Mount Albert History Walk

Take in the history of Mount Albert, a classic Auckland suburb with its own unique heritage.

Mount Albert History Walk

Auckland, Auckland 0622, New Zealand

Created By: Auckland Council

Tour Information

From the maunga of Owairaka, named after an independent wahine, through leaders of the struggle for women’s suffrage, and up to today’s diverse community, Mount Albert provides a broad range of historical nourishment to match the eating opportunities on New North Road.

In the years after the arrival of Europeans to the area, Mount Albert was mostly a patch of farmland. The community grew with the construction of the New North Road in the 1860s and then the railway line in 1880. These transport links transformed it into an attractive and thriving suburb. However, despite the ease of access to the metropolis of Auckland, Mount Albert has retained its special character as a heartland of nonconformist religion, progressive politics, and sedate social mores: residents prevented alcohol from being sold here until 1999.

This walk will show you to grand colonial mansions, Second World War Home Guard command posts, the remains of a former railway line, and views across Auckland, as well as introducing you to the people who made Mount Albert what it is today.

Terrain: This walk mostly uses public roads and footpaths. The path from Toroa Terrace to the top of Owairaka is steep and can get muddy, but there is an alternative route.

Starting Point: Mount Albert Community and Leisure Centre, 773 New North Road

Parking: Carpark at the Leisure Centre and on-street parking nearby. A bus stop and train station are within a five minutes’ walk.

Disclaimer: This walk is along public roads and footpaths and includes historical facts about the buildings and the area. Most of the sites are private businesses or homes. Please respect the environment and do not trespass on private property. Neither Auckland Council nor private property owners accept responsibility for any loss, damage, or injury to you or your property arising from use of this tour.

Copyright 2022 Auckland Council. Auckland Council holds all copyrights associated with this tour. You may not copy or reproduce the content of this tour without permission from Auckland Council. Auckland Council has taken every care to ensure that the information contained in this tour is accurate, but accepts no responsibility arising from, or in connection with, your use of this tour and the information contained in it.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

After the Second World War, the people of Mount Albert fundraised with bottle drives, raffles, and cake stalls, which, together with central government funding, produced a plan for a war memorial in 1957. The Borough Council proposed a war ... Read more
The Mount Albert Highways Board was established in 1867 to construct the ‘New North Road from Eden Terrace out to the farmland of Mount Albert and beyond—funded by a toll-gate on the corner of New North and Symonds Streets. But the loca... Read more
Until Mount Albert Grammar School went co-educational in 2000, girls were zoned for Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, which some parents believed to be unsuitable since the school bus went past the Pink Pussycat strip club on Karangahape Ro... Read more
Roy Clements was a teacher of English and Music at Mount Albert Grammar School in the 1980s, coming there after stints as General Secretary of the Student Christian Movement and as an English teacher in Germany. He returned with a Volkswage... Read more
Opened in February 1922 to relieve pressure on Auckland Grammar School, Mount Albert Grammar School was constructed for £44,300. Guthrie Wilson described the original block as “the grey stone prison that is Mount Albert Grammar”, but i... Read more
Allan Kerr Taylor was 16 years old when he sailed from Edinburgh to join his family in New Zealand in 1849. His father, a general in the East Indian Army, gave him £1400 to buy land, which translated into 500 acres between Mount Albert and... Read more
This quiet cul-de-sac was once a busy railway terminus. From 1880, it was the end of the Mount Albert ballast line, linking the quarry on the top of the maunga with the main line. The scoria stone came down a separate incline (a set of rail... Read more
The most common Te Reo Maori name for this maunga is Ōwairaka, ‘the place of Wairaka’. Wairaka came to Aotearoa on the Mātatua waka around 1350 with her father, Toroa, after having quarrelled with her husband about her enjoyment of su... Read more
On the corner of Summit and Stilwell Roads stands the attractive house known as ‘Belmont’. This was originally called ‘Failand’ and was situated on Symonds St in the city. In 1896, the owner, William Winstone, sawed it into two piec... Read more
A Presbyterian businessman, J. C. Entrican, gave a site on the corner to the Presbyterian Church in 1913, but this was quickly changed to the current location in 1922. The land was bought from George Fowlds, a former Government minister. Th... Read more
Built in 1862 in the middle of a 99-acre farm, Allendale was the first wooden home erected in Mount Albert. Specifically, it was built from pit-sawn kauri from the Kaipara, with the roof made of kauri shingles. The Allen family’s home soo... Read more
Southwest along New North Road from Mount Albert Road is the oldest retail district in Mount Albert. Originally known as the ‘Terminus’ because it marked the end of the Mount Albert tram line, many of the shops on the eastern side of th... Read more
Mt Albert Station was opened in 1880, but the original building was destroyed by fire in 1909. Due to the status of Mount Albert as the junction for the ballast branch line, it was home to a goods yard and a 30-lever signal box, both of whi... Read more
George Fowlds, a Scottish clothier, settled in New Zealand in 1885 by way of the diamond mines of South Africa. He established himself in business, with a menswear shop in Queen St, and bought a large house in Mount Albert in 1890. He was e... Read more
Originally located at 785 New North Road, this wooden building on the corner of Lloyd Avenue was, in 1880, the first shop to be constructed in Mount Albert. J Hibbs’ general store and post office was subsequently let out to Mrs Saunders, ... Read more
The plot for Mount Albert Methodist Church, originally built in the Gothic style in 1866, was donated by major local landowner Allan Kerr Taylor. In 1881, the first building was replaced and shifted to the rear for use by the Sunday School.... Read more
Erected in 1865 for Tonson and Annie Jane Garlick, Ferndale was expanded in 1881 by the same architect who designed the Methodist church opposite. The house soon became a major social centre in Mount Albert, with the Lawn Tennis Club and th... Read more
Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Charles W. Coles, who had commanded the forts at North Head and Devonport during the First World War, offered his home and services to the Home Guard in 1942. He was demoted to the rank of Major to take command of... Read more
The densely wooded Alice Wylie Reserve was set out on the plot formerly occupied by the Mount Albert Industrial School and is named after Alice Wylie, formerly Deputy Mayor of Mount Albert Borough. The Industrial School existed from 1900 to... Read more


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