A few hours away from Whangaparaoa lies Matakana, a famous foodie heaven known for its weekend farmer’s market, boutique food shops and spectacular vineyards. Settled in the 1840s, the picturesque Matakana has a proud history, a strong sense of community, and over 30 boutique vineyards, olive groves and restaurants. Visitors to this region can take advantage of all it has to offer, with its locally-grown produce, local cafes and popular destination of weekends for many Aucklanders. From olive oil tastings to world-class wine tours and more – the Matakana region has something for everyone to enjoy.
Sightseeing #1: Sculptureum
Founded in 2017, Sculptureum offers art enthusiasts and sightseers alike the chance to explore over 800 works of art displayed across 6 galleries and 3 delightful sculpture gardens. Nestled just outside of Matakana, only an hour away from Auckland, visitors are welcomed to a truly unique artistic experience amongst pieces from some of the world’s greatest artists, including Picasso, Chagall, Rodin, Chihuly and Cezanne. The paths and gardens that meander throughout the venue offer breathtaking views set against a backdrop of colourfully planted trees.
Sightseeing #2: Te Hāwere-a-Maki / Goat Island
Boasting spectacular crystal clear waters and lush vegetation, Goat Island, or Te Hāwere-a-Maki as it is known to Ngāti Manuhiri, is a spiritual location of significance due to the fact that their ancestral canoe Moe Karaka landed here. Located in Matakana, this small island (only 1 hectare/2.5 acres) has become one of Auckland’s most popular spots for snorkelling and diving, making it New Zealand’s first marine reserve.