A Relaxing Afternoon...


First stop, Soljans Estate Winery and Café [A]. The first step on the west Auckland wine trail. Enjoy a relaxing lunch with wine to match and take in all the history and ambience this award-winning venue has to offer.

After lunch, you could make your way out to Muriwai and stretch your legs at Goldies Bush [B] a Department of Conservation reserve that has a quiet walk through Kauri down to a swing bridge over Mokoroa Stream. If you’re feeling adventurous you could walk up to the falls (40 minutes one way), bring your tramping boots!

Alternatively, you could visit the Gannet Colony at Maukatia Bay [C], the track takes you past the Gannets, down towards Muriwai Beach with some spectacular views of the beach stretching into the distance toward Kaipara Heads and Northland.

Following your walk you can drive north to Parakai and have a soak in the thermal pools at  Parakai Springs [D], followed by a quick meal in one of Helensville’s fast food shops, maybe locally caught fish from either Helensville Fishery or Kaipara Fresh Fish or a juicy kebab from The Ville Turkish Café [E].

North, North West


Just 40 minutes out of the central city, on the eastern side of the Kaipara Harbour are some true hidden gems.

If you drive up SH16 past Kaukaupakaupa you'll come to a sign which says Omeru Scenic Reserve [17] Park your car near the sign and walk down to a series of streams and small but very picturesque waterfalls. It's a magical spot and makes for a lovely walk (take decent shoes).

Once you've had a good walk around, grab a coffee at Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens [16] before you embark on the 1 km trail of 60 sculptures by New Zealand artists. You can even pick up some plants at the nursery if your garden is in need.

All of this is bound to make you hungry so drive back towards the city, stopping at the highly awarded The Tasting Shed [A] restaurant in Kumeu and pass a leisurely afternoon with some innovative and utterly delicious food (approx 25 minutes from Kaipara Coast Sculpture Garden).

Wind your way back home, gathering everything you need for a lovely dinner at your place. Pick up some wine from Coopers Creek [A], Kumeu River [D] or Soljans [C] (would be rude not to do a tasting on the way).  Boric Food Market [D] is a family-owned orchard and artisan supermarket. You'll love their fresh local produce, gourmet cheese and fresh or cured meats.