Editors of a prestigious New York publication heave revealed they have spent a long year without travel dreaming of being on Auckland’s pleasure isle.
Waiheke was one of eight international destinations to make Conde Nast Traveler’s 2021 Gold List. Editors singled out the island as a “forever favorite” as they compiled their annual list of the world’s best travel experiences.
The short list was edited down from readers’ favourites and “the stuff we daydreamed about in lockdown… that sustained us in a year of curtailed travel”.
The glowing review said Waiheke was a “mini version of the country’s greatest hits”, parising its “golden sand beaches, wineries, and sheep-dotted hillsides.”
Among the vineyards Man o War gained special recognition with their syrah being among the tipples editor Erin Florio missed the most.
Waiheke, found itself alongside, three other international destinations in the gold list including, Rome and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, and the Caribbean island of St Barts.
America has developed a soft spot for the Hauraki Island since US Vogue described it as the “Hamptons of New Zealand” in 2017.
The island has attracting such high profile American holiday makers as Bill and Melinda Gates, Madonna, Justin Bieber, and Beyonce. US tennis ace Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian announced their engagement during a trip to the island.
Many on the island were hoping that the 36th America’s Cup sailing out of Auckland might rekindle the country’s US’s love affair with Waiheke. However, this was not to be.
US holidaymakers have been barred from the country, since New Zealand closed the door on international travel at midnight on 19 March due to the threat of the Covid 19 pandemic. With no sign of border restrictions easing, and the disease still rampant in the States all US travellers can do is dream of a trip to the Hauraki.
Still travel editor Florio said she would “fly all the way to New Zealand just to spend a single day on Waiheke Island.”