If you’re looking for the best things to do in Matakana, Auckland, you’ve come to the right place. This beautiful town offers a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.
No matter whether it’s summer or winter, Matakana is a great place to visit all year round. In the warmer months, you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the great outdoors. When things cool down, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy too.
Matakana is located just over an hour north of Auckland, making it a fantastic day trip location. But if you’re looking to stay a little longer, there are plenty of accommodation options available too.
So, what are you waiting for? Read on to discover the best things to do in Matakana, Auckland.
17 best things to do in Matakana
1. Visit Matakana Village for boutique shopping, cafes, and restaurants
If you’re looking for things to do in Matakana, a visit to Matakana Village should definitely be on your list.
This lovely little village is located in the heart of Matakana and is home to an array of boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Browse the stores for some unique Kiwi souvenirs, enjoy a coffee and cake at one of the cafes, or sample some of the local produce at one of the restaurants.
Whatever you do, make sure you leave enough time to explore this lovely village during your visit to Matakana.
2. Brick Bay Wine and Sculpture Trail
Matakana is home to some of New Zealand’s best wines, so it’s no surprise that one of the most popular things to do in Matakana is to visit the Brick Bay Wine and Sculpture Trail.
This lovely trail winds its way through vineyards, olive groves, and native bush, with various sculptures dotted along the way. The sculpture trail takes about an hour to complete and walking shoes are recommended. It’s an easy 2-kilometre walk.
At the end of the trail, you’ll arrive at the Brick Bay Winery where you can enjoy a wine tasting and purchase some of their delicious wines to take home with you. The food is also sensational so if you’re feeling peckish, take the opportunity to enjoy a meal here too.
The trail is open all year round, but it’s particularly beautiful in the autumn months when the leaves are changing colour.
3. Matakana Country Park Market
One of the best things to do in Matakana on a Sunday morning is to visit the Matakana Country Park Market.
This lovely market is held every Sunday from 8:30am-1:00pm and offers a great selection of fresh produce, artisan foods, and handmade arts and crafts. No matter rain or shine you’ll find a fantastic selection of stalls here.
The Hungarian fried bread is a must-try! It’s full of flavour and melts in your mouth.
After you’ve finished exploring the market, take a walk around the beautiful Matakana Country Park. You’ll find an art gallery and a playground for the kids.
4. Have a glass of wine at Omaha Bay Vineyard
Visiting Omaha Bay Vineyard is one of the most popular things to do in Matakana, Auckland and it’s easy to see why.
This beautiful vineyard offers stunning views of Little Barrier and you can’t beat sitting out on the lawn with a beautiful glass of wine on a sunny day. It’s the perfect place to relax and take in the natural beauty of this incredible place.
There is a range of wine tastings available, as well as platters of locally-sourced food. There’s even an art gallery free to browse while you enjoy your delicious wine.
Omaha Bay Vineyard is open Friday to Sunday, 11am – 4pm.
5. Matakana Farmers Market
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Saturday morning, look no further than the Matakana Farmers Market. This vibrant market is full of fresh produce and plenty of delicious food to try.
Often Aucklanders will make the trip on Saturday morning to visit these markets. It’s a fantastic place to visit year round.
The Matakana Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am – 1pm, no matter the weather.
These markets are proud to be zero waste so be sure to bring your reusable bags or a basket with you to stock up on the best fresh produce.
With live music and a lively atmosphere, the Matakana Farmers Market is the perfect place to start your weekend.
6. Relax at Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach is one of the most popular beaches near Matakana. In summer you’ll find plenty of holiday goers here but don’t worry, this spacious beach has room for everyone.
The Omaha coastline is beautiful, and the beach itself is clean and sandy. Omaha is popular for swimming, fishing, and surfing; however, it’s also a great place to simply relax and take in the stunning views.
In the summer months the water is lovely and warm. You’ll find the water is warmest towards the end of summer which extends into early autumn. On a calm day, the waves are pretty gentle making it a great spot for paddleboarding.
If you’re looking for things to do in Matakana, Auckland, a visit to Omaha Beach should definitely be on your list.
There is a cafe located nearby, along with a few other shops as well as a playground and public toilets at the surf club.
Sculptureum is a must-see for any art lover visiting New Zealand. With three sculpture-filled gardens, six art galleries, a vineyard, Rothko restaurant, Freddie’s Outdoor Kitchen and The Terrace Lawn Bar, there’s something for everyone.
The Sculptureum gardens are a highlight, this outdoor museum is home to a large collection of sculptures by New Zealand artists.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for a fun day out, Sculptureum is sure to impress.
Sculptureum is open 7 days a week, 10am – 4pm. It is recommended you allow two hours for your walk.
8. Ascension Wine Estate
Ascension Wine Estate is a must-visit for any wine lover, it’s the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine. This family-owned and operated winery is located in Omaha, on the North Island’s beautiful Matakana Coast.
The vineyards here are sustainably grown, using traditional methods passed down through generations.
Visitors can enjoy a tour of the vineyards and winery, followed by a tasting of Ascension’s delicious wines. There is some delicious food offered at the restaurant as well.
Whether you’re a connoisseur or a beginner, you’re sure to find something to love at Ascension Wine Estate.
9. Tawharanui Regional Park
Tawharanui Regional Park is a beautiful coastal reserve located just north of Matakana. It’s well known for its white sand beaches, clear water, and abundant marine life.
The regional park is also home to a variety of native birds which make it a great place for birdwatching. This important conservation area is home to a number of threatened plant and animal species too.
