Beyond Matakana, the small settlement of Leigh, and the Goat Island Marine Reserve, is one of our favourite beaches, Pakiri Beach. A 1½ hr drive north of Auckland, Pakiri is an idyllic 9 km stretch of white sand and surf, perfect for swimming, bodysurfing and board surfing. The water is crystal clear, tempting swimmers to luxuriate in its champagne waves. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, it is a hotspot for them as well. We’ve even seen them surfing when surf’s up.
Pakiri Beach "Our Pick"
Pakiri Beach Horse Riding & Accommodation
Two basic but charming self-contained cabins nestled in the sand dunes and a beach house.
Rahuikiri Road 09 422 6275
If you enjoy horse trekking, Pakiri Beach Horse Riding offers a selection of part-day and multi-day packages.
Goat Island "Our Pick"
Twelve kilometres south of Pakiri Beach is Goat Island, New Zealand's first marine reserve (1975). This is a fantastic spot to snorkel or scuba dive, or to explore the rock pools at low tide. During peak holiday periods, glass bottom boat tours operate in the Reserve.
Leigh Sawmill Cafe & Brewery
142 Pakiri Road, Leigh 09 422 6019
Goat Island Dive
Offer a variety of scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking options.
142A Pakiri Road, Leigh 09 422 6925
Tera del Mar Country B&B
Two storey old Victorian style building in with 4 guest rooms set on Pakiri Ridge. Has coastal and countryside views.
140 Rodney Road, Leigh +64 9 422 6090 Website
Matakana Accommodation "Our Pick"
Two stand-alone, self-contained cottages with rural & water views. 91 Ridge Road, Scotts Landing +64 9 422 3518 Website
The Saltings Guesthouse
Three guest rooms in this boutique bed & breakfast or two self catering apartments set among the vines.
1210 Sandspit Rd, Sandspit +64 9 425 9670 Website
Overlooking a tidal estuary this B&B Boutique Hotel has seven luxury guest rooms, restaurant, pool and gardens.
841 Takatu Road +64 9 422 7256 Website
Matakana Restaurants & Cafes "Our Pick"
Tapiano Bar & Bistro
2 Matakana Valley Road 09 423 0383
Heron's Flight Vineyard & Restaurant 09 422 7915
Ascension Vineyard & Bistro 09 422 9601
Morris & James Pottery & Tileworks 09 422 7484
Brick Bay wines & Sculpture Trail 09 425 4690
The charming river-side village of Warkworth, one hour’s drive north of Auckland, is the gateway to Matakana Coast Wine Country. A worthwhile destination in its own right, Warkworth is also the main service centre for the surrounding region. Just south of town, boardwalks through the Parry Kauri Park offer up-close access to New Zealand’s most magnificent trees. The road from Warkworth to the East Coast passes one of the region’s foodie paradises, Matakana, where specialty food outlets complement the weekly Farmers’ Market. Matakana’s boutique wineries produce notable pinot noir, syrah and merlot, and vineyard cafes regularly host outdoor summer music concerts. The Brick Bay Vineyard fosters the connection between art and wine with its 2 km Sculpture Trail, featuring an ever-changing display of 25 to 30 works by New Zealand artists. The concept is ‘Art and Wine Entwined’, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable combination. Afterwards, you can stop for olive and wine tastings or a platter made to share in The Glass House, a stunning, award-winning combination of glass, steel and coloured Perspex which straddles the original dam bar. The three-cinema complex at the Matakana Village Cinemas offers one of the most delightful movie experiences in the country. Each of the theatres is individually decorated, their décor so voluptuous they will satisfy the most outrageous tastes.
This five star lodge is 7 kilometres from State Highway 1 midway between Orewa and Warkworth, a 40 minutes drive north of Auckland. Set on 5 acres with native trees, abundant birdlife, small tidal coves, harbour and estuary views."Environment Friendly Accommodation" 657 Pukapuka Road, RD 3, Warkworth
Phone: +64 9 422 0156 Website
ACCOMMODATION SPECIALS & GUEST REVIEWS
Goat Island Marine Reserve
Town Centre, Matakana