NOTE: Lady CurbCrusher wrote these entries, Mr. CrubCruhser is posting because I’m the one that knows how to insert the pictures. I’ll add some comments in ’s.
Today we are going to Waiheke Island on Fuller’s Ferry for an EcoZip and wine tasting tour. We got up and ate breakfast leaving the apt at 7:50 am since we hadn’t been able to check out the wharf the night before. We ended up on wharf 2 and asked someone when the office would open and she pointed us to another wharf. We went there and picked up our tickets for our zip tour and tasting along with the ferry rides.
At 9 am we boarded and left on the ferry which was very nice. They had lots of comfy seats and tables with 2 decks. We made a short stop at Devonport and then passed Bean Rock lighthouse a screw pile looking lighthouse from 1871. I got some good shots of it and of Auckland and the Sky Tower with a rainbow on the right side. It really hasn’t stopped raining since we got here and it is 14C/58F so it’s cold to us.
We all dressed as warm as possible to be outdoors today but we expect to get wet. A guy named Jake was waiting for us when the ferry arrived. He picked up 3 more people and we were off to EcoZip. He told us some info about the island and within 15 min we were there. One more person joined us for a total of 7 plus 2 guides. We got harnessed up and put on helmets and walked over to the first platform.
They went over all the safety rules and took our picture with the group. We then paired up and started to zip. On this line we were going 2 at a time and racing. CurbCrusher and Eaglet went together and I went last with the guide, Sara. We went over a vineyard that the owners have planted and hopefully soon will be able to harvest and sell the wine.
Waiheke is supposed to have a very good climate for growing vines as there are about 36 vineyards on the island. After everyone went we got ready for the 2nd zip. We had to walk a path down to the platform. When we have zipped before we always stayed up on top of a pole and went platform to platform without descending but there are enough hills here that you can actually zip down with a natural grade. So this zip was quiet scenic with umbrella ferns underneath and beautiful views of the harbor. Luckily for us it stopped raining as soon as we started to do our zips.
After everyone had gone again we walked down to the next one that they had named “Big Dog”. It was longer and faster than the other 2. I didn’t video this one -I just enjoyed the view as I zipped down. After everyone was finished we were able to loosen our harnesses and take off our helmets for the eco walk back to their HQ.
The guide Alex led us and stopped at a few spots. We saw the tree that was used in Avatar, and tree that brings you good luck if you can wrap your arms around it (only CurbCrusher in our group was able to do this) and a wood pigeon who eats so much of a certain berry that it gets drunk and can’t fly. We walked through a rainforest and guess what? It rained! Surprise! The walk took about 30 mins and wasn’t too strenuous. The guides had a good sense of humor with us. When we got back we looked at our pictures and left our gear.
Jake came back to get us and deliver us to Stoneyridge Winery just up the road. We got there before the bus so took a quick look around. At Stonyridge we walked in the olive grove and tasted a white wine and were told about the cork trees that they are growing. We went inside as it started to rain again. This time we tried a red and sat down for lunch.
They served quiche, a tossed salad, bread and a cheese cracker tray at the end. Then we gathered up to go to the next vineyard Rangihoua Estate. The bus driver took us to see the beach area before dropping us off. They are well known for pressing olives for oil here. We were shown how they gather the olives and then the machines that press the olives. Then we tasted 4 different olive oils and a herb spread. We bought the Italian style one to try at home. I also tried the hand lotions they had.
Then we were off to our 3rd stop at Wild on Waiheke where we tried 2 wines- a red and a white and 3 different beers. They only one we liked was the ginger beer which actually was 0% alcohol. Since it was raining we spent our time in their tasting cellar.
For our next stop we went to Mudbrick Vineyards which was very picturesque and beautiful. It had the best views and they said they do over 2 weddings a week here with a 2 year waiting list. The terraces were lovely and we had 2 wines to taste here and then we went into the original cellar and had another one. We bought some soap made with chardonnay but no wines today.
Our bus driver brought us back to the wharf to catch the 4 pm ferry. Once again it is raining. It has been on and off all day. So glad it wasn’t when we were zipping. After getting back to Auckland we looked for places to eat and decided on Shakespeare’s Tavern, which was a few bocks away. We all ordered hamburgers and when they arrived they were almost as big as our plates. We enjoyed our dinner and went back to the apartment.
Step count for the day – 11,095
|Eco Zip Pictures||Wine Tour Pictures|