Mount Albert, New Zealand
The town centre, dominated by New North Road
Location in Auckland
|Local authority||Auckland Council|
|Train station(s)||Mount Albert Railway Station|
|North||Point Chevalier, Western Springs|
|Northeast||Kingsland, Eden Valley, Mount Eden|
|East||Greenwoods Corner, Epsom|
|South||Owairaka, New Windsor|
Mt Albert refers to an inner city suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, which is centred around Mount Albert, a local volcanic peak which dominates the landscape. In the past Mt Albert also referred to the 2,500 acre borough that was created in 1911 on the outskirts of Auckland City. Mt Albert was also one of the original five wards within the Mt Albert Borough. The suburb is located seven kilometres to the southwest of the Central Business District (CBD).
The peak, in parkland at the southern end of the suburb, is 135 metres in height, and is one of the many extinct cones which dot the city of Auckland, all of which are part of the Auckland Volcanic Field. The age of the volcano is currently unknown. The peak is known as Owairaka by the indigenous Māori. It was formerly the site of a Māori pā, a fortified settlement. Extensive quarrying has reduced the height of the scoria cone by about 15 m and significantly altered its shape, but a few remnants of Māori earthworks such as terracing are still visible.
Current uses of the cone include several playing fields, an archery club and a 31,500 cubic metre water reservoir buried in a paddock on the mountain's southern side.
Mt Albert suburb was the second that developed in Auckland, after Remuera. It was mostly settled by well-off families in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Significant growth occurred between the two world wars. It is surrounded by the neighbouring suburbs of Owairaka, Sandringham, Morningside, Point Chevalier and Waterview. Its postcode is 1025.
Unitec Institute of Technology, a large tertiary educational college, is located towards the northern end of the suburb. The Mount Albert Research Centre (originally established by the DSIR) houses the Auckland centre of Plant & Food Research and other Crown Research Institutes. Fowlds Park lies in the northern area of Mt Albert.
Mt Albert has been administered by Auckland Council since 2010, and Auckland City Council from 1989 to 2010. An early local government body was the Mount Albert Highway District Board, which was formed in 1866 and became Mount Albert Road Board in 1883. The road board became Mount Albert Borough Council in 1911, and then Mount Albert City Council in 1978. It amalgamated with Auckland City Council in a nation-wide local government reorganisation in 1989.
Mount Albert Council, prior to amalgamation, also had a Traffic Department responsible for enforcement of road traffic law and bylaws, attendance and investigation of vehicular collisions, driver licence testing and driver education programs. The Department consisted of a Chief Traffic Officer and 5 patrol officers.
Notable buildings and landmarks
- Mt Albert War Memorial Park - 773 New North Road.
- Mt Albert War Memorial Hall - 773 New North Road. Large modernist single span shell auditorium. Built in 1960 by the citizens of the borough of Mt Albert in memory of those who gave their lives in the service of their country. On 24 September 1989 the last civic function of the City of Mt Albert was held which marked the final act of 122 years of autonomous local government in Mt Albert.
- Mt Albert community and recreation centre - 773 New North Road.
- Rocket Park - Early 1960s childrens playground with metal jungle gym shapes formed like planets, stars, comets, space ships & flying saucers.
- Mount Albert Baptist Church - 732 New North Rd. Modernist church from the 1950s.
- St Mary's Catholic Church - 10 Kitenui Ave. Roman Catholic Church attendant on the adjoining churches.
- Marist School -Alberton Avenue - Roman Catholic School.
- Marist College - 31 Alberton Ave. Roman Catholic Secondary School.
- Ferndale House. 830 New North Road. A wooden Carpenter Gothic house near the main shopping area. This was built by Jonathon Tonson Garlick as a four-room cottage in 1865 and extended in 1881. His widow sold it to Mount Albert Borough Council in the 1940s. The family firm 'Tonson Garlick' manufactured furniture. The property is distinguished by several enormous Norfolk Pine trees planted in the 1860s. The house is now a community venue.
- Mt Albert Methodist Church. 831 New North Road. Across the road from Ferndale is the wooden Gothic Mt Albert Methodist Church. The land for this building was donated by local resident Mr Stone.
- Mr Stone's House. 4 Alexis Avenue. Large masonry house in the Italianate style. Stone was reputably the first white baby born in new Zealand.
- Former Post Office. 911 New North Road. 1970s brick building with distinctive cylinder turrets.
