Topic: Hamilton Street, Tauranga

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Hamilton Street in the early years.

Hamilton Street runs parallel with and between Harington and Wharf Streets in Tauranga City. Jinty Rorke, writing in the Bay of Plenty Times in 1994, noted that behind the original beach, before the reclamation of land familiar to us today:

the land rose steeply, with ancient sea cliffs at the corner of Wharf and Willow Streets and where Hamilton Street meets Cameron Road (BOPT 15 August 1994).

As to the name itself, there are several contenders.

There were several officers by the name of Hamilton, after whom Hamilton Street may have been named. The most likely is Captain J.F.C. Hamilton, commander of the Esk, who was killed during the assault on Gate Pa. The city of Hamilton is named after him. There was, however, a Captain R.F. Hamilton serving with the 43rd Monmouth regiment, who was also killed during the battle, and a Colonel Hamilton, who is referred to in 1867 leading troops during the engagement at Whakamarama (BOPT 29 August, 1994).

The 68th Durham Light Infantry, stationed in Tauranga during the Maori Wars, camped and established a Redoubt on the area bounded today by Durham Street, Hamilton Street, Cameron Road and Harington Street. Bellamy (1982), however, notes that Hamilton Street was not mentioned by name until the 1870s (p. 52).

Eiffel Tower Brewery c 1912 99-1149

The Eifell Tower Brewery on the south east corner of Durham and Hamilton Streets, Tauranga, c 1912

Other notable events

  1. Early on, Hamilton Street’s was considerably lower than it is today. In 1877, fill from the levelled Durham Redoubt was used to raise the level of Hamilton Street as well as other adjoining roads to the Redoubt site (2008 Heritage Study commissioned by the City Council).
  2. The first Annual Meeting of the Tauranga Brass Band was held in the Mechanic’s Institute Library building in Hamilton Street on 15th March, 1881 and was well attended (Bellamy, 1982 p. 88).

  3. The first Fire Bridade Alarm was a Triangle erected on scaffolding beside Hamilton Street in 1874 (Bellamy, 1982 p. 94).

  4. The Eifell Tower Brewery, sited on the south east corner of Durham and Hamilton Streets, was erected in 1912. It was later a guest house and a Youth Hostel. 

  5. In 1968 and 69 the Tauranga Historical Society persuaded the City Council o make a fire-proof building available for a temporary museum until a permanent building was established. The council provided “The Anchor House” at the Durham Street/Hamilton Street corner and the museum was formally opened on 20th December, 1969 (Bellamy, 1982 p. 110).
  6. Mr Chales Haua, a local blacksmith, set up upon his retirement a model operating blacksmith shop at the Hamilton Street Museum in the 1970s.
  7. The Tauranga Museum moved from Hamilton Street to the Historic Village in November 1975 (Bellamy, 1982 p. 110).



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Hamilton Street, Tauranga

Year:c.1870 and 2015

Latitude and Longitude coordinates: -37.6823841,176.16724840000006

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