Hobsonville Point has a fascinating history. The air base played a critical role in New Zealand's efforts to defend our country and fight alongside our allies during WWII. At the same time our commercial aviation industry was being pioneered from Hobsonville Point. Prior to 1929 the land provided richly for Maori and pakeha alike, offering up seafood, timber, kauri gum and clay for pottery.

Before European settlement the land was covered in kauri forest. The tidal flats on the southern and eastern coast were teeming with birds and shellfish, a source of delicious kai for local iwi (Ngati Whatua and Te Kawerau a Maki). They knew the Point and surrounds as ‘Onekiritea’ after the clay soil found in the area, which they used for its pigment and as a natural soap.

In 1853, the Crown bought 600 acres on the peninsula from Ngati Whatua and renamed the area ‘Port Hobsonville’ after Captain William Hobson, the first Governor of New Zealand.

The land was mainly used for farming, however in 1863 Rice Owen Clark, frustrated with his claggy, non-draining farmland, developed pottery works at nearby Limeburners Bay to commercially produce clay drainage pipes. Eventually seven companies operated until the clay ran out in the 1930s. Rice Owen Clark's descendants went on to form Crown Lynn Pottery in New Lynn.

Aviation and Military Use

Aviation and Military Use

In 1924 Hobsonville was chosen by the government as a site for both land and sea based aviation. The air force established their home on the Point in 1929. Catalina Bay was constructed with hand and horse-drawn scoops the same year, as a ‘wet apron’ where flying boats could roll up onto the land. The base became dotted with barracks, hangars and houses and intersected by roads and landing strips. Catalina Bay's largest hangar was built in 1939 to house the massive Short Sunderland flying boats, which had a wingspan of 34 metres. Hobsonville was New Zealand's premier flying-boat base until 1967 when the amphibious craft were phased out.

Heritage

Heritage

In 2001 the air force began gradually relocating operations to their base at nearby Whenuapai. However, many of the early houses and buildings remain, preserving Hobsonville Point's character while providing a link to the communities the area has been home to in the past.

The transformation of Sunderland Avenue, a charming street of ten bungalows, is complete. Developer, Willis Bond & Co. has painstakingly renovated the homes, which were built in the 1930s to house RAF officers and their families. The additions and improvements were designed by heritage architects, Salmond Reed, to complement the original English Domestic Revival style of the bungalows.

The picturesque Mill House was built in 1930 as a home for Doug Mill, his wife Audrey and their family. The Mills were key figures in the foundation of New Zealand's aviation industry. The dashing couple with a passion for flying operated their air transport and survey business from a hangar at Hobsonville Point between 1927 and 1937. Today, Mill House has a new lease on life and is being transformed into Bear Park childcare centre for use by some of our youngest residents.

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APARTMENT

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Stylish 2 bed apartments beside the waters edge. Walking distance to ferry port and Catalina Bay. Easy living at affordable prices

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STANDALONE HOME

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