ISLAND BAY Wellington - 1873
the following from NZETC was written about 1928
... Island Bay is approached from Adelaide Road, via. Berhampore, by tram, and Queens Drive by motor bus, etc. The origin of the name is due to the island immediately south of the Bay, called Tapu-te-ranga. Mr. George Hunter, son of the first Mayor of Wellington, became proprietor of the Island Bay estate in the early days.
It was surveyed by Mr. J. N. COLERIDGE, and Lots 1 to 582 were offered for sale by Mr. J. H. BETHUNE in 1879.
These are shown on a sale plan numbered 3/33, lodged in the Harbour Board office, and a photo-litho of the city and suburbs by DEVERIL in 1880, kindly lent to the writer by Mr. Frank Grady.
The streets are named after the rivers of the United Kingdom. The writer was given a map of 1888 by Mr. F. M. NORRIS. This map, drawn and published by Mr. F. H. TRONSON, of Lambton Quay, shows the Island Bay Racecourse, approached from the north by the Parade and Derwent Street, with Clyde Street as its east boundary, and Ribble Street giving access from the west. The racecourse extended from Medway Street to Humber Street, and parts of Thames and Mersey Streets were included in the area, which is not marked on the map; neither is the open drain that coursed through it.
The Island Bay Hermit, whose smoke be-grimed cave was situated a short distance from the Bay, towards Houghton Bay, was an attraction to visitors and a source of revenue to the hotel and refreshment rooms.
Picnic parties at this time thought nothing of tramping to Island Bay, and the writer can recall a visit to the Hermit in 1886. He was reclining on some sacks at the far end of the cave, and did not appear anxious or pleased to see strangers, who invariably left coins of the realm on a huge boulder near a smouldering fire that rendered the atmosphere as unpleasant as the Hermit's company, and which caused them to make an early departure.
Evidently the Hermit was not averse to being photographed, as a reproduction of one is on page 27 of the “Evening Post” Christmas number of 1903, where he is seen standing at the entrance to his cave. Island Bay, in 1895, is described in the “New Zealand Encyclopedia,” vol. 1 p. 799, thus:— “Island Bay is a settlement 4 miles south of Wellington, and forms a ward of the Borough of Melrose… . There are no postal arrangements, but a telephone bureau has been established at the Island Bay Hotel. The place is a summer holiday resort for city residents, and the houses are mostly unoccupied in the winter.” Mr. R. KEENE's house on the hill is an old land mark, but the sand dunes, the camping places of picnic parties, are now levelled and built on. The latest attraction is the Children's Playground, which was opened by Councillor B. G. H. BURN on the 18th December, 1927. A description, with illustrations, appears in “The Dominion,” 14/12/27, and the “Post” on the 19th.