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Located at the mouth of Otago Harbour and known to locals as ‘‘The Spit'', Aramoana (or ‘‘pathway to the sea'') is home to the most extensive and least modified saltmarsh in Otago.
Birds commonly found in the Aramoana saltmarsh include the migratory eastern bar-tailed godwit, South Island pied oystercatcher, pied stilt, spur-winged plover, banded dotterel, white-faced heron and various species of ducks and gulls.
The 1200m-long mole at Aramoana was built in the 1880s to increase the tidal flow through the harbour entrance, reducing the need for dredging in that area.
Originally founded by the Otago Harbour Board as a pilot station for navigation at the head of the harbour, the area grew into a small farming village and in the 1950s became popular as a beach resort.
In 1974 the Save Aramoana Campaign was formed to oppose the building of an aluminium smelter, a project eventually abandoned in the early 1980s due to declining aluminium prices.
Port Chalmers, or Koputai ("the place of high tides''), was a landing place for Maori before Europeans surveyed the area in 1844 and later named it Port Chalmers (after Free Church leader Thomas Chalmers).
It developed as a shipping port in the 1850s, bolstered by the gold rushes of the 1860s, and a period of assisted immigration in the 1870s ensured Port Chalmers continued to be a busy port.
In February 1882, the refrigerated ship Dunedin departed with New Zealand's first cargo of frozen meat; almost a century later, in 1976, a container terminal opened at Port Chalmers.
West Harbour was known to Maori as Kaitakatamariki.
In the early 1870s contractors building the Dunedin-Port Chalmers railway established a quarry at Logan Point and bought settler Thomas Corbett De Lacy's property to create the town of Ravensbourne. More land was subdivided, forming the townships of Rothesay and Maia.
The owners of a brewery that began operating in about 1859, the Burkes, later gave their name to another pocket of settlement.
The borough of West Harbour amalgamated with the city of Dunedin in 1963.
Maori called it Te Roto Pateke; Europeans named it North East Harbour, and it was a small, isolated, rural community in the mid-1800s.
Later it was called Macandrew Bay, after James Macandrew, the Provincial Superintendent of Otago, who lived there until his death in 1887.
In 1871 George Gray Russell bought land to establish a 30-acre estate he called Glenfalloch, which has been owned by the Otago Peninsula Trust since 1968.
Bush once ran to the water's edge at Whakaohorahi, or Broad Bay as it was later known. When land was opened up in the 1850s, John Styles and his family were the first Europeans to settle there; they were soon joined by other families, including the Gwyns, Bacons and Clearwaters.
It was a popular holiday resort early last century, attracting ferry-loads of people from Dunedin and the rise of motorised transport meant it remained a popular holiday destination.
Called Hereweka by local Maori, the area was renamed Portobello in 1840, commemorating the birthplace of Scottish settler William Christie.
A schoolhouse was built in 1857 and William Latham established a store in 1871. A town of -acre sections was laid out and 46 sections were snapped up when offered for sale in 1872.
The Maori name for the eastern harbour, Otakou, ultimately came to describe the province while also denoting the kaik and site of Otakou Marae.
The Weller brothers established a shore-based whaling station at Te Umu Kuri (Wellers Rock) in 1831 and it grew into a cluster of cottages, stores and gardens.
Known to Maori as Pukekura, once an important fortified pa, Taiaroa Head was used by Europeans as a base for a signalman, pilot and boat crew.
A lighthouse began operating there in 1865 and in the 1880s gun batteries were established at the headland.
- Source: Toitu Otago Settlers Museum/Otago Daily Times files