Footprints in Time: A walk through Auckland's evolving Midtown
If you want to see the best of Auckland's culture and history, join us on the Midtown Walk. This tour takes you through the heart of the city, where you'll see how it has changed over the years and how it has preserved its heritage.
You'll start your walk on Princes St, the site of the first government and military buildings in 1841, when Auckland was New Zealand's capital. Follow the path of Shortland Crescent, the original commercial street that linked the wharf to the market. You'll explore the hidden laneways that were once filled with workers and workshops, such as High, O'Connell and Chancery Streets.
You'll learn how a fire in 1858 destroyed most of the wooden buildings in High Street and led to the rise of Queen St as the new main street. You'll see how Queen St became a bustling hub of retail and commercial activity, with impressive buildings that showcased the city's prosperity.
You'll see how High and O'Connell Streets and their connecting lanes changed over time, from residential and workshop beginnings to publishing and printing centres in the 1860s. You'll visit Vulcan Lane, where journalists and printers frequented the Queens Ferry and Occidental Hotels. You'll find out why it was also known as Vultures Lane, a notorious spot for vice and crime. You'll see how the Magistrates Court, built in 1911, changed the character of the area by attracting law firms. You'll see the public buildings around Freyberg Place, which once housed the library, police station and council offices.
You'll enjoy the vibrant and diverse atmosphere of today's area, where offices and flats sit alongside shops, restaurants and cafes. You'll admire the rich and varied architectural styles that reflect different periods and influences, from Victorian to modern. You'll notice how little new development has taken place since the depression of the 1930s, with only ten new buildings constructed since 1939.
Don't miss this opportunity to experience the charm and history of Auckland's city centre.
This tour is based on/includes data from Auckland Council.
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