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New Zealand offers a vacation with a twist. A perfect amount of diversity, a sprinkle of familiarity, and enough sights and great spots to keep you busy for months. Auckland is no exception, with dozens of spectacular restaurants, museums, and shopping facilities. You will find that Auckland is a close-knit community full of friendly and helpful locals, eager to assist you any way that they can. The environment is spectacular, and you will be in awe of the uniqueness of the land. The jewelry that is designed in Auckland is marvelous, and over forty different jewelers are represented in one small area. If you are looking for new ways to spice up your wardrobe or your home, Auckland is definitely the place to go. Auckland is said to produce some of the finest quality chocolate in the world. They claim that theirs rivals Sweden's. Give it a try, and you'll most likely agree!
 
Nicknamed the 'City of Sails,' Auckland is perhaps the most bustling city in New Zealand. Some of it is cosmopolitan, while other parts are strictly tropical and have gorgeous beaches with scuba diving, water sports, and fabulous sailing. Be warned that there is a great deal of big city life here in Auckland, a city home to 1.2 million people, but it is counterbalanced perfectly with the subtlety and warmth of the small town feel that emanates from the secluded parks and cozy diners. The energy in Auckland is overwhelming, and you cannot help but get caught up in it. The nightlife in Auckland is stellar. The bars, clubs, and dance joints rock throughout the night. Touring the forty-eight dormant volcanoes in Auckland could keep you occupied for days with their scenic wonder. In short, Auckland is a captivating city bursting with natural and man-made attractions, ready to be enjoyed by tourists from around the world.
 
Auckland cruise port is located in the largest city of New Zealand. The city harbour is Waitemata Harbour. It gained much popularity during the 2000 and 2003 America’s Cup. Auckland cruise port is in the ship schedule of cruise lines like Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, P&O Australia Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. P&O Cruises Australia operate all year round. Auckland cruise port is a popular port of call for cruises to Antarctica.
 
Docking & Local Transportation
Auckland's main cruise terminal is located on Queens Wharf next to the central business district and the Britomart Station The ships dock right in down town Auckland next door to the Viaduct Basin (unless it is the Queen Mary 2, this was too long and had to pull up at the container wharf.
 
Pessinger terminalis  at Princes Wharf at the adjacent pier to the west will continue to be used as a secondary location.
 
Auckland maintains a great bus system known as The Link, consisting of distinct white buses that circle the inner city and stop at all the popular sites every ten minutes. For a fare of $1.50, you can take the bus to any destination in Auckland. Or, you can ride the whole circuit, which takes about an hour, and see many of the sights from the bus. Contact Rideline (09/366-6400) for more information about . If you would prefer to take a taxi while in the city, rest assured that they are quite prevalent, and the rates are affordable as well. Call Auckland Co-op Taxi (09/300-3100) to arrange for a taxi to pick you up anywhere in Auckland. Care to travel around the beautiful city of Auckland on a two-wheeler? Contact Adventure Cycles (09/309-5566) to rent a quality bicycle at a rate of $25 per day, which includes helmets, locks, and more.
 
Things To See and Do
 
Auckland Sky Tower
Auckland's needle-like Sky Tower is the city's most prominent landmark and at 328 meters high, New Zealand's highest building. If you're looking for a place to snap the perfect city panorama then the observation deck here (reached by zooming up to the top of the building in a glass-elevator) is just the place to get your camera out, with views spanning into the distance for 80 kilometers on a clear day. For many Sky Tower visitors though, it's about more than the view. New Zealanders are renowned for turning attractions into thrill-seeking opportunities, and the Sky Tower doesn't buck the trend. Visitors can enjoy dizzying views by walking the exterior 192-meter-high Sky Walk platform around the tower's pergola, and those looking for a total adrenaline rush can base-jump off the platform on a Sky Jump.
Address: Federal Street, City Center -- Official site: www.skycity.co.nz

Waitemata Harbour
The wide sweep of Waitemata Harbour slices Auckland in two and is the city's most prominent natural feature. It was because of this easily navigable waterway that Auckland became New Zealand's capital in 1840 (the country's capital is now Wellington, though Auckland remains New Zealand's economic powerhouse). The central harbor is dominated by Auckland Harbour Bridge, completed in 1959 and more than one kilometer long and some 43 meters high, which connects downtown Auckland to the northern districts and the sandy beaches of the bays further north. Quay Street runs parallel to the harbor in the central district with access to Princes Wharf and the ferry terminals to the Hauraki Gulf islands.
Address: Quay Street, City Center

