Friday (Day 2) Waiheke Island
We began the day with a chilly ferry ride to the Island. The Ferry Station offered a 90 min bus tour for an additional $10 and an all day bus pass for an additional $10! The combo was well worth the price as it allowed us an overview of the entire island and the opportunity to visit several wineries and walk the beaches. The only disappointment was that Mudbrick Winery was closed to tourists because of a wedding event. 😟
The white sand beaches were beautiful and the shirt sleeve weather was ideal. We spent a long while enjoying the beach while collecting shells. And then we grabbed a bite to eat at The Sand Shack, which overlooked the water and beach.
Our first winery stop was Tantalus. It is a fairly new winery and tastings were $10 per person. It was beautiful! The restaurant was quite busy and would have tempted us if we had not just eaten. While I didn’t get to see Mudbrick Winery, I don’t see how it could be more beautiful than Tantalus, so my disappointment was placated.
We stopped by Stonyridge Vineyard, but decided to forego tasting at a cost of $3 to $18 per taste! We did make it to two additional tastings and the hike between the two vineyards certainly balanced out the calorie intake of the wine! A delightful young lady with an enchanting French accent poured the wine which added to the experience. It was outdoors and the clouds moved in blocking our sunshine. It was as though we passed through to another climate, and we quickly donned our hats and scarves…but the changing weather is what New Zealand promises.
October is Spring in New Zealand and we were fortunate to enjoy so much sunshine, which offered welcome warmth to balance out the coastal cool breezes. Packing advice for New Zealand? Layers. Layers. And more Layers! Our ferry ride back was in the sunshine on the top deck and we were bundled in all our layers, including hooded jackets and scarves just to enjoy the views.
Waiheke Island is definitely a must do!