Any suggestions for a good place to eat for Easter in Auckland? We're not looking for anything fancy or expensive - just a good dinner!
Any specific area? Remember that most restaurants have surcharges on public holidays. Auckland is so huge it would be helpful to know where you will be staying and if you will be driving (NZ wines are amazing so walking or cabs are recommended!)
We will be staying at the Westin & will have a car so we're open to any suggestions. I've heard that restaurants have a surcharge for holidays, but there's nothing we can really do about that!
They are heaps of good places around the viaduct where you staying - wander around and check them out.
Kermadec and Soul both good seafood restaurants.
There are several nice cafes on some of the eastern bays and North Shore Beaches - combine a wander along a beach with a late brunch.
Alternatively if you wanted to make a "day of it"
Go to one of the surrounding wine areas - they have great restaurants often specialising in local produce - the areas often have weekend farmer markets as well which can be fun.
It is harvest time at the moment.
Waiheke - go by ferry
West - Kumeu - go by car
South - Clevedon area
Note that Monday afternoon traffic will be bad with people returning from the long weekend. Your surcharge days will be Good Friday and Easter Monday.
padso - thanks so much for all the tips - you're right on track with what we're looking for. We would prefer to 'made a day of it' & go see some scenery or wineries. So there won't be a surcharge at restaurants on Easter Sunday, but on Monday? Monday we're planning on heading to the Rotorua area..
p.s. So we can assume wineries will be open on Easter Sunday?
yep they will open - it will be a big weekend for them.
Easter weekend is the end of the summer and lots of Aucklanders will be out enjoying themselves.
The vineyards will often have live music as well.
My pick on the Sunday would be Waiheke or Matakana
Waiheke because you get the ferry ride, see a bit of the gulf, the island has some lovely art galleries, beaches (we are still swimming), walks and vineyards Some of the vineyards look west and are great at sunset - you can get a late ferry back to town. No stress battling with traffic or being the responsible driver. Recommend Te Whau, Mudbrick or Cable Bay but there are lots of others as well.
Matakana is also a pretty drive, nice beaches, art galleries and the Brickbay Vineyard is devine - amazing building and simple but delicious food (recommend the platter) in a special setting but not with expansive views like Waiheke.
Or you could come to Tauranga for the 47th National Jazz Festival(one of the oldest and biggest in the Southern hemisphere) :)
There is a good bus system to get you around on Waiheke - also lots of taxis. Even scooters.
You can easily walk up from the wharf to the main village - Oneroa
There is also a DOC walking track around a few bays each way from the wharf which are very pretty.
Suggest you get the 9 or 10 am ferry to give you a full day
Piha is another great day out (about 1 hr west from Auckland by car - through the suburbs and over the Waitakeres). There are some great bush and beach walks when you get there. This coast is a lot more dramatic - with thick bush, steep cliffs, wild sea, black iron sand, windy. Eating options very limited - fish & chips from local chippie are great, the South Piha Surf Club also has a licensed cafe but you need to be member to get in if there is Official Committee Person on the door checking - sit on beach and watch the sunset into the Tasman with your picnic.
This is a popular surf beach but be careful it is also very dangerous with holes and rips everywhere, you must swim between the flags.
CAnt answer the question - "which one is best."
I like them all.
Depends what pushes your buttons.
If you want to have a bit of walk, possibly swim, see the Hauraki Gulf, check out some local artisans, try some local food and wine and music , then Waiheke would be my pick.
Especially as you will have just arrived in the country and suggest a casual no stress (ie negotiate the traffic) start to your holiday. After this you are going to be full on in Rotorua/Taupo and Sth Island from memory.