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, , , New Zealand

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Popular with locals, Family-friendly, Off the beaten path
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Twenty kilometers to the east of the city (take a 30-minute ferry trip or speedy helicopter ride), Waiheke is a destination within a destination. Numerous Aucklanders make a day trip to dine at one of the island’s 30-plus boutique wineries, and just as many flock there to get married. It was the hippies and artists who first discovered this idyllic spot dotted with beaches, bushland, and captivating coves. They were eventually followed by high-rollers who have built luxury retreats amid olive groves and vineyards. Now, high-end accommodations, award-winning wineries, restaurants, cafes, and boutique food producers have all made a home here. If you only have time for a walk and lunch, the Matiatia Headland Walk has exceptional cliff views and circles ritzy residences. Afterward, have lunch at the nearby chi-chi Cable Bay or cab to the next closest, Oyster Inn. Further afield is Casita Miro, which is above beautiful Onetangi Beach. A lot of love has gone into this one-of-a-kind restaurant that serves Spanish-inspired fare under the talented hand of owner Cat Vosper. Or there’s the dreamy scenic drive to Passage Rock Winery and Café. Be prepared to book cabs to and from wineries or hire a car. There is public transportation, but it doesn’t go to the far reaches of the island.

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Waiheke Island

Twenty kilometers to the east of the city (take a 30-minute ferry trip or speedy helicopter ride), Waiheke is a destination within a destination. Numerous Aucklanders make a day trip to dine at one of the island’s 30-plus boutique wineries, and just as many flock there to get married. It was the hippies and artists who first discovered this idyllic spot dotted with beaches, bushland, and captivating coves. They were eventually followed by high-rollers who have built luxury retreats amid olive groves and vineyards. Now, high-end accommodations, award-winning wineries, restaurants, cafes, and boutique food producers have all made a home here. If you only have time for a walk and lunch, the Matiatia Headland Walk has exceptional cliff views and circles ritzy residences. Afterward, have lunch at the nearby chi-chi Cable Bay or cab to the next closest, Oyster Inn. Further afield is Casita Miro, which is above beautiful Onetangi Beach. A lot of love has gone into this one-of-a-kind restaurant that serves Spanish-inspired fare under the talented hand of owner Cat Vosper. Or there’s the dreamy scenic drive to Passage Rock Winery and Café. Be prepared to book cabs to and from wineries or hire a car. There is public transportation, but it doesn’t go to the far reaches of the island.