Although not the capital of New Zealand, Auckland is the largest city in the country and is known the world over as ‘The City of Sails’. As with any major city, Auckland has its attractions; the Americas Cup yachts, the Sky Tower, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, an awesome zoo, museums, fine dining and theatres. But once you have done all of that, spend a little time discovering the world of Auckland shopping in this southern metropolis.
Auckland Shopping – Queen Street
The city centre itself is based around Queen Street which is home to Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci plus lots of unique New Zealand wares from our own local designers. There are of course the usual high street brands and an array of tourist stores offering everything ‘New Zealand’.
Keep your eyes peeled as you wander and you will discover some very quaint alleys and arcades that lead off Queen Street and take you into a charming world of boutiques and olde worlde charm.
Queen Street leads to the Viaduct and this whole area is bursting at the seams with hotels, cafes, restaurants plus the theatre, cinemas and the Casino which is housed within the Sky Tower. So, an ideal opportunity to stay in town, do some shopping and enjoy the nightlife.
Catch a ferry from the quay at the bottom of Queen Street over to Devonport. The ferry ride is about 10minutes and offers an amazing view of the city skyline before taking you past the naval base and into Devonport terminal. The vibe in Devonport is definitely a ‘village’ atmosphere with a small sandy beach, plenty of cafes and eateries offering pavement cuisine and a selection of individual shops including specialist book shops and antique stores.
If you are in Auckland over a weekend, don’t eat breakfast! Save yourself and head over to Parnell to discover La Cigale French Farmers Style Market which operates every Saturday and Sunday morning. The temptations are abundant here with crepes, pastry’s, breads, cheeses, sausages and all things French and yummy! In addition, locally grown produce and French wines and champagnes will ensure you shop for lunch and dinner while you are here.
Victoria Park Markets
Another Auckland shopping experience, although this is a more permanent one is the Victoria Park Market located in Victoria Park, walking distance from Queen Street. This unique heritage site, over 100 years old, is the oldest example of industrial building in Auckland and has been lovingly transformed over recent years. It now houses a selection of upmarket shops, cafes and restaurants and hosts events through the year.
Takapuna and Sylvia Park
Heading out of the city you can go north over the harbour bridge to Takapuna where you will find the North Shore Mall or south to Sylvia Park, the largest Auckland shopping mall. Both are traditional malls with the usual branded stores, food courts and cinemas but they are impressively clean with ample parking, if you’re driving, children’s play areas and crèche facilities.
If you are looking for a bargain head to the Dressmart Outlet Mall at Onehunga. Housing over 100 stores including designer, high street and a large number of sports shops, the mall claims to offer up to 70% off normal retail prices.
Without doubt, more than its famous tourist attractions, Auckland shopping scene also offers something for everyone.