Waiheke Island sits just a few miles off the coast, but for complicated microclimate and zoning reasons has turned into a significant wine production and tourism destination. You take a 40-minute ferry ride, then bike or bus or scooter around from beach to winery to shoppe all day and come back in the evening. Or, you rent a house and do the same thing for longer.

I can see the appeal… it’s beautiful. But we went on New Year’s Weekend, one of the absolute busiest days of the year. It was hot, and crowded, and it turns out wineries and shoppes on Waiheke (none of which are more than 20 or 30 years old) look an awful lot like their counterparts in other places.

Next time we go, it will be for the company we are in, or for a longer stay at a non-peak time.

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