Auckland New Zealand beaches virtual tour - History, accommodation and hotel booking, NZ tourism, travel, vacation and holiday information.

Auckland Beaches: The Past

The western coastline was moulded in a volcanic upheaval that began over 20 million years ago. It is the remnant eastern slope of a once-giant volcano that was ground away by the relentless sea.

Iron-oxide blackens the fine sand on the beaches and the remains of lava flows riddle the cliffs, which are eroded in places to form caves and fissures.

People have lived here for a thousand years. The local Maori are the Kawerau a Maki, who cultivated the lowlands and fought unfriendly neighbours from fortified pa sites all along the cliffs above the shoreline.

In the middle of last century European settlers came to fell the giant kauri trees, and shipped them out along a coastal rail line, the remains of which are still visible. They also dug for kauri gum, established farms, vineyards and orchards, and made bricks and pottery.

By the 1920s the lumberjacks had exhausted much of the kauri, but the people who remained founded today's seaside communities.



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