NEW ZEALAND: As well as being surrounded by beaches and native forest, Auckland is encircled by four beautiful wine regions, all boasting wonderful food along with liquid refreshment. They easily top the list of things to do in Auckland and are worth at least a day trip or an overnight visit.
About 40 minutes by car from Auckland City, charming Matakana is an area prized for its produce and is part of the international Cittaslow or ‘slow town’ movement dedicated to a sustainable approach to living. Visit Brick Bay Wines with its Sculpture Trail and spectacular Glass House cantilevered over a shimmering lily pond, or taste the Sangiovese made in terracotta amphora using ancient techniques at Heron’s Flight Vineyard.
Or, do as the locals do and spend Saturday at the popular Matakana Village Farmers’ Market, where the region’s artisans and farmers gather to showcase their wares. If you’re visiting in the summer, don’t go home without a trip to nearby Omaha Blueberries for a delicious blueberry ice-cream!
Just 25 kilometres west of Auckland, Kumeu is Auckland’s oldest wine region. Locals take pride in offering excellent hospitality, so there’s a lot to choose from in terms of accommodation. This is the place to take a group of friends or your other half for a fabulous weekend break. Soljans Estate Winery is popular among locals and visitors who like to sample a bit of everything. For something a little more intimate, head to Kumeu River, known for its prized Chardonnay. For a taste of history, head to Matua, which kick-started the production of Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand.
Insider Tip: Fans of craft beer will also find a lot to like in Kumeu. Hallertau Brewery in nearby Riverhead is a popular dog- and kid-friendly craft brewery. Make sure you stay for lunch and enjoy the fruits of its kitchen garden.
The Clevedon Hills area is replete with vineyards and wineries as well as producers of honey, nuts, and even oysters. While Clevedon isn’t far from Auckland – you can drive there in around 40 minutes – if you’re planning a proper wine investigation, accommodation is a must and there are many options, mostly a cute cottage or comfy B&B.
Enjoy Mediterranean alfresco dining at Vin Alto, which is dedicated to the production of Italian-style wines. If you’re there on a Sunday, head to the Clevedon Farmers’ Market (8am to 1pm), a wonderful community market in an idyllic rural setting.
A short 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, Waiheke provides the perfect reason to leave the car behind. Beloved by Auckland locals, the island boasts a permanent population devoted to the sun, sea, creative arts and food. You’re on ‘island time’ once you hit Waiheke. It’s the perfect place to let a wine-lover loose, as it is crammed with wine experiences ranging from the expensive and high end to the casual and affordable.
Highly recommended are Tantalus Vineyard with its beautiful grounds and great food and wine, and Mudbrick Vineyards for its exquisite gardens. If you’d rather have a schedule in hand, a boutique tour could be the way to go. In summer, wineries often host events and festivals, so be sure to check whether there’s anything you’d like to buy tickets for.
Base Yourself at Britomart
The Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland Britomart is ideally located in the heart of the Britomart shopping and dining precinct and the perfect base to explore Auckland’s wine region. Stretch out with spacious apartment living and all the comforts of home.
** Peace of mind when you stay with us: Introducing Clean Touch. Note some activities listed may be subject to Covid restrictions. **