Matakana & Surrounds

Just an hour north of Auckland is the small, charming town of Matakana and the gateway to New Zealand’s famously beautiful Northland. It’s not just a thoroughfare though—this part of the Auckland Region has more than a few reasons to justify the short drive north.

Charming and quaint, Matakana is very much a grape-growers township, and home to the weekly SaturdayFarmers’ Markets—showcasing all the beautiful, fresh produce of the growers and farmers of the region. Matakana VIllage also features a small cinema, a few cute boutiques, and an impressive selection of delicious cafes, restaurants and bars.

Omaha Beach is an interesting mix of the old and the new. Often described as Auckland’s playground, it is fast becoming the vacation destination for Aucklanders with money to spend. Because, well, the beach is beautiful. Think soft blue waves gently caressing sparkling white sand.

Tawharanui Beach is both a marine reserve and a protected Regional Park and offers everything from camping and picnicking to rock pooling and snorkelling. Boasting some of Auckland’s most beautiful and bountiful beaches, rolling pastures, coastal forests, regenerating marine life, and very affordable camping, head up to Tawharanui for a few days to really make the most of this pristine sanctuary.

Just 15 minutes from Matakana is the pretty coastal community of Leigh. The nearest town to Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve and the famous Goat Island, as well as beautiful beaches like Mathesons Bay and Pakiri, Leigh is perfectly located for a night or two away from the big city life of Auckland.


Top Tip Restaurant and bar Leigh Sawmill is an unlikely hot spot for a lot of international and local live music and comedy. Check out the Sawmill’s gig guide and plan your trip up north accordingly.