There are splendid views from the Auckland Domain, Auckland’s most popular picnic spot, across the attractive Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf. The best approach to Parnell Road is via Domain Drive, situated on the eastern edge of the park. Opposite from it is Ayr Street, leading to the Kinder House, a small museum in memory of its former owner, the Reverend John Kinder, and to a residence made of kauri wood known as the Ewelme Cottage, built in 1864. Both buildings, as well as Highwic House in Epsom and Alberton House in Mount Albert are under the protection of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Before turning into Parnell Road, you can head right at St. Stephens Avenue and visit the Cathedral of The Holy Trinity (1888). Selwyn Court, the former Bishops’s Library (1863), is a little farther down the road, along with St Stephens Chapel (1857) in a romantic setting close by on Judge Street.
The people of Auckland used to praise the suburb of Parnell because of the smoked oysters sold here. Today, tourists flock to Parnell for the large selection of souvenir stores, boutiques and cafes. Parnell is “in”, and its highlight is Parnell Village. With shops and restaurants in Victorian style, it exudes a certain oldworld charm. After a visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and other side-trips to the beginnings of the “new” Auckland, this is a pleasant place to stop for a lunch break. The locals who want to see and be seen generally frequent the Metropole Cafe.
Parnell Road gently winds its way downhill towards the harbor. Auckland University campus is situated on the southern edge of the Old Reserve. If you cut across the Old Reserve, it will take you to Customs Street and back to your starting point at the harbor.