Looking for something to do this weekend? Discover the amazing eateries in the NorthWest and make a day of it!

Ever wondered what exists at the end of the Northwestern Motorway? Or what you will find it you keep driving on SH16?

A phenomenal choice of places to eat, to enjoy a glass of wine and to soak up a wonderful atmosphere of live music in a beautiful setting, all within minutes from the end of the motorway.

Turning right off SH16 onto Coatesville-Riverhead Highway takes you towards Riverhead, and just before you enter the township, Hallertau Brewery appears before you on your right. Not only does it have an incredible selection of beers to enjoy that are brewed onsite, as well as a wide ranging menu to pick from, it also has a great playground for children to play on and a number of games. On weekends there is live music in the afternoon. There is something for everyone at Hallertau, just make sure you book a table as the weekends are very popular!

Further into Riverhead you will find The Riverhead, thought to be the oldest riverside tavern in New Zealand, set on the shores of the Upper Waitemata. With options for either more formal dining or a relaxed pizza on the grassed area listening to music, The Riverhead is a great place to take the family. Being located on the water means, when the tides are right, you can bring a boat up to The Riverhead or bring your kayak to work up an appetite before you arrive! Before you leave Riverhead, stop in at The Beekeepers Wife, which is on the main road. No bees in sight, but some delicious wood fired pizzas and a relaxed setting to spend a few hours.

Five minutes down the road from Riverhead is Coatesville, which again offers a wide range of eating options. You could visit Black Cottage Café which does a mighty fine breakfast, or you could call into Fernilea which has great food and a fabulous sandpit for the kids to play in. On the first Sunday of every month, the Coatesville Markets are held, with a huge variety of food stalls, fresh fruit and veges and artisan crafts. Coatesville is well worth a visit.

So where do you end up if you keep heading straight on SH16, instead of turning off to Riverhead? You head into Kumeu and may just find yourself at the Tasting Shed, which offers both indoor and outdoor dining as well as private areas you can book. Sharing plates or main meals offer lots of options to dine.

If you continue on through to Waimauku, you will find yourself at The Hunting Lodge which provides visitors with a gorgeous view over vineyards and a big lawn to relax into a bean bag and enjoy a wine. There is a casual dining option as well as a more formal restaurant which offers a local’s only Wednesday dinner – worth becoming a local for!

If you just want to take a drive through the country side, there are plenty of wineries that provide you with any number of excuses to stop and sample! Grab a map and plan you trip to call into Soljans Winery, Coopers Creek Vineyard, West Brook Cellar Door, Twin Totara Wines, Kumeu River Wines, Kerr Farm Vineyard and Awa Valley. Or if wine isn’t your thing, The Beer Spot in Huapai has just opened and has a revolving selection of food trucks to go with their on tap beer.

With so much to taste and discover, why not jump on to the Northwestern Motorway and see where you end up. You might like it so much you may want to stay!

Sally Mitchell