Weekend Itinerary Visit Franklin: Fun and Funky Attractions for all the Family

VISIT FRANKLIN! An undiscovered part of south Auckland and North Waikato, starting at Papakura and stretching as far east as Miranda, as far West as Awhitu, and south as far as Hampton Downs and Waikaritu.

Leave State Highway 1 at Papakura and stop off for award-winning coffee and soul food at the Urban Soul Cafe, voted one of the best cafes in Auckland.  Give yourself the most chilling, frightening experience ever at Spookers Haunted Attraction & Theme Park at Karaka, close by the site of the infamous Kingseat psychiatric hospital and reportedly the most haunted place in New Zealand!

Day 1: Travel on to stay at the Clarks Beach Holiday Park on the shores of the Manukau Harbour, a great fishing and scallop-gathering spot.  Enjoy panoramic views of the adjacent golf course and beach. There are plenty of things to do here with a covered swimming pool, mini-golf, pedal carts, and bicycles for hire. 

Day 2: Visit Waiau Pa, which means "River of swirling currents" in the Māori language, and explore the trails around Waiau Beach. 

Depending on the time of year you come, be sure to check out the Waiau Pa Hop, a community-run classic hot rod show that has been running since 2014 to raise money for local causes.   Drop down to Glenbrook to check out the Glenbrook Model Railway, the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, and the Calendula Cottage and Cafe.  If you are in a motorhome, you can also stay on-site at the Glenbrook Model Railway.

Or cruise into Pukekohe to stay at the Aveda Motor Lodge or Villa Te Soro Bed & Breakfast.  Pukekohe is home to a vast range of pubs and restaurants with all kinds of cuisine to suit your taste.

Day 3: Heading home to Auckland, why not either go to Beretta at Braçu and try your hand at archery, knife throwing, or clay shooting or stop off at the Patumahoe Village Kitchen pub with great food or the Butchery Cafe for breakfast?  Check out the cute antique store and visit the Henry reserve with spectacular waterfalls on a gentle walk just off the road. Or visit Wrights Watergardens for a fun place to explore and to eat.    Pushed for time? Stop off at the Red Shed Palazzo at Drury, winner of the rural cafe of the year, boasting awesome Sunday morning markets and a friendly relaxed atmosphere.  


Day 1: Urban Soul Cafe, Spookers, Clark’s Beach Holiday Park

Day 2: Waiau Pa Trails and Waiau Beach. Hot Rod Festival (April each year). Glenbrook Model Railway, Glenbrook Vintage Railway, or Beretta at Braçu

Day 3: Patumahoe Village Kitchen, Butchery Cafe, Henry Reserve, Ooh La La, Wright’s Watergardens,