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Sat 2 Oct – Sun 17 Oct 2021

The popular annual Auckland Heritage Festival offers a varied programme of events in Ponsonby that celebrate our local history. Explore Ponsonby’s treasured heritage buildings and places with popular historians and tour guides who’ll transport you back in time with amazing stories of our past–and it’s free.

View all Ponsonby-based Auckland Heritage Festival tours and talks below.

Mapping Ponsonby

The New Zealand Cartographic Society welcomes Aucklanders to this talk about how the landscape of Ponsonby and surrounding suburbs has changed over time, and the efforts made to retain and preserve its historic features and taonga.

The presentation uses archival resources such as plans and aerial photographs to paint a picture of Ponsonby’s historic topography.

Venue
Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Date
Monday 4 Oct, 6.30-7:30pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled

Tragedy at Ponsonby – The Postmaster Murder

Sensation at Ponsonby! Postmaster shot dead! Robbery the motive!
It has been 100 years since Ponsonby’s postmaster Augustus Braithwaite was murdered. Not only did the crime cause a sensation in Auckland and beyond, but history was made with cutting-edge technology used to convict the criminal.

Local historian André Taber takes you on this twilight walk to rediscover the events of that fateful evening. Learn about the ill-fated Augustus, his assailant, and the Ponsonby residents, both ordinary and official, who helped to solve the case. The walk starts and finishes at the old Ponsonby Post Office). It covers some steep uphill sections.
Due to the murder theme, the walk may not be suitable for young children.

Tour Starting Point
Meet outside the old Ponsonby Post Office, 1–3 St Marys Road, Ponsonby
Tour Date
Sunday 3 October, 6:30 – 8:00pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled

Guided Heritage Walk of Ponsonby, with Edward Bennett

Auckland historian Edward Bennett leads a walk through the streets of Ponsonby, explaining the architecture and social history of Three Lamps and St Marys Bay. Hear stories of the local people, and the secrets, scandals and curiosities associated with the area once known as Dedwood. Even long-term residents may be surprised by the hidden gems on their doorstep.

Walk Starting Point
Meet outside the old Ponsonby Post Office, 1–3 St Marys Road, Ponsonby
Walk Dates
Saturday 2 October: 10am – 12pm
Saturday 9 October:  10am – 12pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential, please select a date below to book your place.
Sat 2 Oct - CancelledSat 9 Oct - Cancelled

Organ Crawl, with Helen Lukman-Fox

Get set for an “organ crawl” around Three Lamps, Ponsonby. Admire the oldest organ in Australasia (1779 Avery) at Ponsonby Baptist Church. Explore an interesting 1958 Croft (rebuilt in 1977 as a “neo baroque”) at All Saints Anglican church – Bruce Thompson chamber organ will also be there for an organ duet, or duel.

Use your feet to try to balance yourself on the Dance Organ built by Robin Gummer, and have fun building a one-octave wooden pipe organ.

This is a hands-on and feet-on experience, with no prior musical training required. Bring your sense of humour and curiosity. Suitable for all ages.
Arrive early for refreshments – coffee, tea, and snacks are provided from 1.30pm.

Crawl Date:
Sat 16 Oct, 2pm-4pm

Crawl Starting Point:
Meet at Ponsonby Baptist Church, 43 Jervois Rd, Ponsonby

Book Your Place Online Now. Bookings are essential.

Event Cancelled

Auckland’s Transport Tangle with Topography, with Dr Brian McDonnell

Throughout Auckland’s history and development, transport (whether by road, rail, sea or air) has had to face the unique challenges of its complex topography: its rolling landscape, its volcanic cones, the interpenetration of land and sea.

How have people responded to these challenges? Dr Brian McDonnell’s illustrated talk refreshes our understanding of past transport projects, present transport problems and future transport plans.

Venue
Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Date
Wednesday 13 Oct, 6-7.30pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled

Ponsonby – Lo’u Alofa Muamua – My First Love, with Sofi Pua

Ponsonby presents ‘lo’u alofa muamua – my first love’. Join Samoan historian Sofi Pua for a stroll along Ponsonby Road and learn about the area, Pasifika style!

