Locals - Brijana Cato

Matakana & Northern Beaches

We interview local photographer Brijana Cato on what she thinks is good about her home.

Tell us about yourself..

Hey I'm Brijana, a self-taught photographer currently based in Snells Beach north of Auckland. Being born and raised in a town where beaches and bushwalks were just around the corner, I was always encouraged to go and enjoy the outdoors. In my spare time, I'm usually drinking way too much coffee, adventuring with friends or beach hopping!

I’ve always loved where I live and am excited to share some of my local secrets with y’all.

Fave things to do where you live?

Tawharanui Summer snapped by Brijana

Living so close to Matakana I like to pop in to some of the local boutiques because there are some goodies. Check out Meet Me Where The Sun Sets, Bach Matakana and Green with Envy. When I’m not working you’ll probably find me at a beach, I’m pretty spoilt for choice here! There are also heaps of awesome walks if you’re into that, the Mangawhai cliff walk is a stunner.

Fave Beach?

Tawharanui Beach taken by Brijana

My ultimate fave is Tawharanui because it’s not too far away and big enough that you feel like you can escape a little. I also really love Lang’s and enjoy exploring up around the Bream Bay area. Pakiri, Forestry, Mathesons Bay and Scott’s Landing are also a few other faves of mine.

Langs Beach snapped by Brijana

Fave food Spots?

This might be a long list! So I’m at Ravish in Matakana at least once a day for a coffee, they make a good brew. Ravish also has some great treats and healthy options available to grab and go which is handy before popping out to the beach.

The Farmers Daughter's food never disappoints. Snapped by Brijana

The Farmers Daughter in Omaha is amazing, the food is always delish and never disappoints.

A mean takeaway option if you’re driving through. You’ll find the Viet Q Food Truck as you’re coming into Matakana village after the primary school. They’re only open Thursday’s and Fridays FYI.

Did you even go to Waipu if you didn’t go to the Waipu Pizza Barn?! It’s iconic, it’s always hearty as heck and there’s never any regrets.

A good place to get a decent coffee while in the Waipu/Lang’s area is Little Red Coffee. The ladies who work at Little Red are so cool and always happy to have a yarn.

Tucked behind The Bach in Matakana, Alma Wholefood has yummy smoothies, chia puddings, salads and more. Open Friday’s & Saturday’s .

Pete & Mary’s in Warkworth, it’s not open yet but I know the owner’s so I know it’s going to be GREAT!

Omaha Trees snapped by Brijana

Why you appreciate living here?

Living in this area there is a great community feel and it’s always nice bumping in to familiar faces when grabbing your morning coffee or hitting the beach. I love working with and supporting the small businesses in my area while also being away from the hustle of Auckland. There is a really nice slow, chilled pace here and I feel lucky to live in a place where I can relax and take it easy.

Thanks Brijana - we have loved learning more about the East Coast through your eyes. Nothing beats a locals knowledge and we now have a few new spots to try out!

All pictures owned by Brijana, please contact her for permission to use.


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