K-road in Auckland, an alternative kind of place.

One of the highlights of our visit to Auckland was exploring K-Road. I knew it was a good place for fashion, but there’s so much more!


K-Road – longer name Karangahape Road – is very funky, with a bohemian vibe that reminded me of Sydney’s Newtown and Kings Cross rolled together.  It has its own website to promote the various businesses that populate the street.
While it may appear seedy in parts with its sex-shop/strip-club quarter, it has all manner of cultural activities to explore, and stores selling anything from clothing to ciggies to books to records …and sometimes just the downright weird.
We couldn’t walk past this shop without going inside….it had a large variety of physiological items, perhaps for medical students. There were spines, whole skeletons, torsos with skin peeled back to show the musculature, large teeth…
People into their music should head to K Road too; as well as guitar, drum and DJ shops, there’s a radio station and heaps of pubs and clubs.

* KFM 106.9 – plays reggae, dub, downbeat, soul and funk.
It also has an art gallery on the premises and  from 8-22 June there is a photography exhibition that’s worth checking out.

* The Thirsty Dog is a happening little pub that  hosts music nights in different genres. Thursday night is ska & reggae night, Friday night is jazz, and other nights offer trivia, poetry and spoken word, and blues and acoustic music. We were too tired to go and see punk band The Rabble who were on the Thursday night, but they sounded pretty good in their videos – check out the Rabble’s MySpace page.
* Vintage Shopping
There is a plethora of preloved clothing stores, and vintage lovers will have a field day. There are too many to list, but here’s a few: Paperbag Princess, This Is Not a Love Shop (cute name), Peachy Keen, Aunty Mavis and Cheap as Chips. There are also several Charity op shops and a Kiwi Disposal store for all your military needs.

St Kevin’s arcade
is a fab little arcade off K-road housing boutiques – some designer, some vintage – and a lovely cafe overlooking the park below.

Little Black Crown stocks designer labels such as Kirrily Johnston, Cybele, Maurie & Eve, Zimmerman and Limedrop,  The LBC facebook page is good for updates on what stock is coming in too.

Children of Vision is another very stylish boutique, stocking Andrea Crews, Company of Strangers, Pleasure Principle, Romance Was Born, and… Camilla Skovgaard, everyone’s favourite shoemaker at the moment.

Other stores in the arcade include Raven vs Pony, the Cruelty Free Shop and Pleased To Meet You (aka the home of “Misery” – many people are familiar with this spooky little character).
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There are designer boutiques and alternative clothing stores outside of the arcade too, on K-road itself: Hailwood, Illicit (metal/alt/punk type gear), and DJ Station (ravewear) to name a few.
I have to confess we didn’t eat on K-road, but there are many restaurants and cafes there, as well as asian supermarkets, and convenience stores or Dairies/Superettes as the Kiwis like to call them 🙂
So if ever you’re in Auckland, set aside an hour or 2 to do the K strip – I definitely found it more interesting than the CBD.