The small suburb of Grafton is a rather funny shape that wiggles between Auckland Domain, Eden Terrace and the city centre. You’ll find old buildings and homes in this historically well-off suburb named after the Duke of Grafton, a patron of William Hobson, the first governor of New Zealand.
These days Grafton is best-known for Auckland City Hospital, the largest public hospital in Aotearoa. You’ll find a number of cafes and eateries on the bustling street just outside the hospital. Need fresh air? Bop on over to a nature trail in Auckland Domain where wandering is best done with a full drink bottle and an open mind.
If you’re hungry, pop over to one of several cool pockets in the area. Coffee connoisseurs can sip on a hot brew at The New Zealand Coffee Co, which roasts hundreds of kilos of beans a day on site. Fancy a trendy brunch? Get a sinful stack of French toast or eggs bene at FLUFF Café or a saucy bagel sando from Goodness Gracious Café over in Eden Terrace. Grab a bonafide British pint over at Galbraith's Alehouse or treat yourself to a contemporary fine-dining experience at Sid at The French Café.
Head over the Grafton Bridge on foot to explore the quirky food and art scene on Karangahape Road. On the way you might just spot amateur photographers heading into the Symonds Street Cemetery and uni students whizzing around by bike and e-scooter. If you want to impress your fam or friends, book in for high tea at the largest hotel in Aotearoa – Cordis Auckland. Think fluffy scones, tiny sweets and adorable sandwiches in a dazzling chandelier-lit setting.
Digging something louder? Dance the night away at The Powerstation, a venue with an intimate feel no matter how large the crowd.
Location Te wāhi
City centrePlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Grafton is 5-10 minutes by car from the city and easily accessible by bus. If you enjoy walking, you can take a nice stroll to suburbs like Parnell and Newmarket in fewer than 30 minutes.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
There are many bus lanes in this busy area, so you’ll want to pay attention to road signs to avoid driving or parking in a transit lane.