Auckland War Memorial Museum
Auckland's imposing War Memorial Museum sits on the highest point of Auckland Domain in a vast Neoclassical building dating from 1929, which was first erected as a memorial dedicated to the New Zealand soldiers who fought in World War I. Today, it houses an impressive collection of artefacts that traces the history of New Zealand from its first Polynesian settlers to the present day and highlights New Zealand's natural heritage. The Main Maori Galleries host a wealth of Maori artistry including a magnificent Maori gateway dating from the 12th to the 14th centuries, a richly-decorated Meeting House, and the 25-meter-long canoe, dating from 1836, in which Maori warriors once sailed into Manukau Harbour. The first floor hosts the natural history collection, including a reconstruction of the country's famed and now extinct giant moa birds. The top floor of the museum is dedicated to the war memorials and displays the story of New Zealand's involvement in world conflict throughout the country's history.
Location: Auckland Domain, Parnell -- Official site: www.aucklandmuseum.com
 
One Tree Hill
For many Aucklanders, the volcanic cone of One Tree Hill is the symbol of their city. The 182-meter-high hill sits amid the lush Cornwall Park with a series of flower beds and stands of mature trees set amid walking trails. One Tree Hill takes up the southwest corner of the park, and the slopes contain remnants of a Maori Pa (fortified village) located here during the pre-European era. At the top of the hill is a lone obelisk built over the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell who gifted this swath of greenery to Auckland to be used as a city park. There are fantastic views across the cityscape from the hill summit.
Address: Manukau Road, Epsom -- 5 Auckland Art Gallery
 
Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery is the city's most impressive cultural site, housed in an impressive French Renaissance-style structure first built in 1887. The gallery is home to New Zealand's most extensive art collection with more than 15,000 art works on display. The permanent galleries host an array of art works including European painting and sculpture that date back to the 14th century. But of particular note is the main New Zealand collection (on the ground floor) with a substantial amount of work highlighting Maori and Pacific Island artists, as well as the New Zealand Historic Art Gallery and Maori Portraiture Gallery on the first floor, which showcase the work of New Zealand's early European settlers.
Address: Corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, City Center -- Official site: www.aucklandartgallery.com

Waiheke Island
Of all Auckland's Hauraki Gulf islands, Waiheke Island is the most popular to visit. Around 8,000 people live on the island year-round, and the island's villages are home to art galleries and a thriving café culture, while the coast hosts plenty of white sand beaches. For keen walkers and hikers, a variety of trails wind along the coastline and through the island interior. For spectacular views and a challenging hike, the Church Bay Circuit is an excellent three-hour walk that showcases the best of the island. History fans shouldn't miss Stony Batter Historic Reserve with its underground tunnel system carved out in World War II in case Auckland was attacked. Regular ferries to Waiheke Island run from Princes Wharf in central Auckland and take from 35-45 minutes.
Location: Hauraki Gulf -- Official site: www.waiheke.co.nz

Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum
New Zealand has always been a nation deeply connected with the sea, and this well-curated Maritime Museum explores this connection, offering a comprehensive survey of the country's history of seafaring. Exhibits traverse the history of New Zealand from the arrival of the first Polynesians and include Maori canoes and outrigger boats, whaling equipment, and old instruments and implements. One gallery is devoted to New Zealand's modern yachting success and includes the yacht in which the New Zealand crew, skippered by Sir Peter Blake, won the America's Cup in 1995.
Address: Corner of Quay and Hobson Streets, City Center -- Official site: www.maritimemuseum.co.nz

Viaduct Harbour
The regeneration of Viaduct Harbour is a legacy of New Zealand hosting the America's Cup yachting regatta and has turned this waterside area into one of the city's main entertainment and dining hubs. As well as being one of the country's major marinas, Viaduct Harbour's lively calendar of events is a tourism draw card. Every Sunday, the Flower Market here brings in crowds with live music and street food, while regular free events during summer months are a favorite with local families. The vibrant waterside cafés and restaurants are a great place to stop and linger over lunch while exploring Auckland's central attractions.
Address: Quay Street, Central City -- Official site: www.viaduct.co.nz

Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
One of Auckland's top attractions for visiting families, Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium allows you to get up-close-and-personal with life under the water. A series of huge aquariums containing aquatic life can be observed from the tunnel walkways with aquariums devoted to sharks, tropical fish, and stingrays. Kelly Tarlton's also houses an Antarctic Encounter gallery, complete with a snow-filled penguin enclosure, highlighting New Zealand's close association with Antarctica's international scientific communities. Adrenaline-junkies are catered for as well with the aquarium's Shark Dive and Shark Cage Snorkel experiences. Address: 23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei -- Official site: www.kellytarltons.co.nz

Auckland City Center Architecture
Downtown Auckland can, at first, seem a thoroughly modern city, but amid the contemporary towers, there are several prime examples of early architecture for history fans to seek out. The imposing Ferry Building (Princes Wharf), forms a striking English-Baroque landmark on the harbor front, built in 1912. Adjoining the Ferry Building is the Chief Post Office, designed by John Campbell in 1911. Auckland Town Hall (Queen Street) has a marble façade, built in 1911, while St. Patrick's Cathedral (Wyndham Street) is one of New Zealand's first churches, built in 1848. Also, don't miss Auckland High Court (Waterloo Quadrant) with its richly-decorated brickwork, complete with turrets and gargoyles, modeled on Warwick Castle in England.
Location: Auckland City Center

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Islands
The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Islands are a lush slice of nature right on Auckland's doorstep. Ruggedly beautiful Great Barrier Island is a must-visit for wilderness fans with a multitude of camping, hiking, mountain biking, and sea kayaking opportunities. Rangitoto Island is a dormant volcano and home to the world's largest forest of pohutukawa trees. Hiking to the island's summit rewards walkers with stunning views across the Hauraki Gulf. Tiny Tiritiri Matangi Island is a wildlife sanctuary for some of New Zealand's most endangered birdlife with a variety of easy walking trails winding through the island's interior. Among the species that keen birdwatchers can spot here are takahe, blue penguins, kiwi, and brown teal. Ferries leave from Princes Wharf in the central city -- Location: Hauraki Gulf
Takapuna Beach
The city's eastern coast is speckled with gorgeous forest-rimmed beaches that are top swimming and sun-bathing spots for locals during summer weekends. Takapuna Beach, overlooking Rangitoto Island across the water, is one of the finest sandy strips in the city and deservedly popular. Nearby are both Milford Beach and Cheltenham Beach, which tend to be less crowded. A short drive out of the city though, brings you to even more spectacular beaches. To the southeast is lovely Maraetai Beach with its calm waters, an excellent swimming spot even for little ones, while a short journey north from Auckland is the golden sand of Orewa Beach. Location: East Auckland

Albert Park
The most central green space in the city is Albert Park with its elaborate Victorian fountain, variety of statuary, and multitude of flower beds. As well as being a tranquil spot amid the inner-city hustle, the park is home to a variety of small and quirky attractions that will please culture-vultures. Albert Park House contains an eclectic array of ceramics and clocks; a floral clock (dating from 1953) marks the park's Princes Street entry, and the city's Meteorological Observatory at the park's highest point has been marking Auckland's weather since 1909. The most prominent historic building nearby is the Old Government House, now part of Auckland University campus. This timber Neoclassical structure (built in 1856) was New Zealand's first parliament. Opposite the Old Government House is the Old Synagogue, dating from 1884, which is now used for cultural events. Address: Princes Street, City Center
West Coast Beaches
Auckland's west coast is home to some extremely beautiful beaches, but visitors should be aware that many can be dangerous for bathers unused to their sheer rocks, heavy surf from the Tasman Sea, and treacherous undertow. Piha Beach is the city's most dramatic spot for a picnic and sunbathing with its volcanic black sand and jutting rock outcrops. It's also a major haunt for local surfers. If you're looking for a secluded slice of sand though, Karioitahi Beach, at Waiuku in South Auckland, is a long strip of black-sand beach that rarely draws more than a handful of sun-seekers. Location: West Auckland

Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)
Auckland's MOTAT Museum, in the Western Springs district, is devoted to the history of technology and transport in New Zealand. Its prize exhibits relate to the New Zealand aviation pioneer Richard Pearse (1877-1953), who made his first flights about the same time as the Wright brothers, while the 90 Degrees South exhibition is dedicated to the trans-Antarctic expedition of New Zealand explorer Sir Edmund Hillary. Other items include old coaches, railroad rolling stock, trams and vintage cars, and a vast collection of black and white photography. Address: Great North Road, Western Springs Official site: www.motat.org.nz
Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens
For a relaxing stroll while exploring the countryside just north of Auckland, the Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens make a good break from the road. This manicured garden trail in a quiet valley setting is packed full of native fauna and also hosts an ever-changing array of sculptural art by New Zealand artists. More than 50 sculptures are on display along the one-kilometer pathway at any one time creating garden galleries that highlight the best of the country's contemporary art. For nature-fans, the gardens offer a broad spectrum of New Zealand's many varied landscapes with different sections set out as pine forest, native bush, and typical farmland. Another trail through native forest is dedicated to conservation and loops across meandering streams and beside waterfalls. Address: 1481 Kaipara Coast Highway; 50 kilometers north of Auckland
Official site: www.kaiparacoast.co.nz
Outdoor Activities
There are over forty golf courses in Auckland alone. Contact the Auckland Visitor Association (09/979-2333), and they can match you up with the best course to suit your needs. One of the best, located forty minutes southeast of Auckland at Bucklands Beach, is Howick Golf Course (09/535-1004). There are some great scuba diving sites in Auckland, and Dive Centre can take you to all of them. The company is located at 97 Wairau Rd. (09/444-7698) and they really know their stuff.
 
Dining Out
Tuatara is located at 198 Ponsonby Road (09/360-0098) and offers wonderful contemporary New Zealand cuisine. The food is great, and the prices are reasonable. It is open until the wee hours of the morning, and Tuatara has been popular since the day it served its first wrapped salmon. The look of timber and the outdoors is one that suits Tuatara perfectly, and the atmosphere is comfortable and enjoyable. Sake Bar Yuki can be found at 26 Posonby Road (09/360-5050) and is a fabulous Japanese restaurant, featuring all sorts of authentic cuisine. The sushi is fantastic, and the sushi bar itself is even more impressive. The chefs are masters at their craft, and while you will be astounded when you taste their food, you won't want to stop watching them prepare your meal in style. Mikano is a wonderful place to dine, and is located at 1 Solent Street (09/309-9514). It is a more formal atmosphere than most other restaurants in the area, but it is one of the best, as well. The menu is eclectic and perfectly diverse. The Italian entrees are stupendous, and some favorites include roasted veal and grilled quail.
 
To satisfy your gourmet tastes or choose tasty morsels for a picnic, head for Kapiti Shop, 136-142 Fanshawe St. (tel. 09/377-2473; www.kapiticollection.co.nz), which has a huge selection of premium New Zealand cheeses. Make sure you try Kapiti's ice cream -- it's divine! Zarbo, 24 Morrow St., Newmarket (tel. 09/520-2721; www.zarbo.co.nz), carries an excellent range of gourmet items. Pandoro Pannetteria, 427 Parnell Rd., Parnell (tel. 09/358-1962; www.pandoro.co.nz), and 290 Dominion Rd., Mount Eden (tel. 09/631-7416), is an authentic Italian bakery offering organic, additive-free products. And enjoy the sights and sounds of an authentic working fish market at Auckland Fish Market, Sanfords, Jellicoe Street, near Viaduct Harbour (tel. 09/379-1490; www.aucklandfishmarket.co.nz). It has a daily early-morning auction and a seafood school.
 
90 Federal Street, Auckland (00 64 9 363 7030; www.skycityauckland.co.nz ) Located on the third level of the Skycity Grand Hotel, Dine by Peter Gordon is by far one of Auckland's best restaurants. The a la carte menu offers mouth-watering fare such as miso marinated Akaroa salmon on roast kumara with a sweet-corn ginger puree and roast Cambridge duck breast with Spanish black-bean puree and cranberry galangal compote.
 
Euro -- Shed 22, Princes Wharf, Auckland (00 64 9 309 9866; www.eurobar.co.nz). Food lovers can't get enough of this waterfront restaurant, serving as much locally produced and organic food it possibly can. "Simple and elegant, traditional but flavoursome, easy on the eye and palate" is Euro's motto.
 
