Celebrating the Creation of the Largest NZ City

Auckland got its name on 18 September 1840 during the foundation ceremony held by William Hobson. In 1841, he declared 29th January to be the official Auckland Anniversary Day (source).

Thanks to the power of photography we have much historical evidence of what the city looked like back then and how it has been developing over the years.

26 January 1959, Auckland Regatta, Auckland Harbour. Alexander Turnbull Library

Today being the 180th anniversary of the largest city in NZ, we decided to ask our Auckland-based community members what they love about Auckland.

Enjoy our visual journey as we explore how Auckland is seen through the lens of our talented photographers, whether it’s people, climate, energy, wildlife and nature or a combination of those things that make Auckland one of the best cities to live in and photograph.

We can also look back through our “Imagine Auckland” competition entries from last year and see how the city is viewed from all possible angles!

Parmeet Sahni: “Auckland is best described with one word - Lively. All around us there are a million different stories, and none of them are the same. This city is full of life, and that's what I love about it!”

Sunshine by Parmeet Sahni


Charlotte Johnson: “I love Auckland for its wealth of creative individuals - people willing to come together and create art simply for the sake of making something beautiful. I've never before experienced such shared enthusiasm!”

Pakiri Beach by Charlotte Johnson


Raewyn Smith: “Auckland - two very different coasts, two beautiful harbours and a few hills in between all within a reasonably short drive. Lots of places in between to visit - what more could anyone want?”

Shadows and Light by Raewyn Smith (Photoqueen)

"Twin Oaks Drive Cornwall Park Auckland. Always a beautiful place to visit but extra special when the Daffodils are blooming and newborn lambs abound."



Leanne Silver: "I love Auckland because it is my home. No matter where I travel or temporarily live, both in and out of Aotearoa, it is Tamaki Makaurau that centres me. Other places are also beautiful and inspire me, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Our children and grandchildren (so far) have all been born here so I have a deep sense of connection to our stunning city of beaches, cliffs, walks, and diverse cultures and communities."

Mangere Bridge at Night by Leanne Silver (ArgentPhotography)

"Those of us who live in Auckland probably drive over this unassuming bridge many times without giving it a second thought. At night however it transforms into a beautiful and delicate span."


Marina de Wit: “Auckland has been home for the last 13 years and I love the diversity, the culture, and the many options for artists and nature lovers in this city. I love nothing better than heading out to explore the many art galleries, the museum, and then all the incredible public spaces in and around the city, my favourite spot being the Auckland Botanical Garden and the Domain Wintergarden. We are so fortunate to have some of the most beautiful pest-free island sanctuaries, native forest walks, historic sites, and marine reserves in the Auckland region to explore, for someone like me who loves hanging out in nature, it's just pure bliss.“

Black and White Flamingo by Marina de Wit

"Another Flamingo from the Auckland Zoo. Love how the black and white tells a story."


Susan Blick “Auckland, with its myriad of beaches and bays is a stunning city on a sunny day. I'm particularly fond of the variety of coastal landscapes we have here in Auckland. From the rugged and wild West Coast to the calm and pretty East Coast, there's plenty to like as a photographer, especially someone who loves long exposure seascapes as I do.”

Starfish Sunset by Susan Blick

"Ahhh back in the day when Maori Bay sunsets were the best. Starfish galore, and waves to please any photographer."


Michelle Vollemaere "I have (mostly) lived in Auckland all my life and am lucky enough to live near the Waitemata Harbour which is my favourite part of the city. At any time of day and in any weather, there is always something happening on the water, in the sky, on the beaches: kite surfers, fishers, yacht races, walkers, cyclists, dogs, paddle boarders, swimmers, storms, cruise ships, cargo ships and, on special occasions, fireworks displays - like this one on Anniversary weekend."

Auckland Fireworks by Michelle Vollemaere (MiVo)


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