Warkworth is a town in the upper North Island of New Zealand, within the Rodney District and lying at the far north of the Auckland Region but just south of the Northland Region. It is located on State Highway 1, 64 km north of Auckland and 98 km south of Whangarei, and is at the head of Mahurangi Harbour.
The population was 3,270 according to the 2006 census, an increase of 15.7 percent over the preceding five years.
The Warkworth district is known as the Kowhai Coast, named after the native kowhai tree, and the town's annual Kowhai Festival is one of the largest community festivals in the country, running for around a week in spring. Warkworth is known for the ducks which live around the river running through the town.
New Zealand's main satellite communications ground station is located 5 km south of Warkworth
Warkworth, previously known as Browns Mill, was founded in 1853 by John Anderson Brown (born Newcastle upon Tyne), who named it after the village of Warkworth, Northumberland, where one of his relatives had taught for many years. In 1853 the government finished surveying the district and began to offer the land for sale. John Anderson Brown purchased of land and his daughter Amelia purchased a further . He then surveyed the land into allotments where the well known streets such as Lilburn, Alnwick, Neville, and Bertram were named. Six months later in May 1854 the allotments were offered for sale in The New Zealander, an Auckland Newspaper. Bridge House Lodge, established on the site of John Anderson Brown's home next door to the Warkworth Bridge, is the oldest survivng building in Warkworth. Early industry included logging of kauri and other timbers, flour milling and boat-building.
The first portland cement manufacturing works in the southern hemisphere, Wilson's Cement Company, was established near the town in 1884. It closed its doors in 1928 during the depression years. The ruins still remain and the mine is now a popular local fresh water swimming hole.
In 1883 the Masonic Hall was built and up until 1911 served as a public hall until a dedicated building was constructed on the corner of Alnwick and Neville streets. Across the road on the opposite corner the new post office was built the same year and was furnished with a telephone exchange within 12 months of being open.
In 1922 Stubbs Butchery first opened and took over the site on Wharf Street that once housed Bowen's Store, the first commercial premises to be built in the 1860s.
At the end of the 1930s came WWII, and although Warkworth escaped the physical devastation it became host to thousands of military men from America. There were 25 military camps which sprung up around the towns farmlands. They carried out exercises prior to being sent to the Pacific Campaigns. They were well received by the community.