Waiheke Island: The Second-Largest Island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand

The white sandy beaches at Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi slope gently down into the Hauraki Gulf and are perfect for swimming, kayaking, or having a picnic.

Waiheke Island is the most populated and second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. Its ferry terminal in Matiatia Bay at the western end is 21.5 km (13.4 mi) from the central-city terminal in Auckland. In landscape, lifestyle and experience, Waiheke is a world away. The island is very hilly with few flat areas, the highest point being Maunganui at 231 m (758 ft). The climate is slightly warmer than Auckland, with less humidity and rain, and more sunshine hours.

If you’re a walker, explore the island’s trails which meander along cliff tops, down to the beaches and into cool enclaves of native forest. At the eastern end of the island the Stony Batter walkway leads you to a system of World War II gun emplacements and underground tunnels.

To stay overnight, rent a beach house and wake up to the sound of the waves, if you’re on a budget, go to a friendly backpacker hostel.

Getting around is easy too. Catch one of the regular ferries that run to Waiheke from downtown Auckland. Once on the island, there are public buses and taxis, or you can hire a mountain bike, motor scooter or car. And if you’ve already got a car or bike, you can bring it over with you on the car ferry.

Waiheke Island is only a 40-minute ferry ride from the Downtown Auckland ferry terminal. You’ll cruise past Auckland’s stunning coastlines and beautiful islands as you journey towards your destination. You can also catch the ferry from Devonport Wharf.

What can I do?

  • Vineyards – Home to more than 30 boutique vineyards, Waiheke has become known as New Zealand’s “island of wine”. This group of winegrowers have successfully matched the maritime climate and ancient soil structures to produce some of the country’s best wines. Visit cellar doors, or enjoy wine and food pairings at vineyard cafes and restaurants.
  • Food – The many island wineries are perfect for culinary indulgence. You’ll find a range of onsite options – from food pairings, to platters and casual lunch options, to gourmet meals at award-winning restaurants. Oneroa Village has beautiful cafes, gelato shops and takeaway options. For a relaxing lunch, take in sea views from The Oyster Inn’s restaurant verandah, or venture to Onetangi for casual beachside dining at Charlie Farley’s. Visit Rangihoua Estate to sample internationally awarded Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or stop by Te Matuku Oysters to purchase locally farmed seafood.
  • Shopping – Oneroa, Ostend and Surfdale have great shopping opportunities. Unique stores are bursting with local art, gifts, jewellery, clothing and more. The Ostend Market operates every Saturday from 8.30am – 12.30pm.
  • Beaches – Waiheke is best known for its pristine beaches, and its warm microclimate makes it the perfect swimming spot. Oneroa Bay and Little Oneroa sit side-by-side, and are within walking distance of the main village. Little Oneroa is a perfect place to spend the day, with BBQs, a children’s playground and a sprawling grassy area. Onetangi Beach features 2.5 km of beautiful white sand, plus convenient bars and restaurants at the water’s edge.
  • Walking Tracks – Waiheke offers a number of native bush tracks, and scenic coastal walks with sensational views of surrounding islands and the Coromandel. Starting from Matiatia Wharf, the Northern Walk features the most diverse track – without venturing too far from the ferry. Follow the headland track to Cable Bay, Owhanake Bay, and Oneroa Village before completing the loop back to Matiatia. See more detailed directions for a recommended track here.

Please be advised: Onetangi Reserve and Goodwin-Te Haahi Reserve have been closed to help reduce the spread of Kauri Dieback and protect the remaining native Kauri forests. For more information about this closure please visit Forest and Bird here.

What do I need?

  • Good walking shoes, sun block and a sun hat
  • Swimming gear and a towel, in the warmer months
  • A light rain jacket, and warm layers. Temperatures can change quickly, regardless of the season

How long should I stay?

Waiheke Island makes for a perfect half or full day trip from Auckland. But with so much to see, it’s also a superb weekend getaway or extended holiday destination.



A Private Tour of Patagonia and Easter Island

If you’ve been to the Alaskan wilderness in the Summer, you will even love the adventure to the Patagonia and Eastern Island. And there is no better way to see the Patagonia and Eastern Island than in a small group settings organized by Alexander and Roberts.

