If you ever happen to be in Auckland or somewhere in that northern vicinity of the North Island of New Zealand on a Saturday I HIGHLY recommend driving to Matakana for at least a day to visit Matakana Markets. It takes about a one hour, peaceful drive from Auckland, through beautiful green rolling hills. It is a central hub to vineyards, beaches, restaurants, cafes and parks and has everything you need to enjoy your day or weekend away.
Every Saturday, Matakana Village Farmer’s Market comes alive! From 8am to 1pm the place is an absolute hive of activity with local stall holders selling organic eggs, cheese, wines, chocolate, fruit and veges, soaps… you name it! It’s amazing. You wander around taste testing and buying little samples of different types of amazing food. The aroma’s are intoxicating. Wood fired pizza’s are being cooked in one corner in handmade ceramic fireplaces and fresh coffee is brewing in another. Local artists are playing in another corner… all creating the perfect concoction for a relaxing Saturday morning! Very difficult knowing where to spend one’s money!
My friends, Jared and Kelly, had their children babysat for the day so we could enjoy the day – adult style – strolling through the Matakana region. After thoroughly enjoying the markets, we visited a few of the local art galleries and then Bella Fuego the place where the handmade ceramic fireplaces are handmade. The artist was ‘home’ and he even gave us a tour or his workplace. Love to get my hands into some of that clay one day!
For lunch we visited the most amazing winery, OBV Omaha Bay Vineyard. It’s in an absolute stunning location overlooking Omaha Bay and Little Barrier Island. Upon arrival you taste whatever wines you desire and then pick one! The cheese platter we bought for lunch was delicious. Amazing hummus, olive pates, cheeses, breads….etc… let the photo below wet your appetite!
So, if you are ever in Auckland, get yourself to Matakana. You can happily spend a day up there and feel like you’ve just had a weeks holiday. Most of the restaurants have kids playgrounds so it can be an option for a family day out. Thanks Jared and Kelly for such a wonderful day!