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Auckland in pictures: now and then

Published: 27 February 2017

To celebrate the Auckland Heritage Festival last year, we sent our photographer out and about to capture the changing face of Auckland.

Using photographs from Auckland Library’s Heritage Collection, he framed them up against today’s landscape. Check out the results below!

Queens Wharf 1919 and 2016

Heritage image looking down Queens Wharf lined up to modern day Queens wharf.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 1-W482

It’s easy to forget that in 1919, water was lapping nearly all the way up to Britomart. The ferry building makes for a familiar touch point in the Queens Wharf skyline.

Takapuna Beach 1897 and 2016

Heritage image of people enjoying Takapuna beach lined up to modern day Takapuna. Rangitoto in the background.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 7-A4044

The North Shore’s stunning beaches are just as popular with Aucklanders today.

Avondale Racecourse 1899 and 2016

Heritage image of members of the Northern Club enjoying a picnic at Avondale Racecourse, lined up to modern day Avondale Racecourse.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 7-A1724

Enjoying a day out at the races has a long tradition, although we might not take the horse and carriage these days.

St Heliers Bay Beach 1923 and 2016

Photo of people enjoying St Heliers Beach in 1923 lined up to modern-day St Heliers Beach.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 7_A3428.

Crowds still sunbathe on the sands of St Heliers Bay Beach see if you can spot the amphibious bi-plane!

Glenora Park Takanini 1911 and 2016

Heritage image of Vivian Walsh and his bi-plane in Glenora Park, lined up to modern day Glenora Park, Takanini.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 2-V8 

On 9 February 1911 Vivian Walsh took off from Glenora Park Racecourse, Takanini, at the controls of Manurewa – meaning ‘flying bird’. He rose to a height of about 6m and flew for more than 275m. This was the first observed successful aeroplane flight in New Zealand.

Blockhouse Bay 1961 and 2016

Heritage image of Blockhouse Bay housing lots in 1961 lined up to modern day Blockhouse Bay.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 580-5027

Housing development has come a long way since 1961 when Blockhouse Bay was still mostly empty lots.

Victoria Street West 1917 and 2016

Heritage image looking up Victoria Street West with Recruitment centre in foreground, lined up to modern day Victoria Street west with Sky Tower in the background.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries W1594

Victoria Street almost a hundred years later has a few more (taller) buildings including our now iconic Sky Tower.

St Heliers 1911 and 2016

Heritage image of St Heliers Bay lined up to modern day St Heliers Bay.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 1-W29

Development along St Heliers has stepped up since 1911.

Photography by Jay Farnworth

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