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By Ben Selby
It’s becoming quite undeniable that the greater Auckland area is growing at an expediential rate. Take Warkworth for example. The population has swollen in recent years as many Aucklanders have chosen Warkworth as a place to settle or to get away. Some also use Warkworth as a place to store their classic car.
However, if you now reside in the charming township of Warkworth and feel like a day out in your classic without going too far, then a trip to Leigh on the east coast could be just the ticket. Situated on the north east end of Omaha bay, Leigh has a tonne of things to do, places to eat and stunning views to boot.
Starting in the Warkworth township, the drive to Leigh is a relatively short one. However, it still makes for the perfect excuse to give your Triumph TR6 or 283ci Impala a shakedown. Make for SH1 but instead of following it north, turn right onto Matakana Road.
A quick jaunt up this road and before you know it, you are passing Matakana Wineries. If you fancy a taste of a fine white or red, then its worth a look. After this you arrive in Matakana Village itself. There is a such a feeling of community here. If you travel through on a Saturday, then Matakana’s famous Farmer’s Market.
From here Matakana Road becomes Leigh Road. Follow this out of Matakana and through Big Omaha and Whangateau. Here, the road is surrounded by beautiful shrubs and trees, the drive even more picturesque. Past the baches and marina of Whangateau, the road starts to climb and turn. Here you can drop down a gear or two and really get stuck into driving.
Moments later you arrived in Leigh itself. Whether sauntering through Leigh village, walking on the beaches, or enjoying a nice pint at one of the many bars and eateries like Leigh Sawmill, you will have plenty to occupy your time.
The fact it is only 20 minutes from Warkworth and an hour’s drive from central Auckland, its no wonder Leigh comes highly recommended as a day trip destination. All the more reason why a classic car run to Leigh should be high on your to-do list.