|Auckland has an ever
increasing reputation for being an brilliant shopping destination,
with a vibrant homegrown fashion industry and retailers stocking
all the latest international designer labels.
The Kiwi fashion industry is at the cutting edge,
taking (as the food industry once did) influences from Europe, the
Pacific Rim and Polynesia, and then, through the process of fusion,
coming up with a individual style. This can range from the simple
or sophisticated to the avant garde and from the practical to the
high art creations of the World of Wearable Arts (which is an internationally
recognised fashion festival in Nelson).
Good and popular fashion outlets are mainly located in the city
centre, notably the High Street. Local names include Karen Walker
(worn by Madonna), Workshop, Zambesi and World.
Some of the best designer clothing for outdoors and in, made from
natural fabrics, is available from Untouched World, 20 High Street.
This is an up and coming label, with high quality, designer products
that cross a wide range, from food to clothing, rather than just
the usual range of knitwear.
New Zealand’s fine foodstuffs may not make practical purchases
to take home but its wine definitely does. The
relative lack of fine wine merchants in the country is a positive
advantage, as most people go straight to the vineyards and thus
avoid paying inflated prices (no middleman’s mark up here).
Visitors should watch out for names such as Kumeu River, Coopers
Creek, Nobilo and Matua Valley or look at the free Winemakers of
Auckland leaflet, available at the visitor centre. As for wineries
from further afield, the best are in the Hawkes Bay, Martinborough,
Marlborough and Gold Country regions.
Woollen and leather goods are also good options for gifts
and souveneiers, as are Maori traditional crafts
and items made from pounamu (greenstone). For jewellery, Fingers,
2 Kitchener Street, stocks creations from dozens of top native designers,
while Compendium, 5 Lorne Street, is the best all round store for
Shops are usually open on weekdays from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, with
late night shopping on fridays until 9.00 pm in some parts of central
Auckland, such as Queen Street. In these areas, and some of the
larger suburban shopping malls, you can shop on saturdays 9.00 am
to 5.00 pm, and sundays from about 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
Travelers should note that the suburbs of Auckland
are also known for their shopping opportunities, some for fashion,
others for sparklers and stinkies, so it is always worth straying
off the beaten track.
Aotea Square, (which is next to the IMAX Cinema and opposite the
Town Hall) has a market on friday and saturday mornings, selling
clothes, jewellery, and arts and crafts.
The Victoria Park Market is open daily from 9.00
am to 6.00 pm and is a big flea market where shoppers can get practically
The Polynesian Market is situated just south of
Mount Eden and is open on saturday mornings.
Sales tax is 12.5%, and provided receipts are kept,
visitors can claim a tax refund through the local New Zealand embassy
or at the airport upon return.