Painted in a faded red and green palette of fruit stores, bakeries and Asian restaurants, the township is unequivocally vibrant. The Avondale Sunday Markets drums the townships beating heart; an overflowing shopping trolley of bartering locals, fresh produce and rare deals. Further, the unpretentious housing climate of earthly bungalows and timber cottages, leftover from the 1980’s, as well as the arrival of interesting new builds, has ensured a thriving community spirit. But, as major development looms, Avondale looks upon a misty future of regeneration and economic growth.
Since the late 1900’s, Avondale has been the settlement for many Māori and Pacific Island people. Originally called, Te Whau - a tree species of the malvaceous family, which is endemic to New Zealand. The Whau River is an esturial arm on the southwestern Waitemata Harbour harbouring Avondale’s original identity. But, the heritage of the Whau river extends well beyond its name. An entire booklet has been devoted to reflecting on its past, as a place of significant spiritual value for tangata whenua, as well as outlining ways to protect its future. Further, the council has been busily implementing the Te Whau Pathway, a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists, which will follow the edge of the Whau river, connecting Manukau harbour with the Waitematā Harbour.
One of its main organs of history is the world famous Hollywood Cinema. This neoclassical structure, built in 1915, represents one of the first known cinemas in Auckland. Originally coined, Hayward’s Town Hall Pictures, from 1930-1946 it was run by local theatre larks - the Hayward family. Then, in 1966 cinema visionary, Jan Grefstad, took the reigns and renamed the now globally famed, Hollywood Cinema, fighting the ravages of television, videos and cinema chains. Grefstad’s passion for independent cinema was unwavering, famously running cult film, Rocky Horror, for 21 years straight - the longest run ever done. After 36 years of operating Hollywood Avondale, Grefstad sadly passed, and the cinema was at risk of demolition or development. Thankfully, however, its old threads have been stitched into the contemporary world.
Now, The Hollywood Avondale hosts a myriad of experimental and cutting edge films, as well as being an authentic musical venue for some of our most loved artists. Further, it was crowned: ‘the best cinema in New Zealand’, by director Quentin Tarantino.
Avondale Sunday Markets
Situated on the Avondale RaceCourse - and arguably a lot more popular than the racing itself - some 20,000 people swarm to the Avondale Sunday Market. Self described as, The Market With Everything, it is an overflowing tote bag of home grown fruit and veg, seafood, dumplings, rogue clothes, rare jewellery, abandoned electronics, and most of all, people. Allegedly set up by the labour party in the early 70’s, it was the perfect market point for an increasingly multicultural society in Avondale. Particularly influenced by Pacific, Māori and Asian communities, the food is the freshest out west, with plenty of one off items you simply can’t find anywhere else in Auckland.
A Bright Future
It’s no doubt change is a swing in Avondale. Slated as: ‘the next Kingsland’, the suburb has been described as ripe for regeneration. After extensive consultation with the local community, the Auckland Council development arm, Panuku, has unveiled plans for the suburb, including a new library, community hub and town square built by 2023. These new amenities - which join the existing train station and neighbouring motorway - as well as careful preservation of its heritage, could drum new life into the suburb.
New savvy businesses are beginning to line the streets, such as Browne St cafe, who recently transfigured the old Avondale Transport Depot, into a classy bustling eatery. It opens the window for small businesses and first home buyers, who can’t afford the exorbitant prices of downtown Auckland, and want to join the rich tapestries of the Avondale community.
Heron Park is a favourite place for locals who want to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. There is plenty of room to walk, run or cycle with paths that wind through the park and down to Oakley Creek. There is also a great children's playground
The first New Zealand temple of the Swaminarayan sect of the Hindu religion. This exotic, and highly ornate building houses a temple and cultural centre.
Avondale College is a high performing, diverse, co-educational secondary school located ten minutes from central Auckland. With a roll of approximately 2760 students from Years 9–13, it is the third largest secondary school in New Zealand.
Rosebank coffee and kitchen is a licensed day-time restaurant offering handmade pastries, immaculate espresso & an ever-revolving seasonal menu.
Browne St, combines Avondale's heritage with a modern fit-out. The kitchen serves a menu of favourites with an international, modern twist
Built in 1915, this neo-classical building has had a fascinating history and is the earliest example of cinema in Auckland. The Hollywood hosts 35mm & digital film screenings, concerts and events
* While every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed is accurate, please check details directly with the school before making decisions based on this information.