Milldale through the ages
Bordered by the tributaries of the Weiti River to the south and Orewa River to the north, the area of Milldale was once a densely forested valley and wetland, where Māori made good use of the wealth of resources. Small pā (settlements) were located alongside the rivers, providing easy access to freshwater crayfish and mussels, eel, flounder and waterfowl. Within the forest, Māori were adept at snaring and hunting forest birds; gathering fruits and berries for food or medicine, harvesting flax for weaving, and felling trees for waka.
With the arrival of European settlers in the early eighteen hundreds, the valley’s large Kauri trees and perfectly placed river access provided an opportunity for new local inhabitants. Timber mills and gang swayers were set up to process the felled timber under licence and milled it on site, then it was transported with the aid of river networks for use as building material to support the growing Auckland demand. Partially cleared, land was then purchased and surveyed into smaller farm lots that were rich in Kauri gum and later planted into orchards.
Rapid growth followed as a rich landscape provided the increasing number of settlers a steady source of work. Villages and townships were developed and families established their base to prosper throughout the district. The area grew its reputation as a place of great opportunity, founded by like-minded individuals forming a supportive community spirit. Access to local beaches and the coastal lifestyle also provided an idyllic setting to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.
Within the 21st century, a busy retail centre, commercial and industrial zones, plus health and recreational facilities added to the growth of the local area, providing an ever increasing source of employment for its residents.
Now capable of providing a complete and balanced lifestyle, this enviable community has the foundations to sustain an ambition to live, work and play in connected and desirable neighbourhoods. Milldale now offers that opportunity, pioneered by all those who have gone before, established for generations to come.