First developed when the city hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2011, the harborside Wynyard Quarter has quickly become a favorite destination for Aucklanders. Restaurants, cafés, and bars are especially popular on weekends—standouts include Baduzzi for Italian food and Jack Tar for pizza and cold beer with ocean views—and over the summer, Wynyard's Silo Park area is used for food-truck events (www.foodspace.co.nz), craft markets, and outdoor movies. DJs and Auckland bands occasionally play sets to laid-back locals in the shadow of giant grain silos adorned with colorful street art; for traveling families, there's an exciting playground where the kids can burn off excess energy.
Walking Auckland’s waterfront is one of the free things that makes the city great. Pick up a map or just wander around aimlessly—the choice is yours—but whatever you do, try to do it early in the morning so you can catch the day at its glorious beginning, when the yachts are still in the water, the traffic is nonexistent, and the aroma of roasting coffee is strong.