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Explore photos of Auckland's past

Published: 2 October 2018

The heritage of Tāmaki Makaurau has been shaped by a diverse cast of characters, communities and important events. The changing face of Auckland and its people is shown in these old – and new – images from around our region.

Many of the photos here – and over 300,000 more – are available online as part of Auckland Libraries’ Heritage Collections.

Old Queen Street
Auckland’s Queen Street Wharf in 1864, with North Head and Mt Victoria in the distance. Auckland Libraries, 1-W718.
Black and white photo of man with children.
Chan Ah Chee, one of the most prominent Chinese market gardeners in Auckland, pictured with his grandchildren, 1916-18. Photo supplied by David Wong.
Old photo of three women.
A portrait by Auckland-born photographer Herman John Schmidt (1872-1959), from his Queen Street studio. Auckland Libraries, 31-57416.
Old photo of tram.
By 1908 the tram line down Dominion Road had reached Herbert Road terminus. It was closed in 1953. Auckland Libraries, 7-A1567.
Black and white photo of construction site.
Aotea Square under construction, with Auckland Town Hall in the background. Auckland Libraries, 7-A13629 (John Daley).
A partially built bridge.
Auckland Harbour Bridge under construction. It was completed in 1959. Auckland Libraries, 654-26 (Geoff Fairfield).
Photo of yachts on a beach.
Looking west along Kohimarama Beach from Averill Avenue and Tāmaki Drive. Auckland Libraries, 1021-406 (Eric Young).
Photo of singers.
Billy T. James as Diana Boss with the Superettes, in the 1988 TVNZ Telethon. Auckland Libraries, 1329-45 (Laura Remacha).
Performer in colourful traditional Chinese costume.
The traditional Chinese art of face-changing was among performances at the 2018 Auckland International Cultural Festival.
Maungakiekie
Like many of Tāmaki Makaurau’s tūpuna maunga, Maungakiekie was once the site of a pā, and is of great spiritual and cultural significance to Auckland’s mana whenua.