Childhood memories of long, winding roads leading to secluded beaches with rustic baches along the shoreline are a far cry from the sophistication of the Matakana region where I now spend my weekends. There’s no other country village in New Zealand that can boast a cinema with three theatres, a purpose-built farmers’ market and a classy, architecturally designed shopping village with smart galleries, excellent boutiques and an award-winning chocolate maker.
AUCKLAND. Three gorgeous but completely unexpected golden chandeliers hang in the vestibule of Rothko’s kitchen. Diners seated on the outside deck can spy them; it’s a testament to the eccentricity of this relative newcomer in the rural countryside that nothing is quite as it seems. Rothko is in Matakana, one of Auckland’s newest day-out destinations.