Dining nexus and shopping heaven amid the beautiful people

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Throughout New Zealand, Ponsonby is a byword for upmarket
style. For those who feel resentful of the big city’s dominance of New Zealand’s
economy its cafés, restaurants and smart shops are also the epitome of Auckland
But the truth is more nuanced. Its denizens reflect the last
40 years of its upward economic trajectory. The Tongans and Samoans who were
attracted by the cheap housing after emigrating from the Pacific Islands in the
1960s and 1970s have now largely been priced out. The artists and bohemians
equally drawn to the low rents started the influx of more moneyed young people,
and as the quality of the eating, drinking and shopping improved the stakes got
ever higher. Now Ponsonby is one of the country’s wealthiest suburbs: the Audi
and Porsche sets have well and truly arrived.
All this has left an engaging mix of ageing hippies, musicians,
exercise mums, media types (lots of media types), smart lawyers and bright young
things in from the suburbs to check out the latest café or bar. And there are
loads of them, many of the best clustered close to Ponsonby Central (136 Ponsonby Rd), a bustling knot of cool, little
restaurants and bars interspersed with vendors of quality veges, fish, meat and

At A Glance

Ponsonby Road
Auckland 1011

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