U114 Auckland City New Zealand Chris McLennan

Forget staying on trend. Auckland is the trend.

Ranked the third-most liveable city in the world, Auckland is a city for trendsetters. It’s a buzzing city with and the edge and quirk that is so characteristic of New Zealand. It’s a microcosm with a fresh take on fashion, food, and design.

How did Auckland get this way? Two words: international influence. Surprisingly, Auckland is more diverse than New York City, Sydney and London; more than one third of the population was born overseas. With such global representation, Auckland has become a proud melting pot, combining cultures and aesthetics to create a truly unique cosmopolis. 

8120 Ponsonby Central Miles Holden

Photo by Miles Holden

 

City-dwellers in Auckland have the freedom to exercise their freedom of speech and expression of beliefs. A peaceful, tolerant community encourages a beautiful kind of experimentation that leads to new looks and cuisine. For millennials looking to flaunt and celebrate these creative expressions, the Laneway Festival - an annual event with global bands and local food vendors - becomes a veritable new aesthetics parade. For the more sophisticated crowd, the cuisine of Auckland’s renowned restaurants show the same level of experimentation but balanced with classic training and health-and-sustainability-focus. Chefs from all over the world come to Auckland to launch new operations catering to the worldly palates of Aucklanders.

435 Auckland City Auckland Matt Crawford

Photo by Matt Crawford

 

A number of suburbs perfectly represent the Auckland attitude and aesthetic and a quick visit around these ways will encourage any visitor to take home a piece of the scene. Local New Zealand designers have created a community of upmarket lifestyle stores on Ponsonby Road. And 15 minutes north of Auckland is Takapuna, a suburb that has become home to New Zealand artisanal handicrafts and designs. To see what form it takes in homewares, decorative accessories and art, a trip to Newmarket is key. A little off the beaten path on Karangahape Road live the top vintage and contemporary streetwear shops. And the iconic Queen Street is the shopping go-to destination for the true fashion-finders; it’s riddled with the top international luxury labels and chic boutiques.

6669 Ponsonby Central Auckland Camilla Rutherford

Photo by Camilla Rutherford

 

Auckland is truly the flipside of New Zealand’s reputation for complete immersion into nature; Auckland is the beautiful foil to the remote wilderness. Its livability and trendsetting make it a destination unlike any other in the Southern hemisphere.