Described by Lonely Planet as the “most convenient” of “Auckland’s bustling night markets”, the Henderson market, positioned beneath Kmart, is serviced by most major West Auckland bus routes and boasts hundreds of car parking spaces, while the train station is but a brief stroll away. Whether you choose to arrive by car or public transport, the first thing that will strike the senses is the festival-like atmosphere as chattering, excited crowds make their way to the stalls—often to the beat of feel-good tunes. And the undercover setting means even pouring rain (it is Waitakere country after all) can’t dampen this party.
The sensory overload continues the closer you get, entering through the main gateway the sweet scent of doughnuts is soon complemented by the sizzling of cuisines from across the globe. Dozens of stalls serve affordable street food offerings, with no corner of the world unrepresented—we reckon it’s most fun to mix and match. Choose from the likes of sticky glazed American ribs, prawn and coriander dumplings, sushi, or Thai or Malay curry. Tour the culinary globe in a matter of minutes, make a mental note of the most irresistible dishes then double back and dig in. If the spices get too much, cool off with a frozen yoghurt, gelato or freshly-squeezed juice.
The market serves not only as a microcosm of the gastronomical delights delivered around the world, but as an expression of Auckland’s proud, multicultural heart. And it’s not even just about the cuisine, accompanying stalls sell clothing and accessories and arts and crafts (be sure to check out the vintage wooden toys).
Whether you’re wanting to catch up with friends, treat the family, or looking for a casual destination for a date, the night markets of Henderson take some beating—and with the ongoing beautification of the surrounding Boundary precinct, it’s a spot that promises to just get better.
The Henderson Markets run every Thursday evening from 5:30pm-11pm.