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Inked in the AKL: The Best Tattoo Shops in Auckland

Inked in the AKL The Best Tattoo Shops in Auckland

With tattoo shops like Exium and Black Cat popping at almost every corner in Auckland, it’s safe to say that tattooing has left a mark in our city.

And if you’re looking for the best of the best, this is the right place. We’re sharing the finest studios and great deals to make your tattooing experience more bearable—because trust us, this art form can sometimes sting.


Address:18 Turanga Road, Henderson Valley, Auckland 0612

Contact Details: 0210 733 624

Operating Hours:

  • Mon – Closed
  • Tue to Sat – 11 am to 5 pm
  • Sun – Closed


Led by Ace Alexander, a tattooing savant with 20 decades of experience, Exium is a standout Auckland studio with distinct nature-themed decor and a jaw-dropping portfolio.

The spot specializes in Rites of Passage tattoos. These are abstract and paintbrush creations blending Ace’s time-tested skill and the edges of your imagination.

Exium does different styles, too: realistic, blackwork, geometric, fine line, watercolor, and more. The best part is your ideas won’t fall on deaf ears during the entire process, as their artists won’t stop until you’re satisfied with the product.

Tip: Check the tattoo shop’s portfolio to complete your research. See the range of their work and assess the quality of their artistic offerings.

Living Art Tattoos

Address: G04/27 Don McKinnon Drive, Albany, Auckland 0632

Contact Details: 09 836 9025

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Tue – 10 am to 4:30 pm
  • Wed – 9 am to 5 pm
  • Thu to Sat – 10 am to 4:30 pm
  • Sun – Closed


Art truly does live at the all-inclusive Living Art Tattoos—all thanks to Rob Donovan and his 26 years of tattooing masterclass.

The studio’s crowning glory is it doesn’t believe in artistic boundaries or doing specific designs; there’s no such thing as “not my style” here. You’re free to toss any tattoo idea Rob’s way and watch it transform into a living masterpiece on your skin.

Moreover, Living Art Tattoos offers piercing services using only top-notch 316L surgical stainless steel jewelry. They also utilize vegetarian and vegan-friendly (vegan restaurants auckland) products, ensuring that your tats aren’t just creative but ethically sound.

Tip: If you’re an aspiring tattoo or piercing artist in New Zealand, Living Art Studios is one of the top studios in terms of training services.

Tattoo Gold

Address: 18 Barrys Point Road, Takapuna, Auckland 0622

Contact Details: 09 828 8008


Tattoo Gold might be the fresh face in the ink scene, but don’t mistake it for a rookie player. With a squad of seasoned resident artists and overseas talent, this joint serves inkredible pieces even an art critic would adore.

Their offerings span sacred geometry, dot work, realistic art, sleek fine line designs, and a touch of Polynesian and Oriental styles.

Additionally, the studio has Coen, a specialist who excels in post-mastectomy and paramedical tattoos. Coen is the one to call if you want paramedical, nipple tattooing, and 3D color areola services.

Tip: If you have a particular artist in mind, contact the studio for scheduling. The artists here operate without set working hours and follow personal timetables.

Gargoyle Tattoo

Address: 3/149 Great South Road, Manurewa, Auckland 2102

Contact Details: 022 529 1500

Operating Hours:

  • Mon – Closed
  • Tue to Sat – 10 am to 5 pm
  • Sun – Closed


Gargoyle Tattoo is one of the faves in Auckland, boasting a diverse lineup of tattoo designs at pocket-friendly prices. Some of their famous styles include watercolor, Polynesian, realistic, mandala, and portrait.

The studio’s customer-centered philosophy also opens up artist-customer collaborations. On top of that, they only use the crème de la crème supplies and follow first-rate hygiene practices.

Tip: Utilize Afterpay to split the cost of your tattoo into four interest-free payments spread over six weeks.

Otautahi Tattoo Auckland

Address: 155 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Contact Details: 09 337 0694

Operating Hours: Daily – 10 am to 5 pm


Otautahi Tattoo, a tattoo juggernaut in Auckland for 11 years, mastered the art of Tā Moko, Pacifica, Kirituhi, script, Japanese, realism, and more.

Beyond tradition, they ace neo-traditional and full-colored tats, blending classic designs with contemporary pizzazz. You can check their favorite works to see what we mean.

Tip: Tattoo aftercare is important. Check their website for personal recommendations from Otautahi Tattoo’s artists.

The Tattooed Heart

Address: The Point Unit 4B/571 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatū Peninsula, Auckland 0610

Contact Details: 09 379 2662

Operating Hours:

  • Mon – Closed
  • Tue to Sat – 10 am to 6 pm
  • Sun – Closed


The Tattooed Heart isn’t just your run-of-the-mill ink joint; it’s a gallery of premier artists, each wielding unique styles catering to a wide range of preferences.

Whether it’s Adam’s comic book-inspired illustrative Western and black work or Naomi’s vigorous Western traditional and elegant traditional Japanese, they flex a wide and deep tattoo arsenal.

The studio also provides cosmetic tattoos that’ll make you stay on-fleek 24/7. And if you have “happy mistakes,” tattoo removal and cover-up specialists are waiting here.

