15 January 2013

Waiheke Island anytime, but February is best!

Waiheke Island sits like an anchor in the waters just off Auckland: a destination for many, home to approximately 8500 people, many of whom commute to jobs in the city via regular passenger ferry service.

One of the reasons I love Waiheke is because I can get there without fighting traffic. Just a short ferry trip and I'm away, on an island retreat that feels worlds away. Other reasons include the amazing views, fresh air, eclectic feel and slightly better climate than Auckland itself.

While Waiheke is a terrific destination just about anytime, February is my favourite time as its ideal to view and experience the headland Sculpture on the Gulf installations.

From the headland Sculpture on the Gulf website~ 

Enhanced by a magnificent landscape, headland Sculpture on the Gulf is considered New Zealand’s premier contemporary outdoor sculpture exhibition.
Thirty new large-scale sculptures from established and emerging artists will be exhibited along a spectacular 2.5km coastal walkway on Waiheke Island.
Works have been chosen from over 100 submissions by a panel of selectors chaired by John Gow (co-founder of Sculpture on the Gulf andConnells Bay Sculpture Park), Sue Gardiner of the Chartwell Trust and Lara Strongman, an independent curator from Christchurch.  The judge for the awards, who will work independently of the selectors, is Rhana Devenport, Director of the Govett Brewster Gallery in New Plymouth.
2013 marks the tenth anniversary and to celebrate this milestone, a much expanded Waiheke ‘experience’ awaits visitors with the introduction of the new Pavilion at Matiatia Bay.
Open daily from 8.30am this iconic Auckland event runs for three weeks at the height of summer and should be a “must do” on your summer calendar.
The artwork is of a very high calibre and kept so by the competitive nature of the opportunity. It is enhanced by the unique and well-thought out positioning of each piece with amazing backdrops of sea, beach, grassy hillsides or bright wide sky. Many pieces are worthy of quiet consideration which is easily managed by sitting comfortably and enjoying the space.

Waiheke also offers amazing beaches, birds and hiking trails, every level of accommodation and several great dining options. Check out the Waiheke information; booking i-site, Fullers or Sealink ferries and the headland Sculpture on the Gulf websites. Taxis, buses, scooters and bicycles provide transport on Waiheke. Shuttle buses provide access to the start of the sculpture trail. 

Bring sunscreen, jackets and a water bottle. Sensible walking shoes are necessary too.

The NZ Herald features articles on Waiheke periodically for up-to-date local news. 

Latitude (DMS): 36° 47' 60 S Longitude (DMS): 175° 5' 60 E
The 175th meridian passes through the island.
Only 17km from central Auckland, Waiheke is an easy 35-40 minute ferry ride from the city's downtown piers. It is the second largest island in the Hauraki Gulf, after Great Barrier Island.

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