If you travel far enough above Auckland, you will reach heaven: Matakana, forty minutes North, in the Rodney District. Doves flutter over a village of pristine white colonial buildings, perfectly cut grass, strikingly happy people, an old school dairy, pony rides and food markets. Visiting here, you’ll feel as though you’ve jumped back to colonial NZ or entered your childhood fairytale. Matakana feels so serene and perfect its surreal. Furthermore, this is a village home to organic food and attracts only devote food followers.
The Farmers’ market opens from 8am-1pm every Saturday. Fresh farm produce, unique condiments, artisan breads, home-made chocolates and cheeses, locally brewed ciders and freshly baked rustic cakes are all on offer to tantalise and inspire your tastebuds.
Tasters bless each stall leaving the most budget-consience individual with a full stomach. In fact, this is the great thing about the market, tasting doesn’t mean buying. After trying a rather dreamy melt-in-the-mouth goats cheese, I spoke to the seller behind the stand who said “this market is just an excuse to gather all food lovers together and not to force anyone to buy anything.” Being a budget backpacker I happily took this as my invitation to take another piece of cheese, buy nothing, and carry on in this same manner around the market. This was the intention anyway, I may have bought a chocolate peanut-butter brownie, Thai sausages, Fijoa Liqueur, Moroccan Peach Chutney…
You can almost make out the giant doughnut halo forming above this place.
However, an afternoon in Matakana wouldn’t be complete without visiting Brookview Tea House. Sit outside in an Alice in Wonderland-esque setting with garden chairs and tables each laid with polka-dot tablecloths and quirky cups and saucers. Order their cream tea and try the lightest and fluffiest scones known to man. Give yourself enough time here, as choosing one hot drink from their extensive coffee and tea menu is a head-scatcher. However, I can confidently confirm that no disappointment will incur if you opt for the delicately infused vanilla tea or their velvety coffee. Amen.