11 things to do along the Matakana Coast

Looking to explore some of Auckland’s most picturesque spots? Dive into our list of 11 must-do activities along the Matakana Coast.

  • Author

    Natalie Clement
  • Last updated

    Jul 2024
  • Time to read

    7 mins

Just an hour's drive north of the city centre, the Matakana Coast is famed for charming vineyards, sprawling beaches, and artisanal markets. Whether you stay for a weekend or longer, make the most of your visit with our list of 11 things to do along the Matakana Coast. 


1. Go wine tasting

Brick Bay Wines & Sculpture Trail

Brick Bay

With art, food, and wine, Brick Bay is loved by Matakana Coast locals and visitors alike. Stroll through their stunning sculpture trail before settling in for a wine tasting at The Row — no booking needed! Tastings start from just $10 per person, and you can even have a tasting fee waived if you buy a bottle.

Every grape is grown on-site, so expect sustainable, high-quality reds, whites, and rosés with unique flavours shaped by the local soil and climate. Feeling peckish? Their restaurant, The Glass House, is top-notch.

Matakana Estate

Spanning 35 hectares, Matakana Estate is the largest winery along the Coast. Try a flight of four estate-grown wines for $15 per person — the Matakana flight is their most popular — and learn about how our maritime climate affects grape growing. The cellar door is open Thursday to Monday from 11am - 4pm, but before you go, book in advance through their website. 

Heron’s Flight

Specialising in Italian grape varieties, Heron’s Flight is a family-run vineyard with three generations of winemakers living on the property. Their intimate tasting room is open 10am - 5pm daily, and prices start from only $10. Sip on their renowned Sangiovese and Dolcetto while soaking in the beautiful vineyard views. 

2. Taste locally made artisan products

Honest Chocolat

Honest Chocolat

Indulge your sweet tooth with handcrafted chocolates from Honest Chocolat. Known for original flavours, ethical sourcing, and exquisite presentation, Honest Chocolat is the brainchild of local husband and wife duo Nico and Emily Bonnaud.

Nico is a French-trained chef de pâtisserie - and it shows! Honest Chocolat has been met with much acclaim since its inception in 2016 and has been steadily growing ever since. With gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and even sugar-free options, everyone is invited to try these award-winning chocolates on the Coast where their story first began. 

Charlie’s Gelato Matakana

Cool down with a scoop (or two) of award-winning gelato or sorbetto at Charlie’s Gelato. Made the Italian way with fresh, local ingredients, their ever-changing menu features a wide range of flavours to tingle your tastebuds.

The Village Picnic

Join The Village Picnic for a curated tour of Matakana's best local produce with a difference. You'll be given a map, a 'base' picnic hamper, and clues to start your adventure. Along the way, you'll collect produce from the Matakana Coast's artisans before you settle in at your final destination with an optional bottle of wine.

3. Express your creativity

 

Clay Friends

Clay Friends

Take a pottery class at Clay Friends and create your own handmade masterpiece (or something like that...). Seriously, though, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned potter, Clay Friends has a number of workshops to make clay accessible for everyone.

So sit at the pottery wheel, try ceramic painting, or just have a bit of fun at a 'Play with Clay' workshop. The choice is yours!

Slow Blooms

Bring a piece of the Matakana countryside home at Slow Blooms, where you can handpick flowers and healing herbs to make your own bouquet. Grab a basket, select a pair of snips, and wander through rows in bloom to find your favourites.

Open everyday from 10am - 5pm, Slow Blooms is located next to Charlie's Gelato, so grab a sweet treat before spending a gentle afternoon amongst the flowers. 
 

4. Immerse yourself in nature

Wenderholm Regional Park

Tāwharanui Regional Park

Discover Tāwharanui Regional Park, a stunning blend of white sandy beaches, rolling pastures, and native bush. It’s a great spot for hiking, bird watching, and picnicking.

Mahurangi Regional Park (West)

Enjoy the tranquil beauty of Mahurangi Regional Park. With its sheltered bays and historic sites, it’s perfect for kayaking, fishing, and relaxing by the water.

Wenderholm Regional Park

Wenderholm Regional Park is a natural oasis where the Puhoi River meets the sea. Enjoy walking trails, beach activities, and breathtaking views.

