Auckland is equally renowned as a ‘City of Sails’ and a ‘City of Sales’.

The highly competitive retail market is characterised by frequent cut-price sales and discounted purchase prices.

The central city area has interesting shopping precincts on Queen Street, in the Downtown complex (which includes several Duty Free Stores) and a host of arcades and side streets. The combination of special sale prices and favourable exchange rates for many overseas visitors, means that bargains are not hard to find. Elegant designer stores display exclusive New Zealand fashion garments in places like the Queen’s Arcade, the Atrium on Elliot Street and the DFS Galleria in the old Customs House. Smith & Caughey’s department store on Queen Street offers striking displays and a traditional style of personal service.

Weekend shopping plans should include a visit to the Victoria Park Markets, a bustling conglomeration of shops, stalls, cafes and entertainment close to the CBD. South of the city is the Otara Town Centre where, on Saturday mornings, you can enjoy a uniquely Polynesian shopping experience. Specialities include exotic foods, every imaginable kind of fruit, as well as clothing arts and crafts.

Some of the best retail therapy is available in modern sophisticated boutique shops in the inner suburbs. Parnell is super chic with its charming historic village atmosphere, sheltered courtyards, alleys and colonial villas. Some of Auckland’s best designer clothing can be found there. Ponsonby is another colourful street, offering an eclectic mix of shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. Other fashionable shopping meccas are K.Road and Newmarket. Onehunga has fashion clothing for sale at bulk factory outlets if you are looking for bargains.

More traditional shopping can be found in large suburban shopping malls, which open seven days and offer gifts, souvenirs, jewellery, handicrafts, casual fashion and pure wool fashion knitwear. The most popular malls are Shore City, St Lukes, West City, Lynn Mall, Manukau City, Pakuranga and Botany Town Centre. The emphasis is on ample space, relaxed shopping and a great environment for meeting friends, enjoying alfresco lunches, coffee and muffin breaks. Botany Town Centre is New Zealand’s newest retail concept, being a small-scale town with its own streets and three distinct shopping precincts called Town Square, The Conservatory and Market Square. Don’t miss this unique shopping experience.

Kiwi icon products which make fine souvenirs include, hand-knitted pure wool jumpers, pure white sheepskins, greenstone (jade) ornaments and jewellery, bone and wood carvings, paua (abalone) shell ornaments and jewellery and also fine examples of local weaving, pottery, ceramics and art.