If you feel like browsing through thrift shops, check out K'Road (in the direction towards Ponsonby). There a bunch of arcades and side shops with interesting and trendy clothing. There are quite a few sex shops, highlighting the seedier side of Auckland.
The land for Karangahape Road and Pitt Street was originally purchased from local chiefs for Queen Victoria in 1841. The earliest mapping of these two roads was seen in 1863. The payment for the land was made with:
50 Pounds (money)
10 Iron Pots
4 Casks of Tobacco
1 Box of Pipes
100 Yards (92 metres) of GownPieces
1 Bag of Flour
A bit of a tongue twister for the first time attempter… ‘Ka-rang-a-happy’ is the way to pronounce it or just simply K’road as most refer to it. This road has a long history in Auckland. Partingtons Windmill was built in 1850 (where the Sheraton Hotel is now on K’rd) and secured a contract to supply army troops with biscuits during the NZ wars. In 1890, George Courts opened its first department store on the road and in 1897 the Naval & Family Hotel was constructed. In 1908 there were some unsuccessful attempts to change the name of K’rd to names like Fleet St, Broadway, George St, King Street and Edward St. When the rise in cars began during the 1920’s K’rd started to decline when the more affluent customers of the stores here chose to shop in their suburbs (Remuera, Mt Eden and Mt Albert). In 1942, the basement of George Courts department store was used as an air raid central command and this was only rediscovered during the 1990’s when a sealed room was uncovered during restoration. K’rd was one of the first in many ways, first to have traffic lights in Auckland, first to have the pedestrian phase added and first to have fluorescent street lights. During the 1990’s the economy in K’rd picked up when a number of nightclubs were established and this became the centre of Auckland’s nightclub scene transforming K’rd from what it had become, the red-light district.
This sculpture caused quite a stir when it was unveiled in 1968 in Karangahape Road. It was certainly very innovative for its time. Greer Twiss was the sculptor and installed it in a park on the corner of K’rd and Symonds Street. Its actually a bronze fountain and I still don’t know exactly what the meaning, if any, there is.