Matakana is not only filled with lush greenery and azure beaches. It is also well-known as a must-visit for any foodie and wine lover in the local vicinity and for travellers around the world. Situated on the East Coast of the North Island, Matakana is an extraordinary destination that you cannot miss in New Zealand! It boasts over 30 boutique vineyards, olive groves, a large farmers’ market of locally-grown produce, and restaurants handling fresh-made food. Here are the top 9 things to do for all you foodies, wine-lovers, and beach-goers out there.
1. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Matakana Village Farmers' Market
Saturdays here at the Market include good food and friends, make a date and come enjoy our relaxed Market! #matakanamarkets #aucklandmarkets #freshisbest #coffee #oysters #wine #produce #greensPosted by Matakana Village Farmers Market on Tuesday, 3 May 2016
A visit to Matakana Village Farmers’ Market is a must! It boasts a variety of fresh and locally-grown vegetables and fruits, as well as organic chocolate, artisan hot pastries, olive oil, homemade jams, honey, coffee brewed with the finest local coffee beans, and Italian sausages. Try one of the stalls that sells salted caramel truffles, or another that sells cooked oysters. There are also live music performances to bring out a festive vibe. As the market is only open on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm, please ensure that your visit to Matakana takes place on this day.
Matakana Village Farmers Market
Address: 2 Matakana Valley Rd, Laly Haddon Place, Matakana 0985, New Zealand
Website: Matakana Village Farmers Market
If you live in the heart of Auckland and want a short getaway with your family or closest friends, then Viator’s Matakana Coast Food and Wine Tour is tailored specially for you. Indulge in local hand-made chocolates at Chocolate Brown. Taste the finest organic honey at the family-run establishment, Puhoi Honey Centre, and wine tastings like mead, a type of honey wine, and fruit wine at one of their premium vineyards, Ransom Wines. You also have the opportunity to see New Zealand’s native kauri trees at Parry Kauri Park, where you can soak in amazing views of the East Coast.
Small-Group Matakana Coast Food and Wine Tour from Auckland
3. Have a picnic at Kawau Island
This hidden gem is one of the largest islands situated on the Hauraki Gulf, which is approximately 8 km (4.5 mi) east of Matakana. Surrounded by crystal-clear waters, and filled with rich history and beautiful greenery, visiting Kawau Island is a dream escapade from the bustling cities. It is renowned for its copper mine field and Mansion House, a historic two-storey, 30 bedroom guesthouse that can be seen immediately when you arrive to the island. Although Mansion House boasts its in-house cafe, we’d also recommend all visitors to have a picnic anywhere on the island’s bays.
To get to this island, you need to drive to Sandspit, a region on the East Coast, and depart via any of their water cruise services, which will guarantee a comfortable yet speedy ride!
Address: Kawau Island, New Zealand 0920
Website: Kawau Island
4. Have a sorbet or gelato from Charlie’s Gelato Garden
No trip is complete without eating a fruity sorbet or luscious gelato from Charlie’s Gelato Garden! Every day, the gelato and sorbet artisans make their homemade Italian ice cream entirely from scratch to ensure high quality taste. They also use seasonal fruits for sorbet-making. You can choose from a range of 30 different flavours, and they feature a flavour of the month, like Ferrero Rocher for July. Since they make their ice cream in real small portions, go visit them as early as possible.
Charlie's Gelato Garden
Address: 17 Sharp Rd, Laly Haddon Place, Warkworth 0982, New Zealand
Website: Charlie’s Gelato Garden
5. Dine in at Smiths Matakana Country Park Restaurant
Food you must try at Smiths: steamed pork buns.
This tapas bar and restaurant is acclaimed for its delicious, creatively crafted food and superb service. The restaurant’s rustic wood decor creates a very warm and inviting atmosphere for all its guests. There are 15 tapas dishes that you can select from, but we recommend their filling steamed pork buns, with barbecue sauce oozing from all sides.
Smiths Matakana Country Park Restaurant
Address: 1152 Leigh Rd, Laly Haddon Place, Matakana 0985, New Zealand
Facebook Page: Smiths Matakana Country Park Restaurant
6. Follow the Bricks Bay Sculpture Trail and dine at the Glass House Kitchen
If you want to experience delectable organic food and arts combined, then you have to visit Bricks Bay Wines. It has its own in-house restaurant, the Glass House Kitchen, and an outdoor sculpture trail. Founded in 1986, this boutique vineyard boasts 200 acres (81 hectares) of land with a vast sculpture trail and a glistening lake. You can start with a great journey on their sculpture trail, which exhibits approximately 45 sculptures by Kiwi artists. By the end of your journey, you will feel famished, and you can head to their restaurant. During the day, the Glass House Kitchen has a warm and bright ambience as natural sunlight strikes all of its corners. Using farm produce, locally grown vegetables and grapes for wine-making, their food and wine just taste exquisite.
Bricks Bay Wines and Sculpture Trail
Address: 17 Arabella Lane, Snells Beach, Auckland, 0920 New Zealand
7. Dine at Plume the Vineyard Restaurant
Come on over to Plume, bask in the sunshine on our all weather covered patio overlooking the Tamahunga range and the...Posted by Plume Restaurant on Wednesday, 14 October 2015
This restaurant brings a fusion of international and local cuisines within multiple dishes, such as their okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), tempura prawn, Asian pickled salad, and bonito flakes. It features an open style kitchen, and diners can see the chefs preparing and cooking fresh and divine food. The restaurant also offers beautiful views of hills and vineyards.
Plume the Vineyard Restaurant
Address: 49 Sharp Rd, Matakana, Auckland 0982, New Zealand
Website: Plume the Vineyard Restaurant
8. Climb up the hills and head to the beach at Tawharanui Regional Park
Situated on a remote peninsula in the Matakana Coast wine country, the vistas of Tawharanui Regional Park offers spectacular sceneries of the countryside, wildlife, and white sand beaches along the East Coast. It is really suitable for families and small groups. There is an endless list of activities you can take up – swimming, windsurfing, kitesurfing, picnicking, hiking, and more!
Tawharanui Regional Park
Address: Tawharanui Peninsula 0986, New Zealand
Website: Tawharanui Regional Park
9. Surf at Omaha Beach
Although this is not really situated in Matakana, Omaha is only 7 km (4.3 mi) away. Also known as ‘place of pleasure’ in Maori, Omaha Beach guarantees a chilled, atmospheric area for anyone. During the summer, the waters are perfect for surfers, as the waves are moderate.
Address: Omaha, 0986, New Zealand
Website: Omaha Beach
Satisfy your cravings by visiting Matakana
Just by looking at the food pictures and reading this guide makes you feel quite famished, right? Well, don’t delay your visit to Matakana any longer! There is always something for all you beach-goers, foodies, or wine-lovers out there. From visiting its gorgeous beaches and vibrant village market on Saturdays, to having fine-dining experiences and intimate bondings at Charlie’s Gelato Garden or Kawau island, you will surely have a ball!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.