The famous Matakana Farmers' Market. © Visit Auckland

Matakana Coast: markets, beaches and vineyards


AA Members can save 10% on selected accommodation!

Start looking

Matakana has gone crazy in the last decade or so: leaps and bounds barely describes it.

Already spoiled with a million great activities and natural attractions and close enough to Auckland that it’s a great day trip, latterly so much has sprung up here you start wondering what they put in the water. Wine, you might think, driving around.

Yep, a bunch of vineyards have truly taken hold here in the last ten to 15 years. While a few brave viticultural souls were already established when the millennium turned over, it’s Wine Central up this way now. There is a heap of great places that offer a taste and a tasty treat, fab food, good views and a delightful environment to put your loafers up in.

Likely they’ll serve local produce, too: the whole area is throbbing with honey producers (over and above the bees themselves, clearly), cheese-makers, folk who make killer jams and preserves, and that’s before we take a sunny stroll through the olive groves.

All of these goodies and more are available at one of the country’s best farmers’ markets; totally worth checking out, even if it’s just to see the Aucklanders trying to wedge their SUVs into too small a parking space. You’re not going to get in there, Maaaartiiiiiinnnnnnnnnn!!

Need a bit more action? Goat Island at Leigh is legendary for snorkelling, a protectorate of all things pure and natural – birdlife, fish life, wildlife – and for nightlife the nearby Leigh Sawmill hosts bands and brews its own beers as well. Pakiri is a beautiful, wild beach, a stretch of coastline that encompasses dunes, woodland and endless surf.

It’s all good, it’s all close to the big smoke, but it feels a million miles away. Wake up and smell the (artisanal) coffee.

Explore more...

Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more

Get outdoors

Auckland's islands: marine playground

Auckland is still known as the City of Sails, largely because it has some of the world’s best cruising waters on its doorstep. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Get outdoors

Matakana coast and country: weekend wonderland

Not that long ago, Matakana was just a bend in the road between Warkworth and Leigh. Now it’s a byword for gourmet food, top-quality wine and arthouse cinema. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Get outdoors

Rodney: twin coasts

This is a land of two coasts: the white-sand beaches opening onto the benign waters of the Hauraki Gulf and the black sand shores of the west coast. Read the story . . . 

AA Members save on selected accommodation with
AA Traveller

AA Members
Book now
Non Members
Book now