Waitematā Harbour

Map of New Zealand showing the location of Waitematā Harbour
Waitematā Harbour is the main access by sea to Auckland, New Zealand. For this reason it is often referred to as Auckland Harbour, despite the fact that it is one of two harbours adjoining the city. The harbour forms the northern and eastern coasts of the Auckland isthmus and is crossed by the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It is matched on the southern side of the city by the shallower waters of the Manukau Harbour.

With an area of 70 square miles (180 km2), it connects the city's main port and the Auckland waterfront to the Hauraki Gulf and the Pacific Ocean. It is sheltered from Pacific storms by Auckland's North Shore, Rangitoto Island, and Waiheke Island.

The oldest Māori name of the harbour was Te Whanga-nui o Toi (The Big Bay of Toi), named after Toi, an early Māori explorer.

The name Waitematā means "Te Mata Waters", and refers to Te Mata (Boat Rock), which lies in mid-harbour off Kauri Point. A popular translation of Waitematā is "The Obsidian Waters", referring to obsidian rock (matā). Another popular translation, derived from this, is "The Sparkling Waters", as the harbour waters were said to glint like the volcanic glass obsidian. However, this is incorrect, as grammatically Waitematā could not mean this.

The spelling Waitemata (without a macron) is common in English.

The harbour is an arm of the Hauraki Gulf, extending west for eighteen kilometres from the end of the Rangitoto Channel. Its entrance is between North Head and Bastion Point in the south. The westernmost ends of the harbour extend past Whenuapai in the northwest, and to Te Atatu in the west, as well as forming the estuarial arm known as the Whau River in the southwest.

This page was last edited on 17 May 2018, at 01:05 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waitemat%C4%81_Harbour under CC BY-SA license.

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