If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, Waiheke Island is the perfect place to relax. At only 45 minute ferry from Auckland and surrounded by beautiful beaches and vineyards, it’s a little gem to enjoy for a family trip, with and without kids. We planned Wahieke Island to be at the end of our intense two weeks holiday in New Zealand. This year we focused on Queenstown and the Fiords in the South Island, with 5 hotels, 1500km car drive and 2 plane transfers in 10 days. So we needed somewhere relaxing to finish our amazing holidays, before getting back to our busy Shanghai life, and Waiheke has not disappointed our expectations. Summer in New Zealand is mild, not too hot with temperatures during the day around 22-26 degrees, cooling down in the evening to 16-18 degrees. Our daily routine has been pretty much the same every day: paly in one of the beautiful beaches, enjoy a relaxing lunch and a wine tasting in one of the many amazing wineries, play again at the beach and enjoy the sunset in an other beautiful winery.
Waiheke Island is famous for producing great red wines because of its low summer rainfall and consistently high temperatures. Below our favorites wineries list (reservations are highly recommended, especially during summer holidays).
Stonyridge is a world-renowned Cabernet-blend winegrower. They are dedicated to producing the finest Cabernet blends in the world (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot) using traditional winemaking. This is the first vineyard we visited and I was amazed by the ivy covered building hosting the cellar door and by the landscape and vineyards you can admire from the bar.
Te Motu is surrounded by vineyards overlooking the beautiful Onetangi Valley. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and in the sunshine in a relaxed and modern-rustic atmosphere. Its flagship wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.
Casita Miro’ is renowned for its ambiance, fine food and wines. They specialize in the cuisine of Spain and is all about shared dining and their ‘tapas’ and ‘raciones’ (large plates) are perfect for a fun, relaxed and social dining experience. We loved tasting a glass of wine ‘picnic style’ sitting on a blanket in their beautiful garden.
Mudbrick is situated in the Hauraki Gulf, and renowned for its breathtaking location. By day the sea and vineyard views are magnificent. By night the stunning sunsets and sparkling city lights are unrivalled – a difficult choice to make between lunch and dinner dining. We chose lunch and had the most amazing culinary experience of our New Zealand holiday.
Cable Bay with a stunning view on the surroundings (you can even see Auckland skyline from here!), it’s the perfect place to enjoy the sunset, while sipping a glass of wine. Olivia loved to run around barefoot in the huge garden. You can casually dine in the Verandah or in the more sophisticated Dining Room.
Poderi Crisci is located at the end of a country lane, and is a family-owned vineyard and restaurant with Italian flair and a passion for traditional winemaking. For four generations the Crisci family have been immersed in the art of food and wine. Just arriving at Poderi Crisci you may well think that you have been transported to Tuscany.
Best Time for travel: December to February is the best time to enjoy sunny warm days at the beach
Ferry: if you have rented a car (highly recommended), you should take Sealink ferry from Half moon Bay in Auckland. The journey to Waiheke takes 45 minutes
Accomodation: it’s recommended to book at least 6 months in advance, especially if you plan to travel over Christmas time. We booked 2 months before our stay through airbnb, and only few options were available.
Enjoy Paola xxx