Destination Island: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
New Zealand features a beautiful collection of islands, and one of the most beautiful in the collection is Waiheke Island. Waiheke is an incredibly beautiful island off the coast of Auckland, and as the most beautiful and popular island, it has much more attractions, accommodations and activities than any other island that’s near Auckland. This island is known for its’ amazing food, wineries, and absolutely stunning landscapes. It was ranked as the 4th best island on the planet, and the top island in the whole of Australia by Travel & Leisure magazine readers. It was also named one of the planet’s best destinations by Lonely Planet in the year 2016.
Every year, Waiheke Island attracts thousands of tourists looking for a touch of paradise, just a stone throw away from Auckland. When you visit this Island, you’ll get to enjoy its’ dry, warm micro-climate, amazing wineries and some of the best white sandy beaches in the region.
Things To Do
- Check out Whakanewha Regional Park – If you are a nature lover, you should consider visiting this park which is situated on the southern side of Waiheke Island. Covering about 250 hectares, this park comprises mainly of mature coastal forest, scenic sweeping beaches and cascading streams. During the high tides, the shallow waters are warm and safe for children to play in, as well as being perfect for boating and kayaking.
- Take a Tour of Waiheke Island Wineries – Waiheke Island is commonly referred to as New Zealand’s “Island of Wine.” Thanks to its’ ancient stony soil structures and unique maritime climate, the island can grow a wide selection of grapes and produce both white and red wines with truly distinctive character. Here, you will find more than 32 boutique vineyards including the award winning Stonyridge Vineyard which is renowned for its’ excellent red wines. Some of the other popular wineries you will find here include, but not limited to; the Miro Vineyard, Passage Rock, Cable Bay, and Te Whau.
- Visit Stony Batter – Set on a spectacular headland with scenic views, this coastal battery was actually built in the year 1942, so as to defend Auckland against the Japanese invasion. Here you will get to see three 23 meter guns, a fascinating underground room of magazines, engine rooms and gun stores.
Best Time of Year To Visit
According to the tourism industry report, the period between October to April is usually a peak time in Waiheke Island. So, if you’re looking for a calmer atmosphere and less crowds, the best time to travel is between the months of March and May. That said, it’s important to note that February is also a good month to visit as the weather is still pleasant and there are relatively fewer crowds.