A few months ago, a very good childhood friend of mine from America came over to attend my wedding. Luckily, she managed to arrive a week before which allowed us to do some pre-wedding adventures.
One of those was exploring Waiheke Island.
Waiheke Island is a 45 minute ferry ride from Auckland Central. In my 10 years in this beautiful city, I’ve only ever been there once for lunch. Not even to explore! So this was a great opportunity for me to enjoy the beauty of the island.
Not knowing much about the size or kind of roads on the island, we decided it would be a good idea to bike around instead of hiring a car or go around by public transport. Like come on, how hard could biking be around the island?
Well, we slowly learnt it may not have been the best of ideas after all…
Upon arriving on the island, we hired our bikes, took a map and decided to head out to the main centre for lunch first.
Believe it or not, whilst heading to the main centre, we were faced with a hill. Not being the fittest of people, it didn’t take very long for us to hop off and actually push our bikes instead!
We stopped by a cute, little cafe called the Fenice cafe and restaurant, for a well deserved break (after about only 15 minutes of biking hahaha). There we had some nice cold drinks to refresh ourselves and a chicken sandwich on ciabatta buns. It was so good!
During lunch, we also had a look out our map and planned where we were going to go. We decided to visit the beach across the cafe and try head to one other point of the island. Unfortunately, we underestimated the size of the island and our map reading skills.
We ended up going in a circle (literally in a circle) and ended up at the bottom of the same hill we started our journey from. That was a pain, but, I guess that detour allowed us to enjoy a beautiful ride by the water!
Once we tried to re-orientate ourselves, we headed up again but this time taking another turn. We came across a man who so kindly advised us of which beach we should head towards to see. He warned us of a hill that we would have to go through but we didn’t realize how bad this hill would be. I just have one word to describe it… a killer hill. That was the most steepest hill ever and our biking and fitness levels didn’t meet that standard. I would say it was such a funny but difficult situation. Not to mention, we were partly lost and didn’t know if we were headed the right away. I think we were partly loosing our brains that we were just laughing our heads away.
Eventually, after that killer hill, we chose to go to a much closer beach. It was a small one but had a beautiful view still. We did a bathroom stop and just sat by the rocks for a while. It was nice to just be by the water and breathing the fresh air. After being all stretched out and relaxed, we thought of just catching the bus back to the ferry terminal but to our disappointment the bus wasn’t very frequent. To avoid the long wait and miss our ferry, we decided to just bike on. Not to mention, coming across another steep hill…
Boy, were we so glad when we finally got back to the terminal, stretching our legs and just being able to sit down properly. I just have to say, I was quite impressed of our biking efforts that day. Personally, I have not done that much physical activity in one day or biked around that much at all! I think we all deserved a pat on the back for this!
I’ve attached photos below of this fun adventure. Needless to say, we were very sore the following day and had to drive down to Hobbiton (sore butts on a long drive = not the best combo). However, it was all worth the experience!
I do recommend exploring the island via bike ride if you are adventurous and probably fit enough. There are wine tours though as an alternative if you aren’t really up for a bike ride. I’ve heard these wine tours are very good and you get to drink some wine too! 😉