As the temperature rises and our Kiwi summer really hits, it's time to discover the best places to beat the heat. Whether you are taking a friend for a drink by the water, seeking out a restaurant that's got great shade or going for a dip underneath a waterfall, there's a whole heap of amazing places to cool off when summer is just too hot to handle. Here's a few of our faves. If you have a top shady spot, why not share your love for it on their Localist listing? Stay cool!
Parnell Baths reviewed by Tim G.
Love the Parnell Baths - both for its modernist good looks and also the great range of pools there. Ranging from the really hot adult spa to the kids water playground to the 50m long solar-heated salt water pool - it has something for everyone. Great for both a refreshing swim or a relaxing afternoon.
Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill reviewed by Johnny P.
The Harbourside in the ferry building downtown has an amazing deck looking out over the harbour. If you’re not a fan of the hustle and bustle of central city life then this one might not be for you, but once you get on that deck with a beverage in your hand I can guarantee everything will be A-O.K.! It’s surprisingly relaxing watching Auckland’s commuters doing their thing as you do exactly the opposite. If you’re a seafood lover, then prepare your tastebuds for an experience too.
Auckland Botanic Gardens reviewed by Vanessa F.
Love the forest walk! Didn't know they existed until I decided to walk off the normal trail in an attempt to explore other parts of the garden! The magnolia garden is captivating when the flowers are in full bloom!
The Riverhead reviewed by Johnny P.
It’s never a long time between drinks for me when it comes to my love affair with this gem of a tavern. The last time I was here was for a family birthday and we drove by car. But because it is situated right on the water’s edge and in order to get the full experience of a great Kiwi day out, you need to jump on a boat and head up the inlet to the moorings outside The Riverhead. As New Zealand’s oldest riverside tavern, it’s steeped in history, but when it comes to the menu and craft brews, this place is as modern as it gets. A gastro-pub on steroids, each dish bursts with fresh, seasonal flavours and local produce and meat cuts are at the forefront. Plus, as a regular, I love the fact that new dishes are added often. Their dessert is also an absolute must and I recommend that everyone at the table orders something different so you can enjoy a real taste test. I’m not sure anywhere else in Auckland does such a lip-smackingly-good, sweet finish to end what always is the perfect pub meal. Plus the cold tap beer slides down so nicely on a hot summer’s day that it’s worth taking a sober skipper so you can have a rollicking good country day out. If you’re an Aucklander and haven’t experienced The Riverhead yet then you haven’t lived. It really is that good.
The Tasting Shed reviewed by David K.
Love this place: great food, great wine, great service, reasonable prices and a courtesy shuttle to pick you and get you home again! All that and a beautiful location too!!
Cornwall Park reviewed by Liselle
Beautiful park, lanes of trees, summer hydrangeas, picnics. I also love the view from One Tree Hill and the fact that there is the best kids' park in Auckland at the Stardome side. You can also get some of the yummiest scones and tea at the Cornwall Park Restaurant. And most of all when the weather is hot, the trees are shady and great for climbing.
Point Chevalier Beach reviewed by Alix W.
We love going to Pt Chev beach to watch the sun set. The beach is facing in just the right direction to have a beautiful view of the sun as it sinks into the horizon. You can take a picnic with you, or your dog(s) for a walk. Or just chill out on the sand and watch the colors in the sky change - it's magical! And so close to central Auckland!
Auckland Art Gallery reviewed by Kylie B.
When the sun is high in the sky and there's no respite from the heat, I like to scurry away to the air-conditioned coolness of the Auckland Art Gallery and spend hours marvelling at the exhibitions. It's the perfect way to while away a weekend afternoon, especially if it's the middle of summer. I love that you get free entry to the permanent collections because it's a really cool way to experience a great day out that doesn't blow the budget.
Hunua Falls reviewed by Kylie B.
Just 60km from Auckland's CBD is one of the South's most beautiful, picturesque places - the powerful and picture-perfect Hunua Falls. One of the many fantastic natural phenomena in the gorgeous Hunua Ranges that flank the south of the city, these falls are very easy to get to and there is picnic and toilet facilities near by. To get the best view of the rushing white water cascading down the rock face, it's worth setting aside an extra half-hour and taking in the vista of the falls and surrounding native forest from all angles. The track is well sign-posted from the car park near the falls. However, swimming is not recommended as it can be dangerous.
Takapuna Beach Cafe and Store reviewed by Mikah P.
This place has fantastic ice cream and sorbets - as well as amazing service and a great breakfast! No bookings so be prepared to wait or get there early.