Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand

I spent another weekend in New Zealand visiting my boyfriend who is currently working in Auckland. After a rainy Saturday, we were blessed with somewhat clear weather and decided, with a couple of friends, to take a Sunday drive , to Waitakere Rangers, located on the west coast, about an hour’s drive from Auckland CBD. Yet again, the spectacular natural beauty of New Zealand’s north island failed to disappoint. We visited Piha and Karekare (the beach were the movie The Piano was filmed) and were amazing at the rugged beauty of these beaches and the lushness of the near by rainforests.

We are still deciding where to go on my next weekend visit in October (after a short visit to the Middle East to attend a good friend’s wedding in Tel Aviv) – either the Bay of Islands or the Coromandel. So keep posted for some more photos and inspiration.
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Getting there:
I recommend you hire a car in Auckland – having your own car gives you so much more freedom and I’m not sure what the public transport is like from Auckland to Waitakere, if at all it exists. Take the freeway out west and then follow the signs to Waitakere, Piha and Karekare. Maybe it’s best to take a GPS with you just in case.

Eat:
We had a great lunch at Piha Cafe. They do amazing pizzas and have a great selection of healthy salads, cakes and drinks. The interiors a beautiful and it has a great laid back atmosphere and friendly staff.

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Waiheke Island, New Zealand

A few photographs from a beautiful weekend away to Waiheke Island, New Zealand. IMG_3325 IMG_4092 Untitled-2 IMG_3334 Untitled-1 IMG_4134 Wai1 IMG_4140 IMG_3363 Untitled-4 IMG_3364 IMG_3366 Untitled-5 IMG_3369 Untitled-3 IMG_3376 IMG_3379 Wai2 IMG_3382 IMG_3393 Untitled-6 IMG_3399 IMG_3400 Untitled-7 IMG_3402 Untitled-8 IMG_3433 IMG_3448 IMG_3439 IMG_3456 Untitled-9 IMG_3459 IMG_3461

Essentials:

Getting There:
The ferry from Auckland departs hourly to Waiheke Island and the trip is approximate 40 minutes. The first ferry is a 6am on weekdays and Saturday and 7am on Sundays. The final return ferry is a 12:30 midnight and 10pm on Sundays. A return ticket costs NZ$35.

Stay:
We stayed at Hekeurua Lodge, located not far from the centre of Oneroa. Clean and comfortable, newly decorated with a pool and jacuzzi, it comes highly recommended for those on a budget. A double room with cost you around NZ$80 per night.

Eat:
Waiheke is a place to splurge on delicious food. Try eating at some of the wineries, particularly Cable Bay Vineyard and Mudbrick Vineyard (both of these have beautiful views of Auckland by night). For breakfast, don’t miss Delight Cafe in Oneroa.