Spring has only just sprung here in Germany, but a few weeks ago I was enjoying full-force summer in New Zealand. One of my stops during my 4-weeks road trip was Waiheke Island in the Hauraki gulf. Truth be told, Waiheke Island had only been added to my itinerary after my New Zealand based friend and blogger Mel of Styled Canvas told me about their fantastic family trip to the island. A 45-minutes ferry trip from Auckland away, and you’ll find yourself on a green island with fantastic beaches, delicious honey and yummy ice cream.
Waiheke Island was a sort of hippie outpost and artist getaway in the past and pretty much neglected. When the regular ferry line between the island and Auckland was established, the time has come for a change. Waiheke Island not only became a popular residential area for New Zealanders, it also made its way on the tourist maps. Well deserved!
Waiheke Island is a real treat for any New Zealand traveler. The quaint town of Oneroa is a wonderful starting point for your Waiheke experience. Cute little shops, nice restaurants, little galleries and a fabulous sandy beach – to be precise, a variety of little bays and beaches all around the town. Moreover there are hilly vineyards, lush nature (including some beautiful wild orchids) and a very relaxed island atmosphere. Oh, and some yummy ice cream: Do not miss the small Island Gelato Company selling some rich and creamy ice cream – I loved the Macadamia ice cream!
My stay on the island was rather short and I had no time to discover the other parts of Waiheke, but I was told that the cliffs and beaches on the other side are even more breathtaking. So do take some time to discover Waiheke Island if you ever plan a visit. Another little tip from my side: Visit the local beekeeper Richard Evatt of Waiheke Honey Co. – when you follow his address on the website, you will end up in his private home in fact. Only a little open air bee shop will guide your way. He will take you around his beehives, tell you all about the bees and honey making, you can follow him to the basement and taste the variety of New Zealand honeys. And yes, you can buy your honey right away. I ended up with a pot of active Manuka honey and Pohutukawa honey.
Enjoying great ice cream, shopping some local art and local honey and enjoying some kite-surfers on the beach – Waiheke Island is really a great piece of New Zealand packed on a little island!
Photography by Igor Josifovic