Friday 6 September 2013
Whilst doing my customary research of our current destination, I decided that a day trip to Waiheke Island and lunch at one of the wineries was in order. So today we heading down to the harbour to do just that.
So after breakfasting in our room of yummy homemade cereal, with lashings of creamy yoghurt and a couple of fortifying cups of tea we grab our map and start walking downtown. Its pretty chilly (jumper, scarf and coat territory) and Howard is missing his beanie so when we see a big sports store we grab the opportunity. H quickly zones in to the Icebreaker clothing and we decide that he needs a hoodie – that way he won’t need a beanie … and they are on sale … brilliant.
We waste a bit too much time shopping so we have to hurry to make sure we get to the ferry as they only run hourly. Its a perfect day and the harbour very calm. Before too long we are at Waiheke Island and offloaded and trying to work out how to get to the winery …. taxi, bus or walk. We discover that there is a cross country track that will take us straight to Cable Bay Winery where I have made a reservation for lunch. The first section running along the wetlands is very muddy and slippery but we manage to get through without mishap. Luckily I have my sturdy wedge boots on.
Signage is a bit scare but we make a couple of uneducated guesses and head uphill through forest and then up a valley lined with neatly laid out rows of grapevines. A fellow walker lets us know we are heading in the right direction. Feeling definately warmer we reach the road and sight the winery a couple of hundred meters away. Phew!
Cross country track to Cable Bay Winery
Cable Bay Winery has a renowned restaurant that has is set on a ridge with spectacular views over a grassy knoll, across the harbour with glimpses of Auckland’s skyline in the background.
Definitely worth the effort, we are soon seated in the dining room sipping champagne and enjoying the view. The menu is modern NZ and simple with local produce, so its easy to decide. I’m having the local salmon ceviche as entree and the duck for main. Howard decides on the scallops and fish. We also select the accompanying Cable Bay wines by the glass with each course.
Salmon cerviche with cucumber jelly
Coromandel scallops, confit smoked pork belly, roasted artichokes and shitake mushrooms
Roast Duck breast, smoked parsnip, confit leg, quince,sweet spices yum!
Blue eye cod, asparagus and confit lemon
The location is one of best we have every experienced, the food is impressive, the wine … not so much. But overall an experience we would highly recommend.
Across the entrance hall is a bar and terrace with amazing views, it is a perfect day so we ask to have our coffees served out there. Our enjoyment of the afternoon sun is only broken by a helicopter from Auckland arriving, landing and departing from a helipad just over the hill. Those things are noisy!
Cable Bay Winery terrace
View from Cable Bay Winery
A quick jaunt down the country road through the vineyards (luckily its downhill now) is our next destination Oneroa – a gorgeous beachside town.
We have a quick look around and then head back to the ferry by foot. We make it to the ferry by the skin of our teeth and are soon back in Auckland. After visiting the Icebreaker shop (we have to return tomorrow morning as the socks H wants are not in stock) we jump on a bus and head back to Ponsonby.
Ferry terminal Waiheke Island
We stop for a drink (or two) at The Tin Soldier, a busy bar full of locals enjoying a few Friday night drinks. We order a couple of drinks and a dozen oysters and get chatting with a couple of the pretty waitresses. Howard is trying to talk Suji into visiting us in Brisbane and marrying his son Gene. She is a cutie.
Suji and friend
After our rich lunch we are not ready for another big meal so we decide to hit Burger Fuel “Engineering the Ultimate Burger” … how can we resist? Here we are introduced to the amazing world of doofers. Note to self …. must import to Australia!