Waiheke Winter Wonderland

Miya came for a visit in the little ‘roost’ that I made above the house at Palm Beach

It’s been a long time between blogs. The reason has mainly been, we didn’t cruise this winter. We stayed in a beautiful house near the beach on Waiheke Island – our first time living on land for 6 years. We need to do some serious repairs on Qi, so instead of dipping into our cruising kitty, we decided to work for a while to pay for it. Living on land is expensive. Living on the boat is so much cheaper and we’re happy to return to our nomadic lifestyle, but it was wonderful being on Waiheke and our time here has created some beautiful memories.

Our little house at the beach. It was only 40m from the beach and had gardens all the way up the back, (not that we could get up there in the winter with the slippery mud!)

Waiheke is a beautiful island with only a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland. 32 wineries and criss-crossed with walking tracks, Waiheke offers a unique escape from the fast-paced city life only a few miles away.

Only a 40 minute ferry ride and we were downtown Auckland.

I worked for a few months at a local school and managed to save a bit of cash, however, the New Zealand winter chilled my bones and I had a constant cold so I only worked for a few months. Our first real winter in six years was quite a shock to the system. Weekends hiking around the hills brought me back to life.

During my stint working, we had a trivia night. Our crowd went as the characters from Beauty and the Beast. I loved the young teachers at our school. So full of fun.


Qi in Owhanake Bay. We had lots of lovely walks from this bay and could walk into town in 20 minutes.

Joining the locals on a Friday for a lunch prepared from all the donations from the local shops got me out and about. It was fun being in the kitchen watching the amazing results of unknown ingredients. I managed to meet a few other sailing ladies and had plenty in common to chat about.

Wonderful food and conversations happened during the cooperation of people from all walks of life as they came together at the Kai Conscious Cafe. It was about reducing waste. Keep Scrolling. For some reason there’s a gap. More pics below.






Living so close to Auckland, meant I could visit the grandsons a bit more often. It was wonderful to watch them growing and changing. Thomas is quite adored by the both of them too. I find a weekend of cuddles lasts me for a few weeks.

These guys are the best cuddlers in the world!!! It has been wonderful watching these guys growing up.


Spending some extended time in this beautiful country has allowed me to reconnect with my roots. I joined a waiata group and learned some Māori songs and Thomas and I were welcomed onto the local Marae during a pōwhiri, the traditional welcome.

Thomas standing next to one of the original navigators who came across on one of the big wakas. This is a carving in the Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island. I acknowledge the original carver and the island’s ancestors.

Just a few weeks before our return to the boat, we began getting island fever. Having done all the attractive hikes on Waiheke Island, we longed to spread our wings and explore further afield. Filling the house with flowers from the garden and harvesting my lettuces kept the pangs a little at bay, but only like a quick junkies’ fix. It cost nearly $200 to take the car over to the mainland, so our options were limited. We moved to the boat earlier than planned and left the house mainly vacant for the final two weeks.

A hike through a Nikau grove, New Zealand’s native palm, took us to this sweet waterfall. Unfortunately, when it’s hot in the summer, there’s no water for a swim.

Being back on the boat meant lots of cleaning and freshening up. Unfortunately, the temperature plummeted the night we moved back on the boat and we’d wondered if we’d been too hasty. It’s been warming up since. Got to love the mild New Zealand summer.

(Keeping this short so I can get a few more written. Still need to catch up on last summer)

I was able to catch up with Will at hockey. “I got a goal!” Got to witness his first goal.

Cousin Valerie turned up for a visit on their boat.

William came to clown around

My favourite boys came for a beach holiday at G-Ma’s

One of our favourite nephews came to visit. (Thomas getting his Māori on).

Matthias, an old pal of Thomas’ visited us from his home in Thailand. Lookout near the zip lines.

STRIKE DAY – I was proud to support the teachers here. The conditions are unacceptable.

I loved having at least three months of fresh flowers from the garden.

Palm Beach. A great surf could whip up when there was a good northerly swell.

The view from our daily hike. Great Barrier Island is under the fluffy cloud out there.

Our daily walk took us to this beautiful lookout.

Thomas ready for work in the real world.

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