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Wellsford

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Wellsford is a town on the Northland Peninsula in the northern North Island of New Zealand. It is the northernmost major settlement in the Auckland Region, and is 77 kilometres northwest of the Auckland CBD.Wellsford is close to a narrowing of the Northland Peninsula caused by an arm of the Kaipara Harbour on the west coast extending inland for 20 kilometres from the body of the harbour, stretching to within 15 kilometres of the east (Pacific Ocean) coast.The town has a population of only 1,671 but is a major regional centre, being located at the junction of State Highways 1 and 16. Its location almost exactly halfway between Auckland and the northern city of Whangarei also makes it a more notable regional centre.EtymologyAccording to local tradition, the name Wellsford is an acronym based on the surnames of the first families who settled in the region. The names were Watson, Edger, Lester, Levet, Simpson, Foster, Oldfield, Ramsbottom and Dibble.HistoryIn the early 1860s, English settlers arrived, establishing themselves at Port Albert, on the Kaipara Coast about 10 kilometres west of Wellsford. These settlers called themselves the Albertlanders, after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort. They were a "breakaway group from the Anglican Church looking for a new world" However, not many of the settlers arrived at Port Albert and the ones who did found it difficult to make a living. The majority of the Albertlanders moved inland, to more fertile areas in the region. As a result, Wellsford was founded.
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