Geological Summary

Auckland QMAP map

The geology of Auckland varies markedly across the city although Mesozoic greywacke basement underlies throughout, exposed in the Hunua Ranges and some Hauraki Gulf islands. Overlying Miocene and older sedimentary rock is exposed in the central isthmus and North Shore, with Miocene andesite-dominated volcanic rocks in the Waitakere Ranges. Quaternary basalt volcanoes and deposits feature in southern Auckland, and younger volcanoes and deposits are prevalent in central Auckland. Low-lying areas, particularly South Auckland, are covered in Quaternary sediments.

Maps and Information

The Auckland urban and urban fringe areas are part of a current geological mapping initiative. The first area is South Auckland. Maps and datasets from this initiative will start being released in late 2018. Earlier published maps include:

2001/2018: QMAP 1:250 000 geological map

For wider and more generalised geological context of the Auckland area, a 1:250 000 geological map was printed with accompanying explanatory text. Digital GIS and image versions of the map are available on DVD. The digital version has since been updated in a national GIS dataset at that nominal scale. The underlying GIS datasets have rich feature attributes.

  • Edbrooke, S.E. (compiler) 2001. Geology of the Auckland area. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences 1:250 000 geological map 3. Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited. 1 sheet + 74 p.
  • Heron, D.W. (custodian) 2018. Geological Map of New Zealand 1:250 000. GNS Science geological map 1 (2nd edition). Lower Hutt, New Zealand. GNS Science.

A geological map image can be downloaded or interrogated through the geological map application. For GIS users, the QMAP geological feature layers can be downloaded from GNS Science’s Web Map/Feature Service.

Auckland Volcano
1992: Geology of the Auckland Urban Area

The central city parts of Auckland are covered by a 1:50000 geological map. The map was subsequently digitised into a GIS dataset in the late 1990s although the accompanying feature attributes are comparatively sparse compared with the later QMAP regional geological mapping.

1976-1989: 1:63 360 geological maps

These are printed maps with limited accompanying text and there are no digital equivalents.

1989: Geology of the northern Auckland area (out of print)
  • Schofield, J.C. 1989. Geological map of New Zealand 1:50,000 Sheets Q10 & R10 Helensville and Whangaparaoa. Lower Hutt: New Zealand Geological Survey. Geological map of New Zealand 1:50,000 Q10 & R10. 2 folded maps + 1 booklet.
1983: Geology of western Auckland area 
  • Hayward, B.W. 1983. Geological map of New Zealand 1:50,000 Sheet Q11 Waitakere. Lower Hutt: New Zealand Geological Survey. Geological map of New Zealand 1:50,000 Q11. 1 folded map + 1 booklet.
1976: Geology of the eastern Auckland area
  • Schofield, J.C. 1976. Geological map of New Zealand 1:63,360 Sheet N48 Mangatawhiri. 1st ed. Wellington: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Geological map of New Zealand 1:63,360 N48. 1 folded map + booklet.

For GIS users, the layer NZL-Urban Auckland geological units based on an unpublished c. 2012 GNS Science compilation of the 1:50 000 and other unpublished maps can be downloaded from GNS Science’s Web Map Service.