Check out their Private Journey Value on their website

Small Group Discoveries

  • Personalize your stay on Easter Island with our choice of handpicked resorts… Then join expert guides to explore the wonder and mysteries of the Island’s colossal stone figures.
  • Experience the unique culture of this isolated island deep in the Pacific.
  • Explore Santiago and tour the enchanting hideaway of poet Pablo Neruda.
  • Tailor your exploration of Patagonia’s landscapes with a choice of naturalist guided expeditions.
  • Journey into Chile’s celebrated Wine Country for a tour of the historic Santa Rita vineyard
  • Includes 1 UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

Day 1 – Easter Island, Chile

On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa. This afternoon, join our guide to tour the unusual archaeological site of Orongo. Set on the edge of a crater high above the sea, you’ll discover the ancient stone dwellings of what was once an important ceremonial village. This evening finds you at one of the island’s most captivating sites where five moai stand silhouetted against the crimson sky. It’s the perfect place for a champagne toast. Meals D

Day 2 – Exploring Easter Island

Explore Rapa Nui National Park c as our expert guide illuminates the history of the people who settled here 1,000 years ago and built the moai – the enormous stone figures scattered across the windswept vistas. Among the sites you’ll visit are the ancient quarry where the moai were carved, Ahu Tongariki with its 15 huge figures, and the historically important site of Ahu Akahanga where you’ll find 4 fallen moai. Meals B+L+D

Day 3 – Onward to Santiago

Fly to Santiago where you’ll be escorted to Le Reve, our lovely city-center boutique hotel. Meals B

Day 4 – Chile’s Wine Country

Journey into the famed Casablanca Valley for a tour of the Veramonte Winery. Sample fine organic wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Primus – their proprietary blend of Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon. Learn how this award-winning vineyard is leading Chile’s organic wine industry and sit down to lunch here on the estate. Back in the city, the evening is yours to enjoy and dine where you wish. Meals B+L

Day 5 – Onward to Patagonia

Fly to Punta Arenas and embark on a scenic overland journey to the all-inclusive Patagonia Camp, set on Lake Toro facing the granite peaks of the Paine Massif. Your stay here includes a choice of expeditions. Depending on your interests and physical condition, you can choose from these full and half-day guided excursions that include gentle hikes, invigorating treks, kayaking, and fishing. Horseback riding, boating on Lago Grey and Zodiac expeditions to the Serrano Glacier can also be arranged. Meals B+D

Day 6 – Adventures in Patagonia

Enjoy your first of three full days exploring Patagonia’s soaring landscapes and pristine waterways with our Camp’s expert guides and naturalists. You might venture deep within Torres del Paine National Park or join an exclusive activity closer to Camp. Each evening, the Camp’s staff will present the excursions to be offered the next day. They’re led by our Camp’s superb naturalists, so you’ll learn much about Patagonia’s geology, flora and fauna. At the end of each day, you might relax at the bar with a Pisco Sour or a glass of fine Chilean wine. Or you might just retreat to your private terrace to enjoy the breathtaking views over mountain and lake. Meals B+L+D

Day 7 – Another day in Patagonia

Delight in another day exploring the region’s soaring landscapes and pristine waterways. Accompanied by our Camp’s naturalists, you’ll learn much about Patagonia’s geology, flora and fauna. Back at Camp, you can relax with fellow guests at the bar – perhaps sipping a traditional Pisco Sour or enjoying a glass of fine Chilean wine. As before, our Camp’s naturalist team will describe the expeditions that will be offered tomorrow.  Meals B+L+D

Day 8 – A final day in Patagonia

Arise once again to the breathtaking natural scenery that surrounds our Camp. Breathe in the pristine air and sit down to a hearty breakfast. Then embark on the naturalist guided expedition that you’ve chosen for your last day in Patagonia – perhaps an easy hike or a more challenging full-day trek deeper into these remote landscapes. End your day on a high-note, admiring the lake and mountain views from your private terrace. Then join your fellow Camp guests for another congenial dinner in the restaurant.  Meals B+L+D

