Kawau Island is an island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. Most of the island is privately owned but 172 ha of it is an historic reserve managed by DOC (Departement of Conservation).
In 1862 Sir George Grey (the Governer and Premier of New Zealand in the Victorian era) bought the island. He transformed the 10 room mine manager's home into a mansion. He spend a large part of his personal fortune on both the mansion and the island. He sold the island in 1888 and Mansion House went through a succession of owners - it became a boarding house then a famous guest house. Mansion House deteriorated over the years due to a lack of maintenance. In 1951 Alan Horsfall saw the urgent need to preserve the house and so bought it and the grounds. He sold them for the inclusion in the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park in 1967. The Mansion House was then operated as a Licensed Hotel for 10 years.
In 1977 the Park Board began the restoration of Mansion House and restored and furnished it to how it was in Grey's time.
Today Mansion House and its Grounds are open for visitors to inspect. Sir
was an enthusiastic collector of exotic plants and wildlife. This can still
in the variety of plants around Mansion House and the wallabies, rosellas,
peacocks on the island.
There are a network of walks which link the historic sites and scenic lookouts. Ferries make regular crossings to the island and it is a popular destination for yachts and powerboats.
Our 1995 Kawau Island Trip
Our 1996 Kawau Island Trip
Our 1995 Motuora Island Trip
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