About Auckland’s North Shore
Transformed over the last few decades, Albany has become one of Auckland City’s most forward-thinking growth areas. It is located to the north of the Waitemata Harbour, 15 kilometres north-west of the Auckland city centre.
The area offers metro and some rural lifestyles, with all types of shopping catered for at the ever-expanding Mega-Centre, an excellent university campus (Massey University), many cafes and restaurants and superb sports facilities (a pony club, tennis centre, rugby and soccer clubs, hockey fields, etc). Much of the residential area is now well-established with a mix of modern homes, town houses, apartments, lower-priced homes and some luxurious lifestyle properties. The Auckland Council maintains six boat ramps in the area.
Transport: The area has an excellent Park and Ride option for bus travel to central city Auckland every 15 minutes, seven days, all day and into the evening, with feeder services to and from other parts of the Shore.
Industries include: education, commercial, light industrial, engineering, retail, food processing, tourism, hospitality, technology, farming and entertainment.
Education: There are several well-respected primary schools, a new middle-school (years 7 to 10 inclusive – Albany Junior High), and the recently completed Albany Senior High. There are also three highly-regarded private schools – Kristin, Westminster Christian School and Pinehurst.
Albany contains the northern campus of Massey University. It offers 70 majors plus specialised programmes including mathematics and information sciences, fundamental sciences, food technology, engineering, design, jazz, social sciences, business and education.
Regional Authority: The Albany ward is one of the thirteen administrative divisions of the new Auckland City formed in 2010.
Once a quiet rural village, Greenhithe is still well out of the way, yet easily accessible to the remainder of Auckland City by a new motorway. It still retains a charming village feel, much loved by residents and visitors alike. Development here has been approached with sensitivity to the traditional green areas and local atmosphere, so it has not become crowded. This picturesque harbour-side suburb has parks, sports grounds and harbour-side walks. Wainoni Park features lovely walking tracks.
Primarily a suburb of new homes and businesses, Pinehill is nestled between the Northern Motorway to the West, East Coast Road to the East, and the light industrial area of Rosedale to the South. Families are choosing to live in Pinehill for its schools, sport and convenience. Pinehill Primary School is popular with both parents and children alike and Rangitoto College, the largest secondary school in New Zealand, is recognised locally and internationally for its academic excellence, sporting achievements, performing arts and the quality of its young people. The highly respected Massey University campus is just a short walk or drive away.
The quiet, leafy streets of Birkenhead lie on an arm of land tucked between the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Northcote. With the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1959, the area was quickly subdivided and attracted many new residents. Named after a suburb of Liverpool noted for its elegant, expensive houses and sea views, Birkenhead is filled with traditional houses and restored villas, combined with more recent modern homes and apartments. Many homes enjoy panoramic views of Auckland City and the harbour. Birkenhead is the site of the iconic Chelsea Sugar Refinery.
Today Birkenhead has a bustling town centre as well as many smaller shopping areas and services for residents. There are numerous reserves and outdoor recreation areas, including walks to Little Shoal Bay and Birkenhead Park. The area is also known for its quality local restaurants, cafes and small specialist shops and boutiques.
Transport: Birkenhead offers easy and enjoyable access to central Auckland City by ferry from the local wharf, with a feeder bus operating at peak times. There is good access to the Motorway, which is just north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Regular bus services also run in the area, serving other parts of the North Shore and central Auckland.
Industries include: Chelsea Sugar Refinery, retail, construction, engineering, tourism, food processing, hospitality, technology and entertainment.
Education: Birkenhead School and Verran Primary School are co-educational contributing primary (years 1-6) schools. Birkenhead School was founded in 1919 as an extension of Northcote School. The area is also home to one of the country’s best-known secondary schools, Birkenhead College, and a choice of primary schools.
Regional Authority: Birkenhead is part of the North Shore ward, one of the thirteen administrative divisions of the new Auckland City formed in 2010.
Also known as Highbury, Birkenhead Central is a peaceful and established suburb with many charming old homes and numerous reserves, as well as excellent local restaurants, cafes and small specialist shops. At its centre is a busy commercial area with a wide range of shopping and services for residents.
