If you are looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Auckland, to retreat to a place more slowed down and relaxed, then look no further than Matakana. A convenient one-hour drive from the city, the diverse landscapes and abundance of activities are sure to give you many avenues to rejuvenate.
1. Matakana Village Market
2 Matakana Valley Road
The small and quaint Matakana Village Market is a great spot to visit on Saturdays (8am-1pm), as it provides a variety of delicious brunch foods, fresh produce, breads and sweets. A better place for delicious Christmas gifts, you could not find.
2. Plume Café
1335 Leigh Road
If you prefer to brunch in the comfort of a café, then Plume Café is an excellent choice. Conveniently located in the heart of Matakana and right next door to Matakana Market, its extensive menu offers plenty to excite those taste buds, not to mention the coffee, which is brilliant.
3. Charlie’s Gelato Garden
17 Sharp Road
If you have a sweet tooth or you just want to treat yourself, stop by Charlie’s Gelato to indulge in a scoop or two of delicious sorbet and gelato made from fresh fruit.
4. Use the Loo!
Matakana went the whole hog with its Steffan de Haan-designed ‘ship shape’ public toilets, which acknowledge the local boat-building industry. So after indulging in all those treats you can go to the loo in style.
5. Morris & James
46 Tongue Farm Road
Watch the potters for free during the daily tour that begins at 11:30am to see them at work, then take a look at the finished products. You will be sorely tempted to take home a selection of colourful plant pots.
40 Omaha Flats Road
Unlock your imagination, ignite your mind and fuel imagination, with a visit to Sculptureum. Indulge in an art experience that is internationally unique. A world of food, art and wine designed to inspire, uplift and amuse.
6. Plume Restaurant
49a Sharp Road, Matakana
Head over to the lovely Plume Restaurant to enjoy fine dining from their comprehensive menu while basking in a glorious rural landscape. Plume Restaurant presents 180-degree views of vineyards, fields, valleys and mountains and offers both indoor and patio dining.
8. Unforgettable Tawharanui
To let off some steam, make your way to the gorgeous white sands of Tawharunui beach (10 minutes by car from Matakana). Here, walking tracks take in spectacular views of the bays and marine park, established over 30 years ago, and provides a good time for divers, swimmers, snorkelers and bird watchers.
9. Do a Brewery Tour
1004 Leigh Road
Sawmill is an independent, New Zealand owned brewery run by a small and talented team. Sawmill Brewery, established in 2004 on the site of what was once a local timber mill established in the 1860s, offers brewery tours, and then there is the Smoko Room, a place in the brewery to visit for generous hospitality, food with gumption, 14 beers on tap and a drinks list that showcases organic wines and the best New Zealand producers. There is also a full range of beer to takeaway as well as flagon fills.
10. Plume Villas
37 Sharp Road
If you need a place to lay your head at the end of the day, look no further than the Plume Villas. These stunningly appointed villas offer boutique luxury serviced accommodation where guests can relax and rejuvenate in a peaceful country setting. The 12 villas are set in a beautifully landscaped environment, at one with nature in the heart of the country.