Historic suburb on the northern shore of the Waitematā Harbour. Birkenhead stretches from Hellyer’s Creek to Little Shoal Bay. By 1849 European settlers were pioneering commercial fruit and strawberry growing. The establishment of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (at Chelsea, on the southern coastline of the suburb) in 1884 boosted suburban growth and supplied sugar for the whole of New Zealand. After the construction of the Harbour Bridge, cheap housing subdivisions transformed neighbouring Birkdale and Beach Haven.

Meaning of place name
First known by Europeans as Woodside. The district was registered on 23 June 1863 by Samuel Cochrane, an agent, broker and auctioneer, and so named because it reminded him of 'being across the water' from Auckland as Birkenhead in England is from Liverpool.