On a recent trip to visit our daughter living in Auckland she suggested we venture out of Auckland – great idea and thanks to this we discovered the lovely area of Matakana.
Matakana is 1-hour North of Auckland. This picturesque region is a foodie and artists haven, known for its weekend farmers market, art gallery’s, sculpture trails, spectacular beaches, vineyards and craft brewers - definitely my kind of place!!!
Leaving Auckland on a Friday at 4pm it took just over an hour to get to our accommodation - 3km south of Matakana village (definitely allow more time though in summer). Having booked a cottage through book-a-bach, we were delighted to find such a cozy and creatively decorated place, set on the owner’s 10-acre property. Arriving around dinnertime we ventured into town to find somewhere to eat. A quick walk around the township, a look at menus at the various eating establishments and we finally chose Matakana Market Kitchen – situated under Matakana’s cinema. Here we had a delicious meal – would definitely recommend. Then it was home to our cozy cottage to snuggle up by the woodburner fire and begin the first of the weekends scrabble and monopoly challenges
Our lovely book-a-bach accommodation - Old School Guest House
The weekend was spent discovering the joys of this area – the famous Matakana Markets on Saturday morning, a lovely brunch at Plume Café, a drive to discover a handful of the many glorious beaches – Omaha, Tawharanui Regional Park, Ti Point Wharf and Leigh. On the way back we stopped at the trendy Sawmill Brewery for some beer sampling and a tasty platter. The afternoon was well taken up with a visit and walk around the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail. The trail takes you through native bush and a huge selection of large crafted sculptures. Being a Saturday and the All-Blacks first test match against France we headed out that night to the Matakana Village Pub for dinner and positioned ourselves in front of one of the large TV screens (and yes we won)!!! then headed back to the cottage to continue our scrabble & monopoly challenges
Matakana Farmers Markets held on Saturday mornings.
The Matakana area is surrounded by beautiful beaches
The trendy Sawmill Brewery where we enjoyed craft beer tasting and a platter
A lovely afternoon spent doing the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail
On Sunday we were up bright and early to do a long walk (this time a day planned by our daughter). A 50-minute drive north took us to the start of the Mangawhai Cliffs walk – but not before stopping to have breakfast at the nearby Harvest Blue Café.
The Mangawhai Cliffs walk takes approximately 2 hours – first walking along the beach, then up hill amongst a forest of Nikau Palms and incredible views overlooking hills and down to the rugged coast - below and beyond. After making our way back down the hill we spent the last ¾ hour walking along very rocky but beautiful coastline. This walk has often been named the most beautiful coastal walk North of Auckland and I can certainly see why.
The Mangawhai Cliffs Walk
Some of the natural fauna found in the Matakana & Mangawhai Area
Sunday, our last night in Matakana, we headed out for a drink at the Vintry which is upstairs in Matakana’s funky cinema. Here we sipped our drinks by a cozy fire - only the thought of our own cozy fire and delicious platter made up from treats bought at the Matakana Markets the day before had us leaving to venture out into the cold night. A final night of scrabble and monopoly challenges and a couple of wins for me made it a great end to a truly enjoyable weekend.
A passion for photography and a love of travel - Liz now enjoys combing the two.
Morning Walk on the Miramar Peninsula