Herne Bay

Whether a modern or heritage home dweller, Herne Bay sets the standard for prime living locations. Residents enjoy the convenience of sitting at the edge of the CBD, while basking in the glorious views of the Waitamata Harbour and Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Herne Bay is one of New Zealand’s most affluent and prestigious suburbs, a title going back to the first European settlers.

The suburb is anything but ordinary and most recently was the first in the country to have a $2 million median house value. It is a highly sought after investment, paid off by the bay’s unparalleled mix of lifestyle, convenience and stunning views.

There are excellent schools in the area to choose from. Ponsonby Primary School is situated in Herne Bay and was established in 1873. There is also Marist Catholic School, Richmond Road School, Bayfield School. Local secondary schools include Auckland Girls Grammar School, Western Springs College (Coed), St Paul's College (Catholic boys) and Saint Mary's College (Catholic girls).

Boutique shops along Jervois Road promise to impress and delight. Unique must-sees include Father Rabbit and Tessuti for luxurious curated homewares and gifts. For one of a kind rugs, lighting and furniture design check out The Ivy House and Simon James Concept Store. The creators of homeware brand French Country Collections have a store here also, named un deux trois.

The best of fashion retail (figuratively) begins with Kathryn Wilson, Sills + Co, Goodness and continues on down Jervois Road. Travel towards the Ponsonby end of Jervois Road, and the flagship store of up-and-coming womenswear brand Harman Grubiša is a highlight. 

The Governor may be the new kid on the block but is definitely making waves already with its tasty meals.

The Governor may be the new kid on the block but is definitely making waves already with its tasty meals.

With all the shopping complete, Herne Bay is a popular destination for wining and dining at any time of day. Trending with interior design aficionados and hip-kids alike is Dear Jervois. The menu is sure to surprise and please whether your diet is vegan, paleo or strictly waffles. Andiamo has stood the test of time, and is a welcome suggestion for fine food, day or night. The reputation of the wine selection and cocktails precede them, set off by the New York style long bar. Head to Empress Garden Restaurant for great Peking duck (ensure to order in advance) and Janken for a cosy and intimate Japanese meal. Casual drinking establishments include Dida’s and The Elbow Room, or Herne Bay Cellars to enjoy a drop at home. Being near the sea, it’s only appropriate that the majority of the local takeaways are fish ‘n’ chip shops, exemplified by FishSmith. Along with the freshest version of the classics, they’ve introduced a new take with soft shell crab burgers, spiced fish tacos, smoked fish pie croquettes and crumbed haloumi.

Dear Jervois.

Dear Jervois.

Besides eating, there is plenty to see and do in the local vicinity. This includes the happenings and sights of Ponsonby, Westhaven Marina, Victoria Park, Britomart, the Viaduct Harbour and Bayfield Park.

Water plays a starring role in Herne Bay. Secret coves and beaches dot the shore, and patches of golden sand are at a premium for sunbathers on fine days. From personal experience - the weathered boathouses and wharfs of Sentinel Road Beach are a picturesque background to wedding photos. The boathouses stand at one with the land and the sea, serving as striking scenic reminders of the suburb’s beginnings.

The Boathouses that dot the shoreline make for some beautiful backdrops.

The Boathouses that dot the shoreline make for some beautiful backdrops.

Point Erin Pool is the perfect hangout during summer months on Shelly Beach Road. Kids and adults alike will love the large main pool, dive pool, family spa pool, playground, toddler pool, barbecue area, basketball court and café. Add to this heaps of fun events like bombing and basketball competitions, family fun days and you have an all-round summer hotspot.

Herne Bay's History

Let’s step back in time before house auctions were invented. While we can only speculate whether Pre-European Maori appreciated the panorama, they definitely valued Herne Bay’s practical assets. The area was part of a network of gardening and fishing sites set up across the city. These were routinely tended and harvested in rotation with the rhythms of the soil, sea and moon. As part of this, flax for clothing and tools were collected from around Cox’s Bay and dried on the north facing slopes above Herne Bay. 

Boat sheds and houses on Sarsfield Street, Herne Bay. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

Boat sheds and houses on Sarsfield Street, Herne Bay. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

Cox’s Bay is enjoyed by Herne Bay and neighbouring Westmere locals today, and the sea-edge is protected by the city council's Cliffline Tree Amenity Area policy in the District Plan. This recognises the importance of preserving the trees along the original cliff and shoreline, particulrly natives. For example, coastal pohutukawa which are iconic features of the city’s coastal terrain.

We now turn our focus to the arrival of the first European settlers, who quickly noted the area’s beauty. Fittingly, they gave it the same name as a popular and respectable seaside resort in Kent, England. Wealthy migrants established themselves in Herne Bay with gracious homes that began a tradition of elegance that continues today. The sea not only provided great views but convenient passage to town by boat. In some cases, residents didn’t even bother with land access and instead made private jetties and boathouses to get them to town. These original homes were called ‘marine villas’ and some still stand today, though subdivision has inevitably encroached the sweeping gardens.

