Winter in New Zealand, or specifically winter in Auckland, has its moments of being quite “cold.” Lately, it’s gotten down to 2 degrees overnight, meaning that there’s frost to scrape off the windshield with a credit card in the morning (or melt with a bucket of hot water- if you’re a Kiwi). While 2 degrees is nothing compared to the -40 degree days that we have experienced in Edmonton, when the insides of buildings are nearly as cold (or sometimes colder) than it is outside, you do feel the “cold” of the NZ winter. Space heaters, slippers, and hot water bottles are a must during this season, as are ample warm beverages.
But the thing about winter in New Zealand is that it also holds some GORGEOUS days. By gorgeous, I’m talking about days where the sun is out, your sweater is off, and you’re wearing a t-shirt. On these days, it’s still comfortable enough to go to the beach (maybe not in the water though- especially if you’re not wearing a wetsuit).
We experienced one of these days recently, and were astounded that we were officially into the season of “winter” and we were picnic-ing by the water.
A beautiful winter’s day called for a trip up to Matakana, a vibrant little village brimming with life, about a 50 minute drive north of Auckland. Matakana is the site of a charming farmer’s market held every Saturday, and although we have been here for nearly two and half years, we had never actually been up to Matakana on a Saturday to experience the market for ourselves.
With the sounds of live music, the hum of spirited conversation, and the sizzle of local delicacies, the market had a lovely vibe to it. Situated by a picturesque creek, the market has a permanent structure to it, with wooden stall and signs that stay up during the week, even when the market is not running.
We decided to purchase some items for a picnic lunch that day, and picked up some fresh rocket macadamia pesto, a loaf of kumara bread, some ripe tomatoes, and a bag of mandarines. By the lapping shores of Tawhiranui Beach, just a short drive from Matakana village, we enjoyed these local delights in the sunshine, pondering how we are ever going to return to the snow and frigid temperatures of winters in Edmonton.