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Waiheke is the second largest and most populated island within the Hauraki Gulf of Auckland, New Zealand. Lying just 17 kilometres from the nation’s largest city, there are numerous ferry routes provided every day to Auckland Harbour, Devonport and Half Moon Bay, with some lasting just 40 minutes.
‘The Island of Wine’ is home to a dozen top-quality vineyards, allowing visitors to gaze over the golden beaches while sampling the local produce; arguably its biggest lure. Active pursuits take the form of meandering hiking trails through lush forests, diving into the fresh Hauraki Gulf, or kayaking across the glistening waters.
The wonderful Waiheke weather makes it a fine choice all year-round, too, with Lonely Planet placing it fifth in ‘Best Regions to Visit in 2016’. Finally, in terms of accommodation, you can choose from secluded beach houses or backpacker hostels, depending on your budget.
Devonport is a small suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, found on the North Shore at the southern tip of a long peninsula. Given its close proximity to the Hauraki Gulf, ferry routes to Devonport include regular, fast crossings from the nearby islands of Waiheke and Rangitoto.
Often dubbed ‘Auckland’s prettiest village’, Devonport is both laidback and beautiful in equal measure, known for its trendy cafes and excellent seafood restaurants. The relaxed atmosphere is also reflected in its quirky boutiques, art dealerships and idyllic beaches.
With two volcanic cones offering the finest panoramic views in the Auckland area, Devonport is also a hiker’s dream, with various trails taking you to the summit of Mount Victoria where you can marvel at the glistening waters of Waitemata Harbour and the modern city skyline on the horizon.