Occidental Hotel

6-8 Vulcan Lane, Auckland

  • Occidental Hotel, Auckland. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Steve Parker. Taken By: Steve Parker – Spark-Photo. Date: 25/07/2013.
  • Occidental Hotel, Auckland. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Steve Parker . Taken By: Steve Parker – Spark-Photo. Date: 25/07/2013.
  • Occidental Hotel, Auckland. Image courtesy of Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 435-B5-157A Date: 1960-1979.
    Copyright: Auckland Libraries . Taken By: Unknown.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 624 Date Entered 2nd July 1987


City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Pt Allot 3 of Sec 4 City of Auckland,CT 97/200

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

With the nearby Queens Ferry, the Occidental is one of the oldest hotels remaining in Auckland. It was originally run by an ex sailor Edward Perkins, and he housed an extraordinary museum of 'absorbing interesting specimens of the pictorial art, defunct wonders and comical conceits'. The museum was especially noted for its 1000 portraits of theatrical celebrities. The wonders of the museum and hotel were written up in great detail by Richmond Thatcher, newspaper man and theatrical agent, in the 1870s. He described Perkins as the 'Prince of Publicans'.

Perkins was a local identity and his establishment was very popular with merchants, traders, speculators, artists, litterateurs, sportsmen and even 'the loafer'. In recent times the hotel has been frequented more by journalists, business and professional people. The Occidental is of very great significance for its many historical associations over a period of 117 years.


The Occidental is a significant example of a Victorian corner pub. Its ornate Italianate style was used for hotels and other commercial premises in the second half of the 19th century. The building contributes greatly to the character of Vulcan Lane which is dependent on the scale and variety of its buildings.


The Occidental is perhaps the key building in Vulcan Lane, Auckland's most famous and aesthetically pleasing inner city lane. A popular pedestrian mall, it is synonymous with central city Auckland, Together with the Leon Brook building and the Queens Ferry Hotel built in 1865, it is part of a group of very commercial buildings of an age and style now very rare in Auckland.


Ornate plasterwork on the façade, which is now rare in the central city area.


Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The building is a three storeyed Victorian Italianate corner pub with highly ornamental facades. Entrance was originally through a corner doorway facing Queen Street. The first two storeys have round arched windows with Corinthian colonettes, with the top storey having segmental arched windows set between Corinthian pilasters. There is an ornamental plaster frieze and parapet above. A shield over the corner section of the parapet displays the name of the establishment. The façade to the narrow lane which runs off Vulcan Lane is also heavily ornamental.


Over the years the hotel has been modified and renovated several times. Renovations are mentioned in the 'Southern Cross' in 1876, probably referring to the billiard room which was opened as an annex to the main hotel at about this time. The exterior, except for the corner doorway is largely intact.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1870 -

1936 -
Alterations to the interior - extension to the public bar, new stairs from ground to first floors.

1960 -
Modernisation of the public bar, false ceiling to the lounge bar.

Construction Details

Plastered brick construction

Information Sources

Southern Cross

Southern Cross

Thatcher, 1870s

Richmond Thatcher, Cataloquial, Coloquial and Truthful Description of the Perkins Hotel and Occidental Museum, 1870s.

Weekly News

Weekly News

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.