There are several walking tracks and a gorgeous beach well worth visiting. The fine white sand and sparkling blue water is very picturesque. Tawharanui is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and surfing.
The regional park is open all year round, but it’s especially beautiful in the summer months.
10. Morris and James Matakana
Morris and James is a family-owned pottery studio and gallery located in Matakana Village. The pottery here is all handmade using traditional methods.
There’s a wide range of beautiful pots, vases, plates, and mugs to choose from. Outside of covid restrictions, free factory tours are run, showing visitors how the pottery is made.
The gallery is open 7 days a week, 9am – 5pm and the factory tours run at 11:30am.
Morris and James is the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir or gift. Once you’ve finished browsing, enjoy a bite to eat at the cafe.
11. Charlies Gelato
Charlie’s Gelato is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing gelato on a hot day. With over 40 flavours to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
I highly recommend the dark chocolate for any chocolate lovers out there!
The gelato here is made with fresh, local ingredients and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s very popular with locals and holiday goers alike. Charlie’s also has a great selection of sorbet for those who are dairy-free.
If you’re feeling thirsty, Charlie’s Gelato Garden also offers fantastic coffee. If you’re lucky there might even be some home baking in the cafe.
They also serve delicious wood-fired pizza in the summer months which I would highly recommend. It’s the perfect spot to stop in for lunch so of course it has to make the list for one of the best things to do in Matakana.
Sheepworld is a popular tourist attraction located just outside of Matakana. It’s a working farm where you can learn all about sheep and shearing.
As well as being home to a large flock of sheep, Sheepworld also has pigs, alpacas, goats, cows, and chickens.
There are several shows throughout the day, including a sheep shearing show, a sheep dog show, and a sheep feeding show.
There’s also a cafe on site, serving up some delicious food.
Sheepworld is open 7 days a week, 9am – 5pm. It’s a great place to visit for the whole family.
100% of Sheepworlds profits go towards helping young people, through an organisation called Springboard. The goal is to give youngsters a chance to succeed, no matter the start they had in life.
13. Visit Goat Island Marine Reserve
Goat Island Marine Reserve is a beautiful place to go for a swim, snorkel, or just to explore.
The reserve is home to an abundance of marine life. You’re sure to see plenty of fish, so grab a snorkel or hire a clear kayak to make the most of it. Hiring a clear kayak is a pretty great way to enjoy the beauty of the marine reserve without needing to be a confident snorkeller or swimmer.
There are several walking tracks around the island, providing stunning views of the coastline. At low tide you can walk round to Pakiri Beach.
Goat Island Marine Reserve is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
14. Plume the vineyard restaurant
Plume is a stunning vineyard restaurant, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
The menu focuses on seasonal, local produce and changes regularly. You’re sure to find something delicious, whether you’re after a light lunch or a three-course dinner.
There’s also an extensive wine list, featuring some of the best wines. from the region.
If you’re looking for a romantic spot for dinner, Plume is the perfect choice.
15. Matakana Estate
Matakana Estate is the largest vineyard in the region, with 35 hectares of land. It’s a gorgeous vineyard, offering spectacular views from the cellar.
The vineyard is open Wednesday through to Monday, 11am – 4pm. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the estate, followed by a wine tasting. Bookings are required for the vineyard tours so be sure to call ahead.
There are also some platters available to order which will pair perfectly with your selection of wine. Luxury lodge accommodation is available at Matakana Estate if you need a place to rest your head.
16. Stop into Omaha Organic Blueberries
Omaha Organic Blueberries is the perfect place to stop for a refreshing treat. The icecream here is made with fresh, organic blueberries and it’s absolutely delicious.
There’s the option of getting a real fruit icecream with frozen yoghurt, which I always prefer tbh. I feel like with frozen yoghurt you can actually taste the flavour of the berries a bit more.
If you’re not a fan of blueberries, don’t worry, you can choose either mixed berries or strawberries to mix it up a bit. Then if you’d rather skip the icecream all together, why not tuck into some of the freshly picked blueberries.
17. Explore Mahurangi Regional Park
Mahurangi Regional Park is one of the best places to go for a walk in Matakana. With over 21km of walking tracks, there’s plenty to explore.
The park is home to a variety of native birdlife, as well as some stunning views of the Mahurangi Harbour.
There are also several beaches located within the park, perfect for a swim or a picnic.
Where to stay in Matakana
There’s a range of accommodation options available in Matakana, from luxury lodges to budget-friendly motels. It totally depends on what your budget is.
A few places to check out are…
Omaha Beach Accommodation
If you’d rather get away from the hustle and bustle, Omaha Beach is a fantastic option for accommodation. With its lovely beach setting, it’s the perfect place to stay while exploring Matakana. Located just over 10 minutes drive from Matakana you don’t have far to go to get to this picturesque beach town.
You won’t find any hotels or motels here, it’s just a whole lot of holiday homes along the beach which adds to its charm.
👉🏻 Check out Book a Bach to find a great selection of Kiwi holiday homes
Conclusion: Best things to do in Matakana
Overall there are a ton of things to do in Matakana and it’s definitely the perfect spot for a weekend away.
My favourite time to visit Matakana is in the summer, you can’t beat the awesome beaches for a dip to cool off. Located so close to Auckland too it makes it a great day trip destination if you’re looking for something to do over the weekend.
It’s one of my favourite towns to visit and no doubt you’ll love it too!