Where we are

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Vineyard Cottages
1011 Old North Road, Waimauku
RD2, Auckland, New Zealand
Freephone: 0800 846 800
Telephone: +64 9 411 8248

From From The North Shore:
  • Leave the northern motorway at Constellation Drive/Upper Harbour Highway
  • Travel west on State Highway 18 (sign posted to Greenhithe and/or Waitakere)
  • At the top of the Upper Harbour Highway turn left at the T junction onto Albany Highway and take the next right at the traffic lights, into Upper Harbour Drive (continuation of State
  • Highway 18) (sign posted to Greenhithe and/or Waitakere).
  • (Alternatively join Upper Harbour Drive from Glenfield/Wairau Road route)
  • Cross the Upper Harbour Bridge and go through Hobonsville.
  • Turn right into Brigham Creek Road (sign posted to Whenuapai)
  • Go through Whenuapai. When you reach the end of Brigham Creek Road at the T-junction where it joins State Highway 16, turn right and follow signs to Kumeu/Helensville.
  • Stay on State Highway 16 travelling towards Helensville (although you don’t go as far as Helensville)
  • Drive THROUGH Kumeu (there is a small village after Kumeu called Huapai – continue through Huapai as well).
  • About 3km after Kumeu/Huapai turn RIGHT when you see the signs to Waimauku or Matua Valley Winery.
  • Once you turn right off State Highway 16 at Waimauku you will pick up the signs to Matua Valley Winery which is approximately another 3kms inland.
  • Matua Valley Winery has its own separate driveway which is clearly marked.
  • Once past the winery turn left at the ‘T’ intersertion of Waikoukou and Old North Road, the Vineyard Cottages entrance is on the left at the base of the first hill.

From the East (Albany):

  • Approximately 3km north of Albany at the top of the Albany Hill on State Highway 17 (the old State Highway 1) turn left onto the Coatesville Riverhead Highway (State Highway 28) signposted to Coatesville and Riverhead.
  • After you have passed the Riverhead village shops you come to a roundabout. Turn right here onto Riverhead Road. It is signposted Kumeu, Helensville.
  • About 1km after the roundabout Riverhead Road turns away to the left. If you want to take the slightly longer route but keep to the main roads, continue on this road which takes you to State Highway 16. Turn right here and go through Kumeu and Huapai.
  • Drive THROUGH Kumeu (there is a small village after Kumeu called Huapai – continue through Huapai as well).
  • About 3km after Kumeu/Huapai turn RIGHT when you see the signs to Waimauku or Matua Valley Winery.
  • Once you turn right off State Highway 16 at Waimauku you will pick up the signs to The Hunting Lodge (and Matua Valley Winery) which is approximately another 3kms inland.
  • Matua Valley Winery has its own separate driveway which is clearly marked.
  • Once past the winery turn left at the ‘T’ intersertion of Waikoukou and Old North Road, the Vineyard Cottages entrance is on the left at the base of the first hill.

Do not want to wine taste and drive? Do not like dark country roads? Please call us for transport options getting to the Cottages or visiting wineries and restaurants; we will gladly arrange for you.

Local History

The earliest ‘official’ European settlement in the area was in the lower Waikoukou Valley. The Pakeha had arrived in the Upper Waitemata Harbour in the early 1840’s and the settlement of the Ararimu and Waikoukou land was an extension of this settlement. The attraction in both cases was the extensive tract of kauri forest that covered the high country between Riverhead and the Kaukapakapa River.

In the mid 1850’s

Much of the Crown land at Waikoukou was surveyed into allotments. These allotments were offered for sale at ten shillings per acre. However many blocks were taken up under the ‘Free Grant’ scheme to encourage immigration. The land available for European settlers was that at the mouth of the Waikoukou Valley. This settlement was located less than 2km from where you are sitting.

Even before the survey of allotments had begun, land on the Waikoukou block was occupied by a number of settlers. They had been granted ‘Timber Licences’ by the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

William Farley Blake (1808-1888), from Westmeath in Ireland, arrived in New Zealand to begin work as a surveyor in Taranaki in 1841. Whilst in Taranaki he married Maata Takohi Tourawiri. Blake then travelled north with Maata surveying and gold prospecting. However he soon fell back on his knowledge of farming gained on the family property in Ireland and began to develop a farm at Riverhead, in the vicinity of the present Hotel called the Forrester’s Arms.

In the 1850’s

Blake’s interest soon turned to timber, which was plentiful and profitable, being in demand by the growing of Auckland. His ‘timber licence’, granted in 1854, was for land at Waikoukou

Blake, or ‘Te Pereki’ as he became known to Ngati Whatua, settled with Maata and their family near the junction of the Waikoukou, Ararimu and Tikokopu Streams, on the property now owned by Collard Bros. Ltd, Rothesay Vineyard.

During the 1850’s

‘Blake’s Mill’ developed into the first European style village in the region. There was the mill itself, also known as ‘Waikoukou Sawmill’, and a number of mill cottages. Nearby was Blake’s home, which became known as the ‘Halfway House’. It was situated near the old Maori walkway that was known as the ‘Portage Road’. Here William and Maata Blake offered hospitality to travellers for twelve years. Associated with the house were stables for traveller’s horses and later horses used in McLeod’s and Cobb & Co.’s coach operations.

In 1859

William Blake’s timber operations had an annual output of 154,080ft all of which was kauri and his production expanded in the early 1860’s. With the success of his milling venture Blake was able to purchase land blocks in the surrounding districts. This included land at Riverhead, Taupaki and 209 acres at Kaukapakapa in the area of the present township.

The area surrounding the Blake’s house was now in pasture and the bush in the lower Waikoukou Valley had been cleared. However most of the valley was in virgin forest awaiting the milling onslaught of the 1870’s and 1880’s.

The Blake family, the first settlers in the Waikoukou Valley moved on. At first they settled in the Thames district where William Blake was appointed ‘Goldfield Surveyor’ and then they moved to the Hawkes Bay where many of their descendants still live.

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