With the Christmas regatta starting today, here is everything you need to know about where to soak up the buzz of it all.
The America’s Cup World Series and the Christmas Race will see the teams congregate in the beautiful waters of the Waitematā from the 17th to the 20th of December, and is the first opportunity for all the teams to race against each other ahead of the PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series in January and February next year, and the Match for the 36th America’s Cup in March.
Races are on between 3pm - 6pm, where there will be four races per day of Round Robin competition, with all of the four teams racing each other twice. You can see the full race schedule here.
Downtown Auckland will be buzzing. Quay Street is fully open to pedestrians (and closed to traffic), so you can easily wander back and forth from the Cup Village to Britomart to refuel between races, sneak in a bit of Christmas shopping, or to settle in for the evening afterwards.
The Britomart Car Park is open as always, and offering two hours free carparking with a $10 receipt from any Britomart retailer or food and beverage outlet - just show your receipt at reception when you leave to have your exit ticket validated.
Lobster & Wagyu have one of the best views in Auckland to watch the Christmas Regatta, and will have big screens showing all the action. They also have complimentary bar bites from 4-5pm every race day, and awesome happy hour specials. The Brit is also showing the action on their TV's, and have Steinlager specials available all day. And if you're looking to celebrate or commiserate on the fate of your favourite team, all our bars and restaurants are open and ready to welcome you.
Our regular Food Truck Friday event is on in Takutai Square at lunchtime on Friday 18 December, with four food trucks and tunes from DJ Rose Alice. And our Britomart Saturday Markets are running all day from 8am until 5pm on Saturday 19 December, with great eating and drinking options for everyone.
Some roads around Britomart will be closed to traffic, and fully open to pedestrians. From 1-8PM from December 17-20, Quay Street will be closed as far east as Britomart Place and Commerce Street. The Britomart carpark is unaffected and will stay open and accessible throughout the whole time.
Public transport is of course still available, and Auckland Transport and NZ Police want to encourage anyone in the mood to party to take the safe option and use trains, buses and ferries to get home. From 4pm on Friday 18th December and all day on Saturday 19th December to the end of service, AT will be running its ‘Home Free’ promotion and travel on buses, trains and most ferries will be free.