Waiheke (wine) Island

Sweet – it’s wine Island day.
Can you tell I am a little excited?

So if you are a lover of wine I would recommend the Waiheke Explorer tour through Fullers which is the main ferry operators in Auckland.  The tour cost me 49 NZD which wasn’t too bad for the tour and the ferry, there are a lot of other tours out there which were more expensive.  This place was on my bucket list so didn’t mind paying the money.

Anyway, I met Janelle at Fort Street and we wandered over to the ferry and hopped on. We were one of the first few on the ferry so we got to sit at the top and at the front.

Janelle and I on the ferry over. It was a little blustery and cold but was warm off the ferry.
Rangitoto Island from the ferry.

I love the view of Rangitoto in this photo, I do plan to walk up this before I leave Auckland.

Part of Waiheke Island coming into view.


Because we were at the front we were some of the last few people off the boat, it didn’t bother me as we got a good view of the island when we arrived.  Once off the ferry everyone went their own way, some went onto the various busses for their tours and other went to see if they could hire cars and others walked.  It wasn’t far into the main town area.
Janelle and I made our way to the Explorer – Hop on Hop off and got on ready for our trip.

There was a lovely lady giving commentary of the island and gave us a few facts;

  • Waiheke has a population of around 9,000 people.
  • 12,000 people visit Waiheke every year.
  • 1982 – the first wine produced on the island.
  • Waiheke has 30 vineyards on the island.
  • There are no traffic lights on the island.
  • In 1953 power cables were put in to ensure the island received electricity.
  • There is no trash on Waiheke, it is shipped over to Auckland once it has been sorted and in return Auckland provides power.
  • Every house is reliant on water tanks and septic tanks – I guess they really look forward to the rain in the summer months.

I am sure there are loads more facts about this place, but I cannot think what they all are.

There were so many places we could have visited whilst on the island, but there really wasn’t enough time to see them all so we went to the Tantalus Estate to start with, the views were amazing and the building had been renovated not that long ago which also looked incredible.  It is one of the newest vineyards on the island and some say it took 3 million NZD to renovate. Just have a look for yourself and tell me what you think.

The main building with a restaurant inside.

Did I mention they also do craft beer tastings here as well as wine tastings.

This is the bathroom!!!
The lovely restaurant.
Some of the grounds.
Me at the grand entrance, it looks like I am able to enter a mansion.


We then went onto Stonyridge vineyard which had to be my favourite.  Not just for the wine but the views over the vines.

Stoneyridge Vinyard – this really doesn’t do the place justice, it truly was an amazing view.

Stonyridge had a South of France feel to the buildings and the views were great. It also does the most sought after red wines in New Zealand.  I tried some Syrah which was just beautiful.  It was 100 NZD a bottle (only 6 NZD for a taster).  If I had a spare 100 NZD at the time I would have bought a bottle.

Me with my wine taster.
Yep, I did the tourist thing too 🙂

We then headed over to Wild on Waiheke which is where you can do laser clay Pidgeon shooting, archery and lots of other activities.  They also brew craft beers which are all available for tasting too.

The views were not as spectacular – maybe we were spoiled from the first two, but we did have a lovely lunch.

The best Caesar salad ever! Yes I prefer it without the dressing!

We then went to Onetangi (pronounced ona-tung-y) beach.  It was beautiful, the water was so cold but I still swam.  Just look at the blue waters, blue skies and lovely sandy beaches!!

Lovely blues!
The water was so clear too.


Janelle spent the most of her time chasing her hat.
Super happy to be at the beach!

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