Waimauku was a Maori populated area until the first European settlers arrived in the later half of the 19th century. The area was named "wai" for stream and "mauku" for all the different varieties of small ferns that populate the area. The name stems from the times the stream flooded and the tops of the cabbage trees were just still visible, and resembled small ferns.
Once populated by the European settlers, Waimauku's forests were cleared for Kauri – gum digging and flax milling, before pasture farming was established. The Auckland to Helensville railway was built in 1881, running throughout Waimauku. The line was used for transporting goods from Auckland to Helensville and passenger services, but was closed in 1976 due to the rise in the use of private vehicles, which made rail travel look slow and inconvenient.
Waimauku's population grew after World War I, as returned servicemen bought up the land for farming, and Waimauku School opened in 1921. Since then, Waimauku has expanded greatly in its residential areas, as farms were subdivided into lifestyle blocks, so that more people and families could enjoy a rural lifestyle.
Within the last decade, Waimauku Village has been developed, and has created a greater sense of community, with cafes, a supermarket, hair dresser, law office and other unique businesses, which is only set to continue to grow as the Waimauku population increases with both residents and visitors.