boating

Waiheke Island by Elise Manahan

Waiheke Island is painted in an array of colors as the sun begins to set on the island. (Elise Marie Photography)

Waiheke Island is painted in an array of colors as the sun begins to set on the island. (Elise Marie Photography)

The calm waters of Putaki Bay were a canvas of color as the sun set on Waiheke Island this past summer. Boats dot the water and gently roll to and fro in the evening breeze. Sea birds make their final calls of the evening as the stars begin to appear in the sky. The moment is all too brief and nearly too heavenly.

Waiheke Island is home to many and a cherished get away for others. Oenophiles looking to sample some of the famous wine produced on the isle can find award winning bottles as they wind their way through the vineyards scattered across the island. After exploring local wineries many hop on a bus or continue on foot to trek along the coastal pathways, relax on the beach or go shopping in the village. Those without their own boat or seaplane take the ferry from downtown Auckland to the island and return home the same way.

We’ve visited the island several times since we moved to New Zealand and have been delighted every time we go. Be sure to put it on your travel list, and keep a weather eye for the setting sun. It may just be the most exceptional part of your visit.