While Auckland is home to a crew of excellent pubs, when the weekend rolls around, it’s often nice to get outta town. Pubs are dotted around the outskirts of the city, waiting for you to pop in, grab a delicious bite to eat and sink a few bevvies. And, they often come with a slice of history and good vibes to match.
So, if you’re looking to pair a roadie with a meal this weekend, look no further than these destination pubs not too far from Auckland.
Wild on Waiheke
Pubs aren’t always the most appealing places for wine lovers but Wild on Waiheke caters to both hop head and winos. The beautiful location is home to both Wild Estate Vineyard and Waiheke Island Brewery as well as a relaxed restaurant with a garden bar vibe. Lounge on the bean bags with a bevvie in hand or try a bit of everything at their cellar door. On the food front there’s platters, pizzas, small bites and big plates as well as a solid kids’ menu. Better yet, you can get amongst some archery, Wildtag (a paintball/dodgeball hybrid) and laser claybird shooting.
Head north for 40-odd minutes and you’ll find yourself at Puhoi Pub. This iconic rural pub has been kicking about since 1879 and has been a much-loved watering hole for locals, bikies and visiting out-of-towners ever since. Try and nab one of the picnic tables or spread out on the lawn and down a couple of classic Kiwi brews and grub.
For us Aucklanders, New Zealand’s oldest riverside tavern is just a short ferry (or car) ride away. It’s even the proud owner of the country’s second oldest liquor licence! History lessons aside, The Riverhead Tavern is a stellar destination pub and a must-visit if you call the City of Sails home. The Landing Restaurants serves tasty brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert, while The Portage acts as your neighbourhood bar, dishing up old fashioned yet high quality pub food. A shindig in the works? The Boat House is an idyllic spot for your next event.
As Matakana’s latest claim to fame, Sawmill Bewrey has a lot to live up to. Luckily, it’s quickly gained a rep as being a 100 per cent worthy destination from Auckland. The brewery comes complete with a beer garden where folks can enjoy great food, conversation and, of course, really good beer.
This is Sawmill Brewery’s OG hangout and it’s still one of the best destination pubs from Auckland. Here you’ll find gourmet wood-fired pizzas alongside a selection of Sawmill’s ice-cold beers. The al fresco area out back is a winner on sunny days and its worth keeping an eye on their gig guide as they host some of New Zealand’s best up-and-coming and old-school talent. There’s even accom if you have one beersie too many.
North of the bridge is home to a gem of a pub, the Northcote Tavern. It’s been cranking for over a century (!), functioning as a sunny spot for punters to quench their thirst in summer and snuggle up in during the colder months. We love the tartan carpet, the old fireplace and the unpretentious vibe of the place. Northcote Tavern, never change.
Hallertau is more brewery and restaurant than a classic pub, but it (and its epic beer garden) is a destination in itself. The biergarten can fit up to 250 peeps and is under cover in case that cheeky Auckland weather decides to play up. Hallertau are known for their tasty beer so opt for a tasting paddle for the full experience. Save some room, though, because their food menu includes rustic platters, pork ribs, spiced lamb shoulder, pizza and some seriously good fat chunkies.
Deep Creek Brews and Eats
Cruise out into the ‘burb of Browns Bay to Deep Creeks Brews and Eats, and you’ll be treated to a slice of the good life. There’s a ton of beer to be drank, from pilsners to pale ale to porters and other special one-off creations. Eats wise, there’s sliders, mussels, barbecue ribs, and temptings tacos. With an outdoor area and views of the beach, we can’t think of a better place to spend an arvo.
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Image credit: PBase