Conde Nast has recently rated New Zealand’s Waiheke Island, number 4 out of 20 in the world, saying, “The island is a wine lover’s nirvana.” We are showcasing it to our German friends from Dresden, who love their wine.
Arriving into Matiatia Wharf, we have had an idyllic trip on a Fullers ferry, watching Auckland city fade into the haze on this brilliant day. Passing many leisure crafts and snapper fishermen on the way, the Hauraki Gulf is buzzing. We catch a cab and swing past Little Oneroa to show them the magic of the beach, before heading onto Cable Bay for lunch.
The vineyard is one of the busiest on the island (there are about 30) and is popular because of its relaxed ambience and rolling lawn that drops away like an infinity pool. The food and wine is great and views back to Auckland City and the Sky Tower are some of the best on the island.
We ate at the ‘The Dining Room,” where the seasonality of the food and commitment to using fresh local ingredients has won them many awards. It is open for lunch daily and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday.
We all opted for the line-caught snapper as it seemed appropriate on such a warm afternoon, elimating any food envy! With crispy skin, black rice, prawns and more it was hard to fault, complimented with a light and crisp Cable Bay Pinot Gris.
The Verandah opens at 11am daily. Flowing on from an al fresco eating area, there are additional tables scattered around the perimeter of the lawn and bean bags for that afternoon nap.
Tapas styled shared plates, pizzas and shared mains all looked delicious.
Located in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island is just 17 kilometres from downtown Auckland with Fullers ferries departing for the island regularly. The 40- minute journey takes you out through Auckland’s harbour, passing a number of islands, including Auckland’s newest island, Rangitoto, the result of a volcanic eruption 600 years ago. The best vantage point to see the city is from the top deck of the ferry.