including Matakana, Leigh, Snells Beach and Omaha

Suburb Specialists

Service towns don’t come much prettier than Warkworth. It’s in an idyllic spot that hugs the languid curves of the Mahurangi River. Little more than 2.5 square kilometers in area, it fizzes with community spirit and is 15 minutes drive away from 15 beaches. Warkworth is the self-proclaimed heart of the Kowhai Coast. It’s also the gateway to the busy road to Matakana, Omaha, Leigh and Kawau Island. Less than 10 years ago, Matakana was a two-shop, pub stop, Holden and Harley Davidson drive-thru town but while the laid-back character is intact, it now has a high-profile market and a substantially expanded village. Omaha is best known for its monolithic modern holiday homes that spring forth from the sand dunes. Snells Beach is the hub of the Mahurangi peninsula and has a coastal/ suburban flavour to match.

Who Lives There?

Warkworth, Snells Beach and Leigh have a mix of young families and long-term older residents. This area is popular with elderly people retiring from Auckland and professionals commuting to work in Albany and the North Shore. There’s a great community spirit. Local people stumped up $50 a plank to fund the riverside boardwalk; sausage sizzles and garage sales pay for the museum building’s upkeep. Omaha is a high profile spot for those with enough cash to fund a sophisticated holiday home (not a bach). Famous residents including fashionista Trelise Cooper and P.M John Key.

Typical Homes

There’s a wide range of housing in each community. Warkworth has villas, weatherboard houses and stylish renovations of these, as well as new houses in subdivisions. Matakana’s mix of traditional bungalows, farm cottages and relocated villas now includes a group of new brick and tile houses in a development behind the bakery. Famous for its rural lifestyle, Matakana also has acreage properties around the fringes. Leigh has everything from caravans to large coastal lifestyle blocks and new areas of subdivision with executive homes currently under construction. Old Omaha to the north was developed in three stages from the 1960s to the 1980s, so there’s everything from board-and-batten, group-style housing to two-storey houses that were the fashion of the day. To the south, houses continue to sprout up in the 600- section The Dunes development. Their design has to meet strict criteria for this upmarket beach resort.

Population Profile


Aged Under 15 Years 16.94%
Aged Over 65 Years 21.17%
European 79.00%
Maori 7.80%
Pacific Peoples 2.19%
Asian 2.46%