New Zealand- Wine tasting on Waiheke Island from Auckland

The next morning we woke up early in Rotorua to return our car to the Auckland airport by 10am, our goal was to take a ferry to Waiheke Island. The drive was 2 hours and 35 mins but we knew there would be traffic so the incurable jet lag helped us get going early. We were able to return the car to EZI rental car off site location. Everything with the rental car went very smoothly. We were both very happy not to have to drive on the (wrong) left side of the rode.

Skybus to Downtown

We jumped on the Skybus for $18 NZD each and headed to downtown. The Skybus was economical and only took about an hour. It made a couple of stops on the way to downtown. When we got near our hotel the Crown Plaza we walked a couple of blocks. Our hotel room was ready for us so we unpacked and got ready for the day. Our plan was to head out to Waiheke Island which is know for wine tasting. But we were hungry for lunch so we found a place near by that sounded great.

Best Ugly Bagels

We just wanted something fast and cheap but Best Ugly Bagels (BUB) far exceeded our expectations. We got a the Fricken Chicken and Tomato Avocado bagel (TAB). They were amazing so amazing we actually came back the next day. I can’t rave enough about this place. The staff was cool and the coffee was good and outdoor dining was great too. We loved it.

Best Ugly Bagels Auckland- Interior
Best Ugly Bagels- View from the outside
Menu at Best Ugly Bagels
Best Ugly Bagels- Fricken Chicken Bagel
Eating the TAB- Tomato Avocado Bagel

Waiheke Island

We then walked down to the ferry docks and jumped on the next Fuller ferry which was leaving in less then 5 mins to Waiheke. The ferries seem to run continuously but there is a schedule. The ferry was not cheap at $38 NZD/ person but the ride out to the island was beautiful and took about 40mins.

Once we arrived on the island it became clear that biking was going to be a challenge as the were lots of hills so we changed our plan and decided to take the city bus rather than the hop on hop off bus. We didn’t know how much the bus rides were going to cost so purchased an all day pass for $10 NZD each. Then we rode the bus out to Onetangi beach. We walked on the beach and took some pictures but then returned to visit a winery that we saw on the way to the beach.

Ferry Dock in Auckland
Auckland from the ferry
On the ferry to Waiheke
The views were beautiful
Waiheke Island
A little windy on the ferry
City bus routes
Onetangi Beach
Walking out to Onetangi Beach

Wild on Waiheke

Our first winery was Wild on Waiheke. We got a flight of local wines and drank the wine under a white tent with other visitors. The winery was nice they had lots of yard games including chess, archery and connect four.  Then we hopped back on the city bus and took it to the bottom of a big hill where we learned the bus didn’t make it’s way to Mudbrick so we were walking.

Menu at Wild on Waiheke
At Wild
Big white tent at Wild
Wine flight at Wild

Mudbrick Winery

I had heard about Mudbrick from a friend and I knew it was popular so we saved it for our next stop. Unfortunately the city bus did not go up to Mudbrick so we ended up walking up a long big hill. But once we made it to Mudbrick the view was beautiful. You could see all the way back to Auckland. There was even a wedding going on during our visit. We stopped in the wine tasting room and I ordered the sweet Riesling wine while my husband order a wine flight. My wine was so so candy sweet I loved it and ordered another glass. We wandered the grounds and then decided to take a seat at the outdoor dining where we got a bite to eat. We order a cheese board and Gnocchi. It was delicious. The view, the atmosphere, the food, the wine where all incredible. If you ever make it to Waiheke Island this is a must stop.

Walking up to Mudbrick
Walking to Mudbrick
Made it to Mudbrick
The wedding going on during our visit
The tasting room and restaurant at Mudbrick
Outside the tasting room at Mudbrick
The Menu at Mudbrick
Inside the Bistro at Mudbrick
The grounds at Mudbrick
The view from Mudbrick
My favorite wine from Mudbrick
Eating outside at Mudbrick
The cheese board
The Gnocchi
So So Good!
Learning about wine regions in New Zealand

Return back to Auckland

After our visit we walked back down the hill to catch the city bus to the ferry building. The ferry was leaving in a couple of minutes. We sat down next to a couple and started to chatting.  They were from Montana and just happened to be going on our NCL cruise that was leaving the next day. It was nice to talk to them and see what they were doing for our next 10 day cruise.

The scenery on the walk back down
Our ferry back to Auckland

We made our way back to Auckland and wandered in and out of the shops back to our hotel. We were exhausted and went to bed early. The next day were were finally getting on our cruise ship the NCL Jewel. More on that in the next post. Stay tuned.

Back in Auckland wandering the shops
This is part of a larger trip report, Please read more at the following links.

New Zealand- Take Two- Planning Stage

New Zealand- Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach

Hobbiton, Waitamo Glow Worm Cave and Tongariro NP

Tongariro Alpine Crossing & Taupo

Rotorua Adventure Day- Kaituna Whitewater rafting

Wine tasting on Waiheke Island from Auckland

Cruise New Zealand- Auckland

New Zealand Cruise- Tauranga- Mount Maunganui

New Zealand Cruise- Napier Winery Bike Ride

Cruise New Zealand- Exploring Wellington in One Day

New Zealand Cruise- Picton- Boat cruise to Queen Charlotte Track

New Zealand Cruise- Akaroa Ecoseakers swim with dolphins

Cruise New Zealand- Dunedin- Otago Pennisula- Coming soon!

New Zealand Cruise- Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound & Dusty Sound- Coming soon!

New Zealand Cruise- Sydney- Bondi Beach- Coming soon!