Where to go
Discover Hamilton’s shopping spirit. Hamilton, with its golden triangle of Auckland and Tauranga is home to international brands, hot fashionista trends and a population ready to shop. Hamilton has three significant shopping malls, The Base, Centre Place and Chartwell Shopping Centre. Hamilton has a surprise for dedicated shoppers with a town meets country vibe with a well known second hand book shop, opportunity shops and thrift stores and innovative local designers whose works are showcased in Hamilton.
Need an excuse for a day trip, a girls day out and about in Hamilton from either Auckland or Tauranga. Here’s the road map for your shopping trip.
Let’s get the inside lane to what is hot and what is grab at ArtsPost Galleries & Shop. The heritage post office building, under the management of Waikato Museum is split into three spaces each focused on different elements of Aotearoa New Zealand art and craft scene. These spaces are dynamic and influenced by exhibitions and artists. The gallery is named to honour well known citizens in the Waikato arts scene (see Travel Pack Section for details).
- Free entry between 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
- Online shopping portal for those pieces you left behind
- Extensive range of NZ art from ceramics, prints, paintings, jewellery and Kiwiana
Hankering after a leisurely browse in a bookshop without best sellers dominating the space. Browsers is the place to go. Take a virtual tour of the beautiful store with its ceiling high shelves. The bookstore’s focus is arts, photography, fishing, hunting, exploring, music, mysticism, NZ and quality fiction. Yet there is more with an excellent children’s section. And most importantly the bookshop is not musty or moudly, the light filled space is inviting and the passionate Rachel Pope, owner and manager knows every title.
Damaged books are lovingly repaired and good for resale.
298 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central
International brands, well known kiwi brands are just out of your price range. Well here’s the place to hang out in and give a new lease of life to pre-loved clothing. Recycling clothing is sustainable shopping at its best and you can look styled and feel good at the same time. Labels in the store range from Kowtow, Ruby, Adidas, Nike, Karen Walker, and others you might need to google to find out. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy recycled clothing.
322 Grey Street, Hamilton East
A well known kiwi fashion design label is represented in Hamilton. The label is known for its simple and elegant flair. Collections — RUBY designs are deliberately not modelled by skinny girls rather women who are willing to be a bit edgy and use bold colours.
394 Grey Street, Hamilton East
Got to have an eclectic, slightly quirky collectable shop among the mix for your shopping Hamilton trip. Treasures, from vintage shoes, recycled crockery to the use of everyday objects into art objects. Rummaging, peering closely at something or wondering what something is makes this store a must go Hamilton destination. The store is guaranteed to deliver the perfect gift for a friend, or perhaps yourself, check Needle In The Hay Shop
300 Barton Street, Hamilton Central
Casabella Lane is where preloved vintage American streetwear store stock classic cool school threads, brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Champion, Kappa, Fubu, Polo, Stussy and much much more. The only requisite the brand must be made in the USA. Check out their website for a glimpse of what is on offer today.
Casabella Lane, Hamilton CBD
Brought to you by Hospice Waikato, Va Va Voom Boutique is a lil different to the charity’s familiar network of op-shops. Instead, Va Va Voom channels an upmarket boutique with a chic interior and carefully selected goods. Expect to find the likes of beautiful bone china, precious silverware, vintage clothing and designer labels including Trelise Cooper, Karen Walker and Sabatini. The clothing is handpicked from piles of donated garments by Hospice volunteers with an eye for fashion and designer gems. The result? A boutique store brimming with fairly priced gems that benefit a great cause. What’s not to love?
River Road, Fairfield
Another goodie from Hospice, the Frankton Megastore is one of the best op-shops in Hamilton. Upstairs, you’ll find quality second-hand clothing as well as homewares and books. Those in the know will time their visit for a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday when the downstairs section of the shop is also open. This is where the magic happens with a treasure trove of unique and affordable furniture, homewares, kitchenwares, records and appliances. You can kit your whole house and wardrobe out with a visit to this op-shop.
Lake Road, Frankton
Annah Stretton is a Waikato designer and a doyenne in the NZ fashion world. Annah is bows, frills, and fabric swathed around bodies in glorious layers. Visit her flagship store and imbue the Annah design ambiance.
54 Bryce Street
Cnr Bryce & Barton Street
291 Barton Street
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
Ida Carey Gallery
1891 – 1982
Ida Carey was a significant Waikato artist. In the 1920s and 30s Ida Carey studied art in Sydney. An influential teacher and painter, she co-founded the Waikato Society of Arts in 1934. In the 1960’s, she painted a series of Maaori woman with the moko. A woman with great tenacity and courage who made an important contribution to the art in the Waikato.
Margot Philips Gallery
1920 Germany – 1989 New Zealand
Margot Philips was also a significant Waikato artist and supporter of the arts. “I knew after I had settled here something inside of me was destroyed. I needed something within me to build up again. I was terribly excited by the Waikato landscape, once I was really ready to look.” – Margot Philips
The Chartwell Gallery gains its name from the Chartwell Trust initiated by Rob Gardiner. The Waikato Society of Arts (WSA) moved into ArtsPost in 1997, but prior to that, the Chartwell Trust purpose-built a gallery space for the WSA in Victoria Street in the former Hamilton Hotel building (the gallery was next to Bar 101).
Here the WSA operated a gallery shop and due the huge assistance and support of The Chartwell Trust, the WSA continued for many more years and flourished as an art society.
For more information what to see and do in the Waikato check out Waikato Travel Guide for holiday inspiration.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE