A heritage park in the central city area, Symonds Street cemetery is rich with tales of early Auckland.
This app will bring to life the stories of the development of the cemetery in the growing city; the graves of many remarkable people buried here; the ecology of the park; and the history of the Grafton Street bridges. A big part of the story of the cemetery is the impact of the motorway construction: you'll find out which parts of the cemetery were destroyed, and which parts survived.
There are four walking trails through the cemetery, with informative Trail Guides to show you the most interesting aspects.
Download the Trail Guides from the internet on the Auckland Council website. They can be printed out on A4 paper.
Or you can access the trail guides in this app (see links, below) with your smartphone.
There are also two videos outlining the Hobson Trail and the Rose Walk.
The Friends of the Symonds Street Cemetery do much volunteer work to maintain the heritage values of this special site. To get involved, contact them on their Facebook page.
How to get there
Symonds Street Cemetery occupies both sides of Symonds Street. There were initially five different cemeteries laid out here: for Jewish, Presbyterian and Catholic burials (on the west of Symonds Street), and Anglican and Wesleyan (or general) sections (to the east).
Symonds Street has always been a major route in and out of Auckland city, and to this day remains a major bus route. Search the Auckland Transport website to see how busses from your area may access the site – they probably will go right down Symonds Street.
The Grafton Gully cycle way skirts the southern and eastern boundaries of the cemetery, with an exit where you can access the park at Upper Queen Street.
Apart from the four walking trails for exploring the cemetery, there is a public walkway through the Presbyterian section, linking Symonds Street with Upper Queen Street.
How to use this app
This app is structured around 'Groups' – different areas of interest – each of which has many individual stories, photos, and website links.
The groups are:
Explore Symonds Street cemetery
Maori and this site
History of the cemetery site
Grave of interesting people
Monuments and symbols
The Built Environment
Ecology of the cemetery
Looking for a family grave? – with hints on doing genealogical research
Get involved – how to contact the Friends Group
At any time on the STQRY app, you can press the map symbol in the top right bar of the grouping home screen. This will lead you to a 'Explore' map, on which all the locations from the grouping will be shown with a map pin marker that you can click on to open the page.
You can share the stories with friends via Facebook or Twitter.
If you have any stories about ancestors buried at the cemetery, we'd love to hear from you. Contact the Friends Group, and they could arrange to get your family's story up on this app.