Day 9 – To Punta Arenas + Santiago

Return to Punta Arenas for your flight to Santiago. Transfer again to Le Reve. Meals B

Day 10 – Santiago + Departure

After breakfast and check-out, you’ll discover the highlights of the capital from La Moneda Palace and Plaza de Armas to the Cathedral and City Hall. Join residents shopping at the Mercado Central, delight in the city’s loveliest districts and visit La Chascona, the former home of South America’s greatest poet, Pablo Neruda. Ascend San Cristobal Hill to take in the views and then continue to the airport for your flight. Meals B

Alexander+Roberts is a founding member of the United States Tour Operator’s Association, the travel industry’s most respected trade organization. Cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Travel + Leisure and NBC’s Today Show among others, the company is hailed for providing personalized service, superior value and authentic travel experiences that hew to the founder’s original mission to deepen understanding and appreciation of other peoples, cultures and nations. Alexander+Roberts has also been recognized by the editorial staff of TravelAge West as one of America’s best tour companies for Asia,  Latin America and the Middle East.



Praising God for His goodness!

by Joshua and Joanna Bogunjoko | “Praise him—he is your God, and you have seen with your own eyes the great and astounding things that he has done for you.” Deuteronomy 10:21

We praise God for being so good to us. He has shown us His great mercy and answered our prayers. In our last prayer letters we asked you to pray for our children. They are both doing amazingly well and we praise God for answering prayers.

Jochebed is doing well and shining the light of Christ as she works hard to handle the pressures around her. Praise God with us that Joel’s scholarship has been restored. This was a major point of prayer and the Lord has honored our prayers. Thank you for praying with us. Also, he has been given an accommodation in his studies to enable him to work at a healthy and suitable pace. He has a better outlook on the future now. We spent Sunday afternoon with him and were touched by his bright spirit and growing maturity.

Thank you also for praying for our trips to Kenya and the Philippines which went well. We were truly blessed to be able to spend time with SIM workers in medical ministries and our team in the Philippines. We are encouraged by their dedication and commitment to making Christ known in communities where He is least known even when it is not convenient or totally “safe”.

Thank you and God bless you!

We proclaim how great you are and tell of the wonderful things you have done.” Psalm 75:1.

Joshua and Joanna Bogunjoko

Joshua & Joanna Bogunjoko

Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko has been the SIM’s International Director since June 1, 2013. Joshua and his wife, Joanna, began their mission careers as members of the Evangelical Missionary Society (EMS), the mission arm of the ECWA church, which today sends more than 2400 Nigerians cross-culturally. They were commissioned by the national ECWA church in 1993 and their home church in Lagos in 1995, where they were sent out as seconded associates of SIM. They have served at three mission hospitals in West Africa and became full members of SIM in 2001. Joshua served on the SIM International Leadership Team since 2006, dealing with global issues related to mission.



On the road again!

by Joshua and Joanna | (SIM/ECWA/ACF)  | “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8
This is a short prayer letter to let you know that we are going to start traveling again this evening and we covet your prayers. We are thankful to God for the time we have been Stateside and His enablement in our work at the office.

Praise God for:
– Joanna’s trip to Columbus, Ohio last weekend, representing SIM at Without Borders Conference (training women how to reach out to Muslim women.)

Please pray for:
– our trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand as part of the Abide Conference, focusing on unreached Muslim peoples around the world. – Joanna who is going to San Diego for Trevor Ardill’s (a former SIM US director) memorial service and visiting Jochebed in San Francisco.
– our trip to Canada
1. Speaking at Calvary Baptist Church Mission Focus week in Ontario
2. Prairie College Board meeting in Three Hills, Alberta
3. 500th year of Protestant Reformation, Vancouver, BC
4. Visiting our supporting church at New Westminster, BC
– for Jochebed, especially that the Lord will relief her of allergy.

– for Joel and his classes that the Lord will give him wisdom.

Thank you very much for your on going prayer, love, encouragement and support.

