We are spending our last three nights in NZ on Waiheke Island, across the bay from Auckland, staying with friends – Bill and Julia Vickery, and their three kids, Keira, India and Lola – although unfortunately we won’t see Bill as he is stuck at work in Australia this week and next.
The Lonely Planet describes Waiheke as “93 sq km of island bliss only a 35-minute ferry ride from the CBD. Once they could hardly give land away here; nowadays multimillionaires rub shoulders with the old-time hippies and bohemian artists who gave the island its green repute. Auckland office workers fantasise about swapping the daily motorway crawl for a watery commute and a warm, dry microclimate.”
The Vickerys live on the top of a mountain and have the best view from their house and decking that I have ever seen (and likely will ever see). When I’m back home and have downloaded the camera, I’ll image-stitch the amazing panoramic view and post it here.
As previously posted, I spent my birthday kayaking at Matiatia (where Matthew and Daniel paddled fantastically in their own kayaks, and we saw a little blue penguin swimming in the sea) and swimming on Onetangi Beach.
Kayaking was such fun, we did the same on the Thursday (our last full day in NZ), this time out in doubles so that we could venture further around the coast – although the sea was a little choppier, so we didn’t venture too far. Again no dolphins or killer whales, only blue penguins.
We finished our last evening in NZ with a great BBQ on the beach, with one of the free BBQs that are available to use in public places all over NZ (and Oz), followed by a swim in the sea (at 7.30pm) for the kids.
Friday morning we’ll be saying goodbye to the Vickerys and catching the ferry back to Auckland and a flight to Sydney, where we’ll be spending two days before flying home on Sunday. I may not get a chance to update the blog before then, but will do so when I get home.
Update: here’s that panoramic picture of the view of Waiheke Island from the Vickery’s house I promised: