Auckland Day 4
This is the first day of our Discover New Zealand Explore Tour and we are due to take a wine tour on Waiheke an island in the bay not far from Auckland. The weather is still very hot but overcast. We start by walking down to the waterfront to catch a ferry tour. After the ferry we board a bus at Waiheke with a driver called Tracey who is a resident on the island and very knowledgeable about everything that goes on. It sounds as though 95% of the islanders work in Auckland and travel to the ferry in the morning, and back in the evening in order to get to work.
It sounds as though the island was originally habited by hippies but has now become a bit more upmarket and with some new businesses setting up such as the wineries. We first visited Stoneyridge where we were treated to a couple of samples and a beautiful lunch. Very good wine but far outside our price bracket. They seem to specialise in weddings as well. Next we went to a place where they produce olive oil and other olive based products – an excellent talk. We were fascinated by an enormous piece of wood (apparently swamp kauri made into a chair and polished) that they have been keeping for someone to collect for the last couple of years? We have a photo of us together on the seat.
We went on next to the Wild On corporate activity centre cum winery cum brewery. Once again excellent samples of wine and beer. Finally we were entertained by an english gent at the Mudbricks vineyard who made us follow him up the field in order to get a sample of the wine – he was extremely entertaining and concerned that we may get wet if we didn't hurry along. The buildings were mainly set out as a restaurant and they also did weddings – in fact they were closing after our visit so that they could cater for a wedding – I hope the weather improved. As we were leaving the rain came on really heavy.
WE returned back to Auckland and the rain stopped – still very hot though and just went to a pub ( The Snobs Bar) for our dinner. Didn't get a good night's sleep as we were opposite the loading bay for the hotel next door and they seemed to have deliveries more or less all night, this coupled with the warm weather and no air conditioning didn't help at all!