New Zealand is known for its stunning landscapes and friendly locals. Travel here always has so much to offer the first time visitor.
Imagine a day spent soaking up Maori culture and hospitality or visiting The Shire and touring Hobbiton on the rolling hills of Matamata. Hiking to New Zealand’s incredible geysers and boiling mud pools, and then indulging in some of the world’s finest thermal spas, is the ultimate nomad experience.
And not to be outdone―there’s wine tasting. New Zealand is famous for producing incredible Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines from vineyards nestled in some of the most spectacular settings in the world.
When traveling anywhere, it isn’t hard to get off the beaten path, avoid getting pigeonholed as just another tourist and keep away from the hackneyed tourist traps every city in every country seems to have.
One of the best ways to meet new people and enjoy some local flavor is to join in with happy hour.
Shutting down the laptop and putting the iPhone away is, for some globetrotters, luxurious in itself and the entryway to engaging in one of the best aspects of travel―laid back conversation with all kinds of interesting people.
Welcome to Happy Hour!
Happy Hour in Auckland, New Zealand
A New Zealand favorite among locals and tourist alike is a generous order of frites served with aioli. The perfect pairing is, of course, one of Monteith’s Brewing Company’s ice cold beers or ciders. But there’s more to happy hour in Aukland than fries and beer.
One of the best places to visit, without a doubt, is Gusto at The Grand. Located in the SKYCITY Grand Hotel on 90 Federal Street, Gusto offers The Aperitivo Hour every day starting at 5:00 p.m and running until 7:00 p.m.
With the purchase of your favorite cocktail or aperitif, you are invited to enjoy one of many complimentary amuse-bouche. This could easily become quite the tradition to take home in the place of souvenirs and T-shirts―inviting friends to your hometown’s best happy hour for Campari and appetizers!
Another fun spot is BOX Cafe & Bar, located close to theaters for those heading out to a show. Box Cafe & Bar recently introduced The Balcony where guests can see performances from Auckland’s best DJs and musicians. This is a must for an inexpensive start to a fun night out on the town.
Do not forget to visit De Fontein Belgian Beer Café, situated in the heart of Mission Bay. De Fontein is known for it mussel dishes and a wide variety of finely crafted Belgian beers. With so much to choose from, you’re sure to have a great time in Aukland.
Happy Hour in Wellington, New Zealand
Concrete Bar is a hidden gem, right in the heart of Wellington’s central district. With their relaxed atmosphere, Concrete Bar provides guests with one of the city’s best happy hours.
With a compliment of great cocktails and delectable food, this is definitely the place to be. On sunny days, you’re going to want to enjoy the balcony. Overlooking busy Lambton Quay, it’s the best spot in town to have a drink and a bite―and people watch.
One of the city’s little-known favorites is The Library. Hidden away in the upstairs at Courtenay Place, The Library is well known for serving up fun and frivolous cocktails, and exquisite and obscure wines. Although they don’t technically serve happy hour, the two for one drink specials on Wednesday are nonnegotiable. This is the Happy Humpday place to be.
Havana Bar is a Cuban themed bar and restaurant located in two historic Wellington cottages, providing an eclectic mix of music and local personalities that has made Havana a very picturesque neighborhood haunt.
With authentic Cuban food and cocktails along with tasty Spanish tapas, Havana Bar hosts live music during the week and a welcome smile every day from Wellingtonians and visitors alike.
Happy Hour in Christchurch, New Zealand
If you’re looking for an excellent happy hour in Christchurch, then the hands down go-to spot is Fiddlesticks Restaurant & Bar located on 48 Worcester Street. Nestled in the heart of the Arts Precinct, this beautifully appointed location has great food and drink options during an awesome happy hour.
The sheltered courtyard is the perfect place for people watching. There’s a cozy outdoor fire blazing that makes for the perfect ambiance, and there are intimate dining spaces available for you and your friends to enjoy one another’s company. There’s nowhere else you’d rather be. Be sure to make a pilgrimage to Fiddlesticks when you’re in Christchurch.
If you’re looking for a rowdy time, then the hotspot for happy hour is definitely Morrel & Co. To call this bar and restaurant Meatball Heaven is part understatement, part statement of purpose.
The menu is largely dedicated to the meatball and they are served in a million amazing ways. The small bites menu features frites and aioli, dumplings, and their pizza comes highly recommended. The finger food they serve is perfect for sharing with friends. Just remember, this isn’t an intimate date place at all. Expect lots of fun. And for crying out loud, order some meatballs!
Tequila Mockingbird is the place to be for live music and DJs and an impressive list of Latin wines and beer. Don’t overlook the small plate menu, designed with sharing in mind―after all, that’s what happy hour should be all about.
Don’t let the chain restaurant decor put you off, though. Once you see the menu, you’ll be glad you came. The wine list is impressive, to say the least, and this is one of the more polished locations on this list in spite of the Bennigan’s look.
These places are all giving their guests the best impression they can, and they come alive with great entertainment, food, drink, and the chance to meet new faces in fun new places.
Some folks are coming back from a day at work and others from seeing the sights. It’s time to enjoy some New Zealand hospitality. There’s so much fun to be had! You know you’re going to enjoy your new happy hour spot!