Auckland delivers the goods whether it’s a couple of quiet beers you’re after of an evening, or a big bad dirty night on the tiles. Known fondly as the ‘Big Little City’, this place is a mass of contradictions, retaining a cosy charm despite its sprawling nature. With a buzzing harbour full of bright lights, great bars and superb eateries to its new Britomart district complete with country clubs and shopping precincts, you’d be forgiven for expecting Auckland to foster an exclusive and expensive nightlife – but you’d be wrong.

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Bars in Auckland

Chapel Bar (£)

147 Ponsonby Rd, +64 9-360 4528

This is a friendly little bar with a distinctly pubby vibe, so it’s great for a relaxed post-work drink or a bit of a Brit-fix if you’re struck with a touch of homesickness.

Neighbourhood Macs Brew Bar (££)

498 New North Rd, +64 9-846 3773

Similar to the above with a bit of a Shoreditch feel to it – all exposed brickwork and artisan beers.

Spitting Feathers (£)

16 Wyndham St, +64 9-366 0254

Another British pub worth checking out, if only for its very decently-priced booze and comfort grub. Staffed and frequented almost exclusively by Brits, which may or may not be what you’re after…

La Zeppa (££)

33 Drake St, +64 9-379 8167

Occupying a fabulous setting in Victoria Park, La Zeppa’s got coloured chinese lanterns all over, and a stunning tapas menu to boot. With a huge outdoor balcony and good resident DJs, this one’s especially popular on Friday nights so get here earlyish.

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Clubs in Auckland

Ink Bar (££)

268 Karangahape Rd, +64 9-358 5103

This well-respected club is one of the best in Auckland, with a broad ranging and packed out calendar of electro, techno and drum and bass nights. A local haunt with a friendly, mixed crowd.

Boogie Wonderland (£)

8 Queen St, +64 9-361 6093

And for those who like an extra serving of cheese with their big night out, it’s got to be this one. About as far from Ink Bar as you can get, ideologically, Boogie Wonderland has a coloured dance floor à la John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Disco anthems and seventies classics churn out all night long at this unpretentious good-time nightspot. Fancy dress optional, but always encouraged.

Events and shows in Auckland

Culture vultures will be pleased with what Auckland has to offer, with venues like The Herald Theatre, The Civic and Auckland Town Hall serving up a colourful calendar of comedy, opera, ballet and theatre for all age groups and tastes. Check out to keep up with what’s on and when.

Auckland Arts Festival is a two-week performing arts and cultural festival worth checking out, celebrating the art that characterises Auckland and this particular corner of the Pacific. Expect a melting-pot of musical performances, unusual cabaret nights and lots of different types of contemporary dance.