Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Birthday on Waiheke island


We took the bus to Auckland CBD then caught the 9am ferry to Waiheke Island. The ferry takes about 40 minutes from Auckland to Waiheke. The island has wine farms, olive groves, forests – and as such is great for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, wine tasting  - or a leisurely day pottering about with a yummy lunch in the middle.

We picked up a rental car and then first stop was at Oneroa Bay. That water is still pretty chilly, but I figure in a month or so the temperature will be just right.


Then went to a farmers market. There was everything on sale from herbs to books to second hand games to kitchen appliances. Some entertainment was provided by a drumming group.


Next stop the annual olive oil festival. This was held at Rangihoua Estate – who produce a range of fantastic oils themselves. We each tried an oyster for the first time!These were farmed oysters, really plump and fresh. I was not sold. Ryan ate another three.



Lunch was booked at Mudbrick Estate. They have a phenomenal setting. And really delicious wines. Most of their veg produce is grown onsite.

Vines along either side of the entrance road.

The walkway up to the restaurant.

View from inside the restaurant – spectacular!

We ordered mains, then cheese, then dessert. The cheese platter was a selection of 4 from a list of about 10. How beautifully is the presentation?

Smoker’s seating area outside the restaurant.



After lunch we took a drive round the island. The western side of the island has most of the small population and all the shops. The eastern side is mostly undeveloped. There are some farms, wine estates and a few houses. The drive, with stops took about three hours.

Our route was anticlockwise starting at Kennedy Point (bottom left arrow) and then working east, up the right side of the island and across the top. The arrows are where we stopped along the way.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009