Heritage Combines with Great Amenities - a special place!
The iconic Chelsea Sugar Works factory in Birkenhead gleams out of the green, not far from where Maritime Point will stand. The areas coastal location, as well as its proximity to the city, without actually being in the city, makes it highly sought after. Birkenhead retains a friendly village atmosphere with lovely beaches, child-friendly park and playgrounds and beautiful walks through the ancient Kauri forest that is Le Roys Bush - which marks the area out as a nature playground.
It’s also sophisticated with interesting boutique shopping and the cafes and restaurants are among the best in Auckland, including the famous Eight.Two which has received a Metro top 50 award five years running.
There are many reasons why you’ll want to live in this exclusive neighbourhood. There are great schools and childcare options. It’s handy to bus routes and the Harbour Bridge is moments away. There’s a boat launching ramp down by the city ferry and many great amenities at Birkenhead Village where you never have to fight for a park.
Homes with a History
Long before the Harbour Bridge and the Chelsea Sugar Works, the area was a sleepy little village - isolated from the city and only accessible by ferry. It began to change in the 1880s, when New Zealand’s first sugar factory was constructed. Still operational today, the Chelsea Sugar Works built homes for its workers and brought a hum of industry to the area. Back then it was also valued as a fruit growing area and its fertility saw and milled to make way for housing and industry, leaving behind kauri gum, a resource highly prized by settlers. Families visited on the ferry from the city and camps were set up to dig for the gum, left over from the forests. The damage caused to the roads and farms by the digging meant the Council had to intervene to protect the area.
In the late 19th century, the area became a popular place for successful professionals, who used the ferry to commute to Auckland, a tradition that endures today. The commute around Birkenhead was tough, as gravel roads were only introduced in the 1920’s. However, the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1959 changed the commute dramatically, bringing forward the infrastructure of the area and shutting down the ferry for two decades until it was resumed in 1980, to ease congestion on the motorway.