Ali is a local artist and the founder of Corner Room Design, an online gallery and interior design business. Check out her favourite places in Parnell to explore and enjoy in this guide she created for Discover Auckland.
A light, airy, and hip place to hang out on the weekend or first thing in the morning if you’re like me. The talented baristas will make you a delicious Allpress coffee and serve you the perfect jam doughnut (or another tasty treat from the cabinet). Little Rosie has become known for its well-curated exhibitions by local artists and photographers, making it a complete experience. There is always something beautiful to discover on the walls of Little Rosie, and the artworks make a fantastic talking point when meeting someone new for coffee.
Just a 5-minute walk from Rosie on Gladstone Road is a park housing the Parnell Rose Gardens and Nancy Steen Gardens. With 5000 rose bushes and majestic native trees like Te Hā, the oldest and largest Pōhutukawa in Auckland, it’s a beloved spot for locals and visitors. Dog walkers and nature enthusiasts frequent the park’s winding paths, leading to Judge’s Bay. This is the perfect place to spend time in nature so close to the city.
For out-of-towners or those looking for a special gift from the heart of Parnell, Fantail House is an out-of-the-way treasure that’s worth a visit. The owners are wonderful, chatty, and know the area well. Fantail House sells products exclusively ‘Made in New Zealand’ and they are passionate about providing a wonderful space for New Zealand artisans to showcase their wares. The building has a rich history and was formally called The Elephant House. It was built by Les Harvey, the spirit of Parnell and Zena Harvey, in 1980.
After browsing the beautiful galleries and history-rich stores along Parnell Rise, stop in at Non Solo to experience some of the best authentic Italian cuisine in Auckland. Personally, the best pizza I have found outside of Italy. If you want to taste authentic Margarita pizza, Non Solo is the place for you! Sit in the stunning garden bar or enjoy the super cosy dining room. The wait staff is always friendly and extremely professional. The locals love this place for a reason!
Pineapple on Parnell is a hidden gem for lovers of interiors and art. The dimly lit cocktail bar and lounge ooze old-world charm and extravagance. The walls are painted with Victorian-era murals, and the space is filled with plush velvet and dark wood. Bartenders in waistcoats and ties mix premium cocktails that are incredibly Instagrammable. There is also an extensive range of dark rums and whiskeys for those who prefer something stiff on the rocks. To complete the vibe, a live jazz pianist plays at times.