People visiting New Zealand’s capital city of Auckland becomes instantly enamored with its contrast of magnificent dormant volcanoes, a bustling urbanity, and the warm nature of its people. However, they do not realize that this marvelous city hides a secret. Whenever Aucklanders want to getaway from the urban chaos, they simply take a 35-minute ferry ride to a piece of island bliss.
Measuring just 93 square kilometers, Waiheke Island has a mixture of rolling hills, a warm and dry microclimate, and a long stretch of sandy beaches. With less humidity and rain that complement its sunny weather, it is no surprise why a lot of Aucklanders would rather live here. Waiheke may be New Zealand’s third most populous island, and the most densely populated island at 83.58 people per square kilometer, but the people living here are one of the most socially-diverse, where multimillionaires rub shoulders with the bohemian artists.
The emerald waters on Waiheke’s city side slams against the rocky bays, while visitors can get to lie down and have a tan on its vast beaches. The island has two types of beaches: the relatively deserted white-sand beaches on the northern side and the tidal beaches on the south.
Aside from the coastline, the island is also known for its wine. There are about 14 wineries that you can visit; most of them even have posh restaurants. Have a bite of your lunch as you marvel at the island’s breathtaking city view. The vineyards also yield an abundant harvest of olives, which they press into olive oil.
While in Waiheke, you may also want to try paying a visit to the Waiheke Museum and Historic Village located in Onetangi Straight, where you have an idea about the lifestyle of the European settlers as well as the Maori. You can also take part of a guided tour, which either takes you on a 30-minute bus rise around the island, or a visit at three vineyards where you can even taste some of their wines as well as a light lunch. Or if you want to have your own travel plan, put on your hiking shoes and walk around the island’s tracks and bush reserves.