It's been a long wait but, finally, the juggernaut that is the Rolling Stones 14 On Fire tour has rumbled into town. So if you want to celebrate what could be The Last Time the Stones roll this way - they haven't played here for eight years, and in another eight they'll be nearly in their 80s - you need to live it up, rock-star style. Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie will probably just put their feet up and have a cuppa after tonight's show, but that's no reason you shouldn't enjoy the best Auckland offers, whatever your budget.
If you're going to live like a rock star, you need to splash the cash, and lower Queen St has big-name luxury labels like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. A block over are High St's quirky stores, and towards the waterfront is the Britomart precinct, with flagship stores of big Kiwi names Karen Walker, Zambesi, Trelise Cooper and World. For a boutique experience, try Ponsonby or K roads for shopping, lattes and people-watching. Who knows who you may spot?
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll
But you like it, right? Serious music fans should satisfy their desire for vinyl at Real Groovy Records, an institution on Upper Queen St. Other sources of LPs are Southbound at 59 Mt Eden Rd, and Conch at 115A Ponsonby Rd, which handily has a very cool cafe attached. If watching the boys has whet your appetite for laying down your own licks, see the wares at The Rock Shop, which opened on K Rd in 1986. The central Auckland store is now split into four branches along K Rd. Those in the trade also recommend Cadenza Guitars, along the road in the George Courts building or Bungalow Bill's, at the Symonds St end of Khyber Pass Rd.
Jumping Jack Flash
Is the adrenalin still surging after the excitement of the concert? Bungy jump off the Harbour Bridge, tackle the Sky Tower's vertiginous SkyWalk or SkyJump, try zip-lining on Waiheke Island or go canyoning in the Waitakeres. For something a little more age-appropriate (just guessing), unwind with a round of golf: the refurbished Titirangi course is said to be the best in Auckland. Further northwest, take on the wind at Muriwai, Auckland's only links course, then check out the nearby gannet colony. While on the wild west coast, check out the grandeur of Piha - where Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam needed rescuing by a surf patrol - and bush-backed Karekare, inspiration for the Crowded House album Together Alone.
Want pampering before or after the big night at Mt Smart? Book a spa treatment. You don't think Mick looks as good as he does at 71 without taking a little care? Try the So Spa at the Sofitel in the Viaduct, the Spa at the Pullman Hotel in Waterloo Quadrant, or the East Day Spa in the SkyCity Grand Hotel.
Speaking of which, you don't have to be as rich as Mick to enjoy a flutter at SkyCity Casino. Even if gambling is not your scene, SkyCity is at the centre of the Federal St dining precinct. Cream of the crop is Peter Gordon's Sugar Club, on Level 53 of the Sky Tower, which is open for a preconcert lunch Saturday or a long, lazy recovery lunch on the Sunday. Soak up views of Auckland on the viewing deck with a sandwich, if you've really done your dough. Also in the Federal St precinct are Sean Connelly's Gusto at the Grand and The Grill; Al Brown's Federal Delicatessen and Depot; and Masu.
Dining options also abound at Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter, and the lanes around the Britomart precinct have plenty of options for a leisurely brunch with, at the very least, a million-dollar view.
Get Off Of My Cloud
Any decent rock star has their own private plane, but if you didn't bring yours this weekend Auckland Seaplanes offers a very rock 'n' roll combo package, flying you from Wynyard Quarter on a scenic flight over Waitemata Harbour and inner Hauraki Gulf, before landing off Oneroa Beach on Waiheke Island. The company also offers fly-and-dine packages to the Man O'War Vineyard restaurant and the Oyster Inn, recently patronised by Miley Cyrus and entourage. If helicopters are more your style, Heletranz also offers charter flights to the island. On a ferry, you'll be at the island in about 45 minutes. Once there, do a minibus vineyard tour - not so rock 'n' roll, but still a great way to enjoy this island gem. Just don't climb the palm trees and do a Keith Richards.