The CBD is a good a place to start a shopping expedition, especially if you are looking to stock up on outdoors or adventure clothing, the sector that New Zealand practically invented. You’ll track down the big names along Queen Street and in the quirky lanes off it.
With loads of galleries, studios and eateries, the bustling Karangahape Road, or K Road as it is known, is the place to head for vintage, the quirky and the creative. Parnell, Auckland’s oldest suburb, has a toney edge with jewellers, upmarket fashion, antiques and art.
To the west of the CBD, Ponsonby’s stellar reputation for wining and dining is matched by the eclectic array of shops. Lovers of shoes should hot foot it to Newmarket, which claims more shoe shops than any other shopping precinct in New Zealand. But this leafy and lovely suburb is also known as brand heaven, with both local and international brands in abundance.
Our top picks
8-10 Queen Street
Old and new Auckland blend beautifully at Britomart, a must-see retail precinct spread over several blocks in the lower CBD. The face of Britomart was originally Auckland’s General Post Office but is now the Transport Centre. Behind it sit a number of beautifully restored historic buildings and edgy new constructions that together house a diverse mix of 100 or more boutiques, bars, restaurants, cafes and galleries. Expect all the local stars plus stellar international brands.
17 Osborne Street, Newmarket
Celebrating the best of Kiwi talent, Poi Room features an eclectic collection that showcases celebrated local artists, artisans and craft-makers. You’ll find prints, ceramics, watercolours, photographs and sculptures. There’s jewellery, too, hand-made from New Zealand stones in traditional designs. Also soaps, lotions and potions made from local products. This is the place to buy authentic items of beauty to be treasured long after you’ve left the City of Sails.
Shop like a local
La Cigale French Market
69 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell
This Auckland institution is voted the city’s best food market year after year. It is not only the place to buy the best and freshest seasonal fruit and vegetables, flowers, cakes, juices, croissants, breads, bagels, jams, cheese (and a whole lot more) but you will do extremely well eating here. The undercover bistro serves up cooked breakfasts and lunch and is open three nights a week as well. The market is held every Saturday from 8.30am to 1pm and from 9am to 1pm on Sunday.
Auckland Night Markets
Various Undercover Locations
Mix with locals looking for a bargain and a cheap meal at the popular Auckland Night Markets. Held six nights a week – with Mondays off – each market has more than 200 stalls. You’ll find great-value ethnic food plus fruit, vegetables and produce, and the rest of the stalls sell fashion, accessories, jewellery, knick-knacks and mobile phones.