News and Views

Auckland - the mystery behind its name

Posted by Website Admin on March 31, 2017

Auckland - the mystery behind its name

Have you ever wondered the obvious - “How did Auckland get its name?”    

The answer harks back to a favour granted by one friend to another. Auckland was named by New Zealand’s first Governor, William Hobson, out of gratitude to his esteemed friend George Eden the Lord of Auckland (pictured), who had revived Hobson’s flagging naval career.  

At the tender age of 10, Hobson was enlisted in the Royal Navy and rose to the rank of lieutenant by the age of 22, coinciding with the end of the George Eden, Earl of AucklandNapoleonic Wars in 1815.  Hobson was then posted to the West Indies where he reached the rank of Captain, but was overlooked for subsequent promotions despite his ambition. Until Lord Auckland, the Governor General of India at the time, intervened and gave Hobson command of the HMS Rattlesnake and a new mission to scope out New Zealand. The mission’s goal was no walk in the park. Hobson was instructed to gauge the Maori position on a formal sovereignty agreement between the Crown and the country’s first people.

It was this mission and Hobson’s subsequent report which set him up for his next command.  To deliver a Treaty to New Zealand on behalf of Queen Victoria and gain the wholesale agreement of Maori Chiefs to English governance. With the goal achieved in February 1840, Hobson then formally established both the colony and the new government. 

But Hobson  never forgot his lucky break and who scratched his back. Following successful negotiations with the local tribe, Ngati Whatua, Waitamata Harbour was declared  the hub of the new capital so a name was hastily required  for the settlement.  Hobson not only named the city after his patron in September 1840 but bestowed Lord Auckland’s family name, Eden, to the soaring cone that graces the city’s skyline, Maungawhau-Mt Eden.  And of course, at a later date,  Eden Park, home of the mighty All Blacks was another famous landmark named after the career diplomat George Eden, Lord of Auckland.

Lord Auckland died in 1849, following what was described as a fit. He never set foot in his namesake Auckland city or married so the earldom became extinct on his death. The title of Auckland however remains an enduring link to New Zealand’s colonial past and a pact made between two intrepid mates.  

Two Legs Good, Four Wheels Bad

Posted by Website Admin on March 22, 2017

Two Legs Good, Four Wheels Bad

Here’s a number for you – 44,000.

That’s how many cars were added to Auckland’s roads last year.

Based on this depressing trend (with its upward trajectory) it is little wonder Auckland has been labelled as one of the most congested cities in the world – up there with Hong Kong, Bangkok (been there, done that and nearly missed my flight ) and most of Australia’s big cities.

So, what does this mean in terms of time spent doing not much and not getting very far, in your car?  According to Tom Tom’s Traffic Index report 2016, drivers in New Zealand's biggest city now spend an extra 45 minutes each day stuck in rush hour traffic, the equivalent to 172 hours, or four working weeks in a year. Despair.

And the thing is ‘rush hour’ now extends way beyond the traditional 7-9 am , 5-7 pm . It would be fair to say Auckland’s main arterial routes are packed pretty much all day.

This traffic problem raises a bigger economic issue for Auckland . We are a population of 1.37 residents and we welcome in excess of 2 million international visitors per year ( that’s not including domestic travellers ). And that number is fast growing.

People want to come and see our fantastic city – great sights, great food, a great arts and sporting scene, great harbours but getting around and eyeing these things is problematic because visitors can’t move that far, that fast. Will the congestion start to impact our visitor numbers with people thinking Auckland is in the too hard basket?

Hopefully not because we at Auckly Walky know how vibrant and fabulous our city is and we want to show it off. That’s why we think two legs good, four wheels bad (not quite the famous George Orwell quote – but you get my drift ?)

In two hours on foot (with a short bus ride to mix things up – and is quick thanks to the bus lane) you will see a solid chunk of inner Auckland – parks, side alley’s, the art gallery, infamous K’Rd,  Suffragette Square, new shopping precincts and the hub of our arts scene .   

While you are in Auckland your time is precious and the last thing to be doing is sitting in a car, stuck in traffic. Instead come on walk with us - book a tour here 

High and Dry in Auckland ? Never.

Posted by Website Admin on March 17, 2017

High and dry in Auckland? Never!

Welcome to Auckland – often mistaken as New Zealand’s capital city (that honour belongs to Wellington) and affectionally known as the City of Sails.

With a population of 1.4 million it's estimated nearly half of all Aucklanders own a recreational vessel – defined as a yacht or kayak, motorised run- about or one of those multi million dollar floating gin palaces otherwise known as superyachts. Out of interest,one of the largest superyacht berthing facilities in the Pacific region is Silo Marina in downtown Auckland. Currently in berth are Serenity J, Dragonfly, Sarissa, Dardanella, Mystere, Evviva, Legacy, Pursuit, and M5 if you want to nip down and have a look.

It’s not hard to see why Aucklanders are so fond of spending time on the water– Auckland boasts a very moderate climate (no snow in this city!) plus a magnificent coast line and body of water to play in.

There are actually two harbours surrounding Auckland .Waitematā Harbour is the main access by sea into Auckland and for this reason it is often referred to as Auckland Harbour. The other is the slightly shallower, south based Manukau Harbour .

Waitemata Harbour has long been the main anchorage and port area for the Auckland area, even before European settlers arrived. It’s well sheltered by the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island plus it hasn’t any dangerous shoals or major sand bars.

The name Waitemata, in Maori, means 'obsidian glass' - spectacular waters are said to sparkle like the dark volcanic glass that early settlers found in the area.

But before you head out on the water – get your land legs sorted. Come walk with Aucky Walky Tours and discover a plethora of onshore sights – check out our Tours page.  

We promise you the most informative and fun two hour tiki tour around central Auckland.