In the words of Ryan Lewis and Macklemore—‘Can we go thrift shopping?’
Yep, these two were onto something special back in 2012. Well, cue the celebratory music guys, because it seems the shores of Auckland have caught up with the status quo. From quirky bookstores to eccentric op-shops and the best bulk food stores in town, Auckland has a pretty wonderful selection of stores deserving a mention. So whether you favour Gucci sneakers or Vintage Nike Fly’s, be sure to give the following shops a visit on your next splurge. Because who doesn’t love a little weird and wonderful every so often?
Flotsam and Jetsam
From marbled enamel pottery to vintage street signs and one off ramequins, Flotsam and Jetsam is one of those stores you’ll find very difficult to leave. We recommend popping in when you’ve got time to kill, because you want ample browsing space to pick out the perfect nicknacks. Our favourite has got to be the old-school gym baskets and grain sacks…storage at its very best.
For those of you who wish they were livin’ the American Dream, Martha’s Backyard is the place for you. Importing all the greatest products from the US, you’ll find everything from limited edition M&M flavours to all the candy bars the cool kids munch in the movies. Twizzlers? You betcha. Or if candy’s not your thing, grab yourself some epic house accessories, like those iconic red party caps for your next boozy night.
Furniture 4 Flats
Word on the street is this is where the hipsters like to hang out. Furniture 4 Flats is quite possibly the weirdest and most wonderful store on this list, if you can call it that… It’s barely a shop due to how unorganised the layout is, walking in you’ll simply find stacks on stacks of furniture waiting for you. From thrashed desks to vintage mirrors, no student flat is complete without something from this store.
Bulk Food Savings
Ahh, Bulk Food Savings, the store that has literally helped us have a social life. The bargains hiding here are unheard of. We’re talking bulk bins lining the whole shop, stocked with everything from nuts, spices and granolas to pastas and grains. And it's all incredibly cheap. Thinking of baking but the ingredients are too expenny? Head here.
It’s not exactly a secret treasure as Real Groovy has quickly become an Auckland household name. But it’s every bit as wonderful as the rest, and deserves a shout out. This record store has everything from Billy Joel to The BeachBoys. Even for those of you (like us) without a record player, we like to just head here out of appreciation for the music. One day we’ll invest in a player, we promise.
The Fairy Shop
Every girls dream store, The Fairy Shop is like entering an enchanted palace. We live for this shop. Colourful dresses and silver tiaras with real-life fairies wandering around, why wouldn't we throw a party here? Trust us, rent this spot out for you little one’s next birthday and join the tradition. Face painting and catering—we’re thinking we’ll stop in after lunch.
Just Plane Interesting
With planes on the roof, vintage cars parked outside and just about every strange nicknack on the market, Just Plane Interesting is exactly what the name suggests. With all the weird and wonderful packed into this Henderson store, it’s a dangerous place to be for collectors. Specialising in interesting things from the past, it’ll take you back to a time where things had less technology and more craftsmanship. No complaints over here.
Chapter Book and Tea
This is one store that always manages to put a smile on our dial. Chapter Book and Tea is one of the quirkiest little stores in Auckland. With an array of unique novels waiting for you to dive into, and a fine selection of loose-leaf teas on display, it’s the ingredients to a cosy Saturday waiting to happen. FYI: The ‘Earl Grey Cream’ may just be the best tea we’ve tried.
A fiddler's safe haven. Serendipity Beads has quite possibly the best selection of buttons and beads in Auckland. From Japanese to Czech style beads, this is the store to hit up for an arts and crafts top-up. Or head along for a workshop and pick up all the skills. What’s more, there are frickin’ Swarovski crystals on offer. Miranda Kerr would be proud.
The one-stop shop for a dress-up party, Geoff’s Emporium specialise in all things quirky. From the best costumes and dress-up products to a giant range of arts and craft supplies, it’s kinda like that store that has everything you can’t find in a normal store. Cotton threads, face paint, Halloween outfits…Yep, it’s got it all.
Junk & Disorderly
If you love all things quirky and second hand, make a beeline for Junk & Disorderly. Open for more than 20 years, the mammoth (seriously, this place is huuuge) store stocks everything from retro furniture and china to books and delightful knick-knacks. Make sure you’ve got time on your side—you’ll want to spend hours exploring all the nooks and crannies of this
treasure trove store.
Image credit: The Fairy Shop