Attractions

Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Leigh

Goat Island Marine Reserve

Only 3km from Leigh, this 547-hectare aquatic area was established in 1975 as the country’s first marine reserve. In less than 40 years the sea has reverted to a giant aquarium, giving an impression of what the NZ c…
Beach in Matakana

Tawharanui Regional Park

A partly unsealed road leads to this 588-hectare reserve at the end of a peninsula. This special place is an open sanctuary for native birds, protected by a pest-proof fence, while the northern coast is a marine par…
Park in Mahurangi & Scandrett Regional Parks

Mahurangi Regional Park

Straddling the head of Mahurangi Harbour, Mahurangi Regional Park is a boater's paradise incorporating areas of coastal forest, pā sites and a historic homestead and cemetery. Its sheltered beaches offer prime sandy…
Park in Waiwera

Wenderholm Regional Park

Squeezed between the Waiwera and Puhoi Rivers, the exquisite 134-hectare Wenderholm Regional Park has a diverse ecology, abundant bird life, beaches and walks (30 minutes to 2½ hours). The Couldrey family were the o…
Gardens in Matakana

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

After taking an hour-long artistic ramble through the beautiful grounds and native bush of Brick Bay Wines, recuperate with a wine tasting at the architecturally impressive cafe. Ask about the annual 'Folly' competi…
Park in Mahurangi & Scandrett Regional Parks

Scandrett Regional Park

On the ocean side of the Mahurangi Peninsula, Scandrett Regional Park has a sandy beach, walking tracks, patches of regenerating forest, a historic homestead, pā sites and great views towards Kawau Island. Three bac…
Aquarium in Leigh

Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre

Staffed by marine experts and graduate students from the University of Auckland, this centre is packed with interesting exhibitions on the ecosystem of the marine reserve, and is worth visiting before venturing into…
Cultural Centre in North Auckland

Te Hana Te Ao Marama

You'll see the terraces of a lot of historic pā (fortified village) sites etched into hillsides all around NZ, but if you want to get an idea of how these Māori villages actually looked, take a one-hour guided tour …
Beach in Matakana

Omaha Beach

The nearest swimming beach to Matakana, Omaha has a long stretch of white sand, good surf and ritzy holiday homes. It's the kind of place you might see a former NZ prime minister on the golf course, which is set a f…
Beach in Orewa

Orewa Beach

Orewa's 3km-long stretch of sand is its main drawcard. Being in the Hauraki Gulf, it's sheltered from the surf but still patrolled by lifeguards in the peak season.