Waiheke in the Sun

November 7, 2020
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WAIHEKE Island is the largest island in Auckland's inner Hauraki Gulf. You can see it here in this map, which also shows the ferry routes of Auckland Harbour. Waiheke Island's got quite a large ferry commuter suburb in the western part. The eastern part of the island is agricultural, with lots of vineyards.

Map data (c)2020 Google. North at top.

There's a good Wikipedia page on Waiheke Island, which used to be a hippie getaway but is totally gentrified and wine-trail-ified now, though there are still a few hippies apparently. A friend of mine heard a nice song once called 'Waiheke in the Sun' (or maybe that was just one of the lines), but we can't find any mention of it on the Internet: this was in pre-internet days. Anyway, we've borrowed the title.

Along with the township and the wine trails, Waiheke Island has quite a lot of gardens and nature reserves. This image, though not very high in resolution, gives you an idea of how much native forest is left on the island, as well as the scale of some of its beaches.

File:Waiheke landsat 7 27 August 2002.JPG
Waiheke Island: NASA Landsat image, 27 August 2002, cropped from a larger image, probably, which has been cropped more loosely to provide the thumbnail for this post. Public domain image, via Wikimedia Commons. North at top.

To list olnly three natural attractions, apart from the beaches, these include:

+ Te Matuku Bay Scenic Reserve on the south shore of the island, which protects Te Matuku Bay, the big bay which lies between the two southernmost headlands on the island, accessible by way of Orapiu Road, the road that can be seen snaking south-east from the island's township in the map above.

+ The west-facing Whakanewha Regional Park, west-facing and two bays over to the west, where the sun sets over the waters of the harbour.

+ Stony Batter at the eastern end of the island, which has attractive natural rocks and World War II fortifications (and a vineyard).

For more, see Tourism Waiheke:

This post is referenced in my new book, The Neglected North Island: New Zealand's other half.


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