Waiheke Island

One of the most beautiful islands in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island is world famous for it’s wine, food, and beaches, and is only 40 mins from Auckland CBD by ferry. Despite a resident population of over 9,000 people (far more than Wanaka) it is easy to escape to near deserted beaches and wander through native bush. On a sunny day it’s hard to find a better place to be.dsc01048 dsc01050

There are two points to get off the ferry, the main one at Matiatia Wharf is a great place to watch the sunset back toward Auckland CBD.dsc_0039 dsc_0042 dsc_0054

While at the other end of the island Orapiu Wharf is a much quieter place, with only two ferries a day (running out to Rotoroa Island and the Coromandel Peninsula).dsc01032 dsc01033

In-between the two is some spectacular scenery and impressive vineyards.dsc01165 dsc_0021 dsc01085 dsc01052 dsc01094 dsc01090 dsc01136 dsc01100 dsc01098 dsc01099

Onetangi Beach is my favourite on the island. A photograph is worth a thousands words.dsc_0042-onetangi-bay dsc_0016dsc01201dsc01233dsc01190 dsc01189dsc01226But there are plenty more lovely beaches to explore.dsc_0024

Te Ara Hura is a 100km trail around the island, mostly off-road through lush native bush.dsc01057 dsc01065 dsc01067

And passing by a Manganese Mine which is free to explore, though fairly spooky.dsc01119 dsc01120 dsc01122

The locals have a sense of humour.dsc01262 dsc01144

And there is even some funky architecture in the new library.dsc01243 dsc01253 dsc01242

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