Just 40 minutes north of Auckland, Matakana has long been a popular day trip destination for Aucklanders. Matakana is home to food, wine and beautiful restored buildings.
Becoming a settlement in 1842, Matakana became a small rural town with an abundance of produce, gardens and orchards.
Beaches, shops, galleries and plenty of cafes mean you will never regret a day out with your family or friends.
Every Saturday, the Matakana Farmers' Market is held on the banks of the Matakana River. It is regarded by many as one of the "must-do" activities in the region. People turn up in droves to buy or just look at the selection of food and drink. Vegetables, meats, wine and the all-important chocolate, mean visitors are spoiled for choice.
The Matakana Country Park is also worth a look. Found off Leigh Rd, Country Park is laid out like an old farmhouse, and will keep the kids entertained with a petting zoo, adventure playground and pony rides.
Starting from Victoria Street West, make your way on to Nelson St before turning left on to Fanshawe St. Follow Fanshawe St north until you reach the Northern Motorway (State Highway 1). After you cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is a matter of following the Northern Motorway past Albany and Redvale. Two routes are available when you reach the Silverdale off-ramp.
Route 1. Toll free
Take exit 398 towards Silverdale before turning right on Hibiscus Coast Highway. This will take you through Orewa, an ideal place to stop and get an icecream. The road then snakes past Waiwera Scenic Reserve and over the Waiwera River. The road then joins SH1.
Stay on SH1 and you will pass through the Northern Gateway toll road and the tunnel. You can either pay the $2.20 per trip toll at the service area before the Silverdale turn-off, or after you exit the tunnel. There are pay machines on the right side of the road. Online payment is available too.
Follow SH1 until you turn right on to Sandspit Rd (at Warkworth), then bank left and follow Matakana Rd until you reach Matakana itself.
If you have some time on your hands and desire a change of scenery, there is an alternative way of going back. Leaving Matakana, head on to Matakana Valley Rd, it will then link on to Whangapiro Valley Rd, here you should turn left.
Follow this through Whangapiro and it will become Matheson Rd. Turn right on to Rodney St (SH1) at Wellsford, then bear right on to State Highway 16, otherwise known as Port Albert Rd.
It is then a matter of following SH16 from this point, along the Kaipara coastline, through Kaukapakapa, Helensville, Kumeu and Massey before you reach the western suburbs of Auckland.
From here on, the way is up to you.