A peace­ful town with his­tory and char­ac­ter

Real Estate Outlook - - Location -

He­lensville is 40km north of Auck­land, on the Kaipara River, near where it emp­ties into the im­mense Kaipara Har­bour. To lo­cal Maori, Ngati Whatua Nga Rima o Kaipara, the He­lensville dis­trict was orig­i­nally known as Te Awaroa – ‘The Val­ley of the Long River’. Pi­o­neer tim­ber miller John McLeod and wife He­len, who trav­elled to New Zealand from Nova Sco­tia, built a sin­gle-storey kauri home in 1862 over­look­ing the mill es­tab­lished by John and his brother Isaac. This home was called He­len’s Villa – a name adopted by the town. Un­til the turn of the cen­tury, count­less kauri logs were milled and shipped from the town’s busy wharf. The town con­tin­ued to thrive with the rise of dairy farm­ing prior to World War One and the vis­i­tor po­ten­tial of the nat­u­ral hot springs at Parakai, 5km north­west of He­lensville. The Kaipara Dairy Com­pany, es­tab­lished in 1911, soon be­came the largest em­ployer un­til it closed in the mid-80s. The Parakai ther­mal springs still at­tract thou­sands of vis­i­tors and the area is boosted by wine pro­duc­tion in nearby Kumeu – 20km south. He­lensville fea­tures scores of old build­ings, es­pe­cially kauri cot­tages and vil­las. The pi­o­neer mu­seum, court­house war me­mo­rial hall and his­toric rail­way sta­tion pro­vide a fas­ci­nat­ing win­dow on the town’s past. The town’s pop­u­la­tion in 2006 was 2532.

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