dining and packed bars. If you prefer to stay in the city center, the place to be for bars is the Viaduct, particularly in summer, or High Street and nearby O'Connell Street, with a sprinkling of bars in between. At the Queen Street end of Karangahape Road (just north of Highway 1) you'll find shops, lively bars, cafés, and nightspots including gay clubs. Not many venues are aimed at the gay and lesbian market in Auckland—that's probably because in Auckland the car you drive or your home renovations are more important than your sexual preference. The best place to scout for bars is the gay news site GayNZ.com. It is the best guide to bars and events; some bars have women-only evenings, but this changes often. Nightclubs, meanwhile, are transient animals with names and addresses changing monthly if not weekly.

There is also a growing nightlife scene on the North Shore—particularly in the upmarket seaside suburb of Takapuna. If you make the trip over the bridge, you'll be rewarded by bars and restaurants with a particularly relaxed vibe. From Sunday to Tuesday many bars close around midnight, and nightclubs, if open, close about midnight or 1 am. From Thursday to Saturday, most bars stay open until 2 or 3 am. Nightclubs keep rocking until at least 4 am and some for a couple of hours after that.

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Bars/ Pubs 10

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 1

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Gay and Lesbian 2

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Auckland Nightlife

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Classic Comedy & Bar

  • Comedy Clubs

At Auckland's main venue for live comedy, acts of varying caliber are a mix of well-known Kiwi comedians, fresh faces, and the occasional...

Kings Arms Tavern

  • Music Clubs

One of Auckland's longest-running music institutions, this is often a launch pad for bands that cross the indie and rock boundary. Very...

Lime

  • Bars/Pubs

You might as well leave your inhibitions at the door when you enter, because everybody else does. People pack this friendly and often...

Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe

  • Bars/Pubs

Vulcan Lane has long been an after-work favorite with the suit-and-tie set of downtown Auckland. The lane has been tidied up in recent...

Wine Loft

  • Bars/Pubs

Quotes from the famous are scrawled on the walls, and wines seldom available by the glass can be had here. Jocular lawyers, other suits,...

Civic Tavern

  • Bars/Pubs

At the heart of the city center, the Civic Tavern houses three bars. The London Bar has a vast selection of beer and Scotch whiskey.

Indians and Cowboys

  • Bars/Pubs

There is always a lively time at the twin bars Indians and Cowboys in the Viaduct, where despite the name the crowd is older and upmarket...

Tulip Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Keeping with the flower theme of its previous incarnation, Orchid, Tulip Bar aims to create a space that is groovy without being in your...

Mea Culpa

  • Bars/Pubs

Locals spill onto the street from early evening at Mea Culpa, a small, relaxed bar with equally appealing cocktails and wine selections.

Urge

  • Bars/Pubs

This men-only bar opens Wednesday through Saturday and has theme nights from time to time. It's extremely popular with men who like to...

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