Waiheke Island is the most populated, and the second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand! We love it here, and we know you will too. Keep reading to find out about our top 5 amazing facts we know about Waiheke Island!
Waiheke Island has become known as New Zealand’s ‘Island of wine’.
This is the obvious one, they make wine on Waiheke Island (and lots of it!). Waiheke Island has become known as New Zealand’s ‘Island of wine’. Rather interestingly, the climate and soil here is not as compatible for making New Zealand’s typical wines, such as the Sauvignon Blanc. Instead due to the maritime climate, it is Southern France ‘Bordeaux wine’ that the island is well suited for. If you’re coming to the Island wine tasting, the Batch Winery is a 5-minute walk from the airport terminal, and offers gorgeous views of the island!
2. Its world class
Lonely Planet rated it the 5th best region to visit in the world back in 2016 (If it were up to us, we would have put it higher!). It was also voted 4th best island in the world by “Conde Nast Best Islands In the World” list.
3. Marine adventure
The island and the water surrounding it are teeming with wildlife. It is not uncommon for us to spot orca whales, pods of dolphins, stingrays and even hammerhead sharks when flying overhead! If 1000ft above isn’t close enough for you, consider taking a trip with Waiheke Dive and Snorkel to get in the water. Please note, diving should be avoided before taking a flight with us. Different limitations apply depending on the depth and times of your dive. If you’re unsure, consult the pilot or your divemaster beforehand!
4. Natural water
Most of the island is reliant on rainwater, and is collected from residential roofs! This is not normally a problem during the winter months, but if you are visiting during the summer, you will see the water tanks driving around to refill the resident’s water tanks. Keep this in mind when visiting by keeping shower times low, and your accommodation provider will really appreciate it!
5. Historically significant
The island has many locations of historical significance. You may see a few historical sites from World War 2 on your visit, the most well known being the Stony Batter tunnel system. The Stony Batter tunnels were built back in WW2 as a defense system for the Auckland region. It was a top-secret initiative to carve out the 1.2km of passages, chambers and stairwells (all by hand). Guided tours are the best option on offer to take you through the tunnel system and teach you about history. Alternatively, it is a point of interest on our Waiheke Buzz Scenic Flight, with the gun turret sites being visible from the air.