There has been significant new building development around Downtown Auckland over the past few years. The downside has been the appearance of the “city of cones” moniker. The upside is that all the most annoying things (generally) come to an end and with each completed project the city becomes more attractive.
This is especially true around the area that runs from Albert Park and the Art Gallery to the city waterfront, and from Britomart to the Wynyard Quarter. Even if you are not in Auckland for a city experience, you can easily spend a couple of enjoyable hours wandering around these districts. Then settle in at one of the many Downtown waterfront eateries.