A short break in Auckland is not complete without a trip to a heritage wine growing region, Kumeu
Urban vibe meets country charm, Kumeu is a great place for a day trip from Auckland to experience wineries, cellar door tastings, pop up to Piha to curl up the toes in the warmth of iron sand beaches or simply explore the weekend markets.
WHAT TO DO, HIGHLIGHTS
- Wine tours, including cellar door tastings and platter experiences
- Horse trekking on the nearby iron sand West Coast beaches
- Weekend markets where local artisan farm to plate vendors offer tantalizing treats for an impromptu picnic lunch
Nearby Muriwai beach with its gannet colony and Woodhill forest offer plenty of choice for weekend recreational activities. For art lovers, Art in the Vineyards is an annual summer favourite. Not to be missed is the cooperative supporting local artists, Kumeu Arts Centre. A superb starting place for visitors indulging in a culture and art exploration.
- Kumeu Anglican Cemetery is a hidden record of local personalities from 1880’s onwards.
There are 21 unmarked graves, overgrown with trees and stumps, where police buried gumdiggers during the 1920 flu epidemic, source Sexton, Community divided over cemetery.
A great spot for leisurely walking around reading tombstones and wondering about the lives of people at rest.
- Melba Brajkovich, youngest daughter of immigrant gum digger family, together with husband Mate built Kumeu River Wines making a substantial contribution to the New Zealand wine industry.
- West Auckland and Kumeu district has been flagged as an area frequented by motorcycle gangs. While there is a gang presence it is very unlikely to impact on the visitor experience.
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
- Annual agricultural show with prize sheep
- A glorious backdrop of vineyards at a local winery
- Tree Adventures, the flying fox
- The Kumeu Agricultural Horticultural Society annual show on the second weekend in March is very popular with over 84 acres of stalls, music events and food outlets. The well known Kumea Brass Brand is a show highlight
- Kumeu Hot Rod Festive, all things glamorous for souped up vehicles
- Kumeu Showgrounds are the venue for the annual Auckland Folk Festival, a 4-day event of music, dancing and workshops, held in January
- Annual Krishna Holi event at the Hare Krishna Temple in Kumeu
- Horse trekking along Muriwai beach
- Boric Food Market in Kumeu has an attached outdoor playground for kids
- Strawberry picking (seasonal) accompanied by fresh fruit ice cream
- Woodhill Forest Tree Adventures. A high-wire adventure where you zip along 18 flying foxes and 10 different courses so there’s something for everyone. A family experience even for those not keen on heights.
- Woodhill forest biking trails
BEST TIME TO GO
- Year round, plenty of cosy indoor courtyard vineyards for a leisurely brunch.
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE
- Pre-European Maori activities were primarily as a connection, with well known tracks connecting Kaipara and Waitemata harbours. The explosion of commercial interest in kauri gum led to massive land clearances with former gum diggers moving into farming as gum foraging became increasingly difficult. The district experienced a pick up in investment with immigrants from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia establishing some of New Zealand’s first wineries in the 1930’s.
WHAT KEEP THE PLACE TICKING?
- Kumeu is approximately 30 to 40 minutes from the boundaries of Auckland City making it an ideal lifestyle choice for city workers. Together with a light industrial hub, horse breeding and training, heavy transport companies and viticulture the area is thriving.
- 3,432 (2018)
- A classic day trip from Auckland embracing town and country with plenty of choices for visitors.
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
- Kumeū – pulling the breast (action used to incite a war party)