A brief history of Auckland Anniversary Weekend

Monday 17 January 2011, 9:25AM
By Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development


Auckland Anniversary Day is a public holiday established by Governor William Hobson in 1842. It is observed in the northern half (the former Auckland Province) of the North Island of New Zealand from Cape Reinga in the north as far as Gisborne on the East Coast and south of Pirongia and Kawhia on the west coast.
The holiday falls on the Monday closest to 29 January, and also marks the anniversary of the arrival of the newly-appointed Governor Hobson in the Bay of Islands in 1840.
The Auckland Anniversary Regatta, one of the largest single-day regattas in the world, first took place in 1840 and is held on the Monday of Anniversary Weekend. The regatta is the oldest sporting event in New Zealand. In 2008 it attracted 400 entries from a wide range of craft.
As a yachting event it pre-dates the more prestigious America’s Cup by 12 years.
Auckland Anniversary Weekend has drawn crowds of up to 100,000 in recent years.