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 drawing room 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.

  • Summer house

    Highwic’s 4-Star Garden of Significance is a wonderland for all ages.  Photo: Heritage New Zealand

  • Highwic

    Highwic’s Carpenter Gothic style and expansive gardens make it a must-see. Photo: Heritage New Zealand

  • Children's landing

    Having good old-fashioned fun on the children's landing. Image: Heritage New Zealand

  • Highwic Billiards House with icicles

    The historic Billiard Room is an atmospheric venue for special events.  Image: Heritage New Zealand

  • Garden near Billiard House

    Highwic’s nationally significant gardens are spectacular all year round.  Photo: Heritage New Zealand

  • Art Deco Day Out at Highwic

    Swing back to a time when fashion was hot and jazz was cool at Highwic’s annual Art Deco Day Out. Image: Heritage New Zealand

  • Enjoying ice blocks

    Cooling off after a busy day.  Image: Heritage New Zealand

Come and visit!

Find out about our opening hours and much more here.

NZ Gardens Trust
Step back in time to colonial New Zealand through one of its original ‘grand designs’.