Ata Mārie Travelers!
Good Morning Travelers!
It's our first day of touring and we're excited to learn about and taste the wines of the Waiheke Island just off Mission Bay. We take the ferry, a Catamaran, and depart from the Auckland Ferry terminal on Quay Street, in downtown Auckland to Matiatia Bay, Waiheke Island. We cruise past Devonport wharf on the northern side of the harbor across from Auckland downtown as we enjoy the beauty of the sea before docking. Hauraki Gulf is large and tucked into the northwest corner of New Zealand's north Island. Waiheke is a long Island within the Hauraki Gulf that spans from east to west and lies directly west of Auckland.
The nameWaiheke means'cascading waters', it was given to the island due to the stream found at Onetangi, the northern beach and famous coastline of Waiheke. The original Maori name of the island was 'Te Motu Arai Roa', or 'long sheltering island'.
Oneroa is the main town on Waiheke Island, and as we tour the town and the island we find 30 boutique wineries to explore with vineyards everywhere. The island has around 25 miles of beaches and we notice that eastern part of the island has predominantly farmland, vineyards and a regional park. The northern part contains the lovely beaches. We have time to swim and enjoy the beach, bike the island on our own or in groups and go wine tasting via bus, bike, taxi or scooter if you're adventurous! Lunch is on your own this day as there are so many restaurants and cafes to explore. In and around Oneroa are a scattering of wineries and vineyards, almost every one of them has a cafe or eatery. You pick one of them and enjoy a lovely sunny day with cool breezes but enough warmth to feel comfortable outside on their porch to enjoy a seafood salad at Mudbrick Restaurant and Vineyards or maybe it's a grilled panini at Poderi Crisci Vineyards and don't miss the fish and chips at Vino Vino! Whatever you decide it's easy to find a zesty Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris from the island to pair with that meal, or if it's a red wine that you crave, try the lovely Bordeaux Blends that contain delicious Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Peitit Verdot grapes that grow on this beautiful island. Whatever you eat and drink this day it's combined with the relaxed atmosphere of the island and the sunshiny beaches, lush vineyards and blue skies of the Southern Hemisphere energy!
Enjoy this touring day and I'll see you back on the ferry to meet up for dinner in Auckland.
When we get back to the Grand Millennium Hotel we find time for a nap and refresh for dinner. Our meal is within walking distance to Aria Restaurant and Bar. It's a lively spot where we can enjoy a diverse meal with local seafood, meats and salads the Auckland way! We are so excited to have spent an action packed day on Waiheke and talk about our favorite wines, beach and the scooter experience that Fernando had with Denise!
Pō Mārie Travelers, sleep like angels!