Op Shopping in Rotorua

| May 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Miranda Likeman

I adore op shops and secondhand stores; the lure of finding unique, kitsch and memory filled items at bargain prices really floats my boat. I am pretty savvy about the ones in my city, but love looking in out of town ones, with a keen eye for sussing out great stores with completely different things inside.

Recently I went on a brief over nighter to Rotorua, where the hotelier (Victoria Lodge, recommended accommodation) who was so lovely and supportive of our quest that she printed out a list of shops to visit, their addresses and a highlighted map.

Because we drove down on a Sunday, and many op shops are not open over the weekend, we prepped for our expedition and set off early to the ones closest to the hotel, Rotorua Secondhand Market, 31 Te Ngae Rd, 9-5 Week, 9-2 Sat) and what a place to start!

Rotorua SecondHandMarket

From high end and unusual items from house clearances to bits and bobs, I was transfixed by a very large lamp of a fisherman ($150) and an outdoor table made from a singer sewing table ($65).


The premises were large but well laid out, there were bargains to be had on a few items and the staff were chatty and helpful. Mainly furniture, it had a section up the back of event hire beauties, if I ever had a wedding or a party in Vegas this would be my only stop.

Diagonally opposite and down a drive towards the recycling centre was the Variety Mart, 24 Te Ngae Rd, 8.30-4.30 Week, 9-2 Sat) which is a bit like a scrap yard (sinks, doors, toilets) with salvaged furniture items, hardware, fixtures and fittings and the odd painting, clock or sculpture. This would be the perfect place for someone doing up cycling (I really wanted to buy the old railway tracks outside) but most items would require a trailer to transport. Lovely man showed me some drawers when I enquired if he had any, taking me to an upstairs part of the store I never would have spotted!

Onto the city (I was after breakfast) and found a simply wonderful place in the Fat Dog Cafe. The food servings are giant, delicious and made quickly.


via Fat Dog Cafe

Then we popped into the Hospice shop on a main street in the CBD, (1134 Eruera St, 9.30-4 Week, 9.30-1 Sat). Parking in the city is free for two hours, they have pressure sensors that light up the meter if you run over. Spent a little time in this store – to me it seemed as if they had gathered the higher quality and priced items for this store, which is laid out and displayed like a boutique. Great for gifts.

Next was a Red Cross shop on a roundabout, (Cnr Rangiuru St and Lake Rd, 10-3 Week) which had plenty of parking, a great view across the lake and a slight incline to get to. This is the place if you are after cheap, practical clothing, especially for babies.

Last on our list before leaving town was the SPCA shop (50a Fairy Springs Rd, 10-4 Week, 9-1 Sat), which was my favourite. Plenty of toys, jewellery, crockery, books and furniture. It was very big and had a wide variety of things, including animal themed items and SPCA branded stuff.


On the way back to Auckland we stopped at The Salvation Army Family Stores in Matamata (99 Broadway) and Tirau (34 Main Rd): before popping behind to visit a gardeners/junkers/artists paradise at Little Gem (34A Main Road), behind a cafe.

Click here for a list of all the other bargain stores in Rotorua that we didn’t have time to investigate, so I can’t tell you what is there – but would love to hear if you do!

About the author:
Miranda Likeman has been every kind of journalist you could name. At present she writes mostly about fashion and beauty, subjects on which she has much experience, but not in a stuffy inaccessible way. She loves a bargain and making the affordable look expensive.

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Category: DIY, Interiors, Travel

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