07 December 2015

Auckland Engineering Heritage Walks

Take a walk around downtown Auckland to experience buildings and structures of engineering importance.

Since Auckland’s establishment in 1840 engineering has been vital to the development of the city and region. Many of the structures on these walks, such as Grafton Bridge and the Sky Tower, were major engineering achievements when built using innovative engineering techniques.

The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) Engineering Heritage Auckland Chapter created two walks which can each be completed in about two and a half hours. Download the booklet for a route map and descriptions of the important sites.

Download Heritage Walks – The Engineering Heritage of Auckland

Walk A – Northern route
This walk begins at Princes Wharf, to the east of the Viaduct Harbour, and loops through the central business district and back along the waterfront. It includes:

  1. Princes Wharf, access from Quay Street
  2. Tepid Baths, 100 Customs Street
  3. Auckland Electric Tramways Building, Corner Wolfe and Fanshawe Streets
  4. Sky Tower, Corner Victoria and Federal Streets
  5. Auckland City Refuse Destructor and early electricity generation, 1 Drake Street
  6. Freemans Bay reclamation, access from Fanshawe Street or Ponsonby Road
  7. Auckland Gasworks, 90 Beaumont Street
  8. Western Reclamation, access from Halsey Street and Jellicoe to Brigham Streets
  9. Wynyard Wharf, access from Brigham or Hamer Streets
  10. Auckland Harbour Bridge, viewed from end of Hamer Street
  11. Viaduct Basin, access from Quay or Fanshawe Streets
  12. Viaduct Lift Bridge, Viaduct Harbour
  13. Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum and Hobson Wharf, West Quay Street.

From here you can link into Walk B.

Walk B – Southern route
This walk begins at the Ferry Building on Quay Street before travelling south, taking in many sites along Queen Street, and then looping around to the east and back to the waterfront. It includes:

  1. Ferry Building, 99 Quay Street
  2. Queens Wharf, Quay Street
  3. Britomart Transport Centre and the Central Post Office, Lower Queen Street
  4. Dilworth Building, 22–32 Queen Street
  5. Dingwall Building, 87–93 Queen Street
  6. New Zealand Guardian Trust Building, 105 Queen Street
  7. Ligar Canal, under Queen Street
  8. Civic Theatre, Corner Queen and Wellesley Streets
  9. Auckland Town Hall, 301–303 Queen Street
  10. Albert Park, Princes Street
  11. Grafton Bridge and Auckland Motorway Network. You can detour to this important bridge by continuing down Wellesley Street East and then south along Symonds Street for several blocks. There is pedestrian access to the bridge east of the Karangahake Road and Symonds Street intersection
  12. Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Domain. From 10a continue east along Park Road to the Auckland Domain
  13. Albert Barracks Wall, Prince Street
  14. University of Auckland Old Arts Building, 22 Princes Street
  15. Old Synagogue (University House), 19a Princes Street
  16. Old Government House, Waterloo Quadrant
  17. Auckland High Court, Waterloo Quadrant
  18. Parnell Railway Bridge, viewed from Parnell Rise
  19. Auckland Railway Station, 26–48 Te Taou Crescent
  20. Point Britomart, Britomart Place.

These walks feature in the Walk Auckland app, downloadable from the App Store or Google Play. Check out IPENZ’s Engineering Tours app for the Auckland Waterfront Tour which includes heritage and modern engineering sites.

Many of the places on the Engineering Heritage Walks are included in the New Zealand Heritage List as historic places.

Heritage recognition

Search Heritage New Zealand's website to find out more


Central Auckland city.