Auckland is quickly becoming a very trendy place to visit, particularly among young people. Because the city is home to a major international university, much of the shopping, dining, and activity there is catered toward millennials, making it the perfect vacation spot for international students or recent graduates with wanderlust (like myself!).
Where to Shop in Auckland City
The shopping scene is particularly attractive in Auckland, and because one of my own favorite travel activities is exploring the shopping scene in a new place, I’ve put together a brief guide on places every shopaholic must visit in Auckland.
Some of the best shopping in Auckland that I’ve found is actually located in the suburbs, just outside the city center.
1. Parnell Village – Auckland’s oldest suburb – has recently been re-branded as a popular spot to shop and dine, and is now a can’t-miss area for visitors to the city. Although most of my personal shopping tends to be for fashion-related items, there is an adorable French market in the village where you can buy fresh and local food perfect for a picnic in one of Auckland’s pretty outdoor areas.
There are also some small boutiques and art shops where you can both immerse yourself in the local culture and meet your shopping needs.
2. Newmarket – Just south of Parnell Village is a suburb called Newmarket, which is known as the shopping capital of New Zealand. Not only are there many places to shop here, but there are also cozy spas, bowling alleys, and over 100 places to eat and drink; you could easily spend an entire weekend exploring Newmarket.
As far as the shopping goes though, Newmarket is home to a wonderful Westfield (which is an Australian chain of shopping malls). But don’t let the fact that it’s a chain deter you, as Westfield malls are some of the nicest ones I’ve been to, and have all kinds of fun offerings. Newmarket is also home to Osborne Lane, a scenic shopping street many Kiwi designers call home. Simply put, if you love shopping but are looking for something you couldn’t find at home, Newmarket is the place for you.
3. Queen Street – If you want to find the more high-end brands, Queen Street is where you’ll want to go. The street runs straight through Auckland’s central business district, and is home to world-famous brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci.
Even if you don’t plan on buying anything here, given some of the wildly expensive price tags, it can still be fun to window shop your way along this picturesque street. And if you’re visiting Auckland during a holiday season or in the middle of any other local festivities, be sure to check out Queen Street at night: there are LED lights installed on the trees lining the road that create a magical, colorful wonderland on such occasions.
4. Sky Tower – While you’re in the city center, I’d strongly recommend popping into the iconic Sky Tower, which you’ll immediately recognize if you’ve ever seen an image of the Auckland skyline. At the base of the tower, you’ll find SKYCITY Auckland, the city’s signature casino. New Zealand’s online casino platforms have grown quite popular in recent years and drawn some attention away from places like this, but I think there’s still some thing exciting about the in-person gaming experience – or even just passing through to soak up the festivity of it all.
Beyond the casino you can scale the tower, and while it’s not a huge shopping opportunity in and of itself, it’s a necessary stop while you’re in city center – and there is a nice gift shop toward the top of the tower, near some of the restaurants.
5. Devonport – If you’re headed to the North Shore of Auckland, then take the ferry from downtown Auckland to Devonport. If you’re into a variety of local and unique boutique stores that includes gift shops, designer clothing book stores and jewelry then you’ll love quaint Devonport. It’s just 12-15 minutes from city center of Auckland and you’ll have a relaxed stroll in Devonport as you wind in and out of little shops and the number of art galleries featuring the artwork of local artists.
That wraps up my recommendations for shopping in Auckland, but as always, sometimes the best way to experience a city and stumble upon unique places to shop is to let yourself wander and see what happens. The areas mentioned above will definitely get you off to a nice start, but in a city like this you’re bound to find some special spots of your own as well!