Full of heart and character
One of Auckland's oldest suburbs, Mt Eden, remains highly sought after for its character homes, leafy streets, school zones, proximity to the central city and vibrant village.
Jonathan Sissons, sales manager for Bayleys Mt Eden, says, "Wooden villas, which are plentiful in Mt Eden, are hugely popular with couples and families who are looking for character homes. The suburb also caters to retirees and investors, with a number of brick-and-tile units well suited to singles or those wanting to downsize.
"Located on the city fringe, the suburb has the best of both worlds — accessible to the central city and all it has to offer — while the village also provides locals with everything from a traditional greengrocer and butcher to the many wonderful cafes, bars and restaurants."
Some of the suburb is in zone for Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls' Grammar, and part of it is included in the catchment of increasingly popular Mt Albert Grammar. There are also highly regarded primary and intermediate schools within the suburb, something that is hugely appealing to families who want to remain settled through their children's school years.
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Stephanie Kelland, manager of Ray White Mt Eden, adds, "Mt Eden Village is full of character and has a real heart. The people are so friendly and have a great sense of community.
"The suburb of Mt Eden is in zone to all the best schools, is close to everything and has great access to all forms of transport from trains, buses, to easy access to motorways. The village has a great selection of cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars.
"Mt Eden is very popular with both locals and visitors for the great views of Auckland and the walks around the volcanic cone."
That volcanic cone is the highest natural point in the city, providing panoramic city and harbour views. In pre-European times, Maori used it as a fortified site and the terraces they cut into the cone can still be seen today.
Mt Eden was once well outside the city boundaries and was used as farmland because of its fertile volcanic soil. Businessmen of the time also built grand country residences before subdivision began to take hold in the 1870s when the middle classes wanted relief from the crowded inner city with its small sections.
And those reasonably sized sections are still an attraction today because Mt Eden's heritage zoning has meant it has not been subject to in-fill housing as much as other parts of Auckland. Though the suburb has retained its character feel, it used to be a bit of a dead zone at night when it was a "dry" suburb. Once that status was overturned in a referendum at the 1999 general election, bars and restaurants have proliferated, and the village especially is a lively evening destination.
The Dominion Rd shopping strip now has a great collection of ethnic restaurants, while the northern end of Mt Eden, around Normanby Rd, is also developing a buzzy enclave of bars, cafes and design stores in what used to be a semi-industrial part of town that was deserted at night. The construction of apartment blocks and shops in this area has also helped to bring it to life.