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Last updated : Nov 2009
Auckland Shopping
Auckland Shopping Guide - TravelPuppy.com
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 general crafts.

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 anything.

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.