Katherine Brennan, a Flight Centre Marketing Executive recently took a trip to Auckland. After exploring the sights of New Zealand's largest city, she decided to take a ferry across to Waiheke Island. Katherine booked her tour with Ananda Tours and was met by her guide Jenny, owner and long time resident, when she stepped off the ferry.
"After admiring some stunning views, the group visited Rangihoua Estate, a primary grower and producer of premium extra virgin olive oil. It's a family owned business so their daughter showed us how olive oil is made. We learnt how to pick a good one, how to look after your oil and sampled their range. I bought a bottle of their signature brand that is rated by Italians as one of the world's top 10."
"Waiheke is also known as the 'Island of Wine' as it has around twenty wineries on a relatively small island. We were keen to check-out a couple and the great thing about a tour is that you can sample some wine, relax and really enjoy the experience as you don't have to drive yourself or worry about getting lost. The first winery we visited was Obsidian Vineyard. The tasting was outside in a wonderful spot at the bottom of a valley. It was great to be out in the fresh air. It was all so very lush and green."
"Our last stop was Mudbrick Estate. We sampled their premium wines and really enjoyed talking with a local who told us about each one in fantastic detail. A romantic lunch in the restaurant easily filled the rest of the afternoon. The view from our table was spectacular and the food just as much. We felt a million miles away even though the restaurant was packed. Waiheke encompasses all my favourite things - wine, food and beaches."