At first glance, this 1975 map looks uncannily like a beginnerís guide to knot tying. In fact, itís a guide to motorway off-ramps, designed to aid bamboozled drivers on their way north of Auckland.
The opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1959 had eased access to the North Shore. Before then, motorists had to catch the crowded car-ferry or drive overland west of the city through Riverhead. But with the new motorway came a growing number of confusing interchanges, like this one for Northcote and Birkenhead.
Northcote and Birkenhead were once fruit-growing regions, known for their fields of strawberries. Until the 1950s, there were hardly any sealed roads and half of the houses had no flushing toilet. In the following decades, the strawberry farms were pulled up to make way for suburban housing, and the motorway with its looping interchanges stretched ever further north.