The site of the present day Government House, Auckland was first built upon in the 1880s or 1890s, although some of the trees are slightly older, dating from the 1870s.
The House is much smaller than the Wellington House, being designed as a family home.
Sir Frank and Lady Mappin bought the property in 1921 and spent the next 45 years, after building the residence, developing and landscaping the grounds. They gave the House and land to The Queen in 1962 for use as a Royal or Vice-Regal residence.
Only a few such large, long-established gardens have survived anywhere in New Zealand. The grounds have been endorsed as a "Garden of National Significance" by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. They feature many individual trees that are among the oldest of their kind in the country and because it retains some of the lava outcrops that were once a feature of the area, still covered in places by vegetation that also was once typical. Both the garden's design and its horticultural variety have particular merit.