Until the 1970s, Ponsonby had a reputation as a crime-ridden corner of Auckland. Now it’s one of the most fashionable inner-city districts. Known for its restaurants and cafés, boutiques, bookshops, clubs, and bars—and the art galleries that line Ponsonby Road—this vibrant neighborhood also offers plenty of art hotels.
To get to know the history of this neighborhood, visitors can take a heritage walk and learn about its historical buildings, including the Ponsonby Fire Station, Ponsonby Post Office, The Leys Institute, and St. Mary's Convent. Admire restored 19th-century villas during a narrated full- or half-day Auckland sightseeing tour, or let a guide introduce you to the Ponsonby district’s highlights while zipping around on an electric bike.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Trendy, chic, hip: all describe Ponsonby and its visitors.
- Combine a tour of Queen Street, Ponsonby, and Devonport with an excursion to the Kumeu wine country.
- Parking availability can be a challenge, especially on weekends.
How to Get There
Located roughly 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) west of central Auckland, Ponsonby is within walking distance of the Central Business District. Ponsonby Road and side streets provide some parking, but it can get crowded. After midnight, the bus stops become taxi stands. Pickup from centrally located hotels is provided on most tour itineraries.
When to Get There
There’s really no bad time to visit this hot spot in Auckland, day or night, year-round. Weekends can get busy, but that is also a perfect time to stroll the streets, enjoy a lazy brunch, or chat with the many food purveyors and boutique vendors. Sample Auckland nightlife at some of the district’s bars and restaurants.
Where to Find the Best Produce in Ponsonby
Ponsonby Central is a fashionable section of Ponsonby Road, full of pop-up shops and diverse eateries. It’s ideal for dining as well as shopping for organic fruits and vegetables, quality wine and cheese, baked goods, coffee, meats, fish, and more. Most of the cafés in the area offer free Wi-Fi.