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Bombay Hills facts for kids

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View looking north-west towards Auckland from top of Mount Puketutu
View looking north-west towards Auckland from top of Mount Puketutu

The Bombay Hills are a range of hills to the south of Auckland, New Zealand. Though only a small and seemingly insignificant range of hills, they lie at the southern boundary of the Auckland region, and serve as a divide between Auckland and the Waikato region. There is a 19th-century settlement, Bombay, on the old main road south of Auckland, the Great South Road.

Aucklanders and other New Zealanders have a mostly light-hearted "love-hate" relationship. Stereotypically, Aucklanders view parts of the country "south of the Bombay Hills" as provincial and unsophisticated, while the rest of the country sees Aucklanders as brash and arrogant. For this reason, the boundary between Auckland and its southern neighbours bears great significance. People on both sides of the boundary are as likely to use the phrase "New Zealand stops at the Bombay Hills". The term was adopted by 1990s New Zealand reggae band Southside of Bombay.


The hills are located 40 kilometres (25 mi) southeast of Auckland, close to the town of Pukekohe. State Highway 1 here reaches its highest point between Auckland and Tirau in the eastern Waikato Region, 134 kilometres (83 mi) to the southeast. Bombay is the nearest settlement to the southern fringe of the Auckland metropolitan area.


The settlement of Bombay and hence the Bombay Hills are directly named after the ship Bombay, which landed in Auckland and brought settlers to the area, originally called Williamson's Clearing, in 1863. The ship itself was named after the Indian city of Bombay (now Mumbai).


While they may appear to be just a spur of the Hunua Ranges, the Bombay Hills are geologically quite distinct, being mainly of volcanic origin. The hills are overlain by Hamilton Ash tephra which has weathered to create some of the best soils for market gardening in New Zealand.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 1,659 —    
2013 1,620 −0.34%
2018 1,974 +4.03%

Bombay Hills had a population of 1,974 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 354 people (21.9%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 315 people (19.0%) since the 2006 census. There were 669 households. There were 972 males and 1,002 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.97 males per female. The median age was 45 years, with 387 people (19.6%) aged under 15 years, 297 (15.0%) aged 15 to 29, 975 (49.4%) aged 30 to 64, and 315 (16.0%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 85.7% European/Pākehā, 10.3% Māori, 4.0% Pacific peoples, 8.8% Asian, and 2.6% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 19.8%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 51.4% had no religion, 35.6% were Christian, 1.8% were Hindu, 1.5% were Muslim, 0.8% were Buddhist and 2.3% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 306 (19.3%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 243 (15.3%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $44,200. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 885 (55.8%) people were employed full-time, 261 (16.4%) were part-time, and 42 (2.6%) were unemployed.


Bombay School is a coeducational full primary school (years 1–8) with a roll of 354 as of July 2016. The school opened in 1872.

Notable buildings

  • St Peter in the Forest Church (Anglican)

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