Legacy of early industry
The old tavern, the early settlers’ hall, the old kauri gum store and the legacy of early industry by the water’s edge all point to an area rich in history at Riverhead, between Coatesville and Kumeu.
An old jetty from the Rangitopuni Creek’s edge up to the tavern, built in 1876, was used by patrons who arrived by scow in the early days, and the setting of the garden bar overlooking the water is still a lovely spot. Riverhead is at one of the most inland reaches of the Auckland Harbour, and in the days before roads it was an important site for a timber mill, a flour mill and a paper mill.
The timber mill closed in 1855 and logs from the surrounding forests were floated downriver. From 1856 until 1886 a flour mill then operated from this site, with a state-of-the-art biscuit factory added in 1866.
The flour mill was eventually moved to Fort St in Auckland. The flour mill became a paper mill in 1900 and in 1909 it was upgraded to process Scandinavian wood and pulp using the most sophisticated machinery in the county. Some of the early cottages built for workers still exist in Riverhead. There are a few shops and businesses in the area that are surrounded by lifestyle blocks and orchards.