Four of the best: Country towns in the greater Auckland area

These historic spots on the city's fringe will take you back in time.

The Mahurangi River Walkway, Warkworth. Photo / Alex Robertson
The Mahurangi River Walkway, Warkworth. Photo / Alex Robertson

1. Helensville

Nestled beside the Kaipara River on the south edge of the Kaipara Harbour, historic Helensville is a lovely place to visit or live, and there's plenty to see and do. From harbour cruising, fishing, golf, horse riding, restaurants, vineyards, beaches. The Railway is a wonderful places to stop and The A&P Show is famous.

2. Warkworth

Also resting by a river, the Mahurangi, Warkworth is the perfect place to stop and enjoy a quiet moment. There are great parks for the kids, and it's close to some of the best beaches in New Zealand. There's also fine dining, arts, crafts and antiques, and a range of sports and leisure activities.The museum is well worth a look.

3. Clevedon

This little town has a rich history, beautiful scenery and plenty to do. The Clevedon Village Market, The Clevedon Animal Farm and the McNicol Homestead and Museum are just a few of its myriad charms. Black Rabbit Gourmet Food Tours and The New Zealand Warbirds are good for a gander.

4. Pukekohe
Pukekohe is the vibrant heart of the Franklin district and boasts a range of cafes, restaurants, artisan shops and quaint architecture that makes you feel like you've stepped back in time. There are plenty of tourist offerings, including the famous Pukekohe raceway, a wonderful golf course and some amazing vegetable stores,as well as a fabulous farmers' market.

- NZ Herald

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