Howick Historical Village
In 1846, the British government had strong concerns that Auckland was exposed to attack. To ensure the safety of New Zealand’s capital—before it was moved to Wellington—veteran soldiers of British wars were brought to defend the city. Although it was never attacked, the historic cottages and homes that were built still remain intact.
Today, as a means of preserving this period of history; 30 of the buildings have been restored and moved to Howick Historical Village, where visitors can take a journey back to the middle of the 19th century. See how early settlers lived while you wander among the early New Zealand homes. Step inside to learn about the daily routines and chores of Auckland’s military families, and marvel at the furniture, paintings, and textiles that have survived.
Things to know before you go
- The Fencible village is an open-air museum; be sure to wear appropriate footwear and sun protection.
- Prepare to spend at least a couple of hours on a self-guided or docent-led tour of the extensive grounds.
- Children and history buffs alike can enjoy hands-on activities like churning butter and playing colonial-era games.
- Grab a bite at the Homestead Café—a charming, old-world eatery with classically home-cooked meals.
- Most restrooms, walking paths, and exhibits are accessible to wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
How to get there
Howick Historical Village is located at Lady Marie Drive, 20 minutes east of Auckland in the suburb of Pakuranga. In addition to visiting by bus or car (free parking is available), it’s also possible to ride the ferry from the Ferry Terminal Building to the port at Half Moon Bay, and hire a taxi for the 5-minute drive.
When to get there
The village is open most days from morning until mid-afternoon, with the exceptions of Christmas, ANZAC Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, and New Year’s Day. “Meet the Villagers” Live Days—featuring actors and performers—are typically offered once a month.
Living History Museum
Known as the “fencible” British force, the soldiers were given transport and homes and allowed to bring their families—under the agreement that if Auckland were attacked, they’d help defend the city. Read the stories of the individuals and families who lived between these walls, made more poignant by volunteers dressed in period clothing.
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