Hibiscus Coast

including Whangaparaoa, Orewa, Silverdale, Red Beach and Gulf Harbour

Suburb Specialists

These formerly sleepy suburban outposts are no longer the exclusive preserve of the elderly and families of holidaymakers. Huge expanses of glossy new homes are testament to the area’s newfound popularity with well-off families looking for safe areas where they can enjoy a traditional Kiwi lifestyle near the sea. Orewa’s 2.5km beach is one of the most popular; the Whangaparaoa peninsula boasts more than a dozen beaches. Gulf Harbour is a fairly new type of development for New Zealand: it includes a harbourside town centre, very expensive canal-side homes with their own private berths, and a top notch country club. The area’s popularity isn’t just restricted to humans: native birds from the nearby Tiritiri Matangi Island reserve regularly commute to the 376ha Shakespear Regional Park at the end of the peninsula.

Who Lives There?

Orewa has always been popular with retired people who appreciate the flat walk to the beach and the shops, but the largest blip on the population graph of late is professional families settling in for a year-round seaside lifestyle. The extended motorway now makes commuting easier, there are good schools, a strong community spirit, superb beaches, and lots of green space around the houses. On the peninsula there’s a mix of families and couples, including retired people who’ve often lived here a long time. Many young elderly (in their 60s rather than 80s) live in semi- retirement at Gulf Harbour. Migrants like the coastline – the Brits for its Kiwi-style homes; South Africans for the Gulf Harbour lifestyle and big houses.

Typical Homes

Near the motorway, Orewa’s elevated housing developments have wide sea views. Within the township, there’s a mix of modern contemporary homes and old holiday baches. Orewa got its first Gold Coast-style semi high-rise a few years ago – some people love it, some hate it. Throughout the peninsula the mix includes baches, weatherboard 1960s-70s homes and new contemporary homes. Many homes have great sea views. As well as the marina and apartment complex, Gulf Harbour has subdivisions with large homes and terraced apartments. More apartments are planned for the Eastern Boat Harbour. At Waiwera a hotel/apartment complex is planned, but uncertain, for the land between the beachfront and the thermal pools complex. Local retirement villages include Maygrove Village at Orewa and Pine Haven Retirement just north at Hatfields Beach.

Population Profile


Aged Under 15 Years 20.29%
Aged Over 65 Years 19.65%
European 80.48%
Maori 6.81%
Pacific Peoples 1.82%
Asian 3.83%