Saturday, 27 January 2018

Auckland Anniversary Day

Welcome to a New Year and Auckland Anniversary weekend 2018.
Today we take a look at Auckland Anniversary celebrations from early in Auckland's history.
DSC 28 Jan 1864
 In the 19th Century Aucklanders joined with visitors in jostling for the best vantage points from which to view the races, just as we do today. They lined the shores on both sides of the harbour and established theselves with picnic gear, hats and binoculars. Those well practicsed in the art took their stand on a favourite headland or elevated verandah, such as Bastion Point and Mt Victoria - both well aspected for shade, viewing range and ventilation.

Our ancestors expected to make a day of it too. Extra licenses were issued for pop up stores selling snacks and meals, bars were open all day on both land and sea.

Looking over Queen's Wharf from the western side at the Regatta entrants on the Waitemata APL4-RIC-154

DSC28 Jan 1864


The North Shore specialised in festivities and special events during the 19th century. This popular destination for outings and day trips hosted a special Anniversary Day extravaganza every year. Action centred around Takapuna's Lake Pupuke. Ferry passengers arrived early and stayed late to make the most of a full programme.


Crack shots competed at a rifle range for prizes, horse racing was on the cards, with fresh water racing on the Lake itself. In the evening the Grand Marquee on the Promenade provided an open air ball room.


Takapuna Beach provided a perfect Harbour view of the main Regatta and was renowned for the relaxed and sociable atmosphere. Ferries came and went during the day with special night sailings for the last of the party goers making their way home.

This image shows the same occasion 35 years later in 1899. The Promenade was aptly named. AWN 3 Feb 1899

Our 21st century Auckland is a world away from our settlement days but we can still keep our heritage in mind.  If you are interested in celebrating our city's origins in 1840 the Maritime Museum has a full programme of activities on offer, including the opportunity to sail out on some restored colonial period craft. You find details of sailing times here. Other activites and events are highlighted here. Enjoy.