Stock Up On Vinyl At The 8 Best Record Stores In New Zealand
Give Spotify a rest and throw your money behind local artists and record retailers.
Words by: Jess Willemse
Photography by: Neat Places
Picture this; plastic bins loaded with the latest records and obscure gems, turntables at the ready and hours upon hours of free time. This might just be the perfect afternoon for music lovers.
Despite our size, this little corner of the globe sure does pack a punch with our local music scene. And our record shops are no exception. Fronted by a charismatic group of fiercely independent purveyors, there’s simply no better place to pick up some new tunes for your shelf. Plug in your speakers; here’s our eight favourite record stores dotted around the country.
Queen Street, Auckland
Since way back, Real Groovy has been a haven for record buffs across Tāmaki Makaurau. The music mecca has seen many seasons since it flung open its doors in 1981. Upon entry, you’ll be greeted with stacks upon stacks of vinyl, but also an expertly chosen range of books, music memorabilia, turntables and audio equipment. Whether it’s time to treat yourself to a new album or amp up the home sound system, the team here are more than happy to help out.
Pitt Street, Auckland
This artfully presented alcove off Pitt Street champions independent, under-the-radar artists, boasting a collection of beats from homegrown musos. Flying Out is all about offering a base for creative minds to bond over music and memories, so be sure to catch one of their live events if you can. You’ll find the shelves curated with both local and international tastes, as well as record players, books and merch. And as a licensed second-hand dealer, they can also swap your old titles for some extra cash (or Flying Out credit). All the more reason to pick up the latest album you’ve been eyeing up…
Tongariro Street, Taupō
My Music, found on the corner of Tongariro Street and Horomātangi Street, is the real deal when it comes to vinyl. This hidden gem delivers on the goods, as we’ve heard plenty of accounts of people uncovering hard-to-find titles at this spot. Headed up by Jason, the My Music team goes the extra mile with their special-order service—it’s rumoured they can find almost anything you’re after. If you’re up for a yarn about music and have time on your hands, stop by My Music to peruse the big red buckets.
Slow Boat Records
Te Aro, Wellington
As if Cuba Street couldn’t get any better, it’s also home to Wellington’s oldest independent record store. The front facade makes a statement with bright yellow signage brandishing ‘Slow Boat Records’ in bold black letters. You’ll find all the good stuff here, from New Zealand and Australian artists to LPs spanning every genre under the sun. Come prepared with plenty of time to spare because you’ll be more than impressed with the bounty of stock on offer.
Collingwood Street, Nelson
Newcomer Family Jewels sure knows how to make an impression on New Zealand’s record scene. This snug spot is tucked away in the Free House beer garden on Collingwood Street—how’s that for a match made in music heaven? Helmed by fellow creatives Grant and Josephine, it’s easy to understand why this collection of tunes is so special. Music lovers unite; you can’t beat an afternoon rummaging around this quirky little shop followed by a pint of beer in the garden.
Big tables and even bigger energy is what you’ll find at Penny Lane Records over in Sydenham. With more than 100,000 records, CDs, DVDs, and cassettes at the ready, they’ve earned the reputation of one of NZ’s largest music shops. Given the enticing mix of new releases and old collectables, we bet there’s something hidden in the tables calling your name. Drop by to get lost in the store, pick up HiFi gear or sell your old tunes for cash.
Ride On Super Sound
High Street, Christchurch Central
For a taste of Christchurch’s arts scene, you simply need to step into Ride on Super Sound. This humble home to records, comics, zines and relics has taken over the top floor of Smash Palace, offering a welcome setting to immerse yourself in stories and songs. The shop is co-owned by a community of volunteers, lending their expertise to the store and its growing collection. By creating an independent platform for Kiwi creatives to shine, Ride on Super Sound is all about allowing creators to do what they do best.
Saint Andrew Street, Dunedin Central
You simply can’t talk about New Zealand record stores without mentioning Relics. The founding duo, David and Irene, are as passionate as they come about music. With plenty of solid recommendations, if you need them, their expert staff behind the counter is here to help you explore and expand your tastes. You’ll find plastic bins packed to the max with new and second-hand vinyl across every genre imaginable. Meanwhile, if your kit needs an upgrade, their sister store down the road—Relics HiFi—will make your next listening sesh a dream.
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Toby Morris's Auckland
I’m Toby Morris - a cartoonist, illustrator, writer and Creative Director at The Spinoff. I’m from Wellington originally, but have been in Auckland for about seven years now, and I’m still finding new favourites all the time. We live right between Sandringham Rd and Dominion Rd and we love the mix of cultures in that area.
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