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The Waiheke Island Vineyard Hopper

Recently, my amazing friend from home, Kayla, came to visit me on Waiheke Island.  She has just moved to Auckland and is also the only person from home able to visit me during my time living on the island.  My excitement level for seeing someone from home was through the roof.  I wanted to plan the best 24 Waihekian hours for her.  Of course, we were having so much fun during the first two hours that her one day visit turned into two days.

NZ Waiheke Casita Muro Wine

NZ Te Motu

The Vineyard Hopper is one of the bus services on Waiheke Island that makes hourly stops at a handful of the local vineyards.  It’s like a London Hop-On/Hop-Off bus… with wine… and cheese.

Up until this point, I had driven, walked, and cabbed to the various vineyards on the island, but I had never paid $30 to get to any of them.  For the budget travelers out there, you might wonder why it would be worth it to spend $30 on a bus ticket to go around to the different vineyards.

First of all, no one needs to drive.  Whenever I have taken a car to a winery, someone has to drink at a more slow, contained pace and quantity than everyone else or not drink at all. Where’s the fun in that? Secondly, it’s a good excuse to visit multiple vineyards in one day.  Thirdly, the Vineyard Hopper tickets are valid on the regular busses as well.  So if you get off at Casita Miro (the furthest VH stop from the start) and decide to go explore Onetangi, you needn’t hike back up the hill from the beach to wait for the next VH bus at some point in the hour, you can simply hop on the next town bus that frequently goes through the villages.

It was really exciting for me to take Kayla around the island and to the different wineries because showing someone around my new home is fun (duh),  and she had never been to a winery before!! Super exciting.

NZ Te Whau

Here is our itinerary:

First stop: Te Whau

Second stop: Stonyridge & Te Motu

Third stop: Miro

Fourth and final stop: Cable Bay

NZ Cable Bay

I walked away from this day raving about the Vineyard Hopper.  Before experiencing it, I thought it was a waste of money when I could just find alternative transportation to the different wineries myself.  After this day, I can say it is definitely worth the money (at least once) if you want to see multiple vineyards and really make a wine day out of your trip to the island (which is what most people do).

We ended our wine tour with an extravagant dinner at Cable Bay Vineyard, which I definitely recommend.  Ending our wine tour with Cable Bay felt like the best choice because it’s the winery closest to the main village of Oneroa as well at the Matiatia Ferry.

Photos by myself and Kayla

Have you ever done a wine bus tour?

Tara Higgins

Tara Higgins

Tara loves all things London and wants to spend the rest of her life reading books in beautiful places. She can often be found nestled up in a bookshop, drinking a pint at the pub, or searching for the best pizza slice in town.