Waiheke Island is Beachy, Where the Wine Flows and the Hills Roll

Just a 30 minute ferry ride from Auckland, Waiheke Island is a city-goer’s paradisaical retreat. Affectionately known as “The Island of Wine,” Waiheke is dotted with award-winning vineyards, sumptuous beaches and rolling green hills.

The landscape is pure and vast and, on a sunny day, Waiheke screams bliss.

Waiheke Island

With less than 10,000 residents, this quaint little island, with an emphasis on great wine and fine food, could very well take the rank as the perfect place to retire.

Waiheke Island

Because New Zealand hosts some of the best beef and lamb in the world, the luscious wine of Waiheke makes the perfect pair. It’s the ideal place to take a break, enjoy a luxury wine tour, explore the vineyards, and tickle your taste buds.

Most notably, I enjoyed a glass of Man O War Pinot Gris by Onetangi Beach while I read a few passages out of Dickens. It doesn’t get any better.

Waiheke Sunset

The wine tour couldn’t have been more enjoyable (except for the Canadian wannabe wine nut who wouldn’t stop talking about sugar and acid levels). I truly do enjoy my wine and I make all the pretentious statements like “I’m getting dark chocolate, fig and cinnamon on the nose,” but there’s a line, people. Don’t cross it!

Waiheke Island

Each vineyard was so different, both in styles and in flavors. But they were all unequivocally beautiful. The highlight at Stonyridge Vineyard was the 2010 Larose, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It was a truly unique and satisfying tasting experience. The 2011 vintage awaits its release below.

2011 Stonyridge Larose

Cable Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc was perfectly balanced and an excellent representation of the region. The venue was unspeakably gorgeous–long green fields juxtaposed against the vineyard with the distinctive skyline of Auckland in the distance.

Cable Bay Vineyard

And the food at Mudbrick was exquisite! The chef prepared a New Zealand lamb back strap with dried grapes and capsicum with a harissa spiced lamb jus. It was supplemented by a cucumber tzatziki with mint and a saffron couscous with almonds and dried apricots. The golden ball is a lamb nugget with oxtail and lamb sweetbreads. Hungry yet?

Lamb, Mudbrick Vineyard

I spent quite some time at Mudbrick, actually, relaxing in the sun by the vines. It’s a beautiful place for an afternoon glass (or bottle!) of wine.


After spending time in Auckland, Waiheke Island was the perfect deviation. Auckland is just another hustle-and-bustle type of city and I can safely say that the best part about Auckland is getting out of it. Do yourself a favor and put Waiheke on the must-do list. I returned to Auckland feeling invigorated, rejuvenated and slightly hungover.

But it was the best hangover I’ve ever had.

Waiheke Island

Just another weekend away, gallivanting through vineyards, relaxing on lavish beaches and indulging in magnificent food and drink is testament to the fact that I truly am living my dream.

It doesn’t get better than this.

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About the Author

Jeremy Scott Foster

Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.
  1. Sounds like an awesome, relaxing getaway. Might give me a reason to spend more time around Auckland!

    1. Oh, Amanda–you have no idea. And though I know you don’t drink, I would MAKE you!

  2. I had no idea that this existed and missed it when I visited a few years ago although I really did enjoy the white wine in Nelson.

    1. It’s not all that well-known, which is most of the charm of it! Waiheke was a really pleasant and relaxing little getaway. And, yes, the wine is incredible!

  3. Fabulous article Jeremy. We’re glad you discovered our beautiful little island and appreciate you spreading the word.

    Next time you visit Waiheke, we’d love for you to come stay with us at the Onetangi Beach Apartments!


    1. Thanks, Ali! If I’m back out that way, and there’s a chance I will be, I will definitely be in touch 🙂

  4. Thank you for this post! I just accepted a WWOOFing gig on Waiheke to start in January at a honey farm. Didn’t realize wine was such a specialty as well!

    1. You are in for a real treat! I don’t know what it will be like working there, but Waiheke is a very special place. Have such a great time, and drink a glass of the Man-O-War Pinot Gris for me 😉

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