Auckland Anniversary Day is celebrated on January 29 every year in Auckland, New Zealand. The closest Monday to January 29 is designated as a public holiday and this year it falls on January 29. Northland observes the same celebration but calls it Northland Day. Residents don’t just celebrate the origins of Auckland but the diverse culture of the region by celebrating with warm days, clear skies, carnivals, concerts, and more. The city of Auckland is in a festive spirit, with children and adults alike happily engaging in the various festivities held throughout the city. In six regions, most schools and businesses are closed so that locals may completely enjoy the day. It’s a day filled with joy and excitement for everyone!
History of Auckland Anniversary Day
Originally Auckland Anniversary Day celebrations were restricted to only January 29. With time, the celebrations were extended to a three-day affair by including a long weekend. As a result, the Auckland Anniversary Day celebrations now include the Monday closest to the day.
Many people believe that Auckland was formed on January 29, which is incorrect. That is not the case. Instead, Auckland Anniversary Day commemorates the first sighting of North Island in the Bay of Islands by an explorer (and New Zealand’s first governor) William Hobson. In 1840, Hobson arrived in New Zealand. He promptly got to work, persuading the Maoris to sign a treaty that altered New Zealand’s status, making it a new British colony. The date of the founding of Auckland is September 18, 1840. Governor Hobson designated Auckland as New Zealand’s capital. The year’s celebrations are kicked off with a modest regatta in Waitemata Harbor. That year, the regatta only held three races.
Auckland Anniversary Day was a local celebration for the first ten years. The celebrations became official in 1850 and since then the day has been observed as a public holiday in six regions in New Zealand. The earliest celebrations involved the display of Maori canoes, local fishing boats, whaling boats, and more. With the addition of yachts, sailboats, and seaplane races over the years, the celebrations grew bigger. Today, Auckland Anniversary Day is commemorated with a unique regatta held on one of the commemorative days.
Auckland Anniversary Day timeline
The first Maoris arrive in Auckland.
Auckland becomes the capital of New Zealand.
Wellington becomes the capital city of New Zealand.
Auckland becomes the biggest city in New Zealand.
Auckland Anniversary Day FAQs
What is Auckland also known as?
Auckland is also known as the ‘City of Sails’ because of its many water bodies.
What language is spoken in Auckland?
English is the predominant language in Auckland and most of New Zealand.
Is Auckland safe?
Auckland, and New Zealand, in general, have some of the lowest rates of serious crimes in the world.
Auckland Anniversary Day Activities
Celebrate Auckland Anniversary Day by visiting Auckland. Participate in the carnival, witness the regatta, and soak in all the fun.
Rugby is the national game of New Zealand. Celebrate Auckland Anniversary Day by playing a game of rugby.
Treat yourself to seafood
New Zealanders love their seafood. Celebrate Auckland Anniversary Day by treating yourself to a meal of your favorite seafood.
5 Facts About New Zealand That Will Blow Your Mind
The first country with universal suffrage
Women were granted the right to vote in 1893.
The town with the longest name
The town is called ‘Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanata hu.’
There are more sheep than people
For every person, there are 10 sheep in New Zealand.
You can pay with Hobbit money
It’s a way of honoring the location for “The Lord of the Rings” movies.
The clearest lake in the world
Nelson’s Blue Lake is in New Zealand — it has a visibility of up to 263 feet deep.
Why We Love Auckland Anniversary Day
Important day in New Zealand’s history
Auckland Anniversary Day marks some of the most important events in New Zealand’s history. The day celebrates these important events as it does the discovery of Auckland.
Celebrates all things Kiwi
Auckland Anniversary Day celebrates all things Kiwi — this is the day to truly indulge in the music, arts, food, and history of New Zealand! Join in the fun and celebrate with us!
Closely related to Maori history
When you learn about Auckland Anniversary Day, you are also familiarizing yourself with Maori history. This celebration is a great way to appreciate the native history of New Zealand, maybe your own country too!
Auckland Anniversary Day dates