Sunday, 10 September 2017


… I’ve got a nautical themed pashmina afghan (I wish! If anyone could point me in the direction of this item of clothing I will forever love you <3 and then immediately find the nearest boat, get on it and then SING THE SONG AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS!)
*ahem* Where was I?
Ah yes, today is the day trip to Waiheke day! Somehow managed to drag my butt out of bed with enough time to make the 10am ferry - this includes my allotted ‘Ellie Gets Lost’ time of approximately 20 minutes. Trust me, I need it, my inner geographical compass is screwed - and even though it’s technically winter over this side of the world, I’ve somehow picked a gloriously sunny day to do this trip.
Although no amount of winter warmth and sunshine can compete against the RIP-ROARING WIND you experience when crossing the sea from Auckland to Waiheke Island on the open air top deck of a boat!

Lesson Number 10 - New Zealand is colder than it looks - WEAR A COAT, PEOPLE!
So after about an hour, looking a darn site more wind swept and interesting, Matiatia Port appeared before us. Unexpectedly I found I’d booked a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the Island, which in my books is always the best way to a) see some of the best bits of what ever new place you’re visiting, and b) find out some fun, interesting and otherwise random information about the new place you’re visiting. Plus if the return trip is exactly the same back as it was forward (but in reverse, duh!) rather than a round trip, you can pinpoint areas you want to spend more time in and… well, hop off and visit it!
Sorry if that sounds like a horribly obvious piece of advise, but if you’re a new traveller like me, weird little seemingly obvious tidbits like that really help you plan the best way to see new places the best way you can. Obviously. STOP SAYING OBVIOUS ELLIE!
Any who, I happened to land myself an amazing tour guide called Horst, a very funny german bloke who took us all the way to the Onetangi Beach. The good thing about Waiheke is that no matter what side of the bus you sit on, the views are incredible! As most of the drive takes place along the highest points of the Island you pretty much get 360 degree views of beach, sand, sea sea sea as far as the eye can see. Picture those chase scenes from the old Scooby Doo cartoons, where the background flashing past is just repeated over and over again. But ever so slightly more stunning.
Horst then decided to make us insanely jealous, by telling us that to get a house with these views on the South side of Waiheke would ONLY cost around $3 million…
Luckily, because I happened to be there on a Saturday, I decided to drown my sorrows at a little Saturday market we’d bypassed in Ostend. It’s one of those smaller markets that specialises in healing crystals, hippie clothing and handmade jewellery (aka my favourite type of market) but you can also find bric a brac, local art and craft, and if it’s anything like the day I went there’ll be live music too! Could be a guitarist. Could be two blokes singing and playing a recycling bin like a drum. 
And I’ve got to say, they were pretty good too.
But the best thing about it  is all the incredible food and drink stalls they have there! I’m not talking your standard burger van here - I’m talking samosa’s, wood fire pizzas, Turkish fare, Hungarian cuisine… it was like a mini version of Camden food market! My lunch alone consisted of a Gourmet Cheese and Chorizo Hotdog, washed down with a lovely cup of Cacao, Coconut Milk, Banana and Chia Seed Smoothie. Hom nom nom it was too.
If you ever get the chance to visit, I highly recommend Waiheke Ostend Market! Open Saturdays, 7.30am to 1pm!
As the market started to pack up for the day, I hopped back on the bus and ended up in Oneroa. Now Waiheke has many, many beaches to its name (Horst said it was around 100 beaches. I initially thought he was exaggerating, but if can trust what you see…) but my ultimate favourite of the day was one called Little Oneroa. It’s small, but it has character; white sand, a little rock section to clamber over, and two sections of the island seemed to curve around it, giving it that almost lagoon-like feel - secluded and quiet, as if it were all for you. After the busy busy day it was nice to literally take my shoes off, paddle in the (albeit chilly) waters, and just relax to the sound of waves and wind.
Oh and a horse. There was a rider with her horse just casually pooping in the sea.
So all in all, a wonderful day trip was had, and I sincerely hope I get a chance to return before the year is out.
Also, get an all day ticket - it may be small, but you will inevitably spend more time on Waiheke than you ever could have planned!

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