Just 25km northwest of the city, Kumeu is a town surrounded by lush vineyards and orchards, and is considered Auckland's heritage wine region. It's where many winegrowing Dalmatian and Croatian families settled during the 1940s, and it's this ethnic diversity that has greatly contributed to the variety of speciality shops, wineries and restaurants that characterise the area.
Kumea is a fabulous place to come and sample some of the more unusual of New Zealand's wines, beers and cheeses. The BeesOnline Honey Centre offers organic, gourmet honey used by top chefs from all over the world, as well as a five star cafe and a shop selling honeycomb, honey mustard and honeypots of every conceivable flavour, from lavender, chilli and avocado, to rose, borage and thyme.
Do a tour of Kumeu's many vineyards, including the renowned Landmark Estate, Matua Valley and Coopers Creek wineries, with most offering cellar door tastings – Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are particular specialities of the area.
The town itself has lots of quaint restaurants and cafes, where artisan breads, meats, cheeses and fruits are in plentiful supply. The Kumeu Agricultural and Historical Society also boasts one of the southern hemisphere's largest annual shows each March, as well as the Auckland Folk Festival, every January.