I hear you say, “I’ve never heard of Warkworth, where is it?”. Warkworth is a historical town situated on the Northern Peninsula of the North Island. It is the Northern part of the Auckland Region. It is at the head of the Mahurangi Harbour. The township was founded in 1853 and named after Warkworth in Northumberland.
There are several attractions to explore in Warkworth, however our main purpose to visit Warkworth was to visit family and explore the beautiful countryside.
The Warkworth Town is a lovely old town. The Mahurangi River runs through the town and is a beautiful place to relax. Along the River you will find a playground and places to stroll whilst you take in the serenity of the area. You can grab a cruise. There are several places to eat or grab a take away meal.
As you drive along the State Highway 1, you can see New Zealand’s main satellite communications ground station which is 5km south of Warkworth.
Warkworth is easy driving distance to a number of attractions and beautiful areas to explore. It is a gateway to the Matakana Coast Wine Country.
Whilst in Warkworth we visited:
- The Cement Works
- Warkworth Town
- Nearby Snells Beach
- Nearby Matakana
- Nearby Omaha Beach
Although Warkworth is a lovely spot to stay, you are more likely to stop grab a bite to eat, explore some of the attractions as you make your way up north. You can take a stroll along the Mahurangi River or the nearby forests. If you love walking in nature you have a number of options.
Cement Works, Warkworth
The Cement Works is a fascinating place to visit, it is the site of the ruins of the Mahurangi Cement Works which was the first Portland cement manufacturing in the 1880’s. Sadly in 1918, the company was voluntarily wound up and merged with the New Zealand Portland Cement Company. In 1926 the Cement Works was closed and the machinery transferred to Portland.
It is a heritage listed sight which is also a New Zealand Archaeological Association site.
The site is situated alongside the Mahurangi River. It is a popular spot for people to come and wonder around the Cement Works and then relax on the side of the old limestone quarry banks, take a dip , stroll or walk along other side of the Cement Works where there is a wharf on the Mahurangi River where many boats are docked. Overall a very relaxing and interesting place to visit.
Cement Works Location
- Cement Works is located at 79/133 Wilson Rd S, Warkworth 0981, New Zealand
- 2kms south of Warkworth, North Island, New Zealand
Snells Beach is a lovely beach situated in the north of the Auckland Region, North Island. It is a beautiful quiet place to take a dip or be grounded by taking a lovely stroll along the beach. Whilst strolling along the beach you can look over to the picturesque Kawau Island.
There is free camping area alongside the beach. You can camp here for 2 nights. What a place to pull up for a night or two, wake up and take a stroll along this gorgeous beach. There are BBQ facilities where you can whip a breakfast, lunch or dinner.
There are public toilets which are so pretty!! So many of New Zealand’s public toilets are painted. They look great!!
Snells Beach Location
Snells Beach is located approximately 8km from Warkworth. It is situated on the Mahurangi Peninsula.
Approximately 9km from Warkworth you will find the lovely town of Matakana which is in the Rodney Ward of Auckland Council. Locals and tourists flock to the farmers weekly market. There is a real hustle and bustle vibe. You can even bring your pooch along to the market and pay a small amount to have your pooch looked after whilst you check out all the beautiful home grown produce. There is a lovely restaurant called Matakana Market Kitchen which is positioned alongside the Mahurangi River. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy a bite to eat. You can dine inside or out.
If you’re not into markets or shopping you can explore the lovely wineries. There are numerous wineries to choose from. The wineries are well known for their Chardonnay, classic red varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
We strolled through the market, enjoyed brunch at the Matakana Market Kitchen before heading to the nearby Omaha Beach.
We would have loved to explored the wineries, however on this trip time was not permitting. The vines however looked beautiful as it was Autumn.
Omaha Beach is a lovely white sandy beach where you can swim safely in the crystal clear waters in front of the Surf Lifesaving Club. Standing on the beach on a clear day you can see some of the islands of New Zealand. Little Barrier is the main island that you see.
If you drive from Warkworth or Matakana you will go past beautiful wineries. Sadly we were unable to stop to grab a snap, the wineries really looked gorgeous in autumn colours.
Omaha Beach Location
- Broadlands Dr, Omaha 0986, New Zealand
- Omaha Beach is located on the edge of the Matakana Wine Country, there are several vineyards close by.
Other Places We Explored On The North Island
Take a look at the below links of other beautiful places we explored on the North Island. Note these are just a few of the amazing places to take an adventure. We still have so many places to explore!! If anyone tells you that 10 days is enough to explore, think twice!! Suggest you take at least 3-4 weeks.
- Lake Taupo
- Waitomo Caves
- Rotorua including Redwoods Forest, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Rotorua Gondola
- Thames the start of the Coromandel Peninsula
- Coromandel Peninsula including Hot Water Beach, Catherine Gorge
- Karangahake Gorge, southern end of the Coromandel Peninsula
Have you explored this beautiful part of New Zealand? If so, do you have experiences you’d like to share with us? If so, we’d love to hear about them.