Freemans Bay is less a literal bay and more a neighbourly canal between three cool suburbs in central Auckland. Walk past inner-city apartments and stately villas on route to a local eatery on Ponsonby Road, pop over to the artsy Karangahape Road precinct or grab dinner across from beautiful Victoria Park.
You’ll find good vibes at every corner, especially in the form of food and bevvies. Enjoy afternoon drinks on the patio at Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen or at a pint at the historic Birdcage Cavern – it's one of the oldest taverns in Auckland. Hop over to City Works Depot nearby to find several eateries under one multi-purpose roof, from hand-rolled bagels at Best Ugly Bagels to sophisticated brunch at Odettes Eatery. For a spin around the world, indulge in Med-style tapas at La Zeppa or order a Japanese feast off your own digital menu at Nishiki.
Many of the best eateries and retailers are huddled around Victoria Park, a large inner-city green space used for picnics, power walks, sports matches and festivals. For a kaleidoscope of cuisines, head to Victoria Park Market to find Korean, Latin, Japanese, Indonesian or European-style bistros housed in a cool complex of historic brick buildings.
If you’re after fresh air, escape into a hilly park full of trees, gullies and trails at Western Park. It’s best to start at the top along Ponsonby Road, with several paths starting at the park entrance. Stroll your way down any of the tracks while watching birds flit by, or stop along one of the benches along the way. For families, be sure to spend some time at the playground at the bottom of the park, which is one of the few in the region with a flying fox.
Location Te wāhi
City centrePlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Freemans Bay is only a few minutes’ drive, or a short walk, from the city centre and suburbs including Ponsonby and Karangahape Road. Keen to bike? Hop on the iconic pink Nelson Street Cycleway via the entrance on Karangahape Road before whizzing all around the city centre.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Much of Freemans Bay is in a residential parking zone with a maximum of two hours of free parking for non-residents (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).