We love escaping Auckland as much as possible – after all, we grew up in the city and have lived there for most of our lives! A favourite weekend escape is to Waiheke Island, only 45 minutes from downtown Auckland on a ferry. Last weekend, we headed out to this bucolic slice of New Zealand with a bunch of mates, with the purpose of wining, dining, and relaxing.
We stayed at the ‘Bottom End’ of Waiheke at Arran Bay (i.e. the far eastern end of the island), which is about half an hour from the main township of Oneroa. Arran Bay is gorgeous – it’s home to about ten baches (kiwi-speak for holiday homes) and a little jetty. The best part is that the bay is only accessible to residents so it’s always nice and quiet!
One of Shaun’s favourite things to at Arran Bay is to jump off the jetty – remember the photo that won us a trip to Fiji? That was taken at Arran Bay! And so the tradition had to be continued, this time at sunset:
Of course, no trip to Waiheke is complete without wine! The island has a number of vineyards and cellar doors for tastings. A perennial favourite is Man O’ War Vineyard, which is handily only 5 minutes drive away from Arran Bay. We loved sitting out on the grass with a couple of bottles and a cheese board to share. They even have a backyard cricket set which the boys enjoyed playing with (coincidentally they were playing while the New Zealand cricket team The Black Caps were smashing the West Indies in the Cricket World Cup quarter-final!). The wine is delightful and the view is amazing – I’d say there aren’t many vineyards in the world across the road from a gorgeous beach!
To finish off the weekend, we had a delicious lunch at The Oyster Inn at Oneroa – lots of seafood as suggested by the name. I had a delicious ceviche and a pavlova for dessert. So good!
It was so good to escape the city for a weekend after being in town for a few weeks (too long in our opinion!). Bring on the next escapade (Easter!)…
. . .