The best neighbourhoods in Auckland

Auckland neighbourhoods
Updated 2023-03-04 19:00

Whatever your lifestyle and living preference, you can find a place that suits you in the wide-ranging and diverse city that is Auckland. All of Auckland's neighborhoods have a distinct feel to them but are generally split by their geographical location.


The Central Business District is where most of the work, shopping, dining and cultural leisure activities in Auckland take place. It comes with all of the benefits of being in a city center, such as not needing to drive, but also all of the drawbacks, like expensive parking and almost all the accommodation options being pricey high-rise apartments.

At the top of the city, you will find Karangahape Road, known locally as K' Rd, a cool area that attracts counter-culture types with no shortage of second-hand clothing stores. Adjacent to K' Rd is Ponsonby, which is full of cafes, designer stores, and some amazing restaurants. At the northern end of the CBD, you will find the waterfront, a mix of high-class restaurants, clubs and very expensive seafront apartments.

Both of the biggest universities in Auckland are based in the CBD, although they also have campuses across the city that serve different areas of study.

Greater Central Auckland

The suburbs that surround the CBD are wonderfully diverse and provide quick access to anywhere in the city. This area is a healthy mix of students, families, young professionals and retirees from all over the world.

Kingsland and Grey Lynn are the city's hipster locales – close to the CBD and with a decent student population and some nice places to get a quality drink or bite at a reasonable price.

Mission Bay is an affluent seaside suburb with great food and a lovely space for summer picnics. Mount Eden is a village-esque suburb with many upper-class family homes and a quaint strip of independent shops and cafes. Other particularly expensive areas are Remuera, Herne Bay and Orakei.

Further out from the center, areas like Mount Roskill, Avondale, and Onehunga offer a more affordable experience with some of the most diverse and interesting populations.

The North Shore

North of the Harbour Bridge, the family-oriented North Shore is an affluent area with gorgeous beaches and plenty of safe and secure suburbs. Nearly every suburb is close to the main motorway and safe to be in. High-priced properties line the East Coast Bays, the home to some of New Zealand's most popular beaches.

Devonport is an early settlement area with a quaint feel and just a ferry ride from the CBD, and Takapuna is a built-up beachside suburb with great bars – a real summer hotspot.


Twenty minutes north of the North Shore is Rodney, an area with a strong community feel that is growing at an amazing rate. Silverdale is seeing new developments almost constantly, Orewa is largely a retirement neighborhood and the long peninsula of Whangaparaoa has some of the best house prices in Auckland if you don't mind the commute.

West Auckland

Out west may be the most diverse in terms of neighborhoods. On the outskirts of West Auckland, there are well-off suburbs such as the bush-filled, beach-adjacent Titirangi, while other suburbs, like Massey or Waitakere, tend to be a little more rural with lower house prices.

Further out are Piha and Karekare, close to black sand beaches and pounding surf. However, flooding in 2023 has caused significant damage to some properties and access in the Waitakere area, with massive clean-up efforts underway. In general, West Auckland is known for its strong local communities, local networks, and neighborhood pride. Families, young people flatting, professionals renting and retirees all contribute to the diverse make-up of West Auckland.

East Auckland

The east of Auckland has some lovely places to live in. It is community-minded and combines semi-rural, beachfront and suburban properties into a mostly affluent area with a strong Christian population. Howick is the heart of the east with a lovely town center and plenty of family-friendly activities. East Tamaki boasts plenty of shopping opportunities.

South Auckland

South Auckland is not as wealthy as other areas of Auckland, and it tends to have a higher crime rate than other parts of the city. However, this does not mean you should rule it out as a potential neighborhood, as there are many safe suburbs within this large district. Mangere Bridge is up-and-coming, as first-time buyers are finding it conveniently central while still being affordable. At the southern end, Papakura has some great new developments that are affordable, though far from central. Manurewa, Manukau and Papatoetoe are very community-led and full of friendly people, although you will not find the same up-market facilities, shops, and services that you might in the wealthy suburbs.

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