Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Sun April 17 2016

Opinion Home | The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

  • Worldwide Scott | April 17, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    A Mini-Guide to Waiheke Island, New Zealand

    A Mini-Guide to Waiheke Island, New Zealand

    Photos by Worldwide Scott

    Waiheke Island, New Zealand is an oasis of lush, rolling hills, vineyards, bays, and beaches. Yep, pretty much everything you would equate with “the good life.” It is also a laid back and quirky place where people go to relax, all without the hassles of the big city on their backs.

    Sounds like a pretty good combination, doesn’t it? Yes, there’s a whole lot of things that make this place special, but it all begins and ends with the fact that Waiheke’s isolated island charm is only a stone’s throw from New Zealand’s biggest city: Auckland.

    This juxtaposition makes Waiheke a convenient place to escape, and lately a ton of people have been doing just that — and writing about it. This list includes Lonely Planet, which just named Waiheke Island one of the world’s top regions to visit in 2016.

    READ MORE: New Zealand’s Best Animal Encounters

    I went there myself once, and here is my mini-guide for this enchanting Kiwi island to help you start planning your trip.

    How to Get There: Ferries depart from the downtown Auckland terminal on a regular basis for Waiheke, and usually only take about 30-40 minutes to reach the island. If you’ve got some cash to flash and want to make a grand entrance, there are several charter helicopter and seaplane services.

    When to Go: While you could certainly have fun on Waiheke Island any time of year, it is in the warmer months — October to April in this part of the world — when the island really comes to life. Fun festivals dot almost every weekend during this time of year, including tantalizing food and wine galas, jazz concerts and the famous Onetangi Beach horse races. 

    What to Do: A renowned wine island, Waiheke wineries have been picking up volumes of acclaim in recent years, and the stunning scenery of the island goes hand-in-hand with putting a glass of wine in your hand. In addition to wine tasting at the vineyards, Waiheke is crisscrossed by walking and biking paths, coves for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, and home to a full complement of beaches to relax on after you’ve worked up an appetite. There’s also an array of art galleries.

    Where to Stay: Accommodation on Waiheke Island is definitely more on the “Bed, Breakfast, & Boutique” side of things, but can you can also go the apartment-rental route, stay at a luxury lodge, or even spend the night in a yurt or a budget hostel. Regardless of your budget, there is a fun option waiting for you on Waiheke, and you will almost always be assured of staying near a stunning view or having access to a hammock.

    READ MORE: Where to See the Southern Lights

    What to Eat and Drink: Red wine is the name of the game on Waiheke, with nearly two-thirds of the vino crafted on the island being red varietals — mostly smooth Merlots and spicy Syrahs. If you prefer white wine, rest assured there are still some fantastic Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Gris being poured, and they pair perfectly with the fresh Waiheke-caught seafood served at The Oyster Inn


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
Experience Alaska With Holland America Line

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships