The Coolest Neighbourhoods in Auckland, New Zealand

Old House - Herne Bay, Auckland
Old House - Herne Bay, Auckland | © GPS 56/Flickr
Thalita Alves

Every area in Auckland has a distinct personality. In fact, the city’s sheer size means no neighbourhood is quite the same. Some of the coolest suburbs have an alternative charm that will leave a lasting impression. Here are a hand-picked few you should definitely explore while you’re exploring New Zealand’s largest city.

Loved by over 40s


Devonport is at the southernmost point of Auckland’s North Shore, and is one of the city’s oldest settlements. A rich Maori heritage, interesting maritime history and Victorian-style villas make this an awesome destination for a day trip. You can catch a ferry into Devonport from the city – it only takes 12 minutes to get across the harbour. From there, you’ll be able to marvel at a lovely coastline as well as a trove of architectural wonders.



If you’re wanting to get your fill of the hippest bars, classiest restaurants and best boutique stores, then Ponsonby is the place to visit. The area is a mere 10-minute distance from Auckland’s central business district, granting you easy access to all the best urban destinations. It’s a bit of a posh suburb, with a mix of classic houses and modern establishments that are bound to keep you entertained for hours on end.

Ponsonby Road Intersection


Parnell is Auckland’s oldest neighbourhood, and looks very much like an old-time village. It is lined with upmarket boutiques, interesting cafés, and a beautiful rose garden. Parnell is also home to the esteemed La Cigale French market, which runs every weekend – truth be told, no Auckland trip would ever be complete without paying a visit to this eclectic foodie event.


Mission Bay

Mission Bay is a thriving neighbourhood that is also home to some of Auckland’s best beaches. It’s surrounded by cool cafés and restaurants that will give you plenty of picturesque views of the harbour. You can take a stroll on the promenade, or just sit by the sand as you marvel at the incredible Rangitoto Island from a faraway distance.

Pōhutukawa at Mission Bay

Herne Bay

One of the most affluent suburbs in Auckland, Herne Bay is beautifully adorned with extensive harbour vistas, remarkable Edwardian age houses and a compelling collection of marine villas. A definite must-see for architecture lovers and low-key beach explorers alike. It’s located within close quarters to Ponsonby too – making it an ideal place for a fresh morning stroll or a chilled-out coffee date.

Old House – Herne Bay, Auckland

St. Helliers

This picturesque seaside suburb in East Auckland is famed for its beautiful beach, dynamic eateries, and quirky shops. You can walk through promenade from Mission Bay to reach this cool neighbourhood, or simply catch a bus from downtown to get to it. As with the neighbouring Mission Bay, St Helliers will give you incredible views of Rangitoto. A relaxed atmosphere and friendly vibes also add to the area’s appeal.

St. Helliers Beach

Grey Lynn

This inner city suburb is renowned for attracting an artsy crowd. Grey Lynn’s houses and villas are equally popular among seasonal renters and families wanting to settle down. In a true testament to its community life, the area has been holding an annual festival for 30 years. Western Springs, Auckland Zoo and MOTAT are just a few minutes away from this cozy neighbourhood too.

Tram – MOTAT and Western Springs


When quirky meets effortlessly cool, you get a neighbourhood like Kingsland. Part of central Auckland, this suburb is renowned for its stylish cafés, vibrant restaurants, and cosmopolitan shopping precinct. Sports fans will also relish their dynamic surroundings – Kingsland is where you’ll encounter Auckland’s rugby-mad venue, Eden Park Stadium.

Eden Park

Mount Eden

Home to Auckland’s highest volcano, Mount Eden is the place to visit if you want to get the best panorama of the entire city. More than that, this hip location is rather like a modern-day village. Artisan bakeries, awesome eateries and a cool collection of vintage shops and second-hand bookstores make this the ideal destination for a quiet weekend.

Mount Eden Road


The North Shore is lined with breathtaking beaches, but Takapuna is probably one of the coolest of them all. Locals and visitors alike flock to this beach to soak up the marvelous scenery as they settle down for a picnic. If you’re more of an active person, you’ll be pleased to know that Takapuna’s flat surface is ideal for running. Surfers and swimmers can also get their fill of aquatic activities.

Takapuna Beach
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.