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Outlet Shopping in New Zealand: Grab a Bargain!

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Shopping with a backpacker budget.

So, you are backpacking around New Zealand or spending a gap year here on a working holiday. Chances are you will get sick of the sight of some of your clothes, after wearing the same old things from the same old backpack for several months. Thankfully, there are some cheaper clothes shopping options in the outlet shopping centres. Outlet shops are goods sold at a discounted price, up to 70% off the retail price, from New Zealand’s designer and fashion brands. The good sold are usually items no longer sold in the normal shops.

Where are the outlet shopping centres in New Zealand?

This guide will let you know where you can find the outlet shopping malls. It won’t take long because there isn’t many…

  • Outlet City in Wellington
  • Dress Smart in Auckland
  • Westgate in Auckland
  • Dress Smart in Hamilton
  • Dress Smart in Christchurch

If you can’t find an outlet shopping centre near you, which is very likely, then look out for the odd outlet store in normal shopping centres or retail parks.

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Wellington – Outlet City

Only 10 minutes away from Wellington’s central business district (CBD), Outlet City holds 30 New Zealand and international fashion brands. The shopping mall in Tawa has menswear, womenswear, sportswear, cosmetics, food court and cafes.

How to get there

There is free parking at the Outlet City car park. From Wellington take the State Highway 1 and take the Tawa ramp off. Outlet City is at 24 Main Road.

By train from Wellington, take the Kapiti line and get off at Takapu Road – the first stop. The fare will be around NZ$5 one way. Then simply walk 5 minutes through a park and you’ll reach the shopping centre.

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Auckland – Dress Smart

As the largest outlet shopping centre in New Zealand, you’re bound to find something useful for your travels here. The shopping centre in Onehunga has fashion brands from luxury to high street. As well as womenswear and menswear, there are outdoors stores, sports stores, cosmetics, entertainment, stationary, technology, cafes and food court.

How to get there 

By car, take the southern motorway from Auckland. Go off the Greenlane East exit then turn into Greenlane Road. Left into Great South Road. Right into Campbell Road for approximately 2km. Left into Onehunga Mall Rd. Finally, Left at roundabout into Arthur St.

You can take the train for NZ$5 one way from Britomart Train Station (Auckland Central) to Onehunga.

Alternatively, you can take the free shuttle to and from Dress Smart. Check out their website for timetables. We recommend getting the bus from an earlier stop, as the small bus fills up quickly.

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Auckland – Westgate Outlet Centre

With only 8 outlet stores in the Westgate Outlet Centre, you certainly won’t shop until you drop. They have outlet stores for Paper Plus, USA Direct, Bendon, Identity, Art of Nails, North Beach, Jet and Rug Expo. Westgate is in the north west of the Auckland region.

How to get there

Take the North Western Motorway (Highway 16), from Auckland Central. Then take the exit 19a to Massey. The Outlet Centre is just behind the Westgate Centre.

There are several bus services that can take you to Westgate from Auckland Central. The most direct and fastest route is on the 070X bus from Britomart to Westgate.

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Hamilton – Dress Smart

Hamilton’s Dress Smart in Te Rapa has more than 30 stores. Although it is a smaller outlet shopping centre than Auckland’s Dress Smart, it is part of the Base retail park, so a wide range of shops are nearby. The shopping mall has fashion, cosmetics and entertainment retailers.

How to get there

The Base, which Dress Smart is located in, is a 10-15 minutes drive from Hamilton city centre down Te Rapa Road. There is free parking at The Base. Or get the number 21 bus from Hamilton to The Base Hub is around NZ$4 one way.

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Christchurch – Dress Smart

For those in the South Island, there is no choice of outlet centres. In fact, the Dress Smart in Christchurch is the South Island’s only outlet shopping centre. The retailers are very similar to the Auckland Dress Smart, but also including a nail salon and dedicated gift store. There are more than 60 stores to browse.

How to get there

Situated in Hornby on 409 Main South Road, from Christchurch city centre take the Highway 76 west and take the exit onto Highway 73. Take the exit onto Blenheim Road. At the roundabout take the exit onto Main South Road. Continue to Hornby Dress Smart, where the car park has free parking.

Riders of the peasant wagon a.k.a. the bus, can take the yellow line to Hornby for around NZ$5 one way.

Not only do you need to clothe yourself in NEw Zealand, but you need to eat too.

Check out our article: Food Shopping in New Zealand.

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