As mentioned in previous posts, we visited Waiheke Island a few times with our friends on their yacht.
However, we have never explored the island further than their shops and restaurants near the harbour where most of the yachts are anchored.
Apparently their wine is quite good … and what better way to end our visit to New Zealand than to taste the wine on Waiheke Island 😉.
The fastest way to get to Waiheke Island is by ferry … just 40 minutes from Auckland Central City Terminal to Matiatia Bay Ferry Terminal – 21.5km from Auckland.
On the ferry in Auckland harbour
It was a beautiful day – Auckland in the background
The sea was calm on this crisp winter morning and it was a smooth ride to Waiheke Island.
Approaching Matiatia Bay at Waiheke Island
We decided to explore the island on their Hop-On Hop-Off bus, before choosing a wine farm where we wanted to taste wine. The bus left from Matiatia Bay and we stayed on the bus until the farthest point, Onetangi.
Onetangi beach is a 2km long stretch of beautiful white sand and the largest beach on Waiheke Island
Onetangi beach is one of Waiheke’s most popular swimming beaches … but today, in the middle of winter, we only saw a couple of people taking a stroll on the beach
As it was still quite early in the morning when we arrived in Onetangi, we decided to enjoy a sandwich and coffee first … just to prepare our stomachs for the wine tasting later.
Breakfast on the beachfront at Onetangi beach
After breakfast we went for a long walk along the beach … and finally took the steps up to the hill, to see Onetangi Beach from high above.
A walk along the beach
A couple of steep steps took us to the top of a hill
Onetangi beach as seen from the hill
Most of the vineyards are near Onetangi and we could literally choose any of them to taste wine. Waiheke is known for its high-quality red wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc grape varieties.
As tasting wine is quite expensive (at least for us with our South African currency), we only choose one vineyard – Stonyridge.
Our choice of vineyard to taste wine – Stonyridge
According to Stonyridge’s website, it’s referred to as “One of the Top Ten Must Visit Wineries in the World”. After extensive climatic research, Stonyridge was discovered as the ideal north facing site to ripen and produce world class Bordeaux style red wine.
Stonyridge is the first commercial olive grove in New Zealand after vines and olive trees were planted in 1982
We visited their outdoor tables to taste their top red wines. The scenery was beautiful and the wine great … I’m no wine expert, but I truly believe our South African red wines are just as good (of course I will – I’m South African after all).
Time to taste the highly ranked red wines of Stonyridge
A wine tasting trip on the second largest island (after the Great Barrier Island) in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand … it was a great way to end our visit to New Zealand.
Cheers to the red wines of Stonyridge
3 thoughts on “NEW ZEALAND (14 – Final)”
Waiheke Island is so beautiful, thank you for sharing and for the great tips.(Perhaps one day) Thankfully, I can take comfort that we have more affordable and great wine farms here in SA.
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Henrietta, between you and me … our wine is better (and certainly cheaper) than New Zealand’s wine. And our vineyards and wineries just as beautiful (if not more)!
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