Waiheke Island is situated in the Southern Hauraki Gulf, off the East coast of North Island, New Zealand and is the best-known attraction in Auckland. Resplendent with rolling hills, it is the fifth largest island in the country and is more populated than others. In Maori dialect, Waiheke means “Cascading Waters”.
About Waiheke Island
In the late 19th century, the island was the site for manganese mining. Waiheke Island is linked to Auckland by ferry services. Waiheke Island is known for its famous beaches, mesmerizing landscapes, and flavorful wineries. Avocados are one of the Waiheke Island’s prime crops. The island is also known for its olives.
Why Visit Waiheke Island?
As remote as it is, Waiheke Island is still been able to fascinate many celebrities like Beyonce, Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake, and Madonna. Earlier considered to be a hippie hangout, Waiheke Island is now considered to be a tourist hotspot. Over the last 10 years, many dynamic changes have taken place.
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Best Time To Visit Waiheke Island
While visiting New Zealand is an all-year-round affair, the winters in Waiheke aren’t that enchanting in comparison.Summers are the best time to visit the island and fall right in the middle of U.S. winters. Ice-skating around Manhattan and enjoying scenic landscapes in Auckland would be the perfect combination.
How To Reach Waiheke Island?
This place is just 35 minutes away from Auckland by boat and 12 minutes away by helicopter. If you are at Hauraki Gulf, you will have to travel almost 18 km to reach to Waiheke Island.
Places To Stay At Waiheke Island
There are no big hotels in Waiheke Island. What you can do is make your own place to stay in a tent or you can rent a house if accompanied by family or friends. But still, there are some options such as Waiheke Unlimited, Waiheke Holiday Homes and Stay Waiheke which you can consider for your stay. For having a more comfortable and cozy stay you can go for Korora Estate and Fossil Cove. Fossil Cove is the place where Lady Gaga stayed during her visit to Waiheke Island. You can also opt for hotels such as The Oyster Inn, The Boatshed or Delamore Lodge; all these hotels provide you the oceanic views and have stylish rooms to stay.
Things To Do At Waiheke Island
1. Wine and dine
About 40 wineries across the island are one of the major draws. You can eat in award-winning ambiance or sprawling vineyards.
You can also enjoy the aerial view of wineries which will just take just about 25 minutes. To enjoy the lifestyle of Waiheke Island, you should visit Wild Estate vineyard to taste indigenous wines.
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2. Visit the Mudbrick winery
In the elegant setting, Mudbrick Winery is the best place for watching the sun setting over the Auckland City skyline. The view is exceptional and the wine tasting session will be a unique experience. The owners are welcoming and at times accompany guests in the tour.
3. Enjoy a walk along the coast
When in Waiheke Island, you can go for a coastal walk and watch the birdlife and marine life with the help of your binoculars. The beach is spectacular and you won’t find throngs of crowd on the sea shore, just some visitors who will leave you to your devices. So, do visit the beach when in Waiheke Island and stroll through the mesmerising beach.
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4. Visit an art exhibition
Every two years, an outdoor art exhibition called “Sculpture on the Gulf” is held in Waiheke, which you must see. This exhibition is held in the Matiatia Walkway. If you are a die-hard art lover, you should visit the Connells Bay Sculpture Park as well. The park is situated at a picturesque location and along with beautiful art pieces, offers a stunning view of the valley.
5. Visit Waiheke Island Historical Village and Whittaker’s Musical Museum
The Historical Village offers a glimpse into the past of the island and consists of five main buildings. Also, not too far is the Musical Museum which arranges concerts as well. Nonetheless, live shows are held here for children with each show lasting about 90 minutes and are a great addition to your trip if you are going with your family.
6. Shop at Ostend Market
You can also shop in the Ostend Market every Saturday. So start your weekend shopping amazing stuff either first hand or second hand at cheap rates. You can buy clothes, toys and art and craft products. You can also buy second-hand items from this market if you are looking for cheaper options. The roadside delis sell everything, from fresh meat to warm cakes and breads.
7. Hike through Whakanewha Regional Park
You can also hike through Whakanewha Regional Park. While exploring, you might see many species of birds and insects. You will see different birds like Kereru, Tui, Gray Warbler, Fantail, and silver eye. Also, the view from some of the hills is exceptional, making the hike truly worth your while. There are more things to do in Waiheke Island, but this was the round-up of the best ones.
Waiheke is a quiet place. If you recharge in the midst of scenic landscapes, it is just the place for you. You can watch birds and marine life, enjoy beautiful sceneries, stay overnight, check out the amazing wineries, polish the plates at some of the restaurants or simply watch the sunset. In short, visiting Waiheke Island is a perfect vacation and unforgettable memories.If this sounds appealing to you, it is time to get yourself a customized package to this quaint retreat.
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