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FOOD & DRINK

Auckland Bars with Epic Views to Take Advantage of This Summer

Soak in the sights, and the afternoon sun, while you sip a cocktail or two.
By Catherine Knowles
December 18, 2019
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Auckland Bars with Epic Views to Take Advantage of This Summer

Soak in the sights, and the afternoon sun, while you sip a cocktail or two.
By Catherine Knowles
December 18, 2019
  shares

Let's face it, Auckland is a great place to be as summer rolls around. Even as you're working out the last of your weeks in the office or you've got one or two more shifts creeping into your schedule, there are an abundance of bars in and around the city to take it easy and soak up some epic views. Right by the ocean, the city boasts a number of bars that offer views of the harbour, but you'll also find some hidden away spots that sport city scenes and lush greenery. Here are a few of our top picks this year.

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DR RUDI'S ROOFTOP BREWING CO., VIADUCT HARBOUR

The title says it all: beer and rooftop views of Auckland harbour. What more could you want? In addition to serving up great views and cold breverages from its 1,000-litre onsite brewery, Dr Rudi's also offers two bowling lanes out back. The menu covers all your necessary bases — sharing plates, platters, seafood specialties, pizza and what could be dubbed the king of toasted sandwiches.

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PARASOL AND SWING COMPANY, VIADUCT HARBOUR

Love a good sea view, but beer isn't your thing? Directly next door, Parasol and Swing also offers stellar views of Auckland's harbour but with the vibe of a cocktail bar rather than a brewery. As the story goes, a group of bartenders hailing from different corners of the globe put together the concept and creation of this bar. They make bespoke cocktails in-house from locally sourced ingredients and source next-level wine and beer. The food menu is casual meets classy, with burgers, waffles and sharing plates galore.

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THE CHURCHILL, AUCKLAND CBD

Our final rooftop bar to make the list is The Churchill, located in the heart of Auckland and a more recent addition to the city. Located on the 20th floor of the Four Points by Sheraton hotel, at this bar you're offered panoramic views of the city below. The unique menu offers patrons the opportunity to mix their own cocktail with a 10/10/10 menu where you select your gin — the main spirit featured at the bar, then choose your mixer and add a botanical. Otherwise you can leave your drink choice in the hands of the very capable bartenders.

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HOMESTEAD, HILLSBOROUGH

More of a brunch and lunch spot than a bar, Homestead still makes our list thanks to its lush surroundings and well curated wine and beer list. The eatery is part of The Pah Homestead, an Auckland Council-owned homestead located in Hillsborough. A seat on the porch offers views of the surrounding trees and grounds, and is the ideal spot to enjoy a drink in the sun. Food consists of your classic lunch options including sandwiches, salads and platters, but done well with an emphasis on quality ingredients and great flavours.

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THE DECK AT OSTRO, BRITOMART

The Deck at Ostro is the perfect place to see the city skyline in the balmy evenings with a glass in hand. A large open balcony with indoor and outdoor areas, the bar is home to different events throughout the year, including live DJs and pop-up bars. On the harbour side of the building you'll find Ostro Brasserie and Bar, while the city side is the more relaxed deck that offers sharing plates, cocktails and views. If you're looking for a spot to wind down after work, the bar offers happy hour from 4–6pm on weekdays.

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CHARLIE FARLEY'S, WAIHEKE ISLAND

A short ferry ride away on Auckland's Waiheke Island is Charlie Farley's, a bar that's been running since 1987 and claims to be New Zealand's number one beach bar. With unobscured views of the stunning Onetangi Bay, it's easy to see why it's snatched this title. Accompanying the view is your choice of wine, beer or cocktails and hearty bar snacks or food.

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HI-SO, AUCKLAND CBD

If there's anywhere in Auckland that feels like you're walking into somewhere you're not supposed to be, it's the rooftop bar at SO/ Auckland. Named HI-SO, the bar and its exclusive party atmosphere can be found on the 16th floor of the new luxury inner city hotel which occupies the former Reserve Bank on Customs Street. HI-SO is perhaps the highest outdoor rooftop bar in Auckland, which becomes apparent as you peer into neighbouring skyscrapers and feast your eyes on the panoramic view across Waitemata Harbour — the biggest drawcard and difference to any other rooftop bar in Auckland.

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REGATTA, TAKAPUNA

From the city back to the sea takes us to Regatta, found right near the beach in Takapuna. Regatta is inspired by its seaside location and ocean views, providing an abundance of seafood dishes and refreshing drinks set against a nautical theme. Before you go be sure to check if the bar is hosting any events, as it's often a hot spot for music and drinks themed evenings.

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HOLEY MOLEY GOLF CLUB, VIADUCT HARBOUR

Bringing a much-needed unorthodox element to the Viaduct Harbour is Holey Moley — a quirky and outrageously fun mini-golf course by way of Australia. The 27 pop culture-themed holes are the perfect after work meander, first date icebreaker or night on the town. Visitors can tap, tap, tap their way through rooms themed around The Simpsons, E.T., The Flintstones and The Hobbit, complete trick shots across miniature buses as part of an Evel Knievel-themed hole and navigate around obstacles in nana's living room. The vibrant space also boasts a bar on the top level overlooking the waterfront. Called The Caddyshack, it serves craft beer and an appropriate pun-laden cocktail list that includes the likes of The Sugar Caddy, Putta Colada and the Waiheke Island Iced Tee. A full-service kitchen also boasts a menu of pizzas, burgers, hotdogs and bar snacks.

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SWASHBUCKLERS RESTAURANT AND BAR, WESTHAVEN MARINA

Seafood destination Swashbucklers is the ideal spot to sit back with a Pirate's Platter and catch some afternoon rays. Situated right on the water along Westhaven Marina since 1997, the venue affectionately known as Swashies, is consistently one of Auckland's best waterfront institutions — don't let the skull and crossbones fool you, Swashies legacy is well deserved.

Boasting one of the best views in town — watch boats bob in their moorings from the sun-drenched deck with a chilled handle of beer (which doesn't cost an arm…or a wooden leg). The family-friendly restaurant serves some of the freshest fish in Auckland, complimented by fine steaks and other non-seafood favourites. On the drinks menu you'll find NZ wine and a balanced list of international options.

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GRANGERS, HALF MOON BAY

Directly overlooking Half Moon Bay's promenade, Richard Cooke and Gina Henry's sunny tap house is down-to-earth home cooking with the touch of refinement necessary to keep you placed in the cheerful patio all afternoon.

The restaurant site provides a beautiful light-filled space overlooking the boats that fill the marina. A contemporary dining room, casual bar area with a large communal table and shaded outside seating. Well-executed sharing plates compliment the New Zealand wine list, craft beer offerings and bespoke cocktails — all of which can be worked off later courtesy of Grangers' free bike hire.

Published on December 18, 2019 by Catherine Knowles

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