Take a five-hour wine tour
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Start with the five-hour Wine Connoisseur’s Tour by Ananda Tours. You’ll visit three vineyards, tasting everything from syrah to montepulciano, with many wines available only from the cellar door. They can also arrange a visit to vineyards that aren’t usually open to the public.
For the beer drinkers
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If beer – or delicious non-alcoholic ginger beer – is more to your taste, Wild on Waiheke is home to Waiheke Island Brewery, which produces four beers and a ginger beer in a no-frills shed, as well as seasonal brews such as wasabi lager, raspberry wheat beer and kumara porter.
Wander through olive groves
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The award-winning Rangihoua Estate has 800 olive trees in its Arcadian main grove, with another 3500 trees elsewhere on the island. Try the Greek-style Koroneiki, the Spanish-style Picual and the Tuscan-style Frantoio.
Eat lunch by the water
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In the heart of Waiheke’s main village, Wai Kitchen – “wai” means water in Māori – is a modern “glass box” that overlooks the curve of sand at Oneroa Bay. Order the prawn omelette with sweet soy and sambal or the avocado on five-grain toast with pickled beetroot, dukkah and labna.
Stop for coffee and cake
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Drink locally brewed Island Coffee and tea and indulge in pastries at The Annex, a cute-as-a-button 1920s cottage in Ostend.
Spend the afternoon at lunch
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For a long lunch, head east to the more remote side of the island, where the trattoria at Poderi Crisci wine estate serves dishes using produce gathered from its sprawling kitchen garden.
Order a seafood feast
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Be sure to get a seat on the balcony at The Oyster Inn before dusk. The inn’s stylish beach-house vibe encapsulates everything that’s good about Waiheke. As well as oysters farmed off the island and elsewhere in New Zealand, you can order kingfish sashimi with chilli, yuzu and soy or the excellent mac ’n’ cheese.
Stay at The Boatshed
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Cream-coloured wooden cottages, crushed-shell paths and subtly nautical interiors make The Boatshed, in Little Oneroa, a holiday-maker’s dream. Better still, this boutique lodge with five suites and two bungalows has its own chef if you can’t tear yourself away from the shimmering views of the Hauraki Gulf.
Up: The City Slicker’s Guide to Auckland
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