New Zealand Day 3: Waiheke

Today we had another island adventure, this time on Waiheke. Waiheke is an inhabited island located farther out than Rangitoto. It originally was called "Te Motu Aria Roa" (long sheltering island) in Moari as it was a good resting point for both Moari and early European maritime traders.



The topography was very different than Rangitoto. Rangitoto was completely flat around the edges with just the sharp volcano cone rising up in the middle. The landscape there felt as is we were either in jungle or on the moon. While Waiheke was all constant rolling hills with a lot of grassland.

Once off the ferry we set off on the Owhanake Coastal Trekking Route along the Northern headlands of the island. It was much hillier and more technical than we expected and I definitely won the most inappropriately shod in my Birkenstocks. We climbed up and down, up and down, finding little beaches on the downs, and spectacular sweeping views at the top. 

After about an hour and half of trekking, we were both feeling quite hot and tired so we decided to take the shortcut to the town of Oneroa. We got slightly lost, but eventually managed to find Oneroa beach. We rested on the beach for a bit and chuckled at a dog on a boat who sounded just like Dixie when she is displeased. Then we hiked up the steep hill in Oneroa to grab some lunch. On our way out of town we stopped at a fruit stand and had the most amazing locally grown"peacharines", apricots, and figs. 

Since Waiheke is knowing for producing some of New Zealand's best wines, I couldn't leave without some wine tasting! So we set off trekking again in the hot sun to find Cable Bay vineyard. We definitely didn't look like we belonged there when we showed up sweating and lugging our backpacks! Everyone else was smart enough to book the vineyard shuttle for the day!

We enjoyed the lovely view from their veranda and then I enjoyed a wine tasting (and tried to convert Rory into a wine tasting.) I tried a Viognier for the first time and really liked it. It is a white, but it is very rich with notes of maple, vanilla, and marscapone. They also had an interesting malbec, merlot, syrah blend that they said was an experiment since 2011 was a very rough growing year. Rory isn't a wine convert yet, but I definitely can't wait to try more New Zealand wine. 

Auckland has been wonderful and tomorrow we start our campervan adventure!

On a more depressing note, I think I am coming down with my traditional pre-race cold.  My throat is getting sore and I generally felt not great all day (part of the reason we cut short our morning trek.) Why do I always get sick right before a race??????


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