What to do in Warkworth and Matakana
Matakana and Warkworth are two small towns sitting side-by-side roughly an hour north of Auckland. We make a brief stop in Matakana during our Tawharanui tours so you can pick up a coffee and have a look around, but there’s plenty more to this area if you have some time to spare.
Here are a few of the best things to do in Matakana and Warkworth!
Warkworth Museum and Parry Kauri Park
When we head north of Auckland to visit the Tawharanui nature reserve, we make a stop at the Parry Kauri Park on the way, as it’s undoubtedly one of the best spots in the region. The park’s history goes back to the early settler days, but is now a public treasure with a fantastic nature trail of elevated walkways through the trees. The kauri trees are one of the world’s largest species, and the McKinney Kauri (which you can see from the carpark) is roughly 800 years old.
The small museum right next to the park is where you can pick up brochures with more details about the flora and fauna in the area, as well as old kauri digging tools, giant pieces of kauri gum, and other historic items.
The Matakana Wine Trail
The warm climate and rich soils north of Auckland make for a divine region for vineyards, which has resulted in a wonderful wine trail throughout the area. There are more than a dozen wineries on the trail, including Hyperion, Takatu, Ransom Wines, and Brick Bay. Known largely for the variety of excellent reds, these wineries allow you to taste test their fares and purchase your favourites to take home. Be sure to check opening times and whether or not you need to make an appointment before heading off on this trail.
Snells Beach is just 15 minutes from Warkworth or only 5 minutes from Matakana, and is one of the most popular beaches in the area. It’s the perfect place to cool off on hot summer days, and offers plenty of white sand to stretch out on with a good book and a picnic. The water is known for its clarity and has surf life savers from the Omaha surf club posted throughout the year to ensure your safety while swimming. If you’d like to stay in the area for a holiday, there are a number of beach houses you can rent in this picturesque location.
Matakana Farmers Market
Matakana village is home to one of the most popular farmers’ markets in the country. It runs every Saturday from 8am until 1pm, and is so popular that Auckland locals regularly make the trip to start off the weekend. It’s where you’ll find all manner of local fare, with plenty of fresh produce and home-made treats to both satisfy your hunger on the day and stock up your cupboards for the week.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist