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Explore the city and rekindle your festive cheer

Published: 20 December 2019

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the city,

People were dashing, arms filled with newly-bought booty ...

The malls and the roads were correspondingly chaotic,

While parents, all frazzled, were feeling neurotic,

As from one shop to another, they wearily went

With shopping lists and hard-earned money now spent.

Despairing that the festive cheer was no more,

And the holidays had turned into yet one more chore.

If only a way through the crowds and the stress could be found,

To recapture the spirit of the season and again have them spellbound ...


We all have that feeling.

But there is a way to recapture the festive joy with an inner-city walk that will delight and inspire.

Starting at Smith and Caughey’s on Queen Street, enjoy delighting your children or your partner with a wonderful rendition of the classic Santa Claus is Coming to Town before heading inside to check out Santa’s Enchanted Forest which has become a Auckland festive must-do for the past ten years.

The city centre is decorated for the festive season so from Smith and Caughey’s embark on a treasure hunt to find as many Christmas decorations as possible. Many are on or near Queen Street  meaning that you won’t have to stray too far off the beaten track.

Head down to the waterfront for dinner either in the Viaduct or at Wynyard Quarter, or grab a bite along the way. Download the Heart of the City app for great suggestions whatever your stomach craves.

After dinner find your favourite place to view the Vector Lights festive show on the Harbour Bridge, which kicks off at 9pm every evening. Some of the possible places to view the show include the ends of both Queen and Princes Wharf and at the end of Silo Park.

Wander through Victoria Park at the completion of the show (repeated every 15 minutes) to Franklin Road and take in the incredible light displays on offer, courtesy of the residents of Ponsonby.  Always a favourite the Franklin Road Lights are best experienced on foot.

At the end of the night take advantage of the Inner City bus to travel back to Britomart and then onto home on a train. Make your planning easier by using the Auckland Transport app.  


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Visit after work with mates, make it a date night or just enjoy a stroll through the beautiful grounds.