Auckland, Tamaki makau rau, has been inhabited since around 1100 AD and many of its volcanic cones were once fortified. The capital from 1840-65, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand with over 1 million inhabitants. It is also the largest Polynesian city in the world. Now a bustling modern centre with excellent shops, restaurants, galleries, museums and gardens, it still has many fine 19th and early 20th century buildings.
Alberton is a much-loved historic house, providing visitors with a “step back in time” experience of what it was like for a wealthy family to grow up and live in a New Zealand version of a mid-Victorian country house.
To visit Ewelme Cottage is to step back into the 1880s. Built of kauri wood in 1863-4 for the Rev Vicesimus Lush and his wife Blanche, Ewelme was extended in the 1880s and has remained largely unchanged since this time.
One of New Zealand’s finest timber Carpenter-Gothic houses, Highwic was built in 1862 for Alfred Buckland, one of Auckland’s most substantial land owners. Furnished with antiques, it is a popular functions centre and the hectare of lawns and fine gardens add further delight.
The Melanesian Mission House was opened in 1859 to coincide with the arrival of 38 Melanesians on board the Mission vessel, Southern Cross. The stone building is an early colonial structure that has a long association with education in the Auckland region.
"Must Do" checklist for Auckland
Maungakiekie One Tree Hill
Devonport (take the ferry)
Explore the islands on the Hauraki Gulf