Beach Haven is a family-orientated suburb, which includes Mariners Cove, Island Bay and Coastal Beach Haven. It is known as one of the more affordable coastal locations on the North Shore. Within a short distance there is access to the upper harbour, bush walks, several swimming coves and wharves for fishing. Some of the coastal homes allow boats to be moored with direct access. Recreational activities also include tennis, lawn bowls and squash as well as large playing fields, for soccer, rugby league and cricket.
Birkdale is roughly known as the area from Verran’s Corner through to Mariners Cove on the south-western side, over to Eskdale Road on the north-eastern side. It sits alongside central Birkenhead and is a quietly evolving suburb offering a desirable choice of living options on a par with more expensive areas but at a distinctly more affordable level. Properties range from the traditional quarter-acre section in friendly established cul-de-sacs, through to quality architectural homes tucked away in gorgeous bush or coastal settings. Much of Birkdale’s housing was from planned suburban growth expanding the neighbourhood in the 1950s and 1960s, so there is a high proportion of traditionally constructed weatherboard or brick family homes.
Birkenhead Point is a tranquil heritage area with some of Auckland’s original Victorian and Edwardian homes. One of the first maritime suburbs of Auckland, Birkenhead Point is surrounded by the Waitemata Harbour.
Chatswood is an exclusive residential estate, developed in the 1980s to provide high quality housing in a secure and tranquil environment. It is located just west of the Birkenhead Shopping Centre (Highbury), and overlooks the Chelsea Sugar Refinery. Many of the properties have superb city and harbour views. There are many recreational activities nearby, with Kauri Point Centennial Park providing wonderful bush walks that lead down to the harbour edge, and some great fishing spots. There is also good swimming at Kendalls Beach.
Occupying the hills and valleys behind Northcote and Birkenhead, and enjoying fine views from some parts, Hillcrest offers great access to almost everywhere on the North Shore. It is also surprisingly close to central Auckland, with the Auckland Harbour Bridge just minutes away by car (off-peak). There are several good primary schools and secondary schools close to the area, as well as a number of scenic reserves, the popular Takapuna Golf Course nearby, and the extensive North Harbour Netball Centre.
There is plenty of variety for house-hunters in this sprawling piece of the Shore. Starting just north of the Harbour Bridge, the Northcote district includes Highbury, Chatswood and Northcote Central, with the northern motorway as its eastern boundary. Homes here include large and luxurious, quaint and colonial, investment properties and affordable housing for first-time buyers. Many parts of the area have views of the harbour and/or North Shore peninsula, and there are good leisure, shopping, health and sporting facilities (including North Harbour’s large netball complex) within very easy reach. Convenient transport links residents to other parts of the North Shore, as well as to Auckland’s Central Business District. Excellent educational facilities include Northcote College, Auckland University of Technology’s (AUT’s) Akoranga campus and a number of primary schools.
Just a short trip across the Harbour Bridge is charming Northcote Point, featuring good parks, restaurants and cafes, and even a renowned local cinema. Northcote Point has a community creche on its doorstep. Two good primary schools, intermediate and college are within walking distance for many. Today Northcote Point is very much a ‘village’ community and one of the most interesting heritage areas. Homes range from grand villas to modern architecturally designed homes, many with stunning sea views of the Auckland Harbour and also Auckland city, Little Shoal Bay, and the Upper Harbour.
East Coast Bays
East Coast Bays is the collective name for a series of small suburbs which stretch up the very scenic coastline from Castor Bay in the south to Long Bay and Okura in the north.
This is a large and diverse area with a population to match. Typical residents include retired couples enjoying proximity to beaches, excellent shopping, dining and medical facilities; young families seeking an address in sought-after school zones; immigrants (many from South Africa, Asia and England); and students from Massey University in Albany.
It is an area that offers an excellent mix and a relaxed lifestyle. The coastal location and sandy beaches are popular for recreation, with an excellent walkway linking each bay, starting at Long Bay and snaking down the coast to Takapuna.
Population: East Coast Bays has a relatively high proportion of recent migrants from overseas, particularly from South Africa, South-east Asia and the UK.
Transport: Bus services operate regularly, with increased frequency at peak times.
Industries include: education, commercial, light industrial, engineering, retail, food processing, tourism, hospitality, technology and entertainment.
