12 Hours in Parnell

The entrance to Auckland Museum.

Offering a striking contrast between historic architecture and New York-inspired warehouses, Parnell really does have it all. And let’s not forget the sprawling outdoor spaces ready to discover on foot, like the Rose Gardens, Judges Bay and Auckland Domain. From delicious eateries through to art galleries and local boutiques, here’s how to spend the perfect day in this dreamy suburb. 


Exterior concrete wall of Rosie with 'ROSIE' in metal lettering.

Coffee And Breakfast At Rosie

82 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland

Make tracks to the ever-popular locale Rosie, just up from Parnell’s Rose Garden. This lively spot seasonally curates their menus and their delicious breakfast offerings are both familiar and surprising at the same time. The coffee is, of course, expertly poured too. 

Mini Art Gallery Crawl

Galleries and museum key icon.

251 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland

Once sufficiently caffeinated, you'll be ready to absorb some of the great art on offer at the popular galleries in the neighbourhood. Black Door Gallery is home to a bold selection of pieces including paintings, sculptures and colourful glassworks. While nearby Parnell Gallery focuses its attention on emerging and established New Zealand artists. It's been the gallery's notable and enduring agenda since 1976. 

Treats And Strolls At Little Rosie

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76 Gladstone road, Parnell, Auckland

Head on down to Little Rosie for a moreish selection of takeaway goods, from lavishly filled doughnuts to savoury croissants and seasonal danishes. With a fresh juice in one hand and a pastry in the other, pop over to the nearby Parnell Rose Gardens or Judges Bay and scout out a spot to enjoy your treats.


Refuel With Lunch At Bandung Café

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119 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland

Inspired by home cooking from the team’s roots in Bali and Java, Bandung Café boasts a fresh take on Indonesian cuisine, with classic touches throughout. Set in plain sight along Parnell road, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the colourful decor and the cute patio tucked away out the back.

Blue ladder used to help find books at Lamplight Books in Parnell.

Indulge Your Inner Bookworm At Lamplight Books

G01/100 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland

Bibliophiles should make a beeline for Lamplight Books, an elegant bookstore along the main strip. With a focus on curating art and culture reads, you’ll even find a whole section dedicated to the creatives and designers of Parnell.

Interior view of Bara with artwork hanging on exposed brick wall.

Shop From Local Creators


When it comes to fashion, Bara will have you lusting after the latest threads. The boutique leans more art gallery vibes than a typical clothing shop and stocks collections from local designers. Also along Faraday Street, Doran & Doran Bespoke Tailors sport a refined range of menswear sure to last a lifetime. Make your way across to Parnell Village for a taste of the traditional, where you’ll find quaint shops like The Fantail House or Passion for Paper.


Sweet Treat At Vaniyé Pâtisserie

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1/7 Windsor Street, Parnell, Auckland

Stepping into Vaniyé Pâtisserie is like being transported to a boutique patisserie in France. That’s essentially its creation story – Sonia, the chef half of Vaniyé, went from Auckland to Paris, trained at Le Cordon Bleu, made beautiful desserts and pastries at both small patisseries and prestigious, Michelin-starred restaurants, then came back to Aotearoa with her French husband Laurent and opened the award-winning, delightfully tiny Vaniyé. The authentic, decadent desserts, buttery croissants and luxuriously layered tarts are a feast for the eyes, too.

Exterior view of Auckland Museum from The Domain.

Discover Auckland Museum And Domain

Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland

Both Auckland Museum and the surrounding Domain offer endless pockets of inspiration just waiting to be discovered. Check out the Wintergardens in the Domain for a ‘Gram-worthy collection of flora and fauna. Or, get immersed in Museum galleries like the natural history section and the Māori collections, which house more than 1,000 taonga (treasure).

Bird sculpture found in Parnell, Auckland.

Walk It Off


You’re not just spoilt for choice when it comes to cafés, restaurants and art galleries in Parnell. There’s also plenty of picturesque places to stretch your legs and take in the beauty of this inner-city suburb. We’ve already mentioned the Rose Gardens, Judges Bay and Auckland Domain, but off the beaten path, you’ll find hidden nooks of lush greenery at Heard Park, Scarborough Reserve and Alberon Reserve. Plus, for a sneaky peek of the Sky Tower don’t miss a visit to Fraser Park.

Three people swimming in an outdoor pool by Fiona Smallwood.

Splash Out At The Parnell Baths

25 Judges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland

In summer the Parnell Baths are a welcome relief to the heat for both locals and visitors. They’ve got you covered—get competitive in the 60-metre lap pool, chill out in the family pools or relax in the adult spa section. And there’s even a playground for the kids. Togs and SPF at the ready?


Interior view of Barulho in Parnell, Auckland.

Dinner At Barulho

2-16 Watt Street, Parnell, Auckland

Moody lighting, cosy bench seats and succulent share-plates are just a few reasons why we love Barulho for a night out. The Mediterranean-style cuisine comes alive through a mouth-watering tapas menu—think marinated warm olives, croquetas, ceviche and empanadas. And we can’t forget the Portuguese custard tart dessert, a contemporary take on this well-loved sweet delight. 

Cosy seating area at Pineapple Bar in Parnell.

Wind Down With Cocktails At Pineapple Bar

207 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland

For a late-night sip, Pineapple Bar is the place to be. This regal hideaway offers an opulent escape from city life, encouraging patrons to unwind with good company and even better cocktails. Expect dramatic dark green walls accented with luxurious velvet curtains and cosy leather booths, plus an equally stunning drinks list to match.