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What’s Waiheke got to offer? -

(EMAILWIRE.COM, March 17, 2009 ) Waiheke Island, New Zealand - Known as the ‘jewel of the gulf,’ a tiny island 25 minutes from the heart of Auckland is fast becoming one of the most sought after property spots in New Zealand…

Waiheke Island, which means ‘Cascading Waters’ in Maori, is 93 square kilometres of island bliss just a 25-minute ferry ride from Auckland’s CBD.

Set in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, Waiheke’s 8,000 permanent residents enjoy a selection of stunning beach styles - from rocky bays to calm, sandy beaches.

Once they could hardly give land away here; nowadays multimillionaires rub shoulders with bohemian artists and Auckland city workers, desperate for an escape from the big smoke.

New Zealanders often say that Waiheke reminds them of how New Zealand was 50 years ago, so I was surprised to see that Waiheke isn’t nearly as provincial as I thought it might be. Trendy cafes and restaurants line the island’s main drag and the vineyards offer super service and style.

The short commute from Auckland also means that it’s akin to living in a suburb close to the city centre. The early morning and early evening ferries to and from Auckland are packed with workers commuting to Auckland.

Significant industries on the island include wine-making, olive production, tourism and art, crafts. Signs of Maori occupation on Waiheke Island still exist today and archaeological sites are scattered over the island.

While beaches are the major drawcard, wine is a close second. There are 26 boutique wineries to visit, many with swanky restaurants and breathtaking city views. If you want to stay away from the sauce, the Waiheke Arts Trail also encompasses 26 galleries and craft stores.

The vast majority of Waiheke’s permanent population lives in the western half or close to an east-west isthmus between Huruhi Bay and Oneroa Bay which, at its narrowest, is only 600 metres wide.

New Zealand’s richest man, Graeme Hart, lives on Waiheke, in a £5.5 million modern beachfront mansion with guest wing and swimming pool.

The climate is often said to be generally warmer than Auckland with less humidity and rain and more hours of sunshine. In the summer locals can see the dark rain clouds hanging over Auckland whilst their island remains bathed in sunshine.

Visitors at the peak of summer are said to push numbers on the island up to 30,000, many drawn by the numerous vineyards and pristine beaches.

Whether or not picture perfect Waiheke Island floats your boat, it’s a fun and easy day trip from Auckland and proof that you can enjoy secluded island bays just moments from the big smoke.

For more information on properties in New Zealand and the market in general, please visit


Notes to editors: is a property website that was founded in 1999 as an online resource for buying, selling and learning about property. It now receives as many as 300,000 visits per month and advertises over 50,000 properties in nearly 90 countries, which are listed by over 500 partner organisations.

For further information as well as images and interview possibilities, please contact:

Dan Johnson
Managing Director
0207 952 7650
Dan Johnson
020 7952 7650
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