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Channelling Melbourne, our laneways are flourishing this summer

Last Updated : 01 Dec 2023
Billboard Walking Quay St Resize

Vulcan, Durham, High, O’Connell, Fort, Snickle, Elliott, Federal, Galway, Tyler, Little Queen - our list of vibrant, quirky, charismatic laneways is growing.

This summer there’s no need to look across the Tasman for the street vibe of Melbourne’s laneways. Our very own joined-up laneways network is right on your doorstep.

Walk with us through our laneways - some with refreshed design and artworks, some with new trees and rain gardens and some with long-time loyal fanbases.

Federal Street zen

The Sky Tower end of Federal Street has long been a magnet for delicious food, glamour and good times, but there’s a new kid on the block bringing a zen vibe.

The newly upgraded Mayoral Drive end of Federal Street was opened by Auckland Council in July 2022 with an inclusive feel, enhanced lighting, 13 new native trees, nine rain gardens filtering stormwater before it reaches the waterways, and a shared space.

Feel the freedom of walking or riding down the middle of the street, breathe the clearer air, and notice a new mural by artists Teare Turetahi and Abigail Aroha Jensen (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri) who blend their solar, lunar and stellar knowledge into a stunning work of art.

Famous ridgeline 

The free spirit of Auckland’s city centre, Karangahape Road forms the southern bookend of the city centre. Fresh from a significant makeover completed in 2021, K Road is edgy, diverse and authentic while also a charming, uber-modern, smoothly functioning street aka laneway. Discover the energy, colour, people, music, lights, art, nightlife, shops and new design elements which celebrate the Māori adventurers who walked this ridgeline between harbours hundreds of years ago. Read more here.

Labyrinth of lanes

Pinch yourself as you wander through the laneways in our High Street District – Vulcan Lane (upper and lower), High Street, Freyberg Square, O’Connell Street and Fort Lane.

Let the romantic in you take over for a milli-second and imagine you are meandering through the intimate walking lanes of Barcelona or Bilbao or Berlin. While our laneways are young, by comparison, they are starting to nourish the soul in the same way.  

Whether it’s sitting at tables along curbsides of narrow streets or strolling through the heart of our fully pedestrianised lanes, you are largely protected from through-traffic. You’ll find places to sit and spend time, smell delicious food and hear live music.

This summer, passionate people are bringing diverse expressions of art and music to these special city centre streets and squares.

Eastside

On your journey along Queen Street towards the sea, veer off to the east and look up to the sky. Durham and Vulcan Lanes are often adorned with overhead art.

If it’s a Thursday evening in the second half of December you might hear sultry saxophones and toe-tapping beats, laced with the rich character of our historic Vulcan Lane. Read more here.

Queen of streets

The design of Queen Street has been renewed from Aotea Square to the sea, giving priority to people who walk. So get your stride on (or scoot or ride) and discover the new eight-metre-wide footpaths (in places) and our new Waihorotiu path. Read more here.

Once you reach our downtown square, Te Komititanga, weave a path to the east and find stunning Galway Street. Let yourself be captivated by the area’s urban charm as the smoothed edges of this walking street lead you to one of Auckland’s hospitality gems: Britomart and Takutai Square. Read more here.

Waterfront lanes

Not strictly a lane, but take a stroll along our new, calmer, leafier Quay Street and find Te Wānanga on the seaward side. It’s an award-winning architectural take on a rocky tidal shelf, with openings like rock pools and steel balustrades like giant kina shells. Its organic shape was inspired by the sandstone headlands of the Waitematā Harbour. Read more here.

And don’t miss the space between Halsey and Daldy Streets in Wynyard Quarter called Tiramarama Way. Featuring foot-powered fountains and purposeful puddles designed to rise and fall with the tides, the laneway provides an opportunity for fun. And if you hear the song in your head - Where do the children play? - click here.

There’s a laneway for everyone this summer.

Find out about the next big development – the midtown regeneration - at ProgressAKL.co.nz/Midtown.

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