1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Auckland
AUCKLAND, a city and seaport on the east coast of North Island, New Zealand, in Eden county; capital of the province of its name, and the seat of a bishop. Pop. (1906) 37,736; including suburbs, 82,101. It is situated at the mouth of an arm of Hauraki Gulf, and is only 6 m. distant from the head of Manukau harbour on the western coast. The situation is extremely beautiful. The Hauraki Gulf, a great square inlet opening northward, is studded with islands of considerable elevation; Rangitoto, which protects the harbour, is a volcanic cone reaching nearly 1000 ft. The isthmus on which the town stands (which position has caused it to be likened to Corinth) can be crossed without surmounting any great elevation, and offers a feasible canal route. A number of small extinct volcanoes, however, appear in all directions. To the west the Titirangi hills exceed 1400 ft. Some of the volcanic soil is barren, but much of the district is clothed in luxuriant vegetation.
Auckland harbour, one of the best in New Zealand, is approachable by the largest vessels at the lowest tide. There are two graving docks. Queen Street, the principal thoroughfare, leads inland from the main dock, and contains the majority of the public buildings. There is a small government house, standing in beautiful grounds, adjoining Albert Park, with plantations of oaks and pines. The government offices, art gallery and exchange, with St Mary’s cathedral (Anglican), a building in a combination of native timbers, St Paul’s and St Patrick’s cathedral (Roman Catholic), are noteworthy buildings. The art gallery and free library contain excellent pictures, and valuable books and MSS. presented by Sir G. Grey. The museum contains one of the best existing collections of Maori art. There are an opera-house and an academy of music. The Auckland University College and the grammar school are the principal educational establishments. The parks are the Domain, with a botanical garden, the Albert Park near the harbour, with a bronze statue of Queen Victoria, the extensive grounds at One Tree Hill on the outskirts, and Victoria Park on Freeman’s Bay. The principal thoroughfares are served by electric tramway. Of the suburbs, Newton, Parnell and Newmarket are in reality outlying parts of the town itself. Devonport, Birkenhead and Northcote are beautifully situated on the north shore of the inlet, and are served by steam-ferries. Several other residential suburbs lie among the hills on the mainland, such as Mount Albert, Mount Eden and Epsom. Onehunga is a small port on Manukau harbour, served by rail. In Parnell is the former residence of Bishop Selwyn, who, arriving in the colony in 1842, assisted to draw up the constitution of the Anglican church. There are many associations with his name in the neighbourhood. The prospect over the town and its environs from Mount Eden is justly famous. The hill is terraced with former native fortifications.
Auckland has industries of sugar-refining, ship-building and paper-, rope- and brick-making, and timber is worked. The town was founded as capital of the colony in 1840 by Governor Hobson. There is communication both south and north by rail, and regular steamers serve the ports of the colony, the principal Pacific Islands, Australia, &c. From 1853 to 1876 Auckland was the seat of the provincial government, and until 1865 that of the central government, which was then transferred to Wellington. The first session of the general assembly took place here in 1854. Auckland is under municipal government.