Heading to the Aotearoa Art Fair? Here’s what to do in downtown Auckland

The Aotearoa Art Fair has officially opened today, and we’re welcoming the creative buzz in Downtown Auckland, particularly at everyone’s favourite shopping and food precinct Commercial Bay — a destination of both convenience and pleasure. When it comes to experiencing the immersive art, indulging in delicious fare and shopping up a storm, consult our recommended itinerary for a day to remember.

Morning Coffee at Camper Coffee
All good art experiences begin with coffee, and few outposts around these parts do it better than Camper Coffee. Hole-in-the-wall style, the joint serves aromatic coffee brewed with its own fresh-roasted beans, making for the perfect pre-fair ritual.

A spot of shopping
Commercial Bay is home to some of the best shopping in Auckland. Intimate lounges and showroom spaces offer an array of coveted labels like Wynn Hamlyn, Yu Mei, Superette and Sandro, not to mention beloved beauty boutiques Mecca and Dior Cosmetics. If you only have time for one stop, we recommend calling into the Yu Mei lounge. Here, the luxury leather goods label is supporting Xin Cheng, a multidisciplinary artist presenting mixed media installation ‘Stories from Te Auaunga Oakley Creek’ in partnership with Aotearoa Art Fair’s ‘Projects’, a non-profit exhibition designed to showcase contemporary practitioners across Aotearoa and the Pacific.

Indulge in lunch at Pōni
Since Pōni’s refresh earlier this year courtesy of local restaurant maven David Lee, it’s become a must-visit destination for any appetite. We recommend visiting at lunch, so you can take in the expansive outlook of the harbour through the floor-to-ceiling windows and indulge in Pōni’s Asian-inspired menu (ordering a serving of the delectable cuttlefish toast is a must). 

Call into Season Gallery
For an additional art fix, a call into Season Gallery will be more than sufficient. Currently on display are the works of local artist Nikau Hindin (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi), whose works explore traditional ways of working with Māori aute, a plant pounded into cloth to make adornments, garments and kites.

Make a dinner reservation at Origine
Origine is the new French-inspired bistro courtesy of the brains behind nearby restaurant Ahi, and we couldn’t think of a better addition to Commercial Bay’s elevated food offering. Dining at Origine will make the perfect end to your day, complementing an afternoon of art and culture with its exquisite, flavourful and varied French fare.


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