Between Auckland and Matakana there are miles of beaches, a few wineries and more OYSTERS!
Snells Beach is a real oasis of beauty and calm. And we arrived with the Godwits – signage asked people to allow the birds to rest, eat and refuel……no wonder!
“Bar-tailed Godwits are the world record holders for non-stop flight: they have been recorded travelling 11,000km from Alaska to New Zealand in only 8 days, flying at an average of more than 50km/h. This journey is also a fantastic weight-loss program, as the birds lose almost half of their body weight along the way. Luckily, once they arrive in New Zealand and Australia, mudflats are waiting, filled with tasty morsels to help them recuperate.”
We were on a two hour feeding schedule fortunately on the side of the road south of Matakana Village Matakana Oysters. Literally side of the road, little Green Shed – don’t drive too fast. Nothing fancy except exceptional, meaty, briny, sweet oysters. I likem’ plain or with a little lemon – no need to muss with nature’s perfection. And LOTS of people, locals and tourists enjoy these oysters. Half shells are available in three sizes all packed on trays, wrapped in plastic – pick what you want from fridge and pay your bill. We enjoyed ours at the rough wood table out front with others doing the same. I watched lots of people go in and come out with stacks of oyster trays and drive off to make friends and family very happy.
We needed more wine and food – another two hour had passed. There are two big outdoor sculpture parks between Auckland and Matakana – we chose Brick Bay Winery and Sculpture Trail because the food and wine looked better than the Sculptureum. The sun was shining, we got lucky on a busy Saturday afternoon and had a table on the patio overlooking the trail and gardens. More nibbles, more wine, more conversation. Just another Saturday afternoon on the North Island.