K-Road alias Karangahape Road is a street in central Auckland and also one of the most colorful and interesting places in the city. While Queen Street, Auckland’s main street that may look a bit boring and colorless, mainly concentrates on expensive brand boutiques and touristic shops, K-road offers something completely different with its bohemian style. And oh, after spelling the whole street name you don’t probably need to wonder why people prefer to use the short version of this complicated name.
Colorful K-Road is probably the most bohemian area in whole Auckland. The street is stuffed with numerous ethnic restaurants and shops, cafes, second-hand stores, adult entertainment shops and bars. In the daytime, the streets get crowded with hipsters that browse the selection of second-hand shops as well as people that enjoy lunch and sit in the cafes.
The area features a big selection of ethnic restaurants from Turkish to Thai, Chinese and Indian food. A meal in these restaurants can set you back as little as 5-6 euros. In the affordable Chinese Lim Chhour supermarket, you can make good grocery finds, especially in the veggie section. We buy most of the fruit and vegetables in Indian and Chinese markets that are cheaper than Countdown and other regular chain supermarkets.
And right beside K-Road, there is also something special for us Scandinavians who have been abroad for a while. Safka shop sells Finnish, Swedish and German food and offers everything from Finnish Fazer chocolate to dark bread and mustard! When we stumbled upon this shop for the first time totally randomly, the surprise was very big. We have to confess that we have had to get some Finnish candies a couple of times when our sweet tooth has been aching…
K-Road is the best area to buy cheap second-hand clothing in the city center area. This is a good thing especially for backpackers with a small budget. Of course, there are also many expensive vintage clothes in the selection but the cheapest places to go shopping are especially Red Cross shop and another second-hand store that sells 2 dollar clothes in the intersection of Mercury Lane. We have never marked down the name of this shop though.
When the night falls, K-Road turns from shopping heaven to party street as its many bars open the doors. K-Road offers regular bars as well as strip cellars and rainbow clubs. K-Road also has a reputation as the red light district of Auckland. In the night, the street gets full of party people with many different looks. It’s not uncommon to spot a gorgeously dressed drag queen on this street. The folks partying on K-Road are open-minded and have a good mood and many different styles.
Even though we have definitely not been party animals here in Auckland (both because of money and time), we have spent a couple of evenings in Vinyl Bar and Family Bar. We like these places because they are not too fancy unlike many clubs in the city center.
When you are in Auckland, we recommend having a look at K-Road already because of its atmosphere. If you are after affordable food, partying or second-hand treasures, that’s even better!