Home' Waiheke Weekender : 20 December 2012 Contents 20 December 2012
24 Waiheke Weekender
Surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke is
both island community and holiday resort. Only 35 minutes by ferry
from downtown Auckland, its natural attractions include stunning
white sand beaches, rocky coastlines, estuaries rich in birdlife and
Warm, dry summers please visitors and vintners alike, creating
a flourishing tourism industry and making the island one of New
Zealand’s premier wine-producing regions. Olives also thrive in our
Mediterranean-style climate and Waiheke’s extra virgin olive oils
have gained a reputation for excellence.
For those arriving at Matiatia looking for adventure, renting
a bike, car, kayak or chartering a yacht offer a challenging way
to explore island life and some of its 133km of sandy coves and
Once the source of
kauri spars for sailing
vessels and later for
firewood, timber and
shingle for the grow-
ing town of Auckland,
the island had its own
thriving social life in the 19th and early 20th centuries as the farms
of its south coasts sat on steamer routes from Auckland, Thames and
the Coromandel. Weekend daytrippers from Auckland would arrive
to the many island wharves throughout the summers aboard vessels
including the Duchess and the 2000-passenger Muritai.
Wool and dairy products were major island exports of the day.
More perishable items and passengers were rowed out to meet the
passing coastal ships and livestock and supplies were still being
transported around the gulf as late as the 1960s aboard the last of the
kauri trading scows.
Waiheke’s natural charms and growing amenities are attracting
an increasing number of residents, currently estimated at 8000.
Whether it’s in a luxury holiday homes or a traditional Kiwi bach,
summer holidays on Waiheke offer visitors something special.
Vine and dine
Many of the island’s vineyards have award-winning restaurants set
among the beauty of the vines.
Vines were planted in the 1980s by three main producers – Goldwater,
Stonyridge and Peninsula Estate – and Waiheke has since gone on to
exhibitions, predominantly featuring local artists, and smaller artist’s
galleries and studios are scattered around the island.
Originally inspired by Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea, headland
Sculpture on the Gulf will take place from 25 January to 17 February
2013, with 30 New Zealand and overseas artists displaying large-
scale sculptures in carefully chosen sites on the Matiatia headland.
Driving the loop
At the island’s eastern end are the famous Stony Batter tunnels,
built during World War II to protect the Waitemata Harbour from
the threat of Japanese invasion. The complex comprises three gun
emplacements and a network of tunnels and magazine storage rooms.
Visitors will also enjoy dramatic, sweeping views up the east coast of
Auckland, out to Little and Great Barrier
Islands and toward Coromandel. Entry to
the tunnels is by cash only.
Buses meet all the Matiatia ferries and
ply two main routes, to Rocky Bay via
Oneroa, Little Oneroa, Palm Beach
and Ostend or Onetangi via Oneroa,
Blackpool, Surfdale and Ostend. The i-site visitor information office
is situated in central Oneroa and has all the information you will need
on taxis, tours, walkways and more.
The island’s transfer station for rubbish and recycling is located on
the main road to Onetangi and is open from 8am to 4pm daily except
some public holidays. Visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/
services/rubbish for more information.
Waiheke has a long tradition of caring for the environment, so
please continue this by separating rubbish from recyclables and
disposing of rubbish in a responsible way.
Whakanewha Regional Park – Waiting to be
Summer’s more fun on Waiheke
produce some of the world’s top wines.
It now has more than 30 boutique vineyards boasting an ever-increas-
ing list of accolades, and most of the vineyards also offer cellar door
sales and tastings.
Oneroa is the largest shopping centre on the island, overlooking
beautiful Oneroa Bay, a popular anchorage with summer boaties.
Local crafts and boutique shops sit side by side with plenty of great
cafés for weary shoppers.
Most of the island’s northern beaches enjoy soft white sand and cool,
clear water. Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi are the largest, but a
number of smaller beaches in between also offer safe and sheltered
swimming and snorkelling, so it’s worth going exploring. Oneroa,
Little Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi all boast good playground
and barbecue facilities.
Southern beaches are generally more tidal, though are often quiet-
er than their northern counterparts. Surfdale and Anzac Bay are popu-
lar with kitesurfers when there is a good breeze blowing.
MAN O’WAR BAY
Man O’War Bay Road
Some of New Zealand’s best
food and wine, stunning
scenery and friendly people.
Distance from Auckland: 19 kilometres
Area: 9324 hectares (36 square miles)
Coastline: 96 kilometres or 60 miles
Permanent population 8000
Photo Bob Scott
Getting back to nature
Over 300 hectares of native bush and
coastline north of Rocky Bay form the
Whakanewha Regional Park. A walk-
er ’s paradise, the site contains large
areas of the prime native bush which
covered the island before the advent of
logging and farming in the 1900s. Small waterfalls, pa sites and bird-
life, including rare New Zealand dotterels, make a trip to the area a
must for those hoping to escape the summer crowds. At the entrance
to the park is also the island’s only campground, administered by
Auckland Council. The Waiheke Forest and Bird manage a large
reserve at Onetangi and the island also has an extensive network
of walking and cycling tracks, with comprehensive information on
these available at the information office in Oneroa.
Exploring the arts
Waiheke also boasts a thriving arts community. Waiheke Community
Art Gallery and TOI Gallery in Oneroa have a continuous range of
rentals & property
For all your property management
requirements call the friendly team:
Or pop in to our office in the village:
145 ocean View road, oneroa
p: 372 9491 m: 021 840208
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