Northcote & Birkenhead

including Chatswood, Hillcrest

Suburb Specialists

Northcote and Birkenhead boast the best of both worlds: the bush and beaches and relaxed family living of the North Shore, with the shortest-possible commute to Auckland city’s CBD (or, better still, a ferry ride from Birkenhead). This is an old, established area, but the mix of villas, cottages, apartments and contemporary palatial homes is anything but dull. The area’s most visible landmark is the pretty-in-pink Chelsea Sugar Refinery (built from a million hand-made bricks in 1883) whose park-like setting is a popular spot for walks and picnics. The varied contours of the land and ample nature reserves, coupled with the city skyline, harbour and bridge, mean that many homes have spectacular views. In fact, the area has many of the same benefits as higher-profile Devonport (and an infinitely easier commute by car) with rather more reasonable house prices.

Who Lives There?

Northcote Pt and Birkenhead Pt buyers love old homes. There’s been a migration from the southern shores; people looking for more affordable character villas with ferry access to the CBD. Northcote College’s academic status is an added attraction for families with teens. There is a lot of trading up – it’s not unusual for families to move several times as their lifestyle, budget, tastes and aspirations change. Families like Northcote central for its good schooling, while Birkenhead central’s apartments are popular with commuting executives. Chatswood’s large homes on good-sized sections attract families, including Asian buyers.

Typical Homes

Historic cottages that were built for Chelsea Sugar Refinery workers are still dotted around the suburb. The original brick cottages built for the shift managers on the road down to the refinery can be leased. Character homes define Northcote Pt and Birkenhead Pt, which were established in the late 1880s. Near the centre of Birkenhead there are a number of apartment buildings. Chatswood estate was developed as an executive subdivision in the early 1970s/80s, with modern homes on big sections. Northcote central and Hillcrest have styles ranging from renovated ex-state houses, townhouses and older weatherboard homes. The best of the more modern homes are in the Onepoto Basin area of Northcote and along Sylvan Ave.

Population Profile


Aged Under 15 Years 17.89%
Aged Over 65 Years 11.47%
European 60.24%
Maori 7.91%
Pacific Peoples 4.00%
Asian 21.11%

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