Sir John Kirwin's top picks

“Surfing is one of my passions, and Maori Bay, just south of Muriwai, is my favourite spot.”

Sir John Kirwan

The Hunting Lodge Winery

The Hunting Lodge Winery in Waimauku has a café and cellar door onsite – the wine is fantastic and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon in the sun with a cheese platter; you can even play a game of petanque near the olive groves. And the drive is a beauty, whichever direction you’re coming from.

Muriwai Beach

The cliffs out at Muriwai Beach have to be one of Auckland’s most unique landscapes and the views out into the Tasman Sea are incredible – they just seem to go on forever. I love taking people who’ve never been there to see the gannets nesting (noisily!) on the rocks.

A walk in the Waitakere Ranges

It’s so easy in Auckland to go from your own home to a quiet bushwalk through our native forest, and the Waitakere Ranges has so many walks to choose from. For a good weekend walk I’d probably pick the track out to Fairy Falls – it’s about an hour and a half there and back through kauri, nikau and rimu.

Surfing at Maori Bay

Surfing is one of my passions, and Maori Bay, just south of Muriwai, is my favourite spot. You have to be experienced for the west coast waves though – if you’ve never tried it but you’re keen to give it a go this summer, check out Piha Surf School or Muriwai Surf School.

Hallertau Brewbar and Restaurant

Nominate a driver and get a tasting paddle of different craft beers at Hallertau Brewbar and Restaurant in Riverhead. They have a microbrewery onsite and the Biergarten (beer garden) is a great place for a bite to eat – especially on a sunny Sunday. The staff can recommend just the right beers to go with each dish too.

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