Mina won a couple of tickets for the ferry to Waiheke near the beginning of the year, and with them about to expire we need to use them fast.
The ferry leaves from the bottom of the CBD where parking is a nightmare. So we decided to taken the train in, since the end of the line is across the road from the ferry terminal. I haven’t caught the train in NZ since I was a boy, so we each bought Hop cards (the public transport travel cards for Auckland). Unfortunately this weekend the train service was cancelled for the entire weekend for track maintenance. Such is public transport in Auckland.
So we drove in and parked a couple of kilometres away and walked to the ferry. We saw the new Lime scooters along the way – cheapish to use for-hire electric scooters that are very popular since their introduction a few weeks ago.
Since we only had 2 free tickets Jess got to use her new Hop card for the ferry. The day was fine with no wind, so the ride on the ferry was smooth, the water flat. We passed water craft of every description, from ships to yachts to dinghies and kayaks. In what seemed like no time (maybe 30 minutes?) we arrived at Waiheke Island.
Our plan was to walk around the coastal track North of the ferry landing to the town of Oneroa for lunch. The beginning of the track is accessible only at low tide, though I think the tide would actually have to be quite high to block you.
The walk on the beach was nice enough, and at the end it ascended the hill to get a better lookout. The day was warm and sunny, and there was very little wind, so we got quite hot. The views were great though – the many islands of the Hauraki Gulf on show, with Auckland in the distance with the Sky Tower above it. Along the way inland we passed some very fancy mansions. Given that Waiheke is not a good commute I’d imagine that most of these places are owned by wealthy people who never have to actually work.
It took over an hour to get around the first headland so we decided to take a shortcut along the road to Oneroa. This took us up to the top of the hill where there was an old World War 2 lookout and views across to the water to Maraetai. It took about half an hour along the hot road to our destination.
Oneroa has a very small but very bustling centre. There are plenty of options for lunch, and we settled on a fish and chip shop. It had a great view and a bar, so a pretty good fish and chip shop.
We just missed a bus back to the ferry, so decided to walk the couple of kilometres back to the ferry which was a much easier walk than the road over the top. We hopped straight back on the ferry and within a few minutes we were on our way back to Auckland.