Birkenhead is a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand that is situated on the north shore of Waitemata Harbour about four kilometres from the centre of the city. Birkenhead was once cut off from the rest of Auckland and sparsely inhabited, but the construction of a sugar refinery in the late 19th century quickly changed that, as residential areas started to be built to accommodate workers and the area also became a popular spot for affluent citizens to build homes. Now the neighbourhood is connected by both ferry and bridge and has evolved into a scenic suburb with many interesting buildings.
- Catch a match of Birkenhead United, the local football club that is one of the most popular in Auckland and competes in the Lotto Sport Italia NRFL.
- Take a tour of the Chelsea Sugar Refinery, a 19th century landmark of Auckland, where most of the country’s sugar is still made. You can see the small brick homes that once housed the factory’s workers.
- Explore the archives collection at the Birkenhead Public Library where you will find interesting books about local history and the construction of the sugar refinery that changed everything.
The North Shore where Birkenhead is located is connected to the mainland by the Harbour Bridge, so most people going into the city centre drive private cars. However traffic during peak hours is heavy and creates a massive bottleneck on the bridge, so try to avoid travelling during these times. There are designated bus lanes on the bridge, so those who want to move more quickly should rely on the bus system to get back and forth to Auckland. From Birkenhead Point you can catch the express ferry to the city centre, which is the quickest mode of transport.
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