There And Back Again – Waiheke Island

Yesterday we explored downtown Auckland (love this city). Today we boarded a ferry to Waiheke Island where we caught a hop on/off bus. New Zealand sure has a way of making things easy and getting to your destination is scenic from start to end.

Waiheke Island is about 35 minutes ride from downtown Auckland, where water traffic in this part of New Zealand seems to be the preferred commute.

Ferry to Waiheke Island

It was another beautiful morning in NZ and the waters were emerald green and like glass.

Our ride out to Waiheke Island

The harbor of Waiheke Island is a haven for sailboats, where beautiful homes blend into the hillsides with spectacular views.

Waiheke Island

The Hop on/off bus is the easiest and most efficient way to travel on this island. You could spend an entire day exploring… yeah.. yeah.. nah.. A week exploring this island…. yeah… yeah.. nah. A lifetime exploring this Island and staying here forever! yeah… yeah…

Honestly, if you are going to miss your ship and forgo the rest of a world cruise, this island is the place to do it. It. Has everything you would want. Beautiful beaches, wineries, restaurants, shops, hiking, biking trails and every home seems to fit into the landscape– a bit of New England meets Napa Valley meets Malibu.

We took the bus to its farthest point at Onetangi, about a 1/2 hr ride past charming downtown shopping, estuaries, coves, hilltop scenic views and winery after winery. Hopping off, we headed to the beach leaving behind a string of oceanside cafes and bars– each looking to be more fun than the one next to it.

As beaches go, this one ranks up there as the most serene and beautiful to walk on. It’s a little over a mile long from our starting point to the west end, where a hidden beach comes into play at low tide and fortunately we were there at low tide.

But for you commuters– we watched this guy in his hybrid zodiac ride right out of the water and up to his house.

The best commute… ever

At this end of the beach there are no people, just shells seaweeds and Oyster Crackers.

Oyster Cracker

On our next cruise, I hope to bring my herbarium press and collect seaweeds from every country.

Photo op

We never wanted to leave this place

It was time to head back, catching the hop on and make our way back through the island, passing the wineries and shops along the way, thinking of the next time we return here.

One of the many vineyards along the route.

It was time to ferry back to downtown, leaving this charming port and island behind, swinging past Rangitoto volcano (Te Rangi-i-totongia-a–Tama-te-Kapaa).

It was time to say goodbye, for now, to Aukland. Thank you for hosting us in your beautiful city and surroundings. Your people are it’s best kept secret.

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