Waiheke Island Wine: Photos from My Favourite Vineyards

Looking out over the vineyards leading first to olive groves and then to the sparkling blue sea, I am reminded how much I love Waiheke Island. I am not the only one. Lonely Planet included Waiheke Island as number 5 on their worldwide Best in Travel 2016 list.

It’s not far. In fact, I can see Waiheke Island from my deck. Yet, we hadn’t been there in years, until last week. We opted for the “Wheels on Waiheke” package from Fullers (the same ferry company that brought us to the island). It included an all day rental car and a map. I was glad hubby drove as windy, narrow roads are not really my thing.

One of three main wine growing regions in Auckland, Waiheke Island is known for award winning red wines, olive oil, and stunning white-sand beaches.

Here are our Waiheke Island self-guided wine tour highlights:

Stonyridge Vineyard

Famous for using traditional winemaking methods, it produces world-class cabernet blends. We were here only hours before Quentin Tarantino showed up. (He happened to be visiting Waiheke Island that day. He does not live in New Zealand).

Vine covered buildings of Stonyridge Vineyard on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

Mediterranean influence resonates from the vine-covered buildings and restaurant at Stonyridge Vineyard.

Vine covered restaurant at Stonyridge Vineyard on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

We arrived a bit early, but they let me take a few photos.

Wild on Waiheke

It’s right next door, yet a completely different ambience. Home of the Wild Estate Vineyard and Waiheke Island Brewery, Wild on Waiheke is where you go for fun. It is an adventure activity mecca with skeet shooting, archery, and wild tag (a game reminiscent of a LARP battle). There is even a trampoline and playground for kids.

Bar at Wild on Waiheke on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

Everything about Wild on Waiheke resonated its outdoor, adventurous spirit.

Skeet shooting at Wild on Waiheke on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

One of three adult games, this is skeet shooting using laser clay birds.

Miro Vineyard and Casita Miro Restaurant

Miro has a beautiful location with vines leading down towards sweeping sea views. It is the Spanish flavors dominating the tapas at Casita Miro that will have me returning on every trip to Waiheke.

Lamb couscous with figs at Casita Miro on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

Lamb couscous with figs was the only non-traditional tapas item we ordered at Casita Miro, yet it somehow made the best photo.

Mosaic tiled steps leading to the wine tasting area at Miro Vineyards on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

Walk up the steps to the tasting area to admire the Gaudi-and Dali-influenced mosaic and views over the vines.

Obsidian Wines

More casual than some of the others, but they did have huge pieces of obsidian, an igneous rock.

Obsidian Wines ready for the tasting on Waiheke Island

Obsidian Wines ready for the tasting, alongside a piece of obsidian.

Vineyards of Obsidian Wines on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

Vineyards of Obsidian Wines.

Cable Bay Vineyards

Relax in a huge bean bag chair on the outdoor lawn, or sit in the dining room while you sip award winning wine and admire impressive views of the Hauraki Gulf.

Looking out from Cable Bay Vineyard on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

Looking out from one of the Cable Bay Vineyard beanbag chairs at the panoramic scenery.

Looking down on Cable Bay Vineyard on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

Looking down on Cable Bay Vineyard from the road above.

Jurassic Ridge Vineyard and Winery

Unfortunately, we arrived here only 30 minutes before the last ferry was leaving and we still had to return the car. A quick look around and we learned that the large rocks throughout were found in the 155 million year old Jurassic mountain ridge beneath the vineyard.

Jurassic Ridge Vineyard and Winery on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

Jurassic Ridge offers a natural wine and the owner is happy to explain what this means.

155 million year old rock found on Jurassic Ridge Vineyard on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

155 million year old rocks and fossils found at Jurassic Ridge Vineyard.

Practical Information:

  • The 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland to Matiatia Bay on Waiheke Island is part of the fun.
  • You can also catch a passenger ferry from Devonport or the car ferry from Half Moon Bay.
  • Best options for getting to the wineries are: hire a car or scooter; get a Vineyard Hopper Bus pass (a hop on hop off bus service dedicated to wineries); get an all-day island bus pass and walk a bit farther; or take an official winery tour.
  • Be advised that driving on the island is challenging, as roads are windy and narrow and locals often drive faster than tourists.
  • The second largest island in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island has a permanent population of 8,900.
  • Much more than wineries, Waiheke Island has stunning beaches, an adventure zipline, military tunnels to explore, and a charming village town.
  • Waiheke Island is a local’s paradise.
  • If you are interested in learning about New Zealand wines, you might want to check out: Buyer’s Guide to New Zealand Wines 2016: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide.

Have you been to Waiheke Island? Would you eat at Casita Miro? What is your favorite wine?

If you enjoyed this article, please share it on social media including Pintrest:

Vineyards on Waiheke Island outside of Auckland New Zealand

 

This post is also linked to BeThere2Day for Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday, Our World Tuesdays, Wednesdays Around the World at Photographing New Zealand, and Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.

Itinerary Options: Driving to the Top of New Zealand
Waiheke Island Beaches, Paradise in New Zealand

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Comments

    • says

      LOL – no it is not winter, we are in the middle of summer, and we happen to catch an extremely good day. Sorry you haven’t yet found a NZ wine that you enjoy. Don’t give up trying.

  1. says

    I love your photography. Wow.

    I would love to roam around here for the day. As you know the Napa valley has many wonderful wineries too. They are beautiful places to visit.

    Have a fabulous day Rhonda. ♥♥♥
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Men vs. Women

  2. says

    Fantastic pictures. That Lamb couscous photo is amazing…so sharp and colorful. I am a big fan of Pinot Grigio….a cheap date when it comes to wine! lol

  3. says

    Wow. I can understand the choice of Lonely Planet. That looks absolutely stunning. What sceneries…! And you manage as always to capture so well through your pictures. Even I havent visited NZ, I HAVE drank some NZ wines – really good ones:-)
    Eli recently posted…Dare to leave your comfort zone

  4. says

    What an experience. I love all the vines that grew up on that building. I like wine, but the sulphates in it do not like me. I get sneezy, and very red faced. I still sneak some in every once in awhile.

  5. says

    You know, I still have never made it over to Waiheke. I really must make it a mission one of these days. It’s not like I’m not in Auckland often for work these days, so there is no excuse. It looks gorgeous!

  6. says

    Lovely!!! I was just finishing a post about a vineyard in The Netherlands :) When we were in New Zealand we didn’t visit Waiheke island, but some vineyards in Marlborough and Martinborough. This island will be added to next trip to New Zealand. We’re so looking forward to come back and I even saw a very cheap ticket with Qatar to Auckland, but first delivering the baby and then we will see where we go this year.
    shere recently posted…Harvesting grapes in The Netherlands at de Frysling

  7. says

    What a fun outing, and a beautiful venue. The food looks fabulously delicious. Thank for sharing this post at Life thru the Lens, I feel like I have been on a little adventure today.

    Lisa at Life Thru the Lens.

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