Karangahape Road, or more commonly referred to as K Road is one of the most well known streets in Auckland. Formerly a red light district, and considered a both seedy and quite dangerous place, it is today full of cool art galleries and little shops and eateries. Isn't that always the case? Red light districts are the places to be!
The area is also teeming with great street art (check out a previous article on that here), but much of the old architecture still stands. Did you know that you can go on a guided tour of the areas heritage buildings and history?
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. There are five tours to choose from, all free, but bookings are essential. Contact details to Edward below.
THE FIVE FREE GUIDED HERITAGE WALKS
1. The Outside Walk - K Road History and Architecture
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 October each year.
Photography is permitted, Food is not. This tour includes stairs.
KARANGAHAPE ROAD HERITAGE TOURS
FREE GUIDED TOURS with Historian Edward Bennett
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL firstname.lastname@example.org - Ph: 09 377 5086 / 021 054 0668
Groups Welcome by appointment
Free on almost any day
Learn more here