- Mount Albert Railway Station. Opened in 1880, newly rebuilt in 2013.
- Former Deluxe Cinema. 960 New North Road. 1920s building.
- Mt Albert Presbyterian Church. 14 Mt Albert Road.
- Alberton. 100 Mt Albert Road. A large wooden house with distinctive turrets, was built as the residence of Allan Kerr Taylor. This two-storied wooden house has wrap-round verandahs and turrets in the Anglo-Indian style, possibly due to the family having spent time in India before coming to New Zealand. Originally this property commanded a view towards Auckland across a thousand acre (4 km²) farm. Over the years the family sold off land for suburban development leaving only one acre around the house. Allan Kerr Taylor's wife Sophia was an outspoken advocate of the vote for women, as well as a singer, gardener and mother of 10. She ran the estate for 40 years after her husband’s death, with her three unmarried daughters running it for a further 40 years, the last of whom left the house to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 1972. Allan Kerr Taylor had three brothers who lived in Auckland near the Tamaki River: Charles John Taylor at Glen Orchard (now St Heliers), William Innes Taylor at Glen Innes, and Richard James Taylor at Glen Dowie. The names of their properties later became the names of the suburbs.
- Crown Research Institute 120 Mt Albert Rd. The main building is a modernist highrise block from the 1960s.(Former DSIR - Department of Scientific and Industrial Research)
- Mount Albert Grammar School Alberton Avenue. Main building from the 1920s was designed by Walter Arthur Cumming this school is unusual for an urban facility as it has an agricultural department - this is the last open ground left from the Alberton Farmlands.
- Mt Albert Aquatic Centre 38 Alberton Ave, Mt Albert.
- Winstone House. 29 Summit Drive. Late 19th century Italianate style house located on the slopes of Mt Albert. Built for George Winstone in Upper Symonds Sreet and relocated here around 1910. George Winstone founded the well known Transport firm.
- Caughey House, 15 McLean Street. Distinctive house with turret. Moving to Mt Albert in 1888, Andrew Caughey (of Smith & Caughey's Department Store) built this two storied wooden house on 4-acres of Edward Allen's land. Architect Arthur White designed a 16 room house where Caughey, his wife and seven children lived until 1923. The property is now run as part of the private school, Hebron Christian College
New Zealand's greatest athlete, Sir Peter Snell (triple Olympic gold medalist and world mile record holder and NZ's athlete of the 20th century), was educated and a long-time resident of Mt Albert as was Bryan Williams, an All Black great and president of the NZRFU.
Primary schools include Gladstone Primary School, Marist Primary School and Mt Albert Primary School. Secondary schools include Mount Albert Grammar School (co-ed). Catholic girls may attend Marist College and Catholic boys generally commute by train to St Peter's College.
Mt Albert is well served by trains and buses, and is only 7 km from Auckland’s CBD. The railway station is centrally located, near the intersection of New North Road and Mt Albert/Carrington Road. Mount Albert Railway Station is a part of the Western Line; trains run regularly into the city and the western suburbs beyond.
The centre of all the shopping and business activities in the suburb of Mt Albert is New North Road, roughly between Richardson Road and Lloyd Avenue. By vehicle Mt Albert can be accessed from the North Western Motorway (SH16) by taking the Great North Road off-ramp and turning onto Carrington Road.
- "Mt Albert". The New Zealand Herald. 14 September 2005. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "So you want to live in...? Mt Albert". The New Zealand Herald. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Mount Albert Highway District Rate Books 1867-1884". Auckland City Council. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Ferndale House". Auckland Council. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Turner, Arnold R. (March 2011). "Local heritage: Ferndale". Mount Albert Historical Society. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Stacpoole, John (1 September 2010). "Taylor, Allan Kerr". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Public Transport". Auckland Transport. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- City of Volcanoes: A geology of Auckland - Searle, Ernest J.; revised by Mayhill, R.D.; Longman Paul, 1981. First published 1964. ISBN 0-582-71784-1.
- Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential guide - Hayward, B.W., Murdoch, G., Maitland, G.; Auckland University Press, 2011.
- Mt Albert Community
- Mount Albert Historical Society
- Owairaka - Mt Albert Heritage Walks
- Metro Football Club
- Mt Albert Rugby League Club
- Mount Albert Grammar School
- Marist College
- St Peters College
- Early photo of Mount Albert