Shopping in New Zealand

New Zealand Shopping

New Zealand is a mecca for trendy and fashionable international and local shops and offers consumers a world of luxury and comfort that many New Zealanders have come to expect.

From locally-made handicrafts to the trendiest fashion labels, the shopping scene New Zealand will please any shopaholic. Popular shopping destinations in town centres include designer boutiques, factory outlets, markets and large outlet malls, though many smaller towns have unique gift shops and souvenir shops for quirkier purchases.

Most stores are open every weekday and Saturday 9am to 5pm, with limited opening hours on Sundays and public holidays. For smaller chains opening hours are normally 9.00am to 5.00pm from Monday to Friday.

Traditional Maori handicrafts are a special memento of a visit to New Zealand, with many traditional villages and cultural museums selling Maori shell jewellery and carvings in wood, bone or pounamu (greenstone).

New Zealand is internationally famous for its thriving wool industry which was established during European colonisation. High-quality local wool is crafted into beautiful items of clothing such as scarves, gloves, beanies and sweaters, as well as wall-hangings, toys and sheepskins, which may be purchased at many stores and markets around the country.

Pottery and sculpture are also signature crafts of New Zealand, with many galleries and gift shops selling unique vessels and decorative artworks crafted in stone, clay, wood, glass and metal.

The larger town centres and surrounds each have their own distinct shopping districts. Some of New Zealand’s city shopping highlights include –

  • Auckland – New Zealand’s shopping capital, with the best of everything the country has to offer. Designer fashion, unique gifts, trendy clothing labels, gourmet foods, wine, chocolate, pottery, traditional Maori gifts and locally made woolen handicrafts are just some of the products on offer.  Retail outlets and gallery gift shops can be found throughout the CBD as well as in the many large mall complexes around the city.
  • Queenstown – a compact CBD shopping area best covered on foot for the chance to discover quirky retail surprises in unexpected arcades and laneways. Queenstown has an array of local wool and Maori handicraft products alongside the many outdoor adventure gear stores. This is the perfect stop to stock up on all your ski and mountain gear before heading to the snowfields.
  • Christchurch – There is little surprise that the laid-back sophistication of ‘the Garden City’ attracts an array of cool and unusual fashion labels. High Street and the City Mall are both known for their stock of trendy, off-beat clothing and designer boutiques. The Arts Centre is well known for its wide selection of local handicrafts, many of which are made on site, and the markets at the adjoining plaza come alive on weekends with colourful stalls and street performers.


Shopping guide

Shopping in New Zealand can be lots of fun. You just have to know where to go! In addition to newspaper advertisements, international students should be aware that some New Zealand travel and tourism websites like the one for Wellington city has retail search functions as well.

Fruits and vegetables

New Zealand has an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. People visiting the countryside will often find farm produce on sale at the farm gates.

The dairy industry

The dairy industry is New Zealand’s national industry and a major direct and indirect source of employment and income for many New Zealanders.