Herald Island

Day 147, Monday 15 January 2018.

It’s not very common to ride to an island without the aid of a ferry or flotation device, but I’ve done it three times in the course of this blog. The first time, Casnell Island, I rode across a beach and tidal causeway, the second time, Pukututu Island, via a permanent causeway, and today I went to Herald Island, also over a permanent causeway.

Herald Island is about a kilometre long and 250 metres wide. It’s in the upper Waitematā Harbour, and has been inhabited since at least the 1840s. The causeway was only built in the 1950s. The population in the 2013 census was 720 people.

The island looks at first glance like any other seaside Auckland suburb. There’s a beach – Christmas beach, a couple of wharves, a substantial domain in the middle of the island, and regular scheduled bus services from Auckland Transport. A loop road goes around the circumference.

In its heyday, there were quite a number of services on the island including a cinema (which had to use a generator as there was no electric power there until sometime in the 1950s). The dairy closed a few years ago, but there’s still a community library and museum, and a community hall. I can understand how this island generates a sense of community far beyond that of a more typical suburb.

First picture: Christmas Beach. Next three: Wharves. Last picture: Herald Domain.

Distance travelled: 53 km. Total distance so far: 19,499 km

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