A must-visit for lovers of history, architecture and gardens, this rambling Gothic mansion is the legacy of early colonial Alfred Buckland. A businessman, farmer and father of 21 children, Buckland made a lasting contribution to provincial Auckland during the 19th century.
Situated on a rise that originally overlooked the expanding township of Newmarket, now Auckland’s premier shopping district, – Highwic was built in 1862 as Buckland’s family home. An English immigrant who thrived in this land of new opportunities, Buckland’s wealth and social status is evident in the property’s grand design.
His enthusiasm for the New World is reflected in Highwic’s American Carpenter Gothic architecture, hallmarked by light, airy rooms, although later extensions lend other interesting period features. The mansion’s numerous rooms include a kitchen with a coal range – the heart of the house, even today – as well as the ballroom and boy's dormitory all of which prove popular with modern-day visitors.
Stables and a billiard house number amongst various outbuildings, set amidst extensive Victorian-themed grounds, high hedges, mature specimen trees, a fern house, lawn tennis and croquet courts, as well as a meandering 'Lovers Walk'.
A self-guided tour of Highwic not only offers a captivating trip back in time to the days when the house bustled with Buckland family life, but also insight into the rapidly changing landscape of colonial New Zealand. After a brief introduction from your Highwic hosts, wander around the property at your leisure. Children will love the 'House Hunt' discovery tour and the Whimsical Garden.
Try to time your visit for the regular occasions when the coal range is fired up, and check the Events page for other special occasions throughout the year. Highwic is available as an atmospheric venue for private and business functions.
Highwic is the first stop on the Waikato War Driving tour taking in sites from this episode (1863–64) of the New Zealand land wars. Buckland & Sons profited from the wars by supplying the Imperial troops with horses and other general supplies.
Highwic Christmas Shop 2018
Visit the Highwic Christmas Shop from Saturday 20 October for everyone who wants to enjoy a bit of early Christmas shopping.
There is also an amazing range of retro toys, games and other goodies, all on sale throughout October, November and December until Saturday 15 December.
Free entry to the shop - normal entry fees apply to explore the house.
During some days in December the Auckland properties of Alberton and Highwic will be closed for public viewing due to a major New Zealand film production taking place. Highwic will be closed between 16 - 23 December 2018 for this.
Step back in time to colonial New Zealand through one of its original ‘grand designs’.
- 40 Gillies Avenue
- Enter from Mortimer Pass
- Wednesday - Sunday
- 10.30am - 4.30pm
- Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Accompanied children: Free.
Unaccompanied children: $3.50
Onsite parking available. Use your Entertainment Book voucher here. Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.