Waiheke Island Trifecta: Hikes + Beaches + Wine

Waiheke Island is a magical, magical place. The only thing between us and plenty of island wineries, tramping trails and beach picnics is a 40-minute ferry ride. Not too shabby.

Waiheke makes for a perfect day trip – whether you want to do something outdoorsy and low-key, or kick it up a notch relaxing at luxurious wineries and restaurants.

Since it was our first time, we chose the hybrid approach, opting for a 2.5 hour hike ending at two of the more accessible wineries. (Waiheke is big, so if you’re hoping to see the whole island, you’ll need to rent a car or take the bus between destinations.)

We attempted to follow a trail map (similar to this walk), but I’m not entirely sure what we ended up doing. All that matters is that we had stellar views and explored a lot of the Western part of the island.

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Highlights included:

  • Views over Cable Bay and Owhanake Bay
  • Time to explore, and a quick lunch in Oneroa with beach views (we chose the covered patio at Oneroa Beach Club, which I’d definitely recommend)
  • Tasting at Cable Bay Vineyards and Mudbrick Vineyard, plus a long rest sipping (not so great) wine on Mudbrick’s amazing patio
  • A short walk back to the ferry, by way of fields of sheep*** (see below)

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The Wineries:

  • Cable Bay: Interestingly, both servers we talked to were American. We loved everything we tried here and walked away with a bottle of rose for later. We were planning to have a glass at their restaurant, but it was way too fancy for our muddy hiking attire.
  • Mudbrick: The more casual atmosphere here was more our speed. We took our time here, sitting outside looking over the bay. But unfortunately, the wine was not impressive in any way.

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Known as “The Island of Wine,” Waiheke Island is home to more than 30 wineries. We’ll just have to go back!

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***Bonus Photo: Sheep outnumber humans 7:1 on NZ. I swear there are seven sheep visible here 🙂

 

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