Auckland, NZ

“I’m 100 percent inspired by Auckland. I’ve been nearly 5 times in the past year alone. Something about the lifestyle, atmosphere, and most importantly the connection to their indigenous culture has truly moved me. It’s such a special thing to see how the Maori culture is so present within everyday life and how important the customs and traditions are to all Kiwi people. Besides being one of the most beautiful places on the planet, this country also is full of some of the most beautiful and inspiring humans as well.”  —  Parson James

 

Curated by: Parson James

city guide:
Auckland, NZ
food
The Blue Breeze Inn
"Favorite restaurant hands down is Blue Breeze Inn on Ponsonby. Truly, I go there nearly every single day that I'm in town. It's almost a running joke between staff that I should basically move in. Go for the Pork Buns and watch your life change."  —  Parson James
146 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland, 1011, New Zealand
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bar
Coco’s Cantina
"Besides being one of the most delicious restaurants in town, this place is also an exceptional spot for happy hour. Tucked into a quaint spot on K road, the staff is super hip and the outdoor area is incredible. I'm going for the Rosè."  —  Parson James
376 Karangahape Rd, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
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coffee
Eighthirty Coffee Roasters
"Karangahape Road is an experience on its own with all the shops and vibrant folks bopping about. This cafe is where I would pop over from my management's studio, and offers a little feel of Brooklyn in middle earth. My Order: Cold Brew with Almond Milk black."  —  Parson James
551 Karangahape Rd, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
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hotel
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbor
"If you're staying in Auckland I would suggest the gorgeous Sofitel on Viaduct Harbor. You can get bay-view rooms and have easy access to the ferry. It's a beautiful hotel with incredible waterfalls as you walk in and an amazing staff."  —  Parson James
21 Viaduct Harbour Ave, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
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hotel
La Bodega Waiheke Island Accomodation
"If possible, you should try to stay in Waiheke Island at least one night. Stay at La Bodega Bed & Breakfast. It's one of the most gorgeous places I've ever stayed. It's run by a very lovely couple who have traveled to New Zealand following a dream of running a hotel. It's modern and sleek with restoration hardware type decor and rooms with humongous open windows that face all the nature/ocean and beauty of the country."  —  Parson James
Waiheke Island, Park Point Drive, Auckland, 1971, New Zealand
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bar
The Golden Dawn
"This place is so special. So you're strolling down Ponsonby and you pop up on this little wonder. It has no signage or anything to indicate that it's an establishment on the exterior besides the coolest people ever walking inside or waiting in line. It's got a dark/majestic speakeasy vibe once you enter. You'll get homemade mulled wine as you're waiting on the band to set up in the corner. You'll find the most diverse music genres nightly here. From world, country, soul, jazz, funk. It's truly special. Sadly it's closing next year so get there quick!"  —  Parson James
134 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland, 1011, New Zealand
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bar
Family Bar and Club
"If you ask any of the employees there they will tell you I spend a LOT of time at Family Bar karaoke. It's THE gay bar in town but also has so many different elements within it. The karaoke side is like a Western saloon. Then through a door you're in a full blown night club. Or you can go downstairs to the rave-like dark room. It's one of my favorite places on the planet."  —  Parson James
270 Karangahape Rd, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
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outdoors
Waiheke Island
"One of the most gorgeous places I've ever seen in my life. It's a short 30 minute ferry over from Auckland's Viaduct Harbor. The ride over alone is a remarkable view and you can have nibbles and wine on the ferry as you pass by volcanoes and admire the sea. Once there, prepare to stay a while. The island is full of adventures like jet skiing, swimming, and horseback riding, and is covered in gorgeous vineyards. Pop over to Tantalus Estate vineyard, Stonyridge, or my personal favorite Man O War vineyard for incredible views, food, and WINE."  — Parson James
Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand
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