Monday 27 February was Chill-Out-in-Henderson Day for us. Tuesday we launched ourselves at Waiheke Island. I’d been there overnight about 15 years ago and Wyn hadn’t. We figured a day’s exploring was in order. We caught the train in from Henderson and just had enough time to make the 10am ferry from downtown. So had everyone else – it was a popular ferry. The boat zooms along – fast enough to create a bit of windchill and thin out the tourist numbers outside. It only took about 40 minutes to the island, and the bay we arrived in was sunny and calm.
We’d lashed out an extra $12 each for the hour-and-a-half bus tour of the populated and paved half of the island. This was a good way to work out where things were. It also gave us free roving on the buses for the rest of the day. After the tour we wandered around the village for a while then caught a bus back to a beach. By this stage the breeze was a wind and the sun had gone cloudy. Our swimmers stayed in our bag but we made the most of the beach. We reached a bus shelter in time to beat the storm and by the time we were back to the village the worst had past. We were in no hurry so loitered for a coffee and caught a later ferry.
Impressions of Waiheke Island? Nice place. More relaxed than Auckland – but so is everywhere. Alternative – but compared to Auckland, what isn’t? There’s not many little old baches left – it looks like an expensive place to live. But if you lived there, you’d hardly need to go on holiday. And it is determinedly, defiantly and definitely not Auckland.