People exploring around Mansion House
Image: Christine Cumiskey | DOC

Introduction

The iconic Mansion House is the former home of Sir George Grey and has an impressive collection of antique furnishings. It’s also a venue for holding weddings or other events and includes a cafe.

Highlights

No dogs allowed on Bay of Islands and Hauraki Gulf island reserves

No dogs.

Dogs are not allowed on island reserves in the Bay of Islands and Hauraki Gulf.

On this page:

Description

Mansion House is a two-storey large building built in 1845 and is a registered Category 1 Historic Place. The property has additional significance because the dwelling has been preserved along with its original setting, and the jetty built for Sir George Grey in 1875.

Mansion House sits on Kawau Island. This island has gardens and tracks which are open to the public.

Things to do on Kawau Island.

Facilities and services

Mansion House

  • is open to the public
  • includes a cafe.

The grounds around Mansion House can also serve as a venue for weddings and other events. You need to get a permit for a wedding and other events.

Opening times

October to May

  • Monday to Friday: 12 pm to 2 pm
  • Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 12 pm to 3 pm
  • Closed Christmas Day

June to September

  • Closed, but the house may be opened by booking for groups of 10 or more.

Fees

You need to pay a fee to enter Mansion House.

  • 15+ years old: $4
  • 5–15 years old: $2
  • Under 5 years old: free

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

There are no eftpos or credit card facilities at Mansion House.

Booking for groups

You need to book if your group is going to be 10 people or more. Booking helps us plan to support the trip.

Contact the ranger or book online at least 7 days before you plan to visit.

Book a group visit to Mansion House.

Email: kawauisland@doc.govt.nz
Phone: +64 9 422 8882

Getting there

Private boat

The island is easily accessed by private boats, with a choice of safe anchorages in and close to Mansion House Bay. Mostly sandy beaches to pull up to. A wharf is available to pick up and collect groups, but not to tie up to.

Water taxis and ferries

Water taxis and ferries travel to Kawau Island daily from Sandspit Wharf near Warkworth, about one and a half hour's drive north of Auckland.

Find authorised transport operators to this island.

Know before you go

Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park bylaws apply:

  • Dogs are not allowed
  • Fires and portable barbeques are not allowed except on the permanent barbeque provided onsite
  • No bicycles
  • Take your rubbish with you – there are no rubbish bins.

Read the by-laws

Activities such as weddings need a permit

Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park bylaws apply. Activities such as weddings and other events may require a permit.

Drones


All drone use must be authorised by DOC

A concession is required to fly a drone on any public conservation land.


History of Mansion House

Mansion House history.

Conservation work

Conservation plans for Mansion House and the jetty identify remedial work needed to arrest causes of deterioration. The work has been prioritised and is progressively being implemented. Where possible, the house is being returned to its appearance as it was about 1890, soon after Sir George Grey sold the island.

A similar plan has been prepared for the gardens. Restoration of the gardens represents a significant opportunity to enhance the experience of visitors. A conservation plan has also been prepared for the smelting house, whose stabilisation and repairs have been carried out by DOC.

Contacts

Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
Phone: +64 9 379 6476
Email: aucklandvc@doc.govt.nz
The visitor centre is closed but you can still contact staff by email and phone.
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