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Original Sugar Worker's Walk

Chelsea Bay


Factory tours of the iconic site, along with baking classes, exhibits and coffee.
Find out more at chelsea.co.nz/chelseabay.

Sugar Worker Walk Chelsea Factory

35 - 40 mins
New Zealand's only Sugar Factory.

New Zealand's only sugar factory was built in 1884 and at one point employed nearly all the Village. The first walks were "etched" out by sugar workers walking home to their cottages after the days work. The walk heads off down Huka Road (formerly Huttons Road) and has well maintained tracks throughout. Wander down the pathway to view the Chelsea Sugar Clay Cottages (1910 - gifted to the city 2009). The factory, located on the banks of the Waitemata was built from local clay. Four brick dams constructed 1884-1917 to provide water are today picturesque lakes, home to ducks, black swans, and shags.

Enjoy the native bush then stroll back up to Rawene Road for a gelato or coffee at historic Highbury Corner, or alternatively you can now enjoy a coffee waters edge at the Chelsea Sugar Refinery Cafe.

Download the Map


Click here to download the Chelsea sugar cube map.

Points of Interest

  • Huka Road Sugar Workers Cottages - 45 Huka Rd
  • View from Chelsea Estate Park - To Auckland City
  • Chelsea Sculpture - A gift to Auckland in 2009.
  • Chelsea Clay Cottages - Built in 1910. (private residence)
  • Chelsea Sugar Refinery Factory - Built 1883 (approx.) Cafe 
  • Chelsea Sugar Refinery Factory Tour (Bookings ahead of time essential https://www.chelsea.co.nz/chelseabay/factory-tours/
  • 44 Rawene Road - Earliest example of sugar workers cottage, a style built from 1850-1880 (approx) (private residence)
  • 51 Rawene Road - Villas were common dwellings built 1870-1915 (approx.)
  • 55 Rawene Road - Sugar worker cottages (private residence). Built from late 1910 with features later found in the bungalow.
  • Chelsea Sugar Workers Archives - Award winning Birkenhead library.

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Free parking village wide. Click the map for more info.


Birkenhead Town Centre Association Inc. is a not-for-profit Incorporated Society with the objective of growing businesses in the area. We are funded by commercial ratepayers in the area.
We welcome new members who are inside the targeted rate footprint and encourage them to contact us about joining.

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