Enjoy a day out with the Auckland Heritage Festival

Publish Date : 04 Oct 2022

The Auckland Heritage Festival 2022 is a chance to immerse yourself in the history of Tāmaki Makaurau.

The festival takes place from 1-16 October with more than 160 free or low-cost events, walks, tours and activities to choose from.

Here are just some ideas to get you started:

Be blown away

Take a walk inside – that’s right, inside – New Zealand’s largest concert organ. Taking up one end of Auckland Town Hall, the organ is so vast that there are walkways on three levels (connected by a solid oak staircase) behind its astonishing 5291 pipes and five separate keyboards.

The pipes range in length from just one centimetre to 10 metres.

Auckland’s concert organ was restored to its former glory in 2010, and many international organists have declared it one of the finest in the world.

You need to see it (and certainly hear it) to believe it. So don’t miss your chance to discover the thousands of pipes and dozens of bellows.

Inside the Town Hall organ. Credit: Dan Harris

Inside the Town Hall organ. Credit: Dan Harris

Walk and learn

Gain new insights into familiar locations and landmarks with a guided or self-guided walk.

The Auckland Heritage Festival is offering exciting tours, from walks around the historic volcanic Te Puke ō Tara / Hampton Park, to guided tours that reveal the hidden gems of the inner city.

Other tours on offer cover neighbourhoods such as Ponsonby, Devonport, Papakura and Henderson, among others. Learn more about your own neighbourhood or explore further from home – each destination offers a chance to discover history in an immersive way.

And don’t forget, there are more than 25 heritage walks that Auckland Council maintains year-round, including the Symonds Street Cemetery heritage walk (which has its own guided tour at this year’s festival) the Avondale-Te Whau heritage walks and the Auckland literary heritage trail.

Hear it from the experts

Talks and seminars will take place across the city. Wind back time by taking in a talk on the lost wonders of Auckland in the Ellen Melville Hall in Freyberg Square or attend a special viewing of Onehunga’s heritage buildings.

Learn about the history of Tāmaki Makaurau’s ancestral maunga at a panel on the Māori and Pākehā development of Ōhinerau/Mount Hobson in the Remuera library or enjoy a presentation about Devonport’s missing maunga in the Devonport Library.

Learn about Devonport's missing maunga. Credit: Dan Harris

Learn about Devonport's missing maunga. Credit: Dan Harris

Hands-on with history

A variety of workshops give the whole family a chance to dive into local history.

Encourage younger children to take part in a heritage art class at the Pah Homestead, exploring techniques used by children in 1877.

Or get together and meet the wonderful rainforest creatures who call Wai Manawa / Le Roys Bush Reserve their home.

Credit: Edward Bennett

Credit: Edward Bennett

Enjoy the festival from home

Online events delivered via Zoom mean you can explore Auckland’s heritage without leaving home.

Enjoy presentations on researching the history of your home, explore unique heritage collections held in the Auckland Library Archives, and view aerial photographs of the city over time.

Other ideas for a day out at this year's Heritage Festival

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