Looking for an Auckland Getaway? Relax in Matarangi

Whether you’re tired of the busy city-life in Auckland, or just looking to end that vacation with some ultimate relaxation, it’s hard to find a better way to peace out and get some well-earned downtime than with a road trip to Matarangi.

Located on the stunning Coromandel Peninsula, just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Auckland, Matarangi is a beach town where positive vibes and natural beauty are completely intertwined. With a permanent population of 300 of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet, Matarangi is the ultimate place to unwind and feel at home.

So once you’ve picked up your rental car from the convenient Hertz downtown location, it’s time to hit the road and explore everything Matarangi has to offer.

The main attraction: beachside relaxation

Really there’s one key reason to visit this gorgeous little town – the beaches. Matarangi beach itself is a stunning white-sand beach with a rocky peninsula. One activity that’s definitely worth doing for the whole family is popping into the Coromandel Surf School and booking a lesson or two, as the surf here is forgiving and great to learn on.

However, if you prefer your beaches a bit more secluded then a short drive up the road is Rings Beach. It’s a beautiful beach and definitely the favourite of the locals in the area. While you’re there, if you feel like stretching the legs a bit it’s also worthwhile taking a stroll around the Rings Beach Walkway. This is a 2-hour walk that’s accessible to those of all fitness levels and takes you through the gorgeous native scrubland and forest behind the beach.

Lastly, to get even more secluded (or even more serious about your surfing), you’ll want to take advantage of that rental car and drive around the harbour to neighbouring Whangapoua. The Whangapoua beach is renowned in the area as one of the region’s best surf beaches, so is a must-do for any serious surfers in your party and a must-see for just about anyone.

From there, if you’re so inclined you can take a short 40-minute walk to New Chums beach, which has been listed in Lonely Planet as one of New Zealand’s 20 must-see beaches. It’s a very secluded beach that’s inaccessible except via the walking trail, and offers truly breathtaking natural scenery.

A golfer’s paradise awaits

There’s little doubt that a key attraction to mention when it comes to Matarangi is The Dunes golf course, an 18-hole beach-front course designed by legendary New Zealand pro-golfer Sir Bob Charles. In addition to the course itself, The Dunes is also a complete resort, offering 4-star accommodation and a fully licensed restaurant.

The course and resort are definitely worth considering regardless of your level of golfing enthusiasm if you’re looking to complement your relaxation time with some serious pampering, and an absolute must-visit for any avid golfer.

Visit in April for the events, but get great food anytime

If you’ve timed your trip right, then April is a jam-packed time to visit Matarangi. The A Taste of Matarangi is a food, wine and music festival (if that doesn’t tick all your boxes then what will?) held in the first week of April each year that draws visitors from all over New Zealand.

The region’s best cooks, wineries and musicians go all out for this festival, and it’s a fun family-friendly atmosphere that shouldn’t be missed.

Alternatively, if you’re around later in the month then avid anglers can also enjoy the Easter Saturday fishing competition. This good-natured event is put on for charity by the town’s Fire Department and is open and encouraging to fishers of all skill levels.

No matter what time of year you arrive however, there’s always great food to be had and great places to sample New Zealand’s finest wines and craft beers. One such spot is the Piper’s Café and Licensed Restaurant – probably Matarangi’s most popular spot to grab a bite to eat. Go there once, and you’ll find it difficult to try anywhere else!