The Wonder And Wineries Of Waiheke

At Waiheke Island, life revolves around wine, food, beaches and outdoor adventures. Waiheke Island is situated in the Hauraki Gulf and is the second largest, the most populated and the most accessible island in the gulf. It features 100 kilometres of stunning coastline and is a picturesque blend of farmland, forest, beaches, vineyards and olive groves.

Waiheke Island is located a 35 minute ferry drive from downtown Auckland, the perfect pick up place for Campervan Hire New Zealand. There is a choice of two ferry services that will take you over to the island, both with facilities for your campervan. Although most campervan companies allow you to take your vehicle offshore onto the island, be aware that your insurance will not cover you while you are on the ferry.

Once you arrive on the island the beauty that surrounds you will simply take your breath away. Waiheke Island is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city as it embodies everything from relaxation to rejuvenation and stunning scenery and sights. The island is famous for its world-class wineries and also enjoys a thriving arts scene. As it is an island, Waiheke is also home to safe, sandy swimming beaches that are perfect for water sports or just lazing around. In fact Waiheke translates into 'cascading waters' so it's no wonder there is such a strong focus on the water attractions here.

Apart from the stunning beaches, Waiheke Island offers an abundance of outdoor adventure activities that are perfect for the whole family. Take some time to trek along the many coastal walks, which all offer stunning scenery of the coast and native bush features. The island offers everything from sightseeing to mountain biking and sea kayaking to relaxed vineyard tours. The island is home to several handfuls of interesting vineyards including Cable Bay, Christensen Estate, Cold Water, Man O War, Mudbrick and Passage Rock, just to name a few. Taking a tour of these wineries will allow you to explore endless vineyards and sample some of the finest wines in the country.

While visiting the island, the cultural history of the area will be immediately evident. Take a short drive in your campervan up to the eastern tip of the island and you will come across 'Stony Batter'. This is a historical WWII defence complex that is open to the public and allows them to walk through the network of underground tunnels of the chambers that link to magnificent emplacements. This historic site will take you back to the war days and give you an understanding of how things were done back in these days.

Another historical attraction on the island is the Waiheke Island Historical Village. This quaint village is the residence of a wool shed and two picturesque cottages. Here you will find a collection of artefacts including a textile gallery, photo display, weapons and a whaler's cauldron. This is the perfect place to discover how the island came into being, its settlement days and its whaling past. It also makes for an interesting afternoon for the whole family!

When it comes to sightseeing and tourist attractions, Waiheke will not leave you disappointed. While exploring the limits of the island, the best way to get around is with Campervans New Zealand. As the coast stretches for 100 kilometres, this really is the only way you can discover every nook and cranny on the island. Spend the day exploring such attractions as the Sculpture Park at Connells Bay, the gardens at Te Whau and find some delicious treats at the Ostend Markets. There are also many great art galleries and studios on the island as the island is the residence of many locally and internationally renowned artists. Take some time to check out their fascinating creations.

The island is also home to an array of restaurants and cafes that will tantalise your taste buds and open your mind to new food experiences. Relax as you sample the culinary delights of the local produce while you wash it down with one of the fine local wines. This is one dining experience you will not soon forget.

Waiheke Island is a great place to loosen up, kick back and have fun. The locals will make you feel at home, so much so that you may never want to leave. The fact that you feel right at home here is what makes this place so great!

Christine Barton


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