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About a 40-minute ferry ride off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, is Waiheke Island. The 12-mile-long island is dotted with multimillion-dollar mansions, vineyards and an abundance of seafood.

A vineyard on Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

Vineyards on Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

Monica Humphreys/The Insider



I landed in Auckland, New Zealand, with a few days to fill.

Waiheke Island kept popping up as I started chatting with the locals and looking for a way to spend that precious extra time.

A couple at the bar persuaded me to visit one of the many wineries on the island. Another lady thought I might like the pristine beaches of the island. If I knew the history, a man told me he thought the island’s abandoned WWII reserve was worth a visit.

I was persuaded. Obviously, so did others. According to statistics, the island has about 10,000 inhabitants and receives 900,000 tourists every year. Auckland Council.

Waiheke Island has also reportedly earned the reputation of New Zealand’s Hamptons for its multi-million dollar mansions and wealthy holidaymakers such as Bill Gates, Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. Fashion.

After hearing that Waiheke was touted for its wine, scenery and celebrities, I set out to explore the island myself for two nights.



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