French Cafe -- 210 Symonds Street, Auckland (00 64 9 377 1911; www.thefrenchcafe.co.nz). As the name of the place clearly states, the food served in this restaurant has its roots firmly attached in modern European cooking. Chef and owner Simon Wright has trained in some of the best restaurants in Europe, and his passion for France can clearly be seen in his menus. Definitely one of the best restaurants in Auckland. Open for lunch Tuesday to Friday and dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
 
Kermadec -- Viaduct Quay, corner Lower Hobson and Quay Streets, Auckland (00 64 9 304 0454; www.kermadec.co.nz). Named after the Kermadec Islands halfway between New Zealand and Tonga, Kermadec opened in 1994 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The menu combines European flavours with New Zealand produce, while the more relaxed brasserie gives guests the opportunity to admire the outstanding views of the harbour. A fine dining option is also available.
  
Sail s-- Westhaven Marina, Westhaven Drive, Auckland (00 64 9 378 9890; www.sailsrestaurant.co.nz). Sails is always going to be a classic venue for good food and atmosphere in Auckland. Set in the Westhaven Marina, the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, Sails serves beautifully cooked and presented food, such as pure beef fillet with horseradish dauphinoise, asparagus, wild mushrooms and truffle hollandaise and crayfish straight from the tank. Open for lunch Monday to Friday. Dinner is served daily.
 
Globe Bar can be found on Darby Street (09/357-3980) and is a lively establishment that conjures up the best drinks around. A great nightclub is Fu Bar, located at 166 Queen St. (09/309-3079).
 
Shopping
Most shops are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5:30pm, with many staying open late on Thursday and Friday. Saturday hours are normally 10am to 4pm, although some shops stay open all day. Many are also open on Sunday. Several free shopping guides are available at visitor centers.
 
Tip: If you have the store mail your purchases back home, you won't have to pay the 15% GST -- and you won't have to lug them all around the country.
DFS Galleria Custom House, Customs and Albert streets (tel. 0800/388-937 in NZ, or 09/308-0700; www.dfsgalleria.com), is New Zealand's most luxurious duty- and tax-free department store. It offers complimentary shuttle service, free delivery of purchases to the airport, and currency exchange. It's open daily from 10am to 10pm. For a list of all New Zealand duty-free stores, pick up the free Duty Free & GST Free Shopping Guideat the airport or visitor centers. If you shop at an off-airport duty-free store, be sure you have your airline ticket with you.
 
Antiques Hunting
The most popular concentrations of antiques stores are around the Epsom area and in Parnell, Remuera, Ponsonby, and the inner city. Lord Ponsonby Antiques, 86 Ponsonby Rd., Grey Lynn (tel. 09/376-6463), is as good a place as any to start. Piper Antiques, 31A Sale St. (tel. 09/376-9000), is another good hunting ground.
 
In Parnell, Murdoch McLennan, 377 Parnell Rd. (tel. 09/309-4757), has a beautiful range of English antiques; and a few doors down, Baran de Bordeaux, 367 Parnell Rd. (tel. 09/307-1201), is filled with exquisite imported from the 17th- through the 19th-century French antiques and decorative items.
 
Look for John Stephens Antiques, 15 Shore Rd., Epsom (tel. 09/529-1660); and Country Antiques, 489 Manukau Rd. (tel. 09/630-5252). In Remuera, look for Antiquities, 89 Great South Rd. (tel. 09/520-0353), Abbey Antiques, 87 Great South Rd. (tel. 09/520-2045), and several others on the same stretch of Great South Road. And if you like old china -- especially English brands -- you'll adore fossicking at Babushka, 156 Garnet Rd., Westmere (tel. 09/378-9226).
 
