Discover Auckland’s playground, Omaha Beach. White sands, rolling surf, world-class restaurants and wineries and luxury accommodation, just minutes from Matakana.
With clear waters, four kilometres of glittering white quartz sand and panoramic views to Te Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island) and beyond, it’s easy to see why the Maori name for Omaha Beach translates to ‘place of pleasure’.
Just an hour by car from Auckland, Omaha is the perfect holiday playground. With lifeguards on duty all summer and often a gentle rolling surf break, Omaha Beach is a great place to learn to surf or boogie board. The estuary on the western side of the peninsula is great for paddleboarding, windsurfing and kite boarding and there are excellent all-tide boat-launching facilities for fishing and water skiing.
If you want to stretch your legs, take a jog along the vast expanse of sand to the southern end of the beach and then head back via the coastal walkway. At low tide, curious toddlers will enjoy exploring the rockpools at the southern end and walking around the rocks to Pink Beach.
At the northern end of the beach you’ll find the protected sandspit reserve, home to endangered birds like dotterels and fairy terns, as well as oystercatchers, godwits, stilts and many other shorebirds. Stay below the high-tide line to avoid disturbing any nests; no dogs allowed.
Omaha is a great place for the kids to scooter, with walkways, tennis courts and many playgrounds nestled between the houses. Play a round of golf at the championship 18-hole course, grab a bite to eat at the Omaha Beach Café & Eatery, ride a bicycle or walk across the causeway for brunch by the water at The Farmer’s Daughter, or taste-test some award-winning wines – over a dozen wineries are within a 15-minute drive.
Continue along the cycleway to Point Wells, on the opposite side of the estuary from Omaha, stopping at farm stalls for fresh fruit and veg. It’s said that visiting Point Wells is like taking a step back in time to 1950s New Zealand, with cute baches and a wide green reserve along the harbour front shaded by old pohutukawa trees.
A concrete boat ramp at the end of the point gives boat access to the Whangateau Harbour for two hours either side of low tide. Along the riverfront, a number of jetties offer fantastic swimming and ‘bombing’ in crystal clear water at high tide and you can round off the afternoon’s exertions with an ice cream or fish and chips at the Point Wells General Store.
Matakana’s restaurants and bars and the famous Matakana Village Farmers’ Market are all within easy reach of Omaha and you’ll find a full range of accommodation at the many holiday houses, B&B’s or lodges in the area.