Highwic is a historic home in the Auckland suburb of Epsom / Newmarket.
The property is at 40 Gillies Avenue but the recommended entrance is off Mortimer Pass. Onsite parking is available. Alternatively take a train to Newmarket Train Station or a bus to 277 Broadway and walk up Mortimer Pass (first street on the right after the shopping mall, Westfield 277 Newmarket).
Highwic is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30am to 4.30pm. Adults are $10, accompanied children are free. If you plan on visiting Alberton and Ewelme Cottage as well I would recommend purchasing the Historic Auckland Passport for $18, which allows you one time entry to all three historic properties and is valid for a year from purchase.
In 1862, Alfred Buckland purchased 5 acres (2 hectares) of land. The house is built in Carpenter Gothic and was based on country homes on the East Coast of the United States.
Mr Buckland and his first wife Eliza immigrated to New Zealand from England in 1850. His older brother William had moved here in 1841. Together Alfred and Eliza had 10 children before Mrs Buckland’s passing of pneumonia in 1866. The following year Mr Buckland married Matilda Frodsham, who had been his wife’s companion and home help. Matilda and Alfred had 11 children together. In total Alfred Buckland had 21 children, fourteen daughters and seven sons.
Bucklands Beach in the eastern suburb of Howick is named after Alfred Buckland as he owned a large farm there.
During the 1870s and 1880s the house was enlarged as the family grew. Descendants on the Buckland family lived in the house until 1978 (that is 116 years the Buckland family occupied the property). The property was jointly purchased by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the Auckland City Council. Highwic opened as a historic house museum in 1981.
The house has seven bedrooms, a ballroom, drawing room, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, scullery, outdoor courtyard with meat and dairy storerooms.
The guest bedroom on the side of the house has been converted into the sales and information desk. They sell a wide selection of memorabilia relating to Highwic and range of authentic reproduction children’s toys.
The picturesque grounds include a billiards house separate from the main house, stables, a fern house, a hedged circular garden and a croquet and tennis court lawn.
Most of Highwic is hidden above the bustling and busy shopping centre of Newmarket by tall trees and high hedges adding to it’s ‘hidden’ old world charm.