Education: The area’s state schools include two excellent colleges (Rangitoto and Long Bay), two intermediate schools (Northcross and Murrays Bay) and several primary schools. Three highly regarded private schools – Kristin, Westminster Christian School and Pinehurst, are also in the area.
Regional Authority: The East Coast Bays are governed by one of the thirteen administrative divisions of the new Auckland City formed in 2010.
This affluent suburb is at the southern end of the East Coast Bays suburb. It has some truly stunning homes along the cliff top beside Beach Road. Braemar and Castor Bay Roads provide for some elevated properties with great views out over the Gulf. The beach at Castor Bay is sandy, sheltered and safe for little kids to swim at both high and low tide. It has plenty of grassy space with shade trees for picnics and a kids’ playground.
Campbells Bay is a small neighbourhood beach, with properties right on the sands and the surrounding elevation of the bay. It’s a perfect family and recreational beach with a small playground for children, changing room/toilet block, and launching for small boats and jet skis. Campbells Bay is also home to Pupuke golf course, which has some tricky holes through the undulating greens and fairways. Centennial Park has bush walks, picnic areas and a tranquil tennis club.
Families love this seaside suburb, with its distinctive village-like character and fantastic beach. Mairangi Bay has a real mixture of housing, from renovated 1950s houses to contemporary designer homes, to apartments and stunning cliff-top properties with amazing views. There is access to some excellent local primary and intermediate schools and Rangitoto College is the area’s most sought-after high school. There are also good public transport links to many of Auckland’s private schools further afield. Mairangi Bay is still within reasonable commuting distance of Auckland City.
Residents at Murrays Bay enjoy access to lifestyle activities such as sailing, walking, swimming, tennis and bowls. It is a suburb well suited to families with a focus on the beach and the excellent Murrays Bay Primary and Intermediate Schools. Families live here for the distinct community feel and relaxed lifestyle on offer.
Browns Bay is also an ideal suburb for family living. The beachfront comes to life in the summer months with family entertainment and beachfront eateries. The bustling shopping area provides a complete range of shopping and services. It’s a picturesque suburb with tree-lined streets, the long beach with swaying palm trees, and a newly completed boardwalk.
Torbay has a village atmosphere, proximity to the beautiful Bays of the East Coast, and access to fantastic North Shore facilities providing for a close-knit family orientated community. There is a diverse and interesting mix of multi-million dollar beach properties and solid family homes with good sections. There are highly regarded schools nearby, such as Glamorgan, Long Bay and Torbay primary schools, Northcross Intermediate, and Long Bay College. Long Bay Regional Park with its hectares of rolling grassland, sandy beaches and Marine Recreation Centre is a wonderful local reserve.
Another of the East Coast Bay’s sandy beaches, Rothesay Bay is located between Murrays Bay and Browns Bay. A lovely safe beach for the kids, it also has interesting rocks to explore.
Spread over the hills and valleys of the central North Shore, Glenfield has matured from 70s suburbia to a much more stimulating area. Shopping is excellent, from the huge stores of Wairau Park and the Westfield Shopping Mall, to the boutiques of Glenfield Mall. Leisure facilities include the North Shore Events Centre and the Glenfield Leisure Centre which is popular for its gym, heated pools, saunas and spas and offers conference rooms. The area has easy access to the East Coast beaches, Takapuna, Albany, and the Northern Motorway.
In the past Glenfield was perceived as a working-class suburb. However, it is now home to an increasing number of young families. There is a wide selection of property to suit almost any budget from first-home buyers through to more substantial and larger homes that can be found in the Hillcrest and Marlborough areas. Glenfield has a strong sense of community and is a great place to live and raise a family.
There are a variety of local facilities, including the Westfield shopping mall with approximately 114 shops including department stores, two supermarkets and a food court with a wide selection of choice. A cinema complex, bowling alley, cafes and furniture shops can be found at Wairau Park.
Transport: There are many bus routes which service the local community and offer quick access to the city or other areas of the North Shore.
Industries include: engineering, light industrial, retail, food processing, tourism, hospitality, technology and entertainment.
