Waiheke: The “Island of Wine”

November 23, 2017

I have to admit that, before coming to New Zealand, I knew next to nothing about its wine production. I had probably never had a wine from New Zealand. But when someone we met in Australia recommended us to go to Waiheke, informally known as New Zealand’s “island of wine”, of course I loved the idea. The island is just a short boat ride away from central Auckland and, while its wine production is already reason enough to visit it, it would deserve a visit even “just” for its natural beauty.

So we left our camper van in a parking lot close to the port, and took the ferry to the island, for a day of visiting some of its wineries and seeing any other interesting sites the island has to offer. Unfortunately though, due to the fact that we got up quite late on that day and that in the evening we still had to drive a bit to our campground, we only got to spend a few hours on the island.

But never mind, a few hours are enough to try some wines if you really set your mind to it. We went on foot from the center of the island’s main town to 2 wineries, and had lunch at one of them. Then we went back to the town and walked for about half an hour through its main street, before catching the bus to the port and then the ferry back to Auckland and to our camper van.

If I ever make it back to New Zealand, Waiheke Island is definitely on my list of places that I have to go back to, and spend more time in.

Highs and Lows


  • The lunch we had at the first winery we went to: very good food and beautiful views of the bay and of Auckland. The wine we had with that lunch though was not a “high”. Neither Daniel nor I were too excited about the wines that we tried… Not a plus point for the winery, but at least their kitchen was better than their wine production :P
  • The second winery to which we went had bean bags set outside on its big lawn overlooking the bay, and it was such a relaxed and somewhat unusual setting for having a glass of wine! They definitely got some plus points from us for thinking of this. Plus, the wine was not bad either :)


  • Not having enough time on the island! I know I complain a lot here about not having enough time in various places where we are, although we have the luxury of traveling for 6 months. So I really shouldn’t complain. Still, the feeling keeps coming up… Maybe we’re just not capable of planning our travels in a way that we really take our time, instead of rushing from one place to the next. Or maybe we can’t find a balanced way to do that. This is though a topic that keeps coming up in our conversations with other travelers we meet on the road, regardless of the total duration of their travels, so we know we’re not the only ones who struggle with this.

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