Ponsonby and Herne Bay

The once fashionable suburb of Ponsonby had fallen on hard times by the 1960s when large numbers of immigrant Pacific Islanders made the area their home. Ponsonby took a bohemian turn in the 1970s and before long young professionals were moving in, restoring old houses and spending fistfuls of dollars.

For the last twenty-odd years Ponsonby Road has been a byword for designer clothing, cafés and see-and-be-seen lunching for long-term residents and the overspill from the adjacent media suburb of Grey Lynn. The street itself may not be beautiful, but the people sure are; musicians, actors and media folk congregate to lunch, schmooze and be seen in the latest fashionable haunt here. The cutting edge is now fragmented around the central city, but Ponsonby retains a great vibe and is a prime target for some of the city’s classiest clothes shopping, a good meal and some people-watching. While in the area you might want to check out The Women’s Bookshop at 105 Ponsonby Rd, which has plenty for men too, and knowledgeable staff.

To the north of Ponsonby, the waterside suburb of Herne Bay also has a cluster of excellent spots to eat, mostly along Jervois Road.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
How to find the right New Zealand for you

How to find the right New Zealand for you

While it may not loom large on the world map, New Zealand feels incredibly vast and imposing on the ground, especially to those who try to visit the North and S…

23 May 2016 • Eric Grossman insert_drive_file Article
Everything you need to know about backpacking New Zealand

Everything you need to know about backpacking New Zealand

New Zealand’s craggy coastline and beautiful national parks are dotted with wildlife and beg to be explored. The scenery gets more spectacular around every co…

07 Mar 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month