In late 2009, I spent several weeks in Auckland, New Zealand on business. When not in meetings, scouting, filming, etc., I managed to find some of Auckland’s most popular happy hours. After all, it’s always happy hour somewhere!
Before getting into the reviews, here’s some tidbits that I picked up about going out in New Zealand.
• The average happy hour drink price is $5 NZD. This is equivalent to a little over $3.50 USD. Not bad at all!
• Happy hour is primarily a Monday-Friday, 5-7pm event. I never really found a daily or late night happy hour.
• People tend to only do happy hour during the week. Once happy hour is over, most bars are pretty empty. Some even close at midnight. As for Friday & Saturday nights they are …. Out. Of. Control... as you can see from this photo of a nice dressed man we found sleeping in the bushes alone. Not to worry, we put him in cab after much convincing that partying with us not a good idea.
• Happy hour is good for groups almost everywhere! It was very common to see groups, rather than singles or pairs. People in New Zealand are very friendly; this lends itself to Happy Hour too – they’re so nice, they never get sick of their co-workers and actually want to drink with them after work.
• Local beers are all the rage! Beers can differ from bar to bar. Lion Red was a coworker’s favorite. I liked it a lot and I don’t like beer.
• Bartenders not only talk you through beers & wines, but… give samples of beer & wine! They really know their stuff and give samples without having to ask. It’s a great way to do business and I hope more bars in the state follow suit.
• When not drinking beer or wine, 42 Below vodka was quite popular. I had a couple of vodka cocktails here and there, but I wish I had a chance to sample their kiwi flavored vodka. Kiwi vodka by kiwis, how did I miss that?
• L&P was a popular mixer for vodkas, rum, & whiskey. I almost never drink soda and I was clearing about 2 cans a day of this stuff. If anyone ever comes across it in the states, please, please email me!
• If you get too drunk and have no idea where you are, just go to towards the Sky Tower. You’ll always find you’re way home from there… or at least another bar.
New Zealand was a great place that I hope to return to in the future. There will be happy hour reviews to come. Cheers, mates! JG.