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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Auckland

AUCKLAND, a province of New Zealand, consisting of the northern portion of North Island, and bounded for the most part on the S. by the 39th parallel of latitude. In the N.W. it runs out into a peninsula between 200 and 300 miles in length, with a very irregular coast-line, especially on the eastern side. The total area of the province is about 17,000,000 acres, of which nearly 11,275,000 are still in possession of the Maoris, who are, however, con tinually disposing of their claims to the Government. The surface of the province is of a very varied character, pre senting wide and fertile plains, stretches of fern-heath and swamp, mountain ranges and isolated peaks, tracts of richly-wooded jungle, rocky plateaus, and districts of strange volcanic activity. All round the coast there are a large number of natural harbours, and the most of the interior is traversed by navigable streams. The principal river-system is that of the Waikato (or Rushing Water), which rises in the Taupo Lake, in the south of the province, forces its way though an extensive rocky table-land, flows onwards for about 35 miles through a rich but marshy basin, joins its waters with the Waipa (or Peaceful Water), its largest tributary, cuts a passage through the Taupiri range, and after traversing the fertile expanse "of its lower basin, turns abruptly to the W. and falls into the sea about 35 miles S. of the city of Auckland. The value of the Waikato as a commercial highway is greatly lessened by its mouth being encumbered with sandbanks, that prevent the entrance of ships. To the E. of this river lies the valley of the Thames, fertile and well watered by several streams, and still further eastward extends the versant of the Bay of Plenty. The course of settlement has hitherto advanced for the most part along the valleys of the Waikato and the Thames, Cambridge, about 104 miles S. of the city of Auckland, being the frontier station in the former, and Tapapa, a little further to the S. in the latter. Nearly the whole of the N.W. peninsula is occupied by a scattered population, and various flourishing townships are situated along the coast on all sides. In 1873 there were 3842 holdings in the province, and about 225,000 acres had been broken up. Hitherto the cultiva tion of the cereals has not proved sufficiently remunerative, though climate and soil are equally favourable, and the attention of the farmer has principally been turned to the rearing of the various descriptions of live stock, more especially sheep. The natural wealth of the province consists principally in its gold and timber. Coal has been found in several districts, and a few mines have been successfully worked, as Kawakawa (at the Bay of Islands), Drury, and Whangarei; but the most important deposits are comparatively undisturbed, It is believed that iron rnay eventually be found in considerable quantities, and various minerals have been pointed out in the interior by scientific travellers. The chief seats of the gold-diggings are the Coromandel peninsula and the Thames valley. ; The quantity exported in 1871 was valued at 1,888,708. The most important timber tree is the kauri-pine, which is peculiar to Auckland, and does not grow further south than 37 30 . It is of magnificent dimensions, and valuable, not only as the most extensively used building material, but on account of the fossil gum which is found wherever the kauri forest has been. This gum forms one of the chief articles of export, about 14,277 tons being the amount in the three years 1870, 1871, and 1872. There are vari ous other trees of considerable value, such as the ;rimu, the kahikatca, and the totara. The timber trade, both domestic and foreign, is increasing in importance, and shipbuilding is extensively carried on. There are large districts overgrown with the phormium or New Zealand flax, and the right to cut it on the waste lands is granted, by the Government at a low price. In 1873, 1497 tons of the prepared fibre, valued at 27,783, were exported, besides a considerable quantity of manufactured rope. Those great necessities of commerce, roads and railways, are being constructed in various directions. A line is in course of formation from Auckland up the valley of the Waikato, as far as Newcastle, at the confluence of the Waipa, and a survey has been made for about 20 miles further. A road runs from Bowen, on the Bay of Plenty, across the country, through the wonderful lake district, with its boiling fountains, steam geysers, and mud-baths, round by the east coast of Taupo Lake, and over the highlands to Napier, in Hawke s Bay province. The history of Auckland was for long the history of New Zealand, and will be fully treated under that heading. (See NEW ZEALAND.) For a descriptive account of a large part of the province, the reader is referred to Dr Hochstetter s valuable works, especially to his New Zealand, 1863. A very graphic sketch of some of the natural curiosities is furnished by Anthony Trollope in his Australia and New Zealand, vol. ii.

Auckland, the capital of the above province, is finely situated on an isthmus in the N.W. peninsula, on the S. shore of the Waitemata harbour, which is formed by an inlet of the Hauraki Gulf. Lat. 36 51 S., long. 174 50 . On the other side of the isthmus lies the harbour and town of Manukau, which serves as a supplementary port to the city. Auckland was founded in 1840 by Governor Hobson, and became a burgh in 1851. It was till 18G5 the seat of the Government, which is now situated at Welling ton. The city has a fine appearance, especially from the harbour, and is surrounded by a number of flourishing suburban villages, with several of which it is connected by railway. Among the public buildings in the city and neigh bourhood may be mentioned the governor s house, the cathedral, St John s Episcopal college, about 4 miles distant, the Auckland college and grammar school, the Episcopal grammar school, in the suburb of Parnell, the provincial hospital, the provincial lunatic asylum, and the orphanage at Parnell. A wharf, 1690 feet in length, has been built opposite the centre of the city, and affords excellent accommodation for the gradually increasing traffic of the harbour. In 1872, 170 non-colonial vessels, with a tonnage of 54,257 tons, entered the port, besides a large number of coasting ships. There are registered at Auck land 1 67 sailing vessels and 20 steamships, most of them of provincial build. The population, which was 7989 in 1862, had increased by 1871 to 12,937 (with the suburbs to 18,000), and is now estimated at about 21,000.