Travel to Auckland, New Zealand – the City of Sails

sky tower Auckland

For us, our North Island travel in New Zealand began in Auckland. This would be a good base if you are planning to tour only the North Island. Other than being known as a big city, Auckland New Zealand does have a lot to offer for your travel experiences– from first class accommodations, a busy night scene and a host of popular attractions and leisure activities.

It is easy to move around in Auckland New Zealand even if you plan not to go for car hire. Though I prefer the shopping scene in Wellington city to Auckland, the specialty shops on Ponsonby are my personal favourite.

Ponsonby at sunset

This is Ponsonby at dusk.

The main shopping area (the starting point for visitors) in Auckland is Queen Street which is lined with all sorts of stores. I like Ponsonby. There are a few nice shops and lots of cool restaurants. This is one suburb you must not miss when visiting the North Island!

garden party at ponsonby

prego ponsonby

The shop that attracted me most is this big, colourful shop called ‘The Garden Party’. The shop has a large mural outside and it’s hard to miss it when you are walking along Ponsonby Road. It stocks lots of cute, quirky and unusual finds. This will be a wonderful place to find a New Zealand gift to take home.

We had lunch in Prego along Ponsonby road. This is a popular Italian restaurant and the food is simply delicious. Don’t forget to end your meal with their famous tiramisu.

If you are a burger lover, don’t miss the delicious patties at Burger Fuel, a burger-chain found only in New Zealand.

Ponsonby is known for its host of eateries but don’t miss out on the specialty design stores and boutiques. If you are all out to spend your money shopping in Auckland New Zealand travel, head to High Street, Newmarket and even Parnell.

Newmarket Auckland

Newmarket, a favourite fashion district for locals, offers mainstream shopping and here, you will also find Two Double Seven Shopping Centre, a 5-storey building.


Parnell, a short drive from Auckland city is a nice place to spend your afternoon. You will be quick to notice a yuppie crowd and and a whole lot of nice restaurants and cafes too. For lunch, we tried ‘Mink’, a cosy and casual café with great New Zealand food and nice coffee. Parnell village is popular with visitors.

The Chocolate Boutique Cafe is my favourite. Don’t miss the Hoglund Art Glass Gallery if you like fine glass art. An item from here makes a great New Zealand gift. You can get here on or The Explorer. Alternatively, you can take an easy drive if you have a car hire in New Zealand.

Shopping at High Street-Vulcan Lane can be an expensive one. I spotted a few shops stocking Korean/Japanese street fashion. You can also find some international labels in the fashion hot stops along High Street.

If you are after some New Zealand fashion labels, check out Mooch and The Untouched World. WORLD in High street and Ponsonby is a nice (but expensive) shop to browse. This designer boutique carries a few international labels and some nice collectibles.

When it comes to dining in Auckland, you are spoilt with choices. Just take a walk along the Viaduct Harbour and the options awaits you. The restaurants and bars in the area come alive in the evenings.

Tired of shopping? How about taking a drive to Mount Eden? For me, your visit to Auckland for your New Zealand travel should include this beautiful place. It is popular with families in the evenings and weekends.


Alex & Clayton – a close encounter with the cows at Mount Eden!

We witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets here in the North Island. Mount Eden makes a wonderful spot for an afternoon picnic. It’s also an ideal location for picture moments in the North Island.

mount eden auckland

Right here, you get the best views of the city and the harbour too.

Auckland is a nice city to hang around for a few days. It is laid back but if staying in a city is not what you desire for your New Zealand travel, then Auckland may not satisfy. You still can take a drive to the beaches in Paihia and enjoy the space and idyllic waters.

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