Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Seventeen people turned up on a changeable showery afternoon typical of August to have a look at some of the historical highlights of New Zealandís most well-visited national park, the Central Auckland National Park, or CBD for short. Our walk was based on Walk 3 Downtown described in the book Walking Historic Auckland by David Palmer.

We met in the main foyer of the Britomart railway station, site of the old CPO and original railway station, at 2pm, before heading out along Quay St to see several old buildings, including the Northern Steamship Building and the old wharf police station. We could see the memorial to the Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace protest ship sunk by French agents in 1985 with one loss of life.
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We crossed over to Beach Rd, site of the former shoreline of Point Britomart, and returned to Queen St along Customs St, passing the Rose and Crown hotel, which has been a drinking clinic since 1868.
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Features of interest on our walk up Queen St included Blacketts Building, NZ Guardian Trust and Vulcan Building, all built in the 19th century.
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A side trip brought us to the old Bluestone Store on Durham Lane, built in 1861 from bluestone basalt. Nearby was a highrise that is said to have the smallest apartments in the Auckland CBD.
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We stood on the site where many a murderer was hanged in Aucklandís earliest days; today pedestrians wait for the signal to cross the intersection of Queen and Victoria Sts.
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Further up Queen St was Strand Arcade, perhaps the finest atrium ever built in this country.
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Our walk finished about 3:30pm at Borders near Aotea Square after passing Smith and Caughey Building and the Civic theatre. We were very pleased to dig deep into our pockets for coffee and cakes to finish an interesting walk of discovery.
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