Happy 2017! I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas and New Year’s, wherever you are. Andy and I had a wonderful couple weeks exploring Waiheke Island and Martinborough with his mum, Jayne and stepdad Ian. It was especially nice to have family here to celebrate Christmas, and I don’t think our guests minded missing the Northern Hemisphere weather. Just a guess!
Jayne and Ian have been to New Zealand to visit Andy a few times before, so we decided to show them some of our favorite places that they hadn’t yet visited. First up, Waiheke Island! We booked three nights at a bach (holiday house) and flew up to Auckland on a Thursday morning to meet in the city before boarding a ferry to the island.
Here’s our home for the long weekend.
It was perfectly situated within walking distance from the main town, Oneroa, as well as some of our favorite wineries.
After we had settled in, we set out to explore some nearby beaches. On the path down from the road, we came across some interesting sights. I especially liked this bench.
And I’m not one to ever pass up a door (although I doubt the effectiveness of this one).
The best part about coming to Waiheke in December has to be the pohutukawas. They were all in bloom, and the red contrasted beautifully with the blue skies and turquoise waters.
Nothing says Christmas in New Zealand like pohutukawas in bloom.
I remembered these colorful boats from our last visit. I think I’ll eventually end up with lots of duplicate photos as I spend more time in this country, but everything is just too pretty to resist!
I was lucky enough to have a sea glass hunting partner in Jayne.
It was nice having the beach to ourselves, too.
After scouring the rocky shore for sea glass and shells, we headed up the wooded path to the next beach.
This one proved a perfect hunting ground for treasures.
Afternoon was turning to evening, so we decided to head back to the bach with our finds. We got some quintessential Kiwi takeaway fish and chips for dinner from a place down the road and played boardgames before turning in that night. We were eager to get some rest so we could explore the island and wineries on our first full day. We wanted to hit the main ones on Friday before the crowds descended for the weekend.
After breakfast on the porch of our bach the next morning, we set out for Oneroa. As we neared town and wound downhill, the shoreline of Oneroa Beach stretched out below us, scalloped by waves as far as the eye could see.
Beautiful blooms were everywhere along the path.
We did some shopping in town (well, mostly Jayne and I did, while Ian and Andy got coffee), since we didn’t want to head to the wineries TOO early. In late morning, we set out to walk to Cable Bay, the nearest winery to town.
Last time Andy and I were at Cable Bay was on a weekend, and it was rammed with tourists over for the day from Auckland. This time, we had it almost to ourselves, which was great.
With an entrance like this, it’s easy to see why Cable Bay is a favorite for Aucklanders and tourists alike.
Wine AND a view like this? Who could possibly ask for more?
Since it was a fairly windy day, we went for an indoor table.
And then the wine came.
Not a bad way to start the day. Cheers!
I love that photo of all of us.
Before we move on from Cable Bay, one last photo of the that stunning view.
You can just make out central Auckland and the Sky Tower on the righthand side in the distance.
We set off for Mudbrick next, but not before I snapped this epic photo.
Sorry, not sorry, Andy.
The walk to Mudbrick certainly wasn’t hard on the eyes.
Here’s the view looking back toward Cable Bay.
At Mudbrick, we found a great outdoor table with a view and had a delicious platter for lunch. Although I mainly focused on the delicious food inside the menu, the outside is one of my favorite parts.
I think we could all take this advice from a tree. Might I just add, “Drink plenty of wine”?
More of Waiheke to come soon!