Waiheke Island Sunset Facing Aukland in the Distance

New Zealand ’17: Day 01 – Waiheke Island (Thu)

B&B Lodging: Breakfast at The Beach Lodge
Date During Trip: June 28/29, 2017

Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand
Thing 2 on Air New Zealand
Thing 2 on Air New Zealand

OK. I guess it’s Wednesday, but I’m not really sure1. I actually slept on the plane during the night. The seats in business class do this most bizarre transformers kind of thing. The flight attendants have to do it. It’s just too unusual for mere mortals to figure out.

I didn’t sleep well, but I did sleep–for about 7 hours, which is really unusual for me on a plane. I was, however one of the first to wake up, and I’m the first to have my bed transformed back into a seat.

I’ve already done as much “personal care” as one can when on a plane and out of place: eye drops, brushed the teeth, deodorant, redressed (pulled my clothes back together again), checked my blood sugar (I didn’t remember the ice cream when I dosed! It was insanely high.), and stumbled back to write in my journal.

This crew is very attentive, and I love their accents. I think we have about 5 people working business class of 24ish seats–certainly more than Delta ever does. The food was excellent, especially the chicken, which felt more like eating a steak. It was delicious, thick, tender and juicy.

The plane was very nice. Air New Zealand has been rated best airline 5 years in a row. I can see why. Business class was wonderful, much better than Delta.

Ferry Terminal, Aukland
Ferry Terminal, Aukland

When we landed, we were picked up at the airport and taken to the ferry which took us across the bay to Weiheke Island. We arrived just after sunrise, and even though it was drizzly, saw some nice views from the boat.

Ferry Landing, Waiheke Island
Ferry Landing, Waiheke Island

Our taxi driver on the island was a woman. She said the island population is around 8,000 off season (now) and 40,000 during peak season. It’s quaint. Originally people had little cottages here for weekend get aways from Auckland. Now, those tiny cottages sell for at least a million.

Waiheke Island Map
Waiheke Island Map

The Breakfast at the Beach is a nice little bed and breakfast, a thoroughly modern and contemporary design. The owner, Keith, is an amiable fellow who lived in San Francisco for 3 years and in Washington DC for several years working as a military attaché from New Zealand–whatever that is.

Decoration at Breakfast on the Bay
Decoration at Breakfast on the Bay
Car Rental, Weiheke Island
Car Rental, Weiheke Island

I took a shower and went to bed for a couple of hours. When I awoke, Steve had been out for a walk. He had taken several nice pictures. We went and rented a car because he said the island was much too big and too steep to walk about.

He was right. We needed a car. And the maps we had been given were a train wreck. We drove around and around in circles for about an hour looking for a road to take us to the other side of the island. I was exasperated because we weren’t going anywhere. Steve was frustrated with the car and driving on the left. He kept turning on the windshield washer for the blinker. Thank goodness the car wasn’t a manual transmission, or I would now be dead off of a steep cliff somewhere. The roads a very narrow and exceedingly curvy/convoluted, but, worst of all, poorly marked when market at all.

Finally, I got out the Navigon app and insisted we were using it. Thank god I had purchased it! We then went back to the B&B. After re-orienting ourselves, we drove out to a ridge Keith recommended to shoot the sunset with Auckland in the background. Of course, my batteries didn’t survive the sunset, which was really pastoral and absolutely gorgeous.

Waiheke Island Sunset Facing Aukland in the Distance
Waiheke Island Sunset Facing Aukland in the Far Distance (on the left)

As we were leaving with our dead batteries, a group of about 10 – 20 young people descended upon the area to sit at the bench and visit, enjoying the sunset.

Italian Restaurant on Waiheke Island
Italian Restaurant on Waiheke Island
Italian Restaurant on Waiheke Island
Italian Restaurant on Waiheke Island

We drove into town and had dinner at a lovely, tiny Italian restaurant with a big raging fireplace next to which we sat. I had been cold all day! The warmth was welcomed. Earlier in the afternoon we had eaten lunch in town at a little place with a view of the lovely beach below. Very nice.

Now that we were all prepared, basically oriented, had a decent navigation system and a car, we were prepared to explore the island tomorrow. Back to the hotel and to bed!


Other 2017 New Zealand Trip Posts

For a synopsis of all of the posts from this 2017 trip to both the North and the South Islands of New Zealand, with links to each post, click here. The posts listed in the OTHER RELATED POSTS HERE @ TT.US (below) may include posts from our 2014 trip.


  1. Turns out it was Thursday. We lost Wednesday when we crossed the magic line.