North Island New Zealand | Waiheke Island

We got up early and made breakfast in the adorable community kitchen. It was our anniversary, too, so I opened up the vault and we watched our wedding video. Lovely memories! When we finished our super fancy, gourmet meal (pb&j, apples, and oranges) we walked around the property. We saw a lot of birds, pretty trees, and Fossil Bay Vineyard, which is operated by Auckland University.

The Fossil Bay Lodge has some pretty cool amenities! They have a few of those "pod" tents so you can go "glamping," but we couldn't find them so I was pretty bummed about that. They also have some awesome outdoor shower rooms that would be great in the summertime. It was way too cold to use them, but we were a bit envious of those that will visit during the warm weather seasons.

Wayne, our wine tour guide, picked us up at the lodge. We picked up another couple and, then, the schedule was full of wineries and awesomeness! Our first stop: Kennedy Point.

The view from Kennedy Point

Kennedy Point is the only true organic winery on Waiheke and they only produce about 7,000 bottles a year. They package and produce all of it in a small back room that we were able to tour. They also have olive trees and honey bees... and that means tasty olive oil and a thick, sweet honey!

In 2009, they won "Best Syrah in the World," (if I remember correctly) and it was no lie! If I had any regrets from our time on the island it's that we didn't buy any of their honey and we "held out" on buying wine because we knew we had other places to go. Ah! We missed out!

After Kennedy Point, we went to Mudbrick Winery. It was beautiful and had a fantastic view of Auckland! The gentleman that poured our wine had the greatest descriptive words out there! I wanted him to walk around with me to describe everything... he was just delightful!  Here, we tried our first ever Viognier and it's the first white wine that Mark has ever enjoyed!

Cable Bay was next on the trip. It was a very modern building with another outstanding view! The wine cellar was enough to make you fall in love and the Sauvignon Blanc was great!

Some of my favorite parts of the tour was learning about and seeing the layout of the grapes. It was interesting to hear about what grapes grew better where and how many acres each vineyard owned. It's amazing to see rows and rows.... and rows... of grapes. Paradise.

Our last winery was Te Motu Vineyard. It is built around an old air field landing strip. They also had a restaurant called "The Shed," that had just been voted best rural restaurant! We didn't eat there, but we bought a bottle of "The Strip," Cabernet Merlot. The grapes are grown in the lot closest to the landing strip, which is where it gets its name.

It was a bit windy... haha!

For lunch, Wayne recommended that we go to Casita Miro, a Spanish restaurant that won best rural restaurant a few years ago. We had lamb with fig and fish with Spanish rice. Everything was perfectly seasoned and flavorful! The views were spectacular and we really enjoyed the company of the other couple on the tour.

 (1) FIRE! (2) "I want dessert!!"

After Wayne dropped us off, I realized I left my jacket in the tour van. He brought it back and happily gave us a lift into town! How nice is that?! We even got to spend some time with his dog.

Once in Oneroa, we stopped at the fruit market to get some breakfast for the next day, went to dinner at the Cove Restaurant (great ribs and green lip mussels), and had dessert by a wood fire at Italia. It was the perfect night to wrap up an even better day!

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