I’m a simple girl. All I want is to sample award-winning wines from world-renowned vineyards in one of the world’s best islands (as voted by World’s Best Awards). That is every simple girl’s dream, after all! So I finally decided to make that dream come true for only 140NZD (100USD), when I booked my Wine on Waiheke Tour with Fullers.
There are several wine tour companies in Auckland that offers wine tours to Waiheke. Check out Ananda Tours and Waiheke Island Wine Tours. I strongly recommend to book ahead since slots fill up really quick on all of the tours. However, you can also do your own self-guided wine tour by selecting the wineries you want to visit in advance and making your own way around them. Keep in mind most wineries are open from 10am-5pm and some may be closed for events like weddings, so call first if you are making your own itinerary. If you opt to rent a car to drive around the island, remember to have a sober driver. Scooters are also available for rent. Or, the best option is probably toy take the public bus and just hop on and off to each vineyard.
WINERIES TO VISIT AROUND WAIHEKE
There are plenty of wineries to choose from on Waiheke and if you prefer to map out your own tour then you can select from the following: Cable Bay, Peninsula Estate Vineyard, Obsidian Vineyard, Casita Miro Vineyard, Stonyridge Vineyard, Te Motu Vineyard, Wild on Waiheke, Tantalus Estate Vineyard.
However, I made it easy for myself and just booked a tour which included my ferry tickets from Auckland and back. The ferry takes 30 minutes to the island, please see the ferry timetable here, Auckland to Waiheke. I suggest you have a bite to eat before starting your tour since it will be a busy afternoon of drinking wines. You wouldn’t want to be the amateur who went drinking with an empty stomach.
So here’s how my day of drinking magical grape juice went exploring three wineries on the island:
Lined with olive trees and lavender, this lovely vineyard and restaurant is the perfect setting to try their Viognier, Rose´ and Syrah. The spectacular view of the Hauraki Gulf doesn’t hurt either.
2. BATCH WINERY
With a hip and modern atmosphere, Batch Winery prepared some wine pairings for us with various cheeses and chocolate fudge brownies. The Fizz Rose´definitely made an impression, and I had to bring a bottle home with me. We also sampled their Flora and Cabernet Sauvignon wines which I would recommend.
3. TE WHAU VINEYARD
With panoramic views of the sea and Auckland on the other side of the island, stands this award-winning restaurant and vineyard. We had the pleasure of tasting their flagship Bordeaux-blend that has earned praises nationally and internationally.
Once you have had your fill of the wines, take advantage of the all day bus pass when you book a tour with Fullers. The tour driver offered to drop us off where we please on his way back to the ferry. So I stopped at the lovely Oneroa village, which was filled with cute little shops and restaurants. I went for a walk down to Oneroa Beach and stumbled upon this cliff overlooking the picturesque cove of Little Oneroa. I capped off my day with the stunning view of the beach and I told myself I will definitely be back soon.
Ferries back to Auckland run 22 times daily with last trip from Waiheke to Auckland at 12.30AM, so there is definitely more time to explore this gorgeous island! Here’s the Ferry Timetable: Waiheke to Auckland.
Here’s to amazing travels, good friends and good wine!
Have you been wine tasting in New Zealand? Please share your own tips and favourite places with our readers in the comments below.
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