Heritage

Karangahape Road Heritage Tours

FREE GUIDED TOURS with Historian Edward Bennett
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL heritage@kroad.com - Ph: 09 377 5086 / 021 054 0668

Groups Welcome by appointment Free on almost any day


Edward Bennett, K Road Historian, will take you on a fascinating guided walk through the superb heritage district which is Karangahape Road regaling walkers with not only facts but amusing anecdotes about Karangahape Road.


“The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the historic buildings and their previous owners, and all very interesting knowledge too. I hope that these will be held again in the future, I would do this walk again and any new walks that are planned for the area. I will certainly be along to learn more about the area, that's for sure" - SB


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Request a free brochure here


Five Free guided heritage
walks are available



1. The Outside Walk - K Road History and Architecture

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A free two hour tour of Karangahape Road exploring the rich social and architectural history of Auckland's most colourful street. Predating Auckland itself, Karangahape Road is even more curious than you might think or imagine.

The guided tour starts at the K Road entrance to St Kevins Arcade and ends at the Baptist Tabernacle on Queen Street. This walk is weather dependent.




2. Opium and Optimism - The Creation of Myers Park

A free two hour tour of Myers Park and the adjacent Greys Avenue.

This tour explains the creation of Myers Park and the Myers Free Kindergarten. Included is the transformation of Greys Avenue from a street notorious for brothels and opium dens by the Modernist State Housing projects of the 1930s and 1950s.

The guided tour starts at St Kevins Arcade and ends at the Jewish Synagogue on Greys Avenue. This walk is weather dependent and includes stairs.




3. The Greatest Bridge In The World

A two hour free guided tour of Grafton Bridge.

The largest piece of Civil Engineering undertaken in New Zealand at the time when it was completed in 1910 it was the Largest Single Span Bridge in the World.

The walk starts at the Greer Twiss Fountain in the Symonds Street park on the corner of Symonds Street and K Road. This walk is weather dependent and includes uneven ground and stairs.




4. Heroism, Tragedy & Heritage Roses

A free two hour tour of the Symonds Street Cemetery. This includes the graves of many prominent people including Governor Hobson and Baron De Thierry.

The topics of hygiene, disease, birth and death are touched upon, along with funeral art and the Victorian Way of Death.

The guided walk starts at the Bronze Fountain in the Symonds Street Park on the corner of Symonds Street and K Road. This walk is weather dependent and includes uneven ground and stairs.




5. THE INSIDE VIEW - Significant Interiors of K Road

Only available in October

A free two hour tour of interiors of interest in the Karangahape Rd area.

Take this chance to see inside some of the most intriguing buildings along the K Road ridge including: the 1885 Baptist Tabernacle, the 1910 Mercury Theatre, the 1978 Samoan Fale, the 1875 Hopetoun Alpha, 1912 Beresford Street Fire Station, and the 1866 Pitt Street Methodist Church.

Because of the logistics of obtaining access to so many private spaces this tour can only be offered as part of the Auckland Council Heritage Festival in September each year.

Photography is permitted, Food is not. This tour includes stairs.



ILLUSTRATED LECTURES

Mr Bennett is available to give these illustrated lectures for schools and societies.



1. The Great White Way

Electric Lights, Electric Trams, Electric Cinema. An illustrated Lecture on Kroad in it's heyday. Although few now would connect it with glamour and sophistication K Road was the location of an amazing array of well known and often prestigious shops.

During the middle years of the 20th century late night shopping on Karangahape Road was the best free spectacle in town.

See when the great shops and cinemas of the street attracted so many people there had to be a line painted down the centre of the footpaths and extra police to monitor the crowds.




2. The Great Auckland Exhibition Of 1913

See the Electric Fairy Fountain. An Illustrated Lecture on the greatest event held in Auckland.

Far more than just an Exhibition of Trade and Industry, the city was electrified by this event which was a combination of Trade Fair, Easter Show and garden party. £4,000 was spent transforming 59 acres of the Auckland Domain into a picturesque setting for this event.

Thousands of people poured over Grafton Bridge to make their way to this exciting event. On one day in January 1914 40,000 people attended - no mean feat for a city of 60,000.

This popular event even made a profit! That's what paid for the Domain Wintergardens. The amusement park roller coaster, was shipped to Sydney and re-erected for Luna Park!




3. The Greatest Bridge In The World

An illustrated lecture on Grafton Bridge.

Not only was this the largest piece of Civil Engineering undertaken in New Zealand at the time when it was completed in 1910 Grafton Bridge was the Largest Single Span Arch Bridge in the World.




4. The Symonds Street Cemetery

An Illustrated Lecture on Aucklands First Municipal Cemetery

The Symonds Street Cemetery is the location of the graves of many prominent people involved in the history of early Auckland including Governor Hobson and Baron De Thierry.




5. The Victorian Way Of Death

An Illustrated Lecture on the Victorian Death Culture.

This includes several topics; hygiene, disease, birth & death in history, Mourning in the 19th century, the Victorian "Way of Death", and Symbolism in tombstone design and the choice of cemetery plantings.




6. Value For Money - Retailing On K Road

An Illustrated Lecture on shops and window displays.

This talk focuses on Karangahape Road but includes a general history of shop design and window dressing in the 19th and 20th centuries. This covers pre-modern retailing terms and products.




7. The Story of St Kevins - The Centre of Everything.

A free hour long illustrated lecture by Edward Bennett on the history of Saint Kevins Arcade and the 19th century mansion which preceded it.

Built for David Nathan as a country retreat, the house briefly became the centre of government for the whole country when George Grey used it as Government House from 1848 to 1852.

The house survived into the 20th century as one of the last residences on Karangahape Road - it was demolished in the 1920s and the extensive property was redeveloped as a set of buildings including the current shopping arcade building.




FREE GUIDED TOURS with Historian Edward Bennett
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL heritage@kroad.com - Ph: 09 377 5086 / 021 054 0668