Some venues realise that backpackers love getting stuff for free and/or paying next to nothing for drinks. So, of course, New Zealand’s biggest city caters to us cheapskates.
First of all, leave Thursday nights free for the Frenzy Bar Crawl. Starting from The Camel Bar, Fort Street at 8 pm, the crawl takes you to four bars with four free drinks (either beer or vodka and mixer), and sometimes a hotdog when the crawl goes to Bar 101. Throughout the night there are prizes to win, such as Bungy jumps and bus passes. At NZ$10, even Auckland’s long-termers attend every so often, as it is a great way to meet new people in the city.
Casette 9 on Vulcan Lane hosts the Tuesday night party: Pop Panic. Backpackers are in with a chance of winning skydives, Bungy jumps, rafting and bus passes in the “Riff Raffle”. Or lose it all on one of the “mystery boxes”. Entry is free. Get a free drink and raffle ticket if you arrive at 9pm.
If you want a “city of sails” view with your drink then head down to the Viaduct Harbour. There is whole host of themed bars along the harbour to add variety to your night out in Auckland.
Choose from the craft beers on tap in the Irish bar Danny Doolans, watch rugby matches at Fox’s Ale House Sports Bar, chill out in a vintage setting while sipping cocktails in Snapdragon, or pretend you are in the Wild West at Cowboys. As a backpacker in the harbour, it’s only appropriate to go to some travel themed bars, such as the tropical themed Bungalow 8 with fish and palm trees that hosts backpackers meet up nights regularly. For something different, try Degree and The Crew Club on Saturday nights.
On and just off Queen Street
As the street every backpacker gets to know while visiting Auckland, we’ll make this the focal point to find the following bars. These places are either on or just off Queen Street.
Hidden down Durham Lane is the centre’s oldest commercial building, now a rustic bar called The Bluestone Room. Also, across from Bluestone is one of the entrances to Spitting Feathers, an English bar with international beer and cider and good value bar snacks.
If you love late-night dancing and need room to pull some shapes, Bar 101 down Elliot Street should suffice. The large dance floor is ideal for events, such as Ministry of Sound. Next door, you will found the most affordable prohibition era experience in New Zealand at Habana Joe’s. With a stylish decor and drinks starting at NZ$3, you can’t really go wrong. Upstairs in the Base hostel, Hello Sunshine is the perfect setting for afternoon drinks with views of the Sky Tower.
Head down Fort Street for backpacker bar The Camel Bar for an affordable beverage. Fort Street Union has a cool open-roof setting and NZ$1 pizza slices every Tuesday from 8pm. The Right Track Sports Bar is where you get your sports fix down Fort Street. Backpackers staying at the two Nomads hostels and Queen Street Backpackers will not have to travel far to get a pint.
If all else fails, QF Tavern on Queen Street always seems to be open. You’ll hear it before you see it, as the bar opens right up into the street.
Comedy on Queen Street