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  • Day54

    Wonderful Waiheke Island

    March 1, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    A 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland is the beautiful Waiheke Island with it’s 30 wineries and olive grove. I reserved a combo package which also gave me access to the Explorer Hop-on Hop-off bus on the island. The island is only 19 km long and varies from .6-9 km wide but it is all hills. It’s a good thing I abandoned my other option of renting a bike for the day! The population is 9200 people but this increases with seasonal residents. I walked the longest beach, Onetangi, a 1.8 km stretch of light, fine sand. While I ate my picnic lunch I looked for Little Blue Penguins that come ashore here but saw none, later learning that this only occurs in the Spring when they lay their eggs. I was amused by the Sealegs, a boat on wheels! There was the small village of Oneroa, good for browsing in the few tourist shops. My plan was to do one of the hiking trails until I learned that it was actually a “bush walk” and the bush was dense. I chose to hop-off at two of the top-rated wineries and wasn’t disappointed. I drank no wine but the setting alone was worth the stop. Tastings were $15-18 for 4-5 varieties. I spent 5 hours on the island and became familiar to the bus tour guides, one remarking that I was “very energetic”! I was, but I also made sure that I got my money’s worth from the $68 tour package fee! It was a fun day and a welcome break from the city.Read more