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12 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 growing 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-passen-
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, including the legendary skipper Jock
McKinnon’s Rahiri which is now a hulk on Te Huruhi beach.
Waiheke’s natural charms and growing amenities are attracting
an increasing number of residents, currently estimated at 8000.
Whether it is at a luxury holiday home or a traditional Kiwi
bach, summer holidays on Waiheke offer visitors something
Annual summer events include the Onetangi Beach Races, which
date back to the 1890s and are traditionally run in late summer
along the beautiful white sands of Onetangi Beach, and the biennial
Sculpture on the Gulf outdoor sculpture exhibition. Throughout the
Small waterfalls, pa sites and birdlife, 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
featuring mature pohutukawa, taraire, nikau palms, groves of kauri
and grand viewing points. 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
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 over-
seas artists displaying large scale sculp-
tures in carefully chosen sites on the
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
The area got its name from the unusual andecite rock formations
deposited as a result of volcanic activity more than eight million
years ago. 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 visitor information
i-Site office is situated in central Oneroa and has all the information
you will need on taxis, tours, walkways and accommodation.
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.
Walkways skirt many of the island’s dramatic cliffscapes
including this coastal path from Little Oneroa along the
Left - Home-grown architecture.
Summer’s more fun on Waiheke
year there are also olive, music, food, wine and
And of course there are the myriad of excellent
restaurants, vineyards, cafés and shops, all in the
magical and unforgettable setting of the Hauraki
Vine and dine
Many of the island’s vineyards have award-
winning restaurants set amongst 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 produce some of the world’s top wines.
It now has more than 30 boutique vineyards boast-
ing an ever-increasing list of accolades, and most
of the vineyards also offer cellar door sales and
Oneroa is the
ping centre on
the island, over-
Bay, a popular
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 quieter than their
northern counterparts. Surfdale and Anzac
Bay are popular with kitesurfers when
there is a good breeze blowing.
Getting back to nature
Over 300 hectares of native bush and coastline north of Rocky Bay
form the Whakanewha Regional Park. A walker ’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.
MAN O’WAR BAY
Man O’War Bay Road
Waiheke delivers some of New Zealand’s best
food and wine, stunning scenery and friendly
Distance from Auckland: 19
kilometres (12 miles). Area: 9324
hectares (36 square miles).
Coastline: 96 kilometres or 60
Contact: Ph 372 8771 • 142 Ocean View Road, Oneroa
www.harrophargrave.co.nz • email@example.com
For all your accounting requirements
Please call for confidential and professional advice
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