GORGEOUS TAWHARANUI - Just 40 minutes from town with good waves, no serious rips and great snorkeling. Can get a bit busy on a good day, but you can always stop for a vineyard lunch at Matakana.

Long Bay Regional Park Auckland, New Zealand

MATAKANA AREA BEACH - Little Barrier Island seen from Omaha Beach, Matakana, Auckland.

Just a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland, Waiheke Island feels like a world away. Photo courtesy of lovecovetdream on Instagram.

MATAKANA TO DO - Sheepworld famous for its pink sheep. *No animals were harmed in the process. #attraction #auckland #matakana

Auckland, New Zealand

Port Jackson Hills, Coromandel, North Island, New Zealand

Lion Rock, Piha, (near Auckland), New Zealand

Auckland City, New Zealand

Rangitoto Island backdrop, Auckland

Skytower, Auckland City, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland Harbour, New Zealand. Photo: geoftheref, via Flickr

Auckland, New Zealand

The clock tower at University of Auckland, New Zealand (by Aaron Corn). This just had to be the land of the Lord of the Rings. Fullstop.

Eden Park Water Tower Auckland, NZ_Flickr

Redwoods Treehouse ~ Auckland, New Zealand

Piha Beach, New Zealand. Photo by Zanthia

autumn in the vineyard - Renwick, Marlborough, New Zealand

Rangitoto Island, extinct volcano in Auckland Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland Skyline