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Published: April 11th 2017
5th March Waiheke
Our final day in Auckland before embarking Queen Victoria
So an early morning ferry ride to Waiheke Island, but first we had to reach the ferry terminal in the CBD.
Whoops!!! Nobody had told us about the Bay run where thousands of fun runners were gathering to take part for a jog round the harbour!
Loads of roads closed but our erstwhile chauffeur (JP) found a car park for the short walk to the ferry.
Meeting up with the Paines friends, Jan & John we set out for the short ferry ride to the island.
Waiheke lies in the Hauraki Gulf which stretches from Auckland and the Coromandel peninsula.
There are some 47 islands administered by the DOC (Department of Conservation).
As you ferry out you pass Rangitoto, joined by a causeway with Motutapu. Rangitoto is the largest and youngest of Aucklands volcanic cones, erupting some 600 years ago, footprints found on Motutapu embedded in ash suggest that it was inhabited during these days eruptions.Before reaching Waiheke, you pass Motuihe Island, apart from a great sandy beach it is rich in Maori history. There are three
pa sites which were last occupied by the Ngati Paoa tribe.
The island was sold, presumably to the British and from 1892 to about 1941 was a quarantine station.
During the Second World War, German and Austrian nationals were interned here.The island is now considered pest free and endangered bird species have now begun to return.Waiheke used to be home to an eclectic mix of people from hippies, alternative healers to potters and pot growers. Nowadays multimillionaires rub shoulders with the bohemian artists who give its island its green repute.
Now there is a daily commute to the CBD for people wanting to live the good life.
There are over 19 boutique wineries and plenty of restaurants to chose a decent Sunday lunch.
We bussed to the other side of the island for coffee at the Waterfront on Onetangi, before heading back to our lunch destination- Wild on Waiheke.
Situated next to the famous Stonyridge winery, Wild on Waiheke has its own winery and microbrewery.
To occupy everybody's taste if you are not eating and drinking, you can take part in Archery, Laser Clay pigeon shooting (what's the point), Pétanque or giant Chess.
Personally, I preferred the eating and drinking and I wasn't driving.
A stop at Oneroa showed the quirkiness and diversity of the arts and crafts of the island before heading back to the ferry and back to the City of Sails.
Our last night on the North Island and Thankyou to John & Heather for their hospitality and friendship
Lins off packing for the homeward journey on the Queen Victoria
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