South Pacific Series - #9 Waiheke Island, NZ

I first have to start this blog by getting out something awful that has happened. All of my blog posts were written fairly fresh, usually the next day after, so that what I'm writing represents the most genuine feeling of what I experienced on the trip, so it can be an accurate representation of what you may experience going to these places. However I have to admit with this particular blog post about Waiheke island, it is 1 month delayed. I went to Waiheke island on the first day of the new year of 2017, and it was a really awful day in certain aspects. I had been in a relationship which is wrong from every element down up. The tension had built up so much, but it was not possible to drop a prebook trip to the South Pacific, and I wanted to go ahead with the trip anyway. Waiheke island was the very last day of the trip (other than the antagonizing 11 hr silent long haul flight back). As I said, tension was building up, a lot of resentment, misunderstanding, and assumed ill intent and negativity. After getting off the ferry in Waiheke, there was a long argument about what to do, hike or bus or bike, and of course all of my options were somehow stupid and rejected within seconds. Just a few minutes in starting the hike the argument blew up into everything since day 1 of this trip. 

So he handed me my ferry ticket and left me mid-trail. 

Oh no, you did not just do that. I was furious, in disbelief. How can someone be so heartless, apply every insulting name you can call someone here. I had half a bottle of 500ml water, he had most of the water and food. No, I don't know how someone could do this to someone else. You wouldn't do that to a female friend, stranger, let alone someone you were in a relationship with for a while. This is a defining moment in my life. I was shaking in anger and it's really difficult to not wish ill on someone who's just left you along on a hiking trail. But I haven't been more sure of what I needed to do next in my life, boundaries to be reset, requirements on who I let into my life raised, and the existence of who I am strengthened.

But above all, I hope no one else will need to go through what I've been through in this past year with this person. 

I'm utterly disgusted at this person's actions. 


Now that's out of the way, we can continue to what Waiheke island is really like. 

Even though it was New Years Day, the ferries were running still on a Sunday schedule. There was one every 30 minutes as early as 8am till 10pm at night, which is pretty convenient. I understood why once I got onto the island, there were many residents on the island, and it's not a cheap place to live in either - Millions for one property! The boat ride itself was really lovely, there's 3 decks on the boat where the bottom deck is completely indoors, middle deck is half indoors but with no windows, the top deck being completely opened. The breeze and sunshine composed the perfect temperature, in the distance, hundreds of sail boats were parked or cruising across the waves. 

Waiheke island is known for it's many Wineries. There is a hop-on hop-off bus you could take to visit various Wineries. Without a car it is hard to get around much on the island. You can get brochures of various options inside the ferry terminal hall. You can of course rent a car, or rent a mountain bike if you wish. Another option is to take the local buses, it has a pretty extensive network. Just walking out of the ferry terminal, you can find the complete map of the different routes available. Lastly, there are hiking options around the western side of the island just beside the terminal. I took the route from there up North around the western coast and then through 2 beaches. The whole hike took about 3hrs, but the view is spectacular! You pass by the harbour area where lots of sail boats are parked, there also a lot of various plants and flowers along the way. You pass by some fairly luxurious houses on the hill side, and then a vineyard as well. It is not opened for wine tasting as it is for research purposes, however you can get up really close to the grapes, which you can't usually do if the wine grapes need to produce profit. 

There is one main street "Ocean View Rd" where all of the restaurants and souvenir shops are. Lines were long at most restaurants, cafes, and ice cream shops. The souvenir shops sold a lot of really interesting things, from hand crafted items to antiques, but all bursting with New Zealand's heritage and history. There's also this funny little statue of a penguins family taking a photo with a selfie stick, and of course there were Chinese Tourists taking photos with them. 


Around 4 in the afternoon, I head back to Auckland for some rest. I was pretty exhausted from the hike, but it was a really rewarding one! I found a starbucks nearby the hotel, and again like always, they can never spell my name right. I'm almost always a font (gotta love the Christmas cups though!) : 

The last supper, the final hours of this grand South Pacific trip, I had the oysters, scallops, prawns, and potato dish from the same restaurant as yesterday, with the view of Auckland harbour in front of me. The twinkling lights and the crescent moon in the sky. A bittersweet feeling hits me, and all of the things I've experienced in this trip flashes by - Fiji's hospitality and chirping birds, Vanuatu's rich history and mesmerizing corals, New Caledonia's kite surfers, and Samoa's fire dancers and deep blue ocean trenches. The South Pacific has been one of the most wonderful trips I've been on, the culture and heritage of the Melanesian and Polynesian people deeply touches my heart, and so does their kindness. Despite of all of the current sad world affairs, these little islands of paradise sit peacefully in the middle of the pacific bringing happiness to every visitor. I'm very excited for Disney releasing Moana, I hope it brings a lot of awareness to the Polynesian culture (not just limited to Hawai'i) to the people around the world. The nature and culture should be well protected and preserved.  I am fortunate to have visited it, before these islands exploded with visitors. I shall be back, I know for a fact I'll be back, at the very least for the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia's Bora Bora. Till next time! 

                                                                                               Hong Kong in the distance, it's great to be home. 

Mid hike, Waiheke New Zealand, Jan 1st, 2017 

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