Going to Market
For an excellent Pacific experience, visit the Otara Market, Newbury Street, Otara (tel. 09/274-0830), held Saturday from 6am to noon. It's the largest Polynesian market in the world, with larger-than-life personalities, exotic foods and smells, wonderful tapa cloth, flax mats and baskets, and bone carvings.
Avondale Market, Avondale Racecourse, Ash Street (tel. 09/818-493; www.avondalesundaymarkets.co.nz), is held on Sunday from 6am to noon and has a strong Polynesian and Asian influence. It features a mass of fruit, vegetables, new and used clothes, and bric-a-brac. The Aotea Square Markets, The Edge, Queen Street (tel. 09/309-2677), take place Friday and Saturday from 10am to 6pm; they feature New Zealand fashion labels, retro gear, foods, fabric, jewelry, and furniture. There is an excellent City Farmers' Market held every Saturday morning from 8am to noon in the large courtyards behind the Britomart Transport Centre. The French Style Market is held every Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 1pm at La Cigale, 69 St. Georges Bay Rd., Parnell.
 
Neighborhoods
Inner City -- Shoppers seeking the latest in cutting-edge fashion and design can pick up the pocket-size Auckland Fashion Guide from visitor information centers and then head for the High Street-Vulcan Lane-O'Connell Street areas (www.hotcity.co.nz) -- the place to go for the best in New Zealand fashion houses, accessories, art -- not to mention coffee and interesting food. This is where you'll find international fashion hotshots Karen Walker (www.karenwalker.co.nz), Zambesi (www.zambesi.co.nz), and World (www.worldbrand.co.nz). Also here is the excellent bookstore Unity (tel. 09/307-0731; www.unitybooks.co.nz). The lovely and innovative Pauanesia, 35 High St. (tel. 09/366-7282; www.pauanesia.co.nz), sells the very best in contemporary New Zealand and Pacific homeware. The Vault, 13 High St. (tel. 09/377-7665; www.thevaultnz.com), is the perfect place for reasonably priced New Zealand and international design items -- everything from jewelry to stationery to small gifts. The new Chancery shopping area (tel. 09/368-1863; www.chancery.net.nz) is also here. It's packed with international brand stores and exclusive fashion names. If you're a Lord of the Ringsfan, check out the big range of movie collectibles and jewelry at DMC, 61 High St. (tel. 09/303-4757; www.lotrshop.co.nz).
 
All manner of middle-of-the-road stores line Queen Street from top to bottom, but I think you find much better shops down the little side streets running off it; here you'll often find excellent specialty shops, such as Compendium, 5 Lorne St. (tel. 09/300-3212; www.compendium.co.nz), which has an impressive collection of quality New Zealand craft work. It schedules regular exhibitions of glass, jewelry, pottery, wood, sculpture, clothes, and furniture. Fingers, 2 Kitchener St. (tel. 09/373-3974; www.fingers.co.nz), is Auckland's most established New Zealand jewelry collective. Kura Gallery, 188 Quay St. (tel. 09/302-1151; www.kuragallery.co.nz), has a great range of original New Zealand art and crafts. There are also a wide range of retail outlets and eateries under construction as part of the Britomart development behind the Britomart Transport Centre; visit www.britomart.org for more details.
 
Ponsonby/Herne Bay/K'Road -- Although better known for its wealth of eateries, Ponsonby also has some terrific specialty design stores and boutiques, with an emphasis on housewares, fashion, and furniture. Karangahape Road is worth browsing for its diversity and cultural mix, but don't expect high-quality goods here; it's better known for art galleries, featuring both the quirky and the bizarre. Check out www.ponsonbyroad.co.nz and www.kroad.com for details.
 
Parnell/Newmarket -- Shopping Parnell is a special experience, albeit an expensive one, with everything from Timberland to Cartier. You'll find all sorts of exclusive gifts in a rabbit's warren of little historic buildings, restored to picturesque splendor, that stretch along a mile of Parnell Road. Click on www.parnell.net.nz for more information about this area. Visit Newmarket's latest hot spots, Nuffield and Teed streets, for the high-end stores of iconic international and Kiwi fashion brands like Karen Walker, Trellise Cooper, Kate Sylvester, and Zambesi. There are a number of excellent cafes and restaurants here too -- the ideal place to pause between parcels. I like to go here just to look at the beautifully designed stores and to watch "the pretty people." Altogether, Newmarket (www.newmarket.co.nz) has over 40 designer fashion stores and New Zealand's largest concentration of shoe stores -- 24 of them! In this area also look out for the Poi Room, 17 Osborne St., Newmarket (tel. 09/520-0399; www.thepoiroom.co.nz), for high-quality New Zealand art, design, jewelry, prints, glass, and textiles.


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