If the Matakana Coast is the crown perched atop the head of Auckland, the regional parks are its jewels – sapphire or emerald, depending whether you prefer shimmering water or rolling paddocks. There are no better picnic spots, swimming holes, trees to nap beneath or walks to wander than within these four parks. Go forth and explore, but remember to respect and protect the conservation efforts by leaving only footprints.
Can’t bear to leave at the end of the day? Pack the tent and sleeping bag and set up camp or hire a bach within the park grounds. Morepork and kiwi may not be the quietest of sleeping partners but between their chatter and the soft murmur of rolling waves, drifting off to sleep will be far easier than counting the sheep that wander the paddocks.
Tawharanui is still relatively unknown, despite being one of the Auckland region’s most beautiful parks. With 588 hectares to explore, it is possible to spend hours with only the animals for company