To celebrate the arrival of summer after the weird year we’ve had, Re: has dug through library archives to find a collection of photographs that capture summer in New Zealand over 100 years. 

From beach bible classes in 1910 to jumping off the old Maoribank bridge in 1989, it’s clear our love of the water is something that’s here to stay.

The Rongotea Methodist Bible Class picnic held at Tangimoana. On the right hand side are Jack Darling and Emily Thompson (Hill).


Source: Manawatū Heritage. Public Photograph Collection Rng 32. 2007N_Rng32_RTL_0871. 

Photographer: Unknown 

Children bathing in Rotorua.

Date uncertain: 1910-1919

Source: Tudehope Collection, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1720-10805. 

Photographer: Tudehope, Percy Robert, 1883-1964. 

Rakauwahi in summer.

Date uncertain: 1900-1919

Source: C.P. Dawes Collection. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1572-0787. 

Photographer: Charles Peet Dawes


Joys of Summer, Hokio Beach.

26 December 1918

Source: Gift of G. L. Adkin family estate, 1964. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (A.006414)

Photographer: Leslie Adkin


McKenzie and Summers children.

Date uncertain: 1928-1930

Source: Wairarapa Archive Summers family : digital images 11-79/39

Photographer: Unknown


Young Māori man shaving with a cut-throat razor in hot pool.

Date uncertain: 1930-1939

Source: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 471-9760

Photographer: Troughton-Clark, C


Three young Māori women standing in front of a tree from which bunches of corn cobs are hanging.

Date uncertain: 1930-1939

Source: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 471-9746 

Photographer: Troughton-Clark, C


Pat and Jan playing in the garden, Palmerston North.


Source: Manawatū Heritage. 2011P_IMCA-DigitalMaster_005531. IMCA Digital Archive 2011

Photographer: Unknown


Summer in Hokianga (Waimamaku).


Source: Purchased 1997 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (O.006124)

Photographer: Eric Lee-Johnson. 

Swimming at the Manawatū River.

February 1958

Source: Manawatū Heritage. 2011P_IMCA-DigitalMaster_005542. IMCA Digital Archive 2011

Photographer: Unknown


Lake Rotoiti outlet, Tasman Region.


Source: Alexander Turnbull Library WA-53807

Photographer: Whites Aviation

Children at the Te Awe Awe Statue, The Square.


Source: Manawatū Heritage. 2017N_2014-46_024344. Public Photograph Collection 2014-46

Photographer: John MacKay

Sitting on the deck, Tutukaka.

January 1969

Source: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 895-A89073, National Publicity Studios

Photographer: National Publicity Studios; Riethmaier, Gregor

Copyright: Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga.


Māori and Pākehā boys at school swimming pool, Auckland.

December 1970

Source: Archives New Zealand. AAQT 6539 W3537 108/A95463

Photographer: G Riethmaier


Young people hanging from suspension cables at the site of the old Maoribank Bridge. The bridge had collapsed and then been demolished in late 1988. 

Jumping from the bridge into Te Awakairangi/Hutt river had been a popular summer pastime for locals for several decades past. 

This family snapshot, taken in the summer immediately following the loss of the bridge, shows the tradition persisted until the suspension cables were finally removed.


Source: Upper Hutt City Library Heritage Collections

Photographer: Airdrie McEwen


Handstands on Tāwharanui Beach.

January 2020

Photographer: Zoe Madden-Smith

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