The breeze was crisp, whipping my hair around my face. This did little to help shelter my eyes from the sun however, and for a moment I regretted leaving those sunglasses back at the hotel.
It’s a bright spring day. I’m on a ferry, taking us from Auckland to Waiheke Island.
In just over 30 minutes, we’ll have left the city skyline in the distance, swapping it out for pristine coastline, beautiful beaches and some of the best New Zealand wine available, straight from the source.
Not a bad way to pass a Saturday.
First stop, Onetangi Beach. The beach of the Onetangi Bay is something special. Wide stretches of sand, clear water, and on this day, hardly a cloud in the sky.
Though developed, it consists of mainly residential houses, so no high-rises to mar the landscape here. Just open space as the coast stretches along the bay. Perfect for a mid-morning stroll before popping into the 4th Avenue Eatery & Bar for a bowl of their fabulous clam chowder. Sit on the terrace to soak up the view as well as the sun.
Now that you’ve properly lined your stomach like a responsible adult, it’s time to hit the wineries!! Stonyridge Vineyard boasts some of the regions most sought after wines, available to taste overlooking what is arguably one of the island’s most spectacular views.
The pink building houses the tasting bar area, where you can order samples from a pre set menu or a la carte. They are then served to you at the restaurant under the awning, or outside on the open-air terrace. Guess which spot we chose?
We chose to occupy the wooden table and chairs, and stalk this lovely American couple so we could commandeer their lounge chair once they’d had their fill. This endeavor took us roughly 30 minutes, or one tasting menu (3 different wines). Once we snagged the prime real estate, we stayed put for hours. How could you now in that setting? What could you possible have to do that’s a better option than lounging in the sun tasting New Zealand wines? Our sentiments exactly.
We stayed as the various parties came and went, leaving as the sun began its dip in the sky and the breeze turned cool. The winery closed at 5 p.m., giving us ample time to mosey on back towards the ferry dock. One more 40 minute water ride back to the city, and our day trip to Waiheke Island was complete. Can’t imagine a better way to spend the first Saturday, even if I tried.