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Aviation pioneers’ landmark home sale proceeds at full throttle

Tags: Auckland Commercial Residential

The most stately and historically important home on the former Hobsonville Airbase in Auckland has been placed on the market for sale.

Brought to you by Willis Bond & Co, Mill House stands as the most prestigious residence in Hobsonville Point. Originally built for New Zealand aviation pioneers Doug and Audrey Mill, the majestic 4108m2 clifftop property has waterfront views across the Upper Waitemata Harbour.

Built with grand proportions and George Tole designed architecture, the 512m2 dwelling features five bedrooms, three bathrooms and four minor auxiliary rooms. Downstairs, Mill House offers a classical country kitchen complete with walk-in butler’s pantry and informal breakfast dining area, a formal dining room, two lounges and a sunroom.

The Mills conducted the first aerial survey of New Zealand in 1929 – with Doug behind the controls while Audrey hung over the side of the plane taking photos from the open cockpit.

They also imported the first de Havilland passenger aircraft into New Zealand and assembled Gypsy Moth planes from their nearby hangar.

As Hobsonville Point grew as a military base, and with World War II looming, the Government decided in 1937 that it was no longer appropriate for a civilian to be operating an aviation business in the middle of a military installation, nor was it appropriate for a civilian to be living so close to an air force base. The Mills reluctantly sold their home to the Government.

Toward the end of the war, Mill House was used as accommodation for the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and nursing sisters with the New Zealand Army. Hobsonville Airbase ceased operating as a military post in 2001 when ownership was transferred to the state-administered Hobsonville Lane Company. Mill House has been let as private accommodation over recent years.

Now the building is being marketed for sale by Bayleys through a tender process closing on Thursday July 7, 2016. Bayleys salesperson Paul Dixon said the five bedroom/three bathroom homestead truly reflected the Mill’s standing in Auckland’s society.


“While Mill House is in good condition for its age, it’s certainly a restoration project to rejuvenate both the interior and exterior back to its former glory,” Mr Dixon said.

The timber-framed Mill House is one of the featured property’s of historical importance on Auckland Council’s official Hobsonville Walk.

“Mill House has been a significant landmark on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour since it was built. Over the decades it has seen the construction of the Greenhithe bridge, the motorway link, and most recently the redevelopment of the entire Hobsonville Point subdivision,” said Mr Dixon.

Willis Bond project director Wayne Silver adds that Mill House is considered to have exceptional heritage significance. “This is principally due to its historical association and architectural values. The house makes a contribution to the character of the Hobsonville Point area.”

For further information on the sale of Mill House, or images of the property, contact Paul Dixon. Phone 309 0620.

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