Auckland's Neighbourhood Niche: Explore Ponsonby Like a Local

We discover where the cool kids play in Auckland. Stay amongst an uber cool residential area known for its trendy shopping and dining options, ranging from gourmet tacos to upscale gastro pubs.

Ponsonby Road has everything, including charming renovated Victorian Villas lining side streets, to make your stay in this part of Tāmaki Makaurau a charming and unique experience.

Well-known for its hip eateries from rustic cafes to slick dining rooms plus buzzing small bars, this wide and handsome main street also has some of the best shopping available in the city. Cutting edge fashion and established labels rub shoulders with contemporary local design and homewares.

The elegant shop fronts with old-world ceramic tiling and large windows ensure a visually stimulating walk at any time of the day or night.

Join Locay as we provide an exclusive look into this unique area of Auckland, offering helpful advice on the best places to stay, explore, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Franklin 38


In the heart of Ponsonby, this historic villa is perfect for travellers seeking a local experience.

Recently renovated, it offers luxurious comfort, stunning city views, and a peaceful retreat from tourist destinations.

Wake up to a beautiful Sky Tower view and enjoy a delicious breakfast in the dining room.

With four spacious suites, modern art, and stylish bathrooms, this boutique guesthouse promises a chic stay. Explore vibrant Ponsonby Road for restaurants, cafes, and shopping.

The Convent Hotel

Grey Lynn

This 1922 boutique hotel, once a convent, is a visual delight on Grey Lynn's Great North Road in Auckland.

The Spanish-Colonial style and refined ambiance perfectly capture the neighbourhood's character.

While Auckland's iconic suburb Ponsonby is nearby, Grey Lynn has its own charm with a lively local shopping area just a short walk away.

Explore the neighborhood, abundant with trendy restaurants, cafes, and local experiences.

During your stay, don't miss the chance to dine at Ada, the hotel's premier Italian restaurant known for its chic aesthetic and emphasis on sharing plates. Ada uses local, seasonal ingredients to create authentic Italian flavours. And don't forget, this hotel also offers free parking!

Hotel Fitzroy by Fable

Grey Lynn

Hotel Fitzroy is the epitome of luxury and comfort in Auckland's much sought after Grey Lynn neighbourhood.

Drawing inspiration from the original villa's statement windows and lofty ceilings, these 10 designer accommodations are bathed in an abundance of natural light.

You'll be greeted by beautiful soft furnishings, which extend an invitation to kick back and unwind in modern luxury.

This exclusive address offers a complimentary mini bar which is replenished daily as well a continental or cooked breakfast, including fresh-pressed juice and barista coffee.

Bordering Ponsonby, Grey Lynn has always been a vibrant and diverse corner of this bustling city. A friendly neighbourhood teaming with historic villas; these classic early 1900s homes are now becoming restored making way for some incredible conversions and renovations worthy of a magazine centre fold. With its proximity to Auckland’s CBD, it is no wonder that Grey Lynn is a desirable location for a wide range of people, whether they are young families or urban professionals.

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Kick-off your day at Sala fitness studio working out at one of their multi-disciplinary classes including yoga, reform Pilates and meditation. Whether you want to sweat it out in studio, or experience the energy of their online studio.

Conveniently located on Brown Street, just off the main drag of Ponsonby Road, in a slick, clean and contemporary space equipped with all the mod cons necessary for a good work out.

Espresso Hit

Reward yourself post work-out with a shot of espresso from the Allpress masters in a stripped-back brick space with a vintage shop front at the Northern end of Ponsonby Road. Allpress is a well-established and respected Auckland coffee roaster and café operator. Enjoy an expertly prepared Allpress Espresso Blend coffee or single origin filter brew. Complementing the coffee is a small selection of European-inspired biscuits, prepared and baked in Biscotto Bakery, the pristine white-tiled space that extends into the back half of the store.


From one end of its almost 2k length to the other Ponsonby Road has a good selection of Aotearoa fashion classics for all genders including: Zambesi, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, World and accessory queens Deadly Ponies to suit specialists Crane Brothers and classic basics at Working Style.

There are also plenty of new label boutiques snapping at their heels such as Flow & Frankie, Maggie Marilyn, Gregory and the multi-label store Superette. Homeware and design are also prominent with contemporary Māori gallery Poi a good introduction to the indigenous culture of the land of the long white cloud; Republic who are purveyors of the unique and unexpected in design from all corners of the globe and Shut the Front Door, this little gem stocks the most on trend pieces to transform your house into a space with personality.

Lunch at Little Bird Kitchen

You’ll need a good lunch after all that retail therapy: established in 2012 Little Bird Kitchen flagship cafe showcases how good world class plant-based eating can be. This cafe offers something unique - seriously healthy, nutritious plant-based food that caters for all dietary requirements AND tastes amazing.

Try the famous Bird Bowl – a famous ever-changing sampler bowl with seared mushroom steaks, avocado, herby forbidden rice with red quinoa, Korean pickled cucumber and daikon, kumara with green miso dressing and almond furikake for a virtuous healthy glow.

Accompanied by a fresh juice or plant-based milk coffee.

Aperitivo at Hoppers Garden Bar

After all that walking your probably need of a drink!  Discover Hoppers Garden Bar, created solely with the adventurous in mind.  

Hidden at the back of a building on the corner of Richmond and Ponsonby Roads, located via a narrow footpath you can experience, taste and observe weird and delightful things in the beautiful, lush Peculiar Garden. With Craft Beer on- tap, New Zealand fine wines, botanical gin cocktails and an array of sharing plates enjoy a sunset drink under the fairy lights before moving onto dinner.

Dinner at S.P.Q.R.

If your feeling like something decadent Ponsonby Rd steward S.P.Q.R. – translating from the original Italian meaning of as “A place for everyone“ – is a great option.

Providing lunch and dinner service or a casual snack with a drink at the copper bar in this polished concrete cave.

In Summer linger for a long, languid evening dining al fresco, with a crisp white tablecloth and snappy service whilst observing the constant ebb and flow of locals on Ponsonby Road. In winter imbibe in the intimate glow of candles and the warmth of the fireplace, whilst dining on a seasonal pasta dish or gourmet pizza accompanied by a fine New Zealand wine or beer.

Nightcap at Dead Shot

Blink and you’ll miss this Ponsonby Road bar – not a speakeasy, exactly, but signage is purposefully discreet to attract only those who know what they’re looking for. Deadshot is a dark and cosy cocktail bar with table-only service near Richmond Road. That’s not to say it’s sedate – on a busy night, enter and you’ll be greeted with a lively buzz and a blues-funk soundtrack.

There’s no drinks menu here: instead, staff will glean your spirit of choice, your ideal flavour profile and your preferred serving method.

One of the bar staff will then create a drink based on your very own specifications. With a selection of seasonal, locally made cheeses from speciality food store Sabato. This is the place to unwind after a hard day’s touring.

Maree Sheehan
Potts Point, Sydney

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