Busy, bustling, and lined with shops, Queen Street is the pulsing center of Auckland. This main thoroughfare runs from the Auckland ferry building up the hill towards Karangahape Road, and in addition to the shops and trendy storefronts is home to a collection of restaurants and hotels. The pedestrian traffic along the length of Queen Street is greater than anywhere else in the country, and the fast-paced energy of commerce and trade can be felt in the step of those on the street.
There is more to Queen Street than simply professionals, however, and the area is a hub for visitors and travelers who are moving about town on the city’s public transport. At the bottom of Queen Street, the ferry building serves as a landmark on the waterfront where it’s easy to embark on a stroll of the harbor. Fog horns sound from the boats in the distance, engines rev from the passing cars, and the strum of buskers stretched out by storefronts creates an urban song which only Auckland can sing.
In addition to the modern shops and stores, there are a handful of architecturally historic buildings which date to the era of the city’s founding. This was one of the original areas of Auckland to be settled by voyaging Europeans in the 1800’s, and while many structures have long-since vanished, there are still a few from the 19th century which add a regal flare to the modern appearance.
Finally, while many of the stores are high-end retailers which aren’t known for being friendly on the wallet, Queen Street houses a clutch of food courts which provide welcome options for budget dining. While the modern street is more of a practical waypoint than a sight on the tourist trail, it’s still the heart of a palpable energy which can only be felt in Auckland.