The area drew many tourists during the 1860’s. A particularly fashionable spot was Kemp’s Gardens. Located between Argyle Street and the ocean, the garden was described as a pleasure resort. It boasted a dancing pavilion, “ten acres of walks and sports grounds”, drinks, music and “illuminations” for classy punters to enjoy. It was later renamed "Cremorne Gardens" after a similar site in London. Although closed, the memory lives on in the local street named Cremorne.

Herne Bay Architecture

Modern-day Herne Bay has several buildings of note. The wooden, classical style Baptist Church at 43 Jervois Road is home to one of the oldest (perhaps THE oldest) organs in Australasia. The organ has a royal heritage to match, originally given to St Paul’s Church by Queen Victoria. Another heritage, gothic style wooden church is St Stephen's Presbyterian Church at the corner of Jervois Road and Shelly Beach Road.

St Stephen's Presbyterian Church. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

St Stephen's Presbyterian Church. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

The mansion at number 4 Shelly Beach Road is an example of Edwardian style architecture with an impressive turret roof. The area also has modern “landmarks”. In particular are two apartment complexes referred to as the Herne Bay towers. Built in the 1980’s, the luxurious Shangri-la Apartments and Westwater Apartments are the only high-rises in the area.

Whether a modern or heritage home dweller, Herne Bay sets the standard for prime living locations. Residents enjoy the convenience of sitting at the edge of the CBD, while basking in the glorious views of the Waitamata Harbour and Auckland Harbour Bridge. The daily commute is simple. Herne Bay has straightforward access to the motorways and frequent buses running along Jervois Road.

Here is some local gossip from 1999 which further highlights the area’s desirability. The Sultan of Brunei purchased 11 Herne Bay properties for his visit to the Auckland APEC Summit. Despite extensive renovations, the story goes that the Sultan didn’t end up living in any of them and they were sold to a local buyer in 2005.

There are a variety of housing options, but the most common type of home is the villa. This style was the default build during early development, only to lose popularity after WW1. As with most inner suburbs in Auckland, 1980's buyers rekindled the villa love-affair. Herne Bay villas were snapped up, renovated and kitted out with every modern amenity desired. Current buyers are hard-pressed to find a villa needing a full renovation in Herne Bay.

There ends the stately tour of Herne Bay, Queen of the Waitamata. She has a proud and gracious history, while still allowing nimble and agile movement between suburbs and the CBD. The suburb has proven its place in the pecking order and is sure to delight any new visitor into understanding why.

Dear Jervois

With a name that pays homage to the neighbourhood in which it resides Dear Jervois serves up great coffees and delicious cafe classics as well as an amazing range of wheat free, gluten free and vegan offerings.

On the market

  • Buy
  • Rent

Herne Bay, 35 and 35A Argyle Street

35 and 35A Argyle Street



Herne Bay, 12/6 Sarsfield Street

12/6 Sarsfield Street




Herne Bay, 4/169 Jervois Road

4/169 Jervois Road




Herne Bay, 5/99 Shelly Beach Road

5/99 Shelly Beach Road

$750 / week




Things to do, places to see

Jess' Underground Kitchen

Serving up home cooking at its best - ready-to-heat meals, baking, seasonal salads and cabinet food, artisan deli goods and, of course, excellent coffee.

The Governor

With a minimalist approach to crafting simply great food through the use of fresh, organic, locally sourced produce, the Governor is a home away from home.

Dear Jervois

Dear Jervois is Herne Bay’s darling. Whether it’s a Best Ugly Bagel or a tofu croquette you're after, you won’t be disappointed.


Taking its name from the game ‘paper, scissors, rock’, Janken's philosophy is sourcing organic and free-range produce to create Japanese cuisine with a distinct twist.

Father Rabbit

Father Rabbit offers a carefully curated selection of beautiful homewares, kitchen products, storage, gifts and bedlinen.

The Elbow Room

Featuring ornate ceiling panels on the walls, plush drapes and discreet lighting this is a bar with old world charm. There's covered footpath seating as well and heaters to keep the evening chill at bay.

Kelmarna Gardens

Kelmarna Gardens is a city farm and organic community garden dedicated to building a healthy community and environment and promoting sustainable living.

Local Schools

* While every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed is accurate, please check details directly with the school before making decisions based on this information.

Bayfield School
Years 1-6
Clifton Road
09 3765703

Ponsonby Primary School
Years 1-6
44 Curran Street
09 3763568

Westmere School (Auckland)
Years 1-6
Larchwood Avenue
09 3610014

Ponsonby Intermediate
Years 7-8
50 Clarence Street
09 3760096

Western Springs College
Year 9-15
Motions Road
09 8156730

Auckland Girls' Grammar School
Year 9-15
Howe Street
09 3074180

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Contact Us

If you would like to know more about a property or require further information about the local market please get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Suburb Stats

Herne Bay

Median sale price in July 2018


29% last month
26% same time as
last year

Monthly Trend

Total Sales in July 2018

40% last month
3 sales
63% same time as
last year

Monthly Sales