East Coast Bays is a string of small suburbs that form the northernmost part of the contiguous Auckland metropolitan area in New Zealand. The suburbs line the north-east coast of the city along the shore of the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Channel. They stretch from Long Bay in the north to Castor Bay in the south. They include, from north to south, Long Bay, Torbay, Waiake Bay, Browns Bay, Rothesay Bay, Murrays Bay, Mairangi Bay, Campbells Bay and Castor Bay.
The area has been governed by the Auckland Council since the Council’s were merged in 2010. It is represented, along with the Hibiscus Coast to the north, by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, one of two boards in the Albany ward of Auckland Region. From 1989 to 2010 it was part of North Shore City, until North Shore City Council was merged into the Auckland Council. Prior to the 1989 local body reforms, the area was a city in its own right, known as the City of East Coast Bays.
There are three main roads that traverse the bays. State Highway 1 is the main traffic and bus route that connects the CBD via the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The East Coast Road runs parallel along the high road, whilst the Beach Road is more scenic and meanders along the coastline.
As expected, the bays slope down towards the sea and most residential properties are built on sloping land. Retaining walls have been developed to create flatter gardens and some terraced areas are evident. Patches of natural parks and trees have been maintained and the beaches are amongst the safest, being protected by the array of islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Rangitoto Island is the most prominent and forms a central feature for Auckland.
The Bays are popular with families and offer a good lifestyle. High decile schools provide education for all age groups and tertiary education is within easy reach. High schools in the area include Long Bay College and Rangitoto College, the largest high school in New Zealand with over 3,000 students between Year 9 and Year 13 of their schooling (‘Form 3 to Form 7’) attending in 2004.
Sports and leisure facilities cater for all age groups. Primary and secondary healthcare is available locally and specialist care is within the region.
It’s not a wonder that most people want to live in the Bays. Community spirit is high and, for those newly-arriving in the country, it must feel like paradise!