Flanked by the sea and countryside, Howick feels like a quaint village with the soul of the city. Though, it should be said that this seaside suburb is home to two villages: a 1800s-era “living museum” and the lovely Howick Village.
How do thatched cottages and Victorian games sound? Step back in time at the Howick Historical Village, a colonial European village re-created using surviving buildings from around the region.
Enjoy 360-degree views and a dose of history up at Stockade Hill, a significant spot for Māori and Pākehā. The heritage site was originally constructed by the Europeans as a “stockade” during the New Zealand Land Wars, and now serves as a war memorial for those who died in World War I and II. Walk to the summit in less than 30 minutes for a birds-eye view of the eastern peninsula and all its glory.
It’s easy to see why Howick has long been home to the Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki iwi. Howick’s Māori name, Owairoa, refers to the ‘long waters’ that can viewed from Stockade Hill. These waters, sheltered by the harbour, offered a rich ecosystem with plentiful seafood, birdlife and even moa. Māori have resided here for more than a millennium at several 1000 years with several pā one at Waipaparoa-Howick Beach, which was destroyed around 1650.
Pop over to Howick Beach for a tidal swim, explore rock pools or perch yourself on the grass with some takeaways. High tide is best for swimming, as it is at Cockle Bay. True to its name, thousands of cockle shells will crunch beneath your jandals at low tide.
It’s not a visit to East Auckland without a stroll around its spectacular coastline, stretching from Half Moon Bay to Mangemangeroa Reserve. Take the family for a pretty stroll from Half Moon Bay to Bucklands Beach or, further east, explore the incredible estuary and salt marsh at Mangemangeroa Reserve.
Ready to shop? Grab your hamper and head to the village market on Saturday. The bazaar-like stalls offer a treasure trove of handcrafted products, aromatic food and friendly banter that feeds the weekend soul.
Location Te wāhi
HowickPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Howick is a 30-minute drive to downtown Auckland, and about 20 minutes to Manukau. You can also take the commuter ferry from Half Moon Bay Marina to the city in 30-40 minutes.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Stroll around the Musick Point Walkway next to the golf course for some of the best harbour views in East Auckland.