This lively and fun guided walk will honour the Pacific urban history of Ponsonby with Pacific music and siva dancing – yes, you’ll be dancing in the street!

The walk starts from Three Lamps and covers the former site of the Gluepot, the Polynesian Panthers headquarter, the Samoan church, the old police station and the many different side streets that housed great pacific sportspeople, academics and writers.

“To dance is to be liberated, so on this walk you will celebrate our Pacific people by dancing in the traditional Samoan way [Siva dancing].”

This is a fun walk for all ages and fitness levels.

Walk Starting Point
Meet outside ASB Ponsonby branch 309 Ponsonby Road, Three Lamps, Ponsonby
Walk Date
Saturday 16 Oct, 11am-1pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled

Ponsonby History, with Edward Bennett

Originally named Dedwood, Ponsonby is now one of Auckland’s most well-known and fashionable neighbourhoods. Learn how a farming community was transformed into a middle-class suburb, then became a working-class area and melting pot of cultures. Hear about some of the notable (and sometimes notorious) characters who lived there. This illustrated lecture by historian Edward Bennett gives an overview of the architectural, political and social history of the area.

Venue
Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Dates
Tue 5 Oct, 1-2pm & Tue 12 Oct, 6-7pm

Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential, please select a date below to book your place.
5 Oct - Cancelled12 Oct - Cancelled

The TIP Sculptures, with John Radford

Western Park in Ponsonby is one of Auckland’s oldest parks and was called Tuna-Mau by the local Māori.

Walking past the park on Ponsonby Road, you can’t miss the three sculptures (Vic, E & F, and Doo) that are collectively named TIP. Created by New Zealand artist John Radford, TIP has become part of the cultural landscape in Ponsonby and is highly valued by the community.

Hear John Radford talk about how he first conceived the idea and then built this local taonga. Discover what Western Park looked like before the sculptures were installed and learn about TIP’s construction and history.

Meetup Point
Meet at TIP sculptures, Western Park, Ponsonby (Cnr of Ponsonby Rd & Hepburn St)
Date
Sunday 10 Oct, 11am-12pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled

Victorian House Design, with Edward Bennett

Discover how 19th century people communicated their status, wealth and taste through the exterior look of their homes. Find out how the choices of materials and details on a house were intended to reveal (and conceal) certain things about the inhabitants.

Join this fascinating illustrated talk by architectural designer and historian Edward Bennett about domestic architecture in the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with a particular emphasis on the inner-city villa of the Liberal period (1890-1914).

Venue
Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Date
Thursday  7 Oct, 6-7pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled

Inside the Victorian Villa, with Edward Bennett

The interior of a Victorian house was more than just a cluttered collection of objects. It was a reflection of the inhabitants’ social and cultural aspirations, full of symbolism and hidden agendas.

In this astonishing lecture, architectural historian Edward Bennett reveals just what the home décor choices of Victorian and Edwardian people were meant to convey to the visitor during a period when the terms “Conspicuous Consumption” and “Kitsch” were invented.

Venue
Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Date
Thursday 7 Oct, 7.30-8.30pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled

Victorian Gardens with Edward Bennett

Discover how cultural aspirations were reflected in Victorian times by the type of plants selected, the way pleasure gardens were laid out and how the people used them.

Remarkable changes in attitudes during the late colonial period resulted in a revolution in the design of New Zealand gardens and parks. This lavishly illustrated photo lecture by designer and historian Edward Bennett shows how people tried to recreate these ideas in the gardens around their suburban homes.

Venue
Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Date
Monday 4 Oct, 1-2pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled

20th-Century Gardens with Edward Bennett

Over the last century, New Zealand garden designers were torn between the desire to be part of international Modernism and the opportunity to create a national and indigenous approach to design.

From Edwardian pergolas to painted gnomes, and circular clotheslines to infinity pools, hear about the changing trends in garden design and landscaping in the 20th century in this illustrated photo lecture by designer and historian Edward Bennett.

Venue
Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Date
Mon 4 Oct, 2:30-3:30pm
Book Your Place Online Now
Bookings are essential.
Event Cancelled
Brought to you by Auckland Council
Topography, Taonga and Trailblazers of Tāmaki Makaurau