It’s easy to spend an entire weekend discovering the sights, sounds and smells of Parnell. In fact, with so much to see and do, better make that a month of weekends exploring this Auckland suburb.
Overlooking the Auckland waterfront at one end. Backing onto the Domain at the other. The streets of New Zealand’s oldest suburb are lined with colonial houses and simply ooze history.
Whatever your interests, Parnell Directory offers a long list of activities from which to pick and choose. From museums and churches to art galleries and markets. The area’s restaurants and bars are legendary, as are their gardens and parks. And the shopping experience is a treat to relish.
Why not simply grab a map and go for a wander – you’re sure to discover many quaint surprises.
Our list of Things to SEE and DO in Auckland
Auckland Activity Tip 1: Guided Walks with the Parnell Trust
There’s the option of taking a guided walk with the Parnell Trust. (This excursion is subject to the availability of guides).
If you’re more the ‘must-see-attractions’ type, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
Auckland Activity Tip 2: The Auckland War Museum
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is located in the Auckland Domain,. It is the country’s first museum and was established in 1852. At that time it was housed in a far more humble structure than the current splendid edifice. You could spend days here!
Auckland Activity Tip 3: The Holy Trinity Cathedral
At the ‘top end’ of Parnell Road, at the intersection with St Stephens Avenue, stands Holy Trinity Cathedral. This is the spiritual centre for the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. The grounds of the cathedral house one of Auckland’s best-known art works, Terry Stringer’s Mountain Fountain.
Auckland Activity Tip 4: Auckland Shopping, Eating and Dining
Parnell Road is lined with a veritable cornucopia of places to stop in for a look-see, bite to eat, or some boutique shopping.
As Auckland’s “creative quarter”, Parnell is the city’s most established gallery precinct. There are more art galleries on this single street, than on any other street in New Zealand.
And don’t neglect to head down the many side streets.
Auckland Activity Tip 5: Auckland markets
Saturdays are market days, with two memorable experiences to choose from. There’s no reason, of course, why you shouldn’t enjoy both!
One option is the Parnell Farmers’ Market. This charming market is located in the Jubilee Building car park at 545 Parnell Road. You’ll find it tucked between the library and the museum.
The second option is the La Cigale French-style Farmers Market. This vibrant market is held bright and early every Saturday and Sunday morning. You’ll find it at 69 St Georges Bay Road.
Auckland Activity Tip 6: The Parnell Rose Gardens and Vantage Point
To enjoy the spectacular blooms at their fullest, visit the rose gardens between October and April.
Heading eastwards across the suburb will bring you to Gladstone Road. Head on towards the Auckland harbour end of the road and you’ll find Dove-Myer Robinson Park.
Here more than 5000 rose bushes put on a veritable festival of colour and scent.
Past the gardens, a short way down is a car park overlooking the harbour. This is a lovely place to sit and watch the port in action. Or, back up Gladstone Road a short way, and head down Judges Bay Road. This will take you down to Judges Bay itself and the Parnell Baths.
Auckland Activity Tip 7: The Parnell Baths
The Parnell Baths are open from Labour Weekend to Easter. The 60m saltwater pool is a one-of-a-kind in Auckland.
Open: Labour weekend to Easter. Monday to Friday – 6am to 8pm; Weekends and public holidays 8am to 8pm.
Auckland Activity Tip 8: St Stephen’s Chapel and Auckland’s Early History
Just before the beach at Judges Bay, on the left at 12 Judges Bay Road, is the entrance to the grounds of St Stephen’s Chapel. It’s here that you’ll find the chapel’s old graveyard. The historic Chapel is part of the Holy Trinity Cathedral complex. There is one service held here a week, at 9 am on Sundays. Take a walk through the picturesque graveyard. It’s a fascinating peek into Auckland’s early history.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our 8 Things to SEE and DO in Auckland Tips.
But we’ve only scratched the surface of Parnell. The good news is there’s plenty more to experience. Indulge in Parnell.
For other great ideas and ‘everything Parnell’, visit www.parnell.net.nz.