Waiheke Island is among Lonely Planet’s list of top ten destinations for 2016. The recently released list ranked it fifth in the list of best places to visit next year.

From Auckland, Waiheke Island is a 35-minute ferry ride away – an easy day trip well spent exploring one of the hottest regions for 2016. Here are three reasons why we think you should go!

Thriving Artistic Community

Waiheke Island is a creative haven, home to over 100 glass-blowers, sculptors, painters, woodworkers, and the like. You can see some of the sculptures showcased at the Connells Bay Waiheke Sculpture Park – an “invitation only” outdoor gallery. On our Luxury Across New Zealand and Wonders of New Zealand itineraries you’ll approach the park by seaplane for a bird’s eye view before seeing it on the ground.

Waiheke Island | Luxury New Zealand Travel | Connells Bay Sculpture Park | Ker Doweny

Island of Wine

Since the late 1970’s Waiheke Island has seen the growth of a flourishing wine industry, leading to its ‘Island of Wine’ nickname. It’s home to over 30 wineries producing award winning Syrahs, but Montepulciano, Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, and Viognier can also be found in the vineyards. On our journeys to New Zealand, you’ll discover the big Bordeaux-style reds of Stony Ridge and Mudbrick with a wine tour and tastings.

Waiheke Island | Luxury New Zealand Travel | Vineyards | Ker Doweny

Outdoor Playground

Waiheke Island is an adventure lover’s paradise with 57 square miles of sandy beaches, native bush, and seaside villages to explore. Take in the stunning landscape by mountain bike, sea kayaking, sailing, and zip-lining. There’s also a network of walking trails to wander through the nature reserves. No matter how you choose to explore the island, there’s something for everyone.

Waiheke Island | Luxury New Zealand Travel | Kayaking | Ker Doweny

Waiheke Island Dreaming

Looking for more inspiration for planning your trip to New Zealand? Be sure to check out our Ultimate New Zealand Bucket List. For more information or to get started planning your journey, contact your Ker & Downey Travel Professional.

To stay up to date on all of our online content, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.