SIM’s 2017 Prayer Guide is available to all our prayer partners. Please download a copy here: https://qwipper.com/web/prayer-room/scripture-prayer-guide so you can join us in praying for SIM ministries that impact those who live and die without the gospel.
SIM Logo
Crossing barriers with love to those living and dying without Christ
Convinced that no one should live and die without hearing God’s good news,
we believe that He has called us to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ
in communities where He is least known

 

 



Intimacy With Jesus: It’s More Than a Trip to Israel

by Christy Fitzwater | Many times during our Israel trip, I thought of Jesus’ words for those of us who would come to him long after his appearance on earth (images of Ramon Crater, YouTube)

We were slouched on the couch, in a jet-lag stupor, when he leaned over to me and said, “You know what?”

I let my weary head swing his direction. “What?”

“Israel was great and everything, but I feel like I didn’t get to spend any time with the Lord while I was there.”

“Seriously?” I answered. “I’ve been feeling the same way, but it just seemed so weird to say it after spending 10 days in the Holy Land.”

We talked about the eight-hour days of touring and learning, combined with not-the-best sleep coming off of jet lag and getting used to new beds. It didn’t leave much energy for getting up to have a quiet time with the Lord, and we were both missing that.

Made me think of the lady I saw in the old city of Jerusalem, down on her knees in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In front of her was a stone, where it’s thought Jesus was laid when they took him down from the cross. Next to her was a stack of white cloths, with a T-shirt store stamp of Jesus’ face on each one. She was grabbing cloths from the stack and rubbing them on the stone, while fervently praying something we couldn’t understand.

We speculated that the lady would be selling those cloths back home to people who desperately wanted a special connection to Jesus.

Is that what it takes?

I remember years ago when our good friends went to Israel and came back to tell about it. Somebody asked me then if I didn’t wish I could take the same trip. My answer was no, I didn’t care to. Didn’t feel like I needed to go to Israel to have some special experience with God.

Well, a week ago found me standing in the special places of the Bible stories—looking out on the same valley where David killed Goliath (note the picture of us at this site on this blog post), standing on Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal, looking at a first-century synagogue, by the Sea of Galilee, where it is highly likely Jesus would have spoken to the Jews on Shabbat.

And do you know what I thought each time?

Ah, so this is what it looks like.

And do you know what I felt?

Ah, so I was right. Seeing these things does not give me some increased feeling of intimacy with God but only gives me visual confirmation of what I have believed all along.

Because back in Wyoming, when I was a kid in a little Baptist church, I was watching my Sunday School teacher use a flannelgraph to tell us the story of David and Goliath.

And I was believing. With all of my heart I was believing that God used that little shepherd to kill a mighty giant with a stone.

I looked out the tour bus window as the guide said, “Look to your right, and there you can see the little stream where David would have picked up the stone.”

“Cool,” I said. “So cool to see.” But it didn’t change anything in my heart, because for so long—for decades—I had been opening up my Bible in the morning and reading all of these stories and leaning hard on the God who wrote them.

When our tour team sat in the beautiful garden, located outside of what is thought to be Jesus’ tomb, we celebrated the Lord’s Supper together. But back in the States I had remembered what Jesus had done on my behalf before I ever touched the rock wall or stepped my foot into the place where His body might have lain for three days.

So the preacher and I agreed that Israel was an indescribably rich experience, but our hearts longed for a quiet room in our own home and time spent intimately with Jesus.

Many times during our Israel trip, I thought of Jesus’ words for those of us who would come to him long after his appearance on earth:

“Blessed are those who have not seen, and have yet believed” (John 20:29b).

I highly recommend a trip to Israel, if you ever have the opportunity to go. But if it’s a deep connection with God you’re looking for, you can find that right where you are. Open your Bible and believe what you read. All of the locations and the stories and the truth are real. You don’t need to see Jerusalem or rub a stone or see some special place to know God.

Only your heart needs to travel.

See original article at christyfitzwater.com.

Christy Fitzwater is an author and pastor’s wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the author of Blameless: Living A Life Free from Guilt And Shame and My Father’s Hands: 52 Reasons to Trust God with Your Heart. Find her devotional writing at christyfitzwater.com.