We rented a car this time so we could see the whole island. (Granted, you can drive the entire island in half a day). Some of the best vineyards aren’t very accessible by bus or foot.
The first time we came to Waiheke for wine tastings, we bought 2 tickets for an actual wine tour on a bus. We vowed to NEVER do that again. Not a terrible experience, but you definitely can’t take your time at each vineyard and have bites along the way. It’s very rushed and most of the people on the tour, have a giant stick up their asses. (You’re drinking wine, you should be high on life!).
We’ve been to ‘Wild on Waiheke’ before, but of course it was rushed, so we knew we definitely wanted to come back. Not that they have great wine, or even beer for that matter, but their outdoor setting is awesome. So we came back and parked ourselves on the wonderful, big bean bag chars. I ordered a beer tasting platter (of course, I LOVE beer) and Patrick had the wine tasting platter. We also shared a dozen amazing oysters. MMMM. I let one of the oysters soak in my dark beer, and did a nice little shooter at the end. (Recommended by the waitress) Pretty tasty!!
We also stopped at ‘Obsidian’, ‘Passage Rock’, ‘Peacock Sky’, ‘Man O’ War’, and ‘Cable Bay’.
‘Man O’ War’ was awesome! The outdoor setting is right next to the ocean, where numerous people were taking a dip with the penguins. Yes, penguins!!
‘Cable Bay’ was our favourite. Very pricey, but definitely worth it. Hands down, the best view and setting of all the vineyards. You can set yourself up in a wonderful bean bag chair, and look out to the ocean with Auckland City in the horizon. Did I mention a helicopter flew in, just for a tasting? Pretty awesome.
If you haven’t been to ‘The Oyster Inn’, yet, I highly recommend going. The service is crap (as usual) but the oysters were incredible!
Vineyard hopping is definitely an expensive getaway, but it was worth every penny!