The best Auckland restaurants outside the city

The Hunting Lodge

The Hunting Lodge is a fantastic venue for a group day out or a couples’ date. From Auckland CBD, we can chauffeur you in under 30 minutes to this historical property—which is far more than just a nice place for a meal. There’s a fully functioning winery and bottling works, a cellar door, beautiful gardens and plenty of space for outdoor dining and lawn games. The restaurant menu changes with the seasons but you’re always guaranteed to find fresh local produce, well balanced meals and plenty of variety. The Hunting Lodge also offers packages occasionally that include a set menu, drinks and entertainment. Or if you’re after something more casual, visit the cellar door to taste the boutique wines and then set up with a picnic blanket on the lawn for a pizza. If you’ve got a special occasion coming up, The Hunting Lodge is a great option for both day and night.

Brick Bay

This vineyard near Matakana has received accolades from many well-known publications, featuring in Listener, Vogue and Urbis magazines, to name a few. Like the other Auckland restaurants on this list, Brick Bay is worthy of a long, leisurely visit—there’s plenty here to see and do. The Sculpture Trail at the property features over 60 artworks by leading New Zealand artists. It takes around an hour to explore (at a gentle pace) winding its way through a valley, past scenic lakes and through native bush and countryside. And when you’re done, enjoy a cool glass of Brick Bay’s popular rosé and a delicious meal in the Glass House—the unique restaurant which floats over the top of a peaceful lake. Most of the restaurant’s fresh produce is grown on site—and if not, it’s sustainably sourced and from local suppliers whenever possible. We can chauffeur you to Brick Bay in under an hour and promise that it’s well worth the trip.

Bracu Estate

Bracu Estate is the type of place you visit if you’re celebrating a special occasion. It’s relaxed fine dining, superior service and beautiful scenery all rolled into one idyllic olive estate nestled in the Bombay hills. You can take a tour to learn how award-winning olive oil is made while sipping on some of New Zealand’s finest wines. And if you’re up for an activity or two, you can try archery, clay bird shooting and more.(This might be best done before the wine sampling). The restaurant is described as a ‘space to savour’, where you can connect with friends and family on the sunny veranda or beside the fireplace while enjoying a sumptuous meal. Bracu is open for lunch and dinner from Thursday to Saturday and for lunch only on Sunday. And if you don’t feel like driving, let Alpha chauffeur you there .

The Tasting Shed

This rustic restaurant in a converted cidery is situated in Kumeu, just 20 minutes from the Auckland CBD. The Living Room, the largest dining area, is a warm and friendly space full of character and history. Natural and recycled materials give the space its unique feel and many elements have a story – like the dining chairs which are repurposed Indonesian fishing boats. The menu here is designed to share and while there may not be as many options as you’re used to, everything is balanced, cooked and presented to perfection. The dishes are creative and unique, so don’t come here looking for plain old fish and chips! Instead, you’ll find fresh market fish with nyonya curry, eggplant and coconut. The Tasting Shed is open for dinner on Thursdays and from noon from Friday to Sunday. If you’re looking for new Auckland restaurants to try within 30 minutes of the CBD, the Tasting Shed is well worth a visit.

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