From the archive: photos of colonial Auckland and sailing the Waitematā

For Auckland Anniversary Day we have delved into our photographic collection, and made a selection of historic black and white images of the early colonial city, regattas and sailing on the Waitematā Harbour.

Queen Street in 1883

Queen Street, Auckland, 1883.

Valentine, George. (1883) Queen Street, Auckland. Auckland War Memorial Museum album 39 p.32.

This photo is a view of Queen Street looking south from just below the corner of Fort Street. The brick building with the dome on the left is Victoria Arcade, which was demolished in 1978. The building opposite with the clock tower is The New Zealand Insurance Company. Looking up the tramlines in the middle of the street, the view records a busy scene with horses, carts and buggies.

The photo is by the important Scottish photographer George Valentine, who immigrated to New Zealand in the mid 1880s for health reasons. He photographed Nelson, the thermal regions, Waitomo Caves, Auckland and South Pacific islands.

View this photo in our Library Catalogue.

Auckland Harbour in 1859

Auckland Harbour, 1859.

Hamel, Bruno. (1859) Auckland. Auckland War Memorial Museum Album no. 84 p. 2.

This photo is made from two photographs joined together and shows a panoramic view of early colonial Auckland and its harbour, taken by the photographer Bruno Hamel. Hamel worked on Hochstetter’s Geological Survey of the Auckland Province in 1859.

View this photo in our Library Catalogue.

Parnell circa 1860s

Parnell in the 1860s

Kinder, John. (1860s - 1870s) House of the Revd. V. Lush. Parnell. Auckland War Memorial Museum call no. Album 88 p.13 n.1.

John Kinder captured this image of rolling hillsides in Parnell showing the house of Reverend V. Lush, and Remuera/Mt Hobson in the background. Kinder was a priest, headmaster, artist and photographer. He is well known today for his atmospheric landscape depictions in photos and paintings.

View this photo in our Library Catalogue.

Yachting on the Waitematā Harbour in the 1920s

Yachting on Auckland Harbour in the 1920s.

Bourne, George. (1920s) Yachting on Auckland Harbour. Auckland War Memorial Museum. Album 328 p8 n1.

This photo is of two cutters and a motor cabin cruiser on the Waitematā Harbour. The photographer, George Bourne, began working for the Weekly News circa 1902. He travelled throughout New Zealand for the next twenty years in that capacity, and pioneered aerial photography through his friends the Walsh brothers. He is also known for his comic photo montages.

View this photo in our Library Catalogue.

Sailing regatta on the Waitematā Harbour in the 1920s

Regatta Auckland Harbour, 1920s.

Bourne, George. (1920s) Regatta Auckland Harbour. Auckland War Memorial Museum. TR650 B775 p72.

This photo, again by George Bourne, shows a mixed fleet of schooners, ketches and cutters racing on the Waitematā Harbour in the 1920s.

View this photo in our Library Catalogue.

Further reading

Find out more about our Pictorial Collections. We hold one of the nation’s most important collections – a wealth of historic paintings, rare watercolours, photographs and other artworks.

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