Introducing North West Country
Introducing North West Country
Everyone has heard of Matakana and Clevedon for a delightful day trip, but there's another corner of the greater Auckland region that's been evolving quietly and is finally ready to share its secrets. Introducing North West Country, Auckland's newest playground for discovery, culture, creativity, adventure, fine food and wine –only half a hour from the CBD.
The new brand has just been launched by the recently-formed North West BID (Business Improvement District) to give this area a unified voice, and visitors a central hub for information. A significant part of the BID's role is to actively raise the profile of the area and bring more visitors from central Auckland. Not difficult, when there's so many reasons to go there.
Anyone who's ventured out this way recently will know change has been afoot over the last few years. The stunning vistas and natural attractions haven't changed, but there's been a significant improvement in the level of hospitality, making a day in this region the whole package. New developments mean visitors feel like they're discovering new parts of the country, without the long car trips. Accessible and adventurous at the same time.
From sublime beach walks to historical buildings; from mountain biking to world class cuisine; from wine and craft beer tastings to gannet colonies and hot pools, a short drive down State Highway 16 opens up exciting possibilities. A few hours in North West country feels like a week-long break. Increasingly important in a world where stress is high and time-out crucial.
Locals have long known of the rejuvenating properties of this region. "Many central Aucklanders comment on how invigorated they feel after a day in North West Country. It's something to do with that special energy we've always enjoyed out here. People return home feeling alive with spirits recharged, even though they've only driven half an hour from home. It's quite a unique situation." says Bruce Cowan, Chair of the BID.
There's a wide range of ways to experience North West Country making it enjoyable in different ways for families, couples and groups of all ages. If action is your thing, there's surfing, mountain biking, hiking and other activities but if your idea of exercise is a short stroll to a superb restaurant and great bottle of pinot, that's covered too.
With excellent eateries like the award-winning Tasting Shed and Provenance (by the Hip Group of Ortolana, Takapuna Beach Cafe and Milse fame) and wonderful drinking spots like the renovated Riverhead Tavern, Hallertau Brewery and any of the dozen wineries in the area, North West Country now has all benefits of the countryside with the refinement of the city. There's art, artisan producers and even a gourmet food store to complete the picture.
And let's not forget the people. While the personality of other parts of the Auckland region can be hard to define, the characters of the North West could never be cast as generic. The people of this region are diverse, interesting and universally spirited. They are bold and proud but incredibly welcoming at the same time. They've known how fascinating and invigorating this area is for a long time, and are excited about finally letting you in on it too.
Keep your eyes open for more activity and suggested itineraries from the North West Country brand over the coming months. But don't wait till then. Drive north west now and see what you can discover yourself.