My husband’s family have a bach on Waiheke Island so for as long as we have been together, I have spent every single summer down there for at least a week, which means riding the ferry to get there and the ferry to get home. In recent years, with the requirements of children and packing ones car to the absolute gunnels with baby and toddler related paraphernalia, which is slowly morphing into bigger kid paraphernalia, we have been taking our car across from Half Moon Bay to Kennedy Point.
Until then however, a Fullers ferry from the Viaduct was our vehicle of choice.
Late last year we headed to Waiheke on the car ferry. The next day we had a wedding to attend back in downtown Auckland on New Years Eve, so we left the kids (and the car) behind on the island and jumped on a Fullers sailing just like the old days to escape to the big smoke for the night. Except it wasn’t just like the old days.
Fullers announced a new summer timetable before Christmas with half-hour sailings to the island as well as the revamp of their on-board menu showcasing delicacies and refreshments sourced from Waihake’s local artisan wine makers and food producers.
There is so much to do on Waiheke that it’s no wonder it has become a crazy busy luxury destination. So busy is it in fact that my sailing was delayed on New Years Eve to the city. And reports of the ferries being overloaded crossing to the Island made headline news.
Vineyards like my favourite Man-O-War, amazing foodie destinations such as Poderi Crisci and hipster hangouts like The Oyster Inn are just a snippet of what Waiheke has to offer. Family adventure, nature lovers hidden gems, bike trails, romantic getaway accommodation, golf, water-sports, and of course, amazing beaches – one truly is spoiled for choice once you reach the shores of the island that is now being hailed by Lonely Planet as the fifth best destination in the world!
Fullers ensure you’ll travel in comfort and relaxed style from downtown Auckland to Matiatia and as well as offering sailings from 5.35am to 12.30am, even the most health-conscious of foodies will be well-serviced as the new on-board menu focuses on fresh, handmade produce from local suppliers committed to using natural, free-range ingredients, and includes more gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Winning!
Summer hit NZ this week and there is no more beautiful place to enjoy weather this sublime than Waiheke Island. Make the most of the sun and take a trip over to the island paradise on Auckland’s back door.
* I received a double pass to Waiheke Island for editorial consideration. All opinions, as always, are my own.