His­toric Kawau Is­land

Real Estate Outlook - - Location -

Kawau Is­land is a sub-trop­i­cal is­land, 8 km off the coast, about 45 km north of Auck­land. It’s one of the larger is­lands in the Hau­raki Gulf and a favourite haunt of boat­ies who ei­ther sail out for the day or an­chor for a hol­i­day in one of the shel­tered beaches. It is a place where peo­ple can get away from it all and still en­joy a wa­ter taxi to the main­land. As a strate­gic point for a num­ber of Maori tribes, many bat­tles were fought here over ac­cess to the nearby shark fish­ing grounds. Hu­man bones have been found at Bostan­quet Bay on the south­ern coast. The is­land was first set­tled by Euro­peans in 1838 and was mined for cop­per and man­ganese for years. It was pur­chased by the Gov­er­nor of New Zealand, Sir Ge­orge Grey in 1862 – for a mea­gre sum of £3700. He made it his home un­til 1888. Grey’s builders cre­ated what is now known as the Man­sion House in Man­sion House Bay and his team of gar­den­ers cre­ated the ex­otic gar­dens full of Brazil­ian palms, In­dian rhodo­den­drons, de­o­dars, Aus­tralian blue gums, Mediter­ranean olives, ole­an­ders, agaves as well as English oaks, elms and fruit trees, which still ex­ist to­day. The is­land has re­mained largely in private own­er­ship apart from small ar­eas. About 10 per­cent is now a pub­licly owned his­toric re­serve, man­aged by the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion. There are only 413 prop­er­ties on the is­land and own­ers tend to hang on to them for en­joy­ment which ex­plains a re­cent rise of 84 per­cent in cap­i­tal value. Ac­cess to the is­land is by boat or he­li­copter. Fer­ries and wa­ter taxis travel to Kawau Is­land daily from Sand­spit Wharf near Wark­worth, about one and a half hour’s drive north of Auck­land. Many of the private prop­er­ties around the coast have ac­cess to jet­ties. Private boats have a choice of safe an­chor­ages in and close to Man­sion House Bay.

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