Karangahape Road

Karangahape Road

Map
, New Zealand
Karangahape Rd in Auckland
Courtesy of Karangahape Road Business Association
Features
Free, Quirky/offbeat, Popular with locals

Karangahape (pronounced Ka-rung-uh-hup-eh) is a long road with a long name, which is why it is affectionately known as K Road. With dogged grit and determination, K Road has resisted the creep of gentrification, even while all those around it fall. A mere skip from poncy Ponsonby Road and at the top of Queen Street—the city’s main shopping strip—K Road still has its red-light side, but it has always been much more than that. It was the first home of the gay and transgender Pacifica and pakeha community—people have always come here to be who they are and that individual flavur remains. When sisters Damaris and Renee Coulter opened their upbeat bar and eatery, Coco’s Cantina in 2009 with the motto "Be Kind," they gave the strip the dose of aroha (love) it needed. If Coco’s is the new heart, the counter-culture treasure of St Kevins Arcade is the old soul. The iconic 90-year-old building has seen it all, and continues as a cultural mix of now-and-then shops, bars, and cafes. Spread out from here and you’ll find galleries such as Michael Lett, Stark White, Tim Melville, Bowerbank Ninow, and Artspace, all of which represent and exhibit work by some of New Zealand’s leading artists.

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