The McGrath Estate is a 200 acre property on the edge of Auckland, New Zealand's largest metropolitan area. The property is high up on the western side of the beautiful Waitakere Ranges, the small mountain range that separates Auckland city on the tranquil east coast from the wild untameable west coast.
The property is a deep ruggedly beautiful valley. More than half the valley is occupied by lush subtropical native rain forest, with the remaining acreage in rolling farm land. The farm carries beef cattle that are raised on the property. A vibrant stream chatters its way along the bottom of the valley, through the farm before cascading down into deep bush land where giant prehistoric tree ferns cling to steep cliffs above the stream. Majestic kauri trees and other native flora populate dense forest that includes exposed rock cliffs and hidden pastures deep in the valley. High on the Southern side of the valley, a stand of ancient eucalyptus trees near crop paddocks enclosed by tall bamboo hedgerows, provide exotic contrast with the lush deep green of the native forest below.
A 1.2 kilometre long gravel road winds its’ way from the property's Northern entrance across to the Southern side of the valley. This short drive is a journey in itself with twists, turns and steep gradients, but is safely negotiated daily by residents on the property commuting by car. At points along the road, walking trails lead onto the farm land and into the native forest.
There are three homesteads on the property including Casa Bianca, the White House, built by the late Vincent and Emma McGrath after they purchased the property in 1974. Located on the southern side of the valley facing into the warmth of the northern sun, the terraces of Casa Bianca command a spectacular view. Other buildings on the property include a charming little cottage nestled by the crop paddocks and a tall rustic Red Barn at the bottom of the valley where the road crosses the stream.
McGrath Estate has a remote and isolated lost world feel, a million miles from anywhere, right on the edge of New Zealand's largest city.