East is notable for its pohutukawa-lined beaches and charming suburban neighbourhoods that gradually subside into rolling hills and rural pastureland as you drive east toward Whitford and Clevedon
Brush up on your history in Howick
Bring the family and step into the past at Howick Historical Village, a live museum that
commemorates the history of the fencible (British colonial military) settlement located here in the 1800s. On the third Sunday of each month, Victorian characters fill the Village, engaging in family-friendly activities that are the picture of early Auckland
Take to the water in Half Moon Bay
Along the water, Half Moon Bay boasts one of Auckland
’s largest marinas. Travelling boaties can check with the marina about available berths, or if you haven’t a boat but are keen for a day on the water, hook up with a fishing charter. The only car ferry to Waiheke Island
also departs from Half Moon Bay.
Retreat to farm country for a foodie feast
A little farther afield, spend a Sunday strolling the country market in Clevedon
for a taste of the area’s freshest seasonal produce and gourmet products. It’s one of the area’s most renowned, and a morning spent chatting with the stallholders can result in not only a delicious sampling of fresh pastries and artisan cheeses, but inspirational recipes and cooking tips that will leave you savouring the flavours of New Zealand’s country chefs long after you’ve returned home. Auckland
East is also home to a number of wineries producing everything from viogniers to Bordeaux-style reds, so while you're at it, stop in and have a taste.
Spend some quality time outdoors
In Whitford walk through the aviary at the Whitford Bird Garden, tee up for a round of golf, or tour Ayrlies, one of the country’s best-known private gardens. Maraetai Beach’s protected waters offer unobstructed views of Waiheke Island across the Hauraki Gulf, and Omana Regional Park
is an ideal family park with a shell beach, offering safe swimming at high tide, picnic areas and barbecues. It has friendly farmyard animals, which are always popular with the kids.