Northeast Waiheke Island

New Zealand ’17: Day 02 – Waiheke Island (Fri)

B&B Lodging: Breakfast at The Beach Lodge
Date During Trip: June 30, 2017

I feel rested this morning! I got up while Steve was off running and taking some wonderful photos of sunrise. I then went outside and shot a few photos with my Canon. The tide was out. Large mudflats. Sunlight was great. Fog rising around sail boats sitting in the mud. (Click any photo any any gallery to see the larger version.)

Place Setting at Breakfast on the Bay
Place Setting at Breakfast on the Bay

When I came back in, I chatted with Keith for a bit. He said that New Zealand is the same size as the UK, but New Zealand’s population is only 4 million compared to the UK population of 80 million. He said the island isn’t self sustaining and requires much of its essential materials to be imported, raising costs. They believe that 20 million people would be the ideal size. God no! It’s perfect as is.

About 15 years ago, he built this bed and breakfast on 2 lots which he razed. He grows several of the plants he serves for meals.

We started the morning with a lovely breakfast. Keith served a roasted grapefruit with ginger and brown sugar which Steve loved. It almost killed me. I could only eat 40% of it, try though I might. I gave the remainder to Steve who gobbled it up with delight. How he can love something that tart, bitter, and generally disagreeable and not like olives is beyond me!

Appetizer at Breakfast on the Bay
Death by Tart Appetizer at Breakfast on the Bay

Today was a wonderful day of exploration! We used the Navigon app to get us to the places that were so elusive yesterday–just as well, as yesterday we were still jet lagged.

Our first destination: Onetangi Beach, a northern sandy beach on “The Strand.” It is a very picturesque place with lots of small cottages along the Strand. We walked the beach and enjoyed the placid waters. I shot a lot of video and pictures.

We had lunch at Charley Farley’s. In the sun was a bit warm with our heavier clothes on, but in the shade of the tree on the outdoor patio was a bit cold. We ate on the patio anyway. Breakfast for lunch. Very picturesque! Lovely. Quiet. Old people—the locals. Ah!

We then made our way to Man O’ War Rd (an unsealed road–unpaved) along Cacuts Bay and Owhiti Bay en route to Stony Batter. Oh my goodness! The views. This area very much reminds me of the Headlands, but it’s completely green. It’s what the Headlands look like when they get ample water. It’s gorgeous: rolling hills tossing and turning in every direction.

We stopped in one area (farm land) to get a photo. There was a fence with a sign on it saying that beyond the sign was “Private Property, Please Keep Out. Thank You.” We did. We were shooting photos of the fog creeping in over the hills in one direction and the rolling hills down to the ocean in the other. A man pulled up in one of those loud, heavy duty, working cart things.

I told him we were shooting pictures of the amazing view with the fog and all. He explained where the fog was coming in from and over what hills. I couldn’t catch any of the names as they were very different and he had a thick New Zealand accent. He insisted several times that we could go onto his property if it would help us get better pictures, mate. Very friendly people.

We stopped several times to take pictures of distant beaches. At one point, I got back into the car to see a large plastic panel on the floor. The rental car is old–really old, and the inside door panel had apparently fallen off. I couldn’t easily and quickly figure out how to put it back on; so, I just put it in the back seat.

Gnarly Roots
Gnarly Roots

When we got to Stony Batter, we decided to walk up to the top. Supposedly the walk would only take 20 minutes (if you’re 20 years old). We sauntered along. The views are striking. We came upon an old, ancient looking tree with gnarled and abundant roots high above the ground. Next was a huge oak-like tree, enormous and perfectly shaped. Then the rocky landscape began. A sign (interpretive) said the rocks were the remains of a lava flow 7 – 15 million years ago.

Perfect Oak Tree
Perfect Oak Tree

When we got to the top where the battery was, there were stunning 360º views. This would have been one of those places for a pano with my good pano equipment. Every direction was unique and beautiful. I hated to leave this area. It has a gorgeous, special energy.

We continued along Man O’ War Bay Rd until we arrived at Man O’ War Bay where the road became Cowes Bay Rd. There was a lovely area, a tree grove by the water and a dock, where we sat for a bit. I’m amazed at how close structures are built to the water’s edge on this island, and at very, very low elevations. They must rarely or never have sea surge-related storms.

We stopped off at Orariu at the bay there. Nothing really to see. Then we headed back to the hotel, but the app took us back via The Strand on Onetangi Beach, where we stopped, at sunset, and had dinner at the Oceanfront restaurant. I had a lovely salmon dish. We shot some photos of the sunset. This area is retirement heaven.

One the way back to the hotel we stopped at the gas station to top off the tank. We will be leaving Waiheke Island tomorrow.

This was a lovely day though my foot was VERY unhappy after all of the walking. I’m glad we rented the car. You would never see this area of the island without one. It’s a rather large island. The vineyards and the farm land are stunningly gorgeous as they fall gently to the sea. A really nice day.

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.