Tip: You can book on the website, but The Tattooed Heart recommends calling the number listed above for a faster response.

Vaeau Family Studio 

Address: Grey Lynn, Auckland 1021

Contact Details: 027 315 0194

Operating Hours:

  • Mon – Closed
  • Tue to Sat – 11 am to 6 pm
  • Sun – Closed


Guided by the tenets of alofa (love), tautua (service), and fa’aaloalo (respect), Vaeau Family Studio isn’t a regular tattoo parlor; it’s a haven preserving and celebrating Indigenous tattoos.

Here, they weave a tapestry of both Indigenous (using traditional Samoan tools) and Western tattooing techniques, offering tatau (Samoan tattoo), Tā Moko (traditional Māori tattoo), and contemporary pieces.

Tip: Don’t forget to check Vaeau’s shop too. They offer products like tees, paintings, and hats.

Auckland Fine Line Tattoo Studio

Address: 450 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Sat – 11 am to 3 pm
  • Sun – Closed


Auckland Fine Line Tattoo Studio, as its name suggests, is a premium pick for those seeking the delicate beauty of fine-line tattoos. This isn’t the only design they can do, though.

Their artists are flexible, like Alvina, known for nature-centric tats and adorable little creations. Whimsical cartoon characters, vibrant portraits, poignant black and gray—she doesn’t run out of original and captivating ideas.

There’s also Mira, famed for whipping up an array of flash designs and masterpieces in the classic black and gray palette. She’s up for colored tats, too.

Tip: If you want to book, it’s best to reach out to your preferred artist directly. You’ll find their contact details on the website’s artists page.

Sunset Tattoo

Address: 4 Cross Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Contact Details: 09 376 3423

Operating Hours:

  • Mon – Closed
  • Tue to Sat – 10 am to 5 pm
  • Sun – Closed


When it comes to Japanese ink, Sunset Tattoo is an undeniable heavyweight of the scene. They’re also iconic for etching head-turning Pacifica and Tā Moko pieces.

Aside from these signature offerings, this studio has a squad of elite tattooers who are well-versed in unique styles. American traditional, black and gray, and single-needle designs are some of their perfected crafts.

Tip: To know the price of your tattoo, you should consult with your chosen artist. Costs vary based on factors like size, time required, and the artist’s expertise.

Two Hands Tattoo

Address: 127A Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011

Contact Details: 09 376 6999

Operating Hours: Daily – 10 am to 6 pm


Two Hands Tattoo is an Auckland OG and Ponsonby legend—for good reasons. If you spot a few of their highly acclaimed pieces, from blackwork to traditional Japanese styles, you’ll understand why.

But if the designs above aren’t your vibe, fear not. The artists here are versatile pros who can craft stunning custom designs.

Tip: Prepare additional funds for your tattoo reservation; a $100 deposit is necessary to secure an appointment with one of their artists. This fee will be deducted from the overall cost.

Dreamhands Tattoo

Address: 17 Anzac Avenue, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Contact Details: 022 348 2880

Operating Hours: Daily – 11 am to 6 pm


If you’re on the hunt for top-tier customizable service and creativity that’s off the charts, Dreamhands Tattoo should be your go-to ink destination. Pop by for a sesh, and you’ll leave with a unique tattoo, as they don’t reuse designs here.

Their ensemble of premier artists has also clocked in years of training and experience, resulting in masterpieces of any design or style. Traditional, realistic, watercolor—they can do it all.

As for the safety-conscious, you have nothing to worry about here. All equipment is one-time use and pre-sterilized, guaranteeing your ink session is as safe as it’s stylish.

Tip: The studio’s consultations are complimentary, but it’s advisable to schedule one in advance for a more personalized experience.

Three Dice Tattoo Parlor

Address: 7 Rose Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1021

Contact Details: 09 360 0034

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Sat – 11 am to 7 pm
  • Sun – Closed


The energy at Three Dice Tattoo Parlor is unmatched with its lightly colored walls showcasing flamboyant artwork. 

Black and gray realism is their forte but definitely not their limit. Their tattooing virtuosos have perfected a wide range of styles, from fine line and traditional to Tibeten and ornamental.

Tip: Walk-ins are allowed here, but we recommend booking, particularly if you have a specific artist, piece, or style in mind.

Black Cat Tattoo

Address: 5x Central Road, Kingsland, Auckland 1021

Contact Details: 09 815 6340

Operating Hours:

  • Mon – Closed
  • Tue to Sat – 10 am to 6 pm
  • Sun – Closed


You can scour Auckland for days, and you’ll still have a hard time finding a studio like Black Cat Tattoo. Their fantastic and bold artists flaunt extraordinary styles and pieces you might not see elsewhere.

For instance, there’s Amy and her cute, sparkly, pastel-y take on traditional tats. Toby is another innovator, focusing on mind-bending psychedelic artwork that blurs the line between reality and whatever universe is within his mind.

Tip: For optimal scheduling, it’s recommended to reach out early, especially on Saturdays, as these slots tend to fill up quickly.