5. Visit a market

Matakana Village Farmers' Market

Matakana Country Park Markets

Held every Sunday, the Matakana Country Park Market is a local favourite. Find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Matakana Village Markets

Explore the Matakana Village Farmers' Markets, where you can shop for locally made and vintage goods, enjoy live music, and taste delicious food from a variety of vendors.

Watch: 6 family-friendly activities along the Matakana Coast

 

6. Meet the animals

Goat Island Dive and Snorkel at Goat Island Marine Reserve

Ti Point Reptile Park

Get up close and personal with exotic reptiles at Ti Point Reptile Park. It’s an exciting and educational experience for all ages.

Sheepworld

Visit Sheepworld to learn about New Zealand’s sheep farming industry. Watch live demonstrations, meet the animals, and browse their unique wool products.

Goat Island Marine Reserve

Dive into the underwater world at Goat Island Marine Reserve. Snorkel or take a glass-bottom boat tour to see vibrant marine life in their natural habitat.

Highfield Gardens Reserve Donkey Sanctuary

Spend a peaceful afternoon at the Donkey Sanctuary, where you can meet and feed the friendly residents. It’s a heartwarming experience for animal lovers.

7. Eat like a local

The Matakana Village Pub

The Matakana Village Pub

Enjoy a hearty meal and a pint at The Matakana Village Pub. This historic pub is a great spot to relax and soak in the local vibe.

Sawmill Brewery and Smoko Room

Visit Sawmill Brewery and Smoko Room for a taste of locally brewed craft beer. Pair your drink with delicious food in a laid-back setting.

Matakana Market Kitchen

Savour fresh, local cuisine at Matakana Market Kitchen. Their menu features seasonal ingredients sourced from nearby farms and producers.

The Tahi Bar in Warkworth

Recently awarded the best Gastropub for the northern North Island, The Tahi Bar in Warkworth offers live music every weekend and a vibrant atmosphere.

See similar collections

8. Visit a museum or a gallery

Warkworth and District Museum

Warkworth and District Museum

Learn about the region’s rich history at the Warkworth and District Museum. Discover fascinating exhibits and artifacts from the past.

Sculptureum

Explore the Sculptureum, an impressive collection of art and sculpture set in beautiful gardens. It’s an inspiring place to stimulate the right side of your brain.

Morris and James Pottery 

Explore the Morris and James Pottery Gallery, where you can admire (and purchase) beautiful ceramics and artworks. Don’t miss the chance to see their craftsmen at work.

9. Relax on the beach

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

Spend a day at Omaha Beach, known for its white sand and clear waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beach games.

Tāwharanui Beach

Tāwharanui Beach offers a stunning coastal escape with crystal-clear waters and golden sand. It’s an ideal spot for a relaxing beach day.

Martin’s Bay

Martin’s Bay is a tranquil beach with calm waters, making it a great spot for families and those looking to unwind by the sea.

10. Exercise your adventurous spirit

Blue Adventures

Blue Adventures

Get your adrenaline pumping with Blue Adventures. Try kiteboarding, wakeboarding, or foilboarding lessons in the beautiful waters of Matakana.

Action Ninja World

Challenge yourself at Action Ninja World, an exciting obstacle course designed to test your agility and strength. It’s a fun adventure for all ages.

Matakana Trail

Cycle the scenic Matakana Trail from Matakana to Omaha with a side trip to Point Wells. It’s perfect for a leisurely bike ride or a brisk walk. Auckland Transport's handy guide to the trail has all the details!

11. Stay a while

Matakana Estate Lodge

Too much to pack in to one day? Extend your visit and wake up along the Matakana Coast.

Budget-friendly

For affordable, family-friendly options, consider Martin’s Bay Holiday Park, Pakiri Beach Holiday Park, or Whangateau Holiday Park, each offering stunning views and great amenities.

Mid-range

For mid-range stays, Matakana Motel provides comfortable accommodation priced starting from $205, while BeauRegard Cottages' charming lodgings starting from $210 per night. Teepee provides unique and cosy stays from $150 per night.

High-end

If you’re looking for luxury, Matakana Estate Lodge offers ultimate opulence, Takatu Lodge features elegant accommodations with vineyard views, and Plume Villas boast luxurious settings amidst picturesque landscapes.

 
Written by Natalie Clement

Last updated 17 Jul 2024

More articles

See All