Education: There are seven primary schools, plus Glenfield Intermediate and Glenfield College. Several top private schools, including Kristin, Westminster Christian School and Pinehurst, are nearby. Parts of the area are also zoned for Westlake Girls’ and Westlake Boys’ High Schools. The closest tertiary centre is Massey University, which is situated in Albany, a few kilometres to the north.
Regional Authority: Glenfield is part of the North Shore ward, one of the thirteen administrative divisions of the new Auckland City formed in 2010.
Located on the eastern side of the Northern Motorway, Forrest Hill is a centrally located suburb surrounded by Milford, Castor Bay, Campbells Bay, Mairangi Bay and Sunnynook, with easy access to transport, beaches, parks, shopping and some of the areas most sought-after schools. This is an established area with many homes built in the 1960s and 1970s, many having undergone renovation to provide larger family homes.
A very family-friendly suburb with houses in a more affordable category than neighbouring Takapuna and Milford, therefore appealing to first-home buyers and young families. This is a choice location that is close to the amenities and services of Milford and Takapuna, with easy access to the East Coast Bays beaches.
Occupying the hills and valleys behind Northcote and Birkenhead, and enjoying fine views from some parts, Hillcrest offers great access to almost everywhere on the North Shore. It is also surprisingly close to central Auckland, with the Auckland Harbour Bridge just minutes away by car (off-peak). There are several good primary schools and secondary schools close to the area, as well as a number of scenic reserves, the popular Takapuna Golf Course nearby, and the extensive North Harbour Netball Centre. Excellent shopping surrounds Hillcrest, with malls at Highbury, Northcote Central and Glenfield, the big Wairau Road stores just down the road, and Takapuna’s Shore City complex no more than five minutes’ drive.
The pretty coves of the inner Waitemata Harbour, and the beautiful beaches of the East Coast Bays, lie within a ten-minute car trip.
The area has a great mix of new and old homes, with many well-established gardens and mature trees. Hillcrest has good bus services to Auckland and other parts of the Shore, as well as the option of using Birkenhead’s nearby ferry service (and its feeder bus) to Auckland’s Central Business District.
Though beautiful older homes can be found in both areas, many of the best of the North Shore’s modern homes are located in these adjacent beachfront suburbs, both of which also boast excellent leisure facilities, cafes and restaurants.
The area has a distinctly coastal flavour and is a highly desirable residential area. The beautiful 1.2km beach at Takapuna is a popular place to swim, sail and walk, while Milford is known for its relaxed lifestyle and village atmosphere. Within walking distance of one another, the two suburbs lay shared claim to many outstanding attractions, including beautiful beaches, Lake Pupuke, a marina, two fine theatres and many of the North Shore’s smartest shops.
Both areas have great shopping, ranging from Takapuna’s large format Westfield shopping mall and the recently upgraded Milford Mall. Both have boutique high street shopping, extensive services and supermarkets. Takapuna also has Sunday markets, combining shopping and entertainment.
Transport: Takapuna and Milford have excellent public transport, and are an easy trip from central Auckland. Bus stations at Smales Farm and Akoranga Drive serve all areas and the Northern Expressway provides express links south to Auckland’s CBD and to destinations further north.
Industries include: commercial, retail, food processing, tourism, hospitality, education, technology and entertainment.
Education: Auckland’s most highly respected secondary schools – Takapuna Grammar School, Westlake Boys’, Westlake Girls’, Carmel (girls) and Rosmini (boys) Colleges – are in the area, as well as a choice of primary and intermediate schools.
Regional Authority: Takapuna and Milford are part of the North Shore ward, one of the thirteen administrative divisions of the new Auckland City formed in 2010.
Bayswater lies on a peninsula which juts into the Waitemata Harbour, giving this peaceful suburb a coastal influence and many homes excellent sea and city views. The name was chosen to evoke a sense of style as well as being a straight description of its seaside location, a name it lives up to with charming character homes and more recent contemporary architecture.
Located between Takapuna and Belmont, Hauraki enjoys great access to the commercial and recreational facilities of the North Shore. It is close to the Harbour Bridge and CBD, as well as Devonport. Recreational pastimes centre on boating and beaches, including Cheltenham, Narrow Neck and Takapuna beach.