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Hit the streets and waterways this spring to discover Auckland’s past

Published: 29 September 2017

Imagine paddling a waka down Queen Street, riding a tram through Kingsland, or travelling on a steam ferry across the Waitematā Harbour.

To discover these and other fascinating stories of Auckland’s unique past, don’t miss Auckland Council’s Auckland Heritage Festival with over 170 free or low cost events taking place across the region from 30 September to 15 October.

This year’s festival programme includes over 30 special events exploring the 2017 festival theme of Waterways to Motorways - the heritage of transport and travel in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Highlights from these events:

Discover an account of mana whenua maritime history at Te Rangatira & Ida: Māori Sailing Heritage on the Hauraki Gulf, an interactive, multi-discipline exhibition and event retold by renowned mana whenua writer Paula Morris.

Unearth the history of Wai Horotiu - Queen Street's Hidden Stream with Lisa Truttman, and learn how Auckland’s main street changed from a place where children fished playfully with broken pins, to the notoriety of being "Ligar's Canal".

Hit the pedals and join the Puketāpapa Heritage Ride or dress in your best to celebrate the golden age of cycling on the annual favourite Sunday Best 2017 – Awa River & Streams Ride.

Walk the Kingsland Trams Remembered tour with historian James Duncan and see the site of the 1903 tramway disaster which impacted the tramway industry throughout New Zealand.

Learn about Auckland's rich steam ferry history on the Toroa – Auckland’s Last Steam Ferry tour and take in its massive restoration.

“Auckland has a unique heritage and it’s important to protect and celebrate our local history for our tamariki to enjoy,” says Councillor Cathy Casey, Chair of the Community Development and Safety Committee.

“It’s great to see this year’s festival feature events sharing the stories of our changing transport modes and patterns around the region and many offering activities for children so they can learn about our past. There are heritage walks, talks, workshops and exhibitions offering something for everyone, so pick up a programme and get involved.”

The Auckland Heritage Festival is presented by Auckland Council - see for details on events or pick up a programme from Auckland Libraries or selected cafes.