Category:Wine regions of New Zealand
Pages in category "Wine regions of New Zealand"
The following 17 pages are in this category, out of 17 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 17 pages are in this category, out of 17 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Bannockburn, New Zealand – Bannockburn is a small historic gold mining town located outside of Cromwell in Central Otago, New Zealand. The area was first made known as a rich alluvial gold field and was mined extensively in the 1860s, today, these climate conditions make Bannockburn the home of many vineyards and stonefruit orchards. The plans for the settlement began in 1862, as a result of miners being forced upstream from rising levels in the Clutha. Though the area was settled around this period, the population was not stationary, as miners followed gold up the creeks, the settlements tended to follow, and by 1868 the original settlement had been strung out along what is now the Bannockburn-Nevis road. Water during this period was a resource, not just for mining. Evidence of the water system that once existed is spread throughout the landscape. Multiple dams, feed a system that extends from high on the nearby Carrick range down to the abandoned sluicing sites. Tippets Dam was one of, if not the largest of these reservoirs, the water has since been redirected for horticultural and viticultural use and the sluicings rest dormant on land belonging to the Department of Conservation. Wine in this region, like the majority of Central Otago, focuses primarily on Pinot noir, suited to the dry climate, the climate of Bannockburn epitomizes that of the Central Otago wine region and claims some of the highest temperatures and lowest rainfall in the area. The area is limited by geographical constraints to relatively small outputs, several internationally renowned vineyards exist within a small radius producing wine that is distributed often to an international base. Domain Road, Akarua, Bannock Brae, Felton Road, Mt. Difficulty, Kingsmill, Terra Sancta and Desert Heart are among a few of the internationally known vineyards in this area
2. Canterbury Plains – The Canterbury Plains are an area in New Zealand centred to the south of the city of Christchurch in the Canterbury Region. Their northern extremes are at the foot of the Hundalee Hills in the Hurunui District, the Canterbury Plains were formed from quaternary moraine gravels deposited during glacial periods in the late pleistocene approximately 3 million years to 10,000 years ago. The alluvial gravels were then reworked as shingle fans of several of the rivers, notably the Waimakariri, the Rakaia, the Selwyn. Part of the Canterbury-Otago tussock grasslands the land is suitable for moderately intensive livestock farming, at these times, the weather phenomenon known as the Norwest arch can be seen across much of the plain. Most of the population of Canterbury lives in a series of large and small towns arranged northeast to southwest along the plains, connected by State Highway 1 and these include Christchurch, Ashburton and Timaru, and the smaller Kaiapoi, Dunsandel, Rakaia, Temuka, and Glenavy. Other towns on the plains include Rangiora, Leeston, Lincoln, Darfield, Geraldine, Methven, the extremely rare weevil Hadramphus tuberculatus is endemic to the plains
3. Central Otago wine region – The Central Otago wine region is the worlds southern-most commercial wine growing region. Central Otagos best-known wines are its Pinot noirs, but many white wine varieties are also popular, the Central Otago Wine Region is the formal geographic indication for wines grown in Central Otago. Late in the century, the New Zealand government hired a winemaker to survey the country. While this early experimentation showed the potential of the region. By 1980 sufficient experience and confidence had been gained for small scale commercial plantings to be made, vineyard planting and production remained modest until the middle of the 1990s when the industry began to expand rapidly. In 1996 there were just 11 wineries in the Central Otago region, according to New Zealand Winegrowers, by 2004 this had risen to 75 wineries and 16. 2%. Over the same period, the planted with vines rose from 92 hectares to 1,062 hectares. 5% of the New Zealand total in 1996. At around 300 metres elevation, Central Otagos vineyards are protected from New Zealands characteristic maritime climate by high mountains up to 3,700 metres and they thus have the only true continental climate zone in the country, with large daily and seasonal temperature extremes. Heavy frosts are common throughout winter and, indeed, frost can occur at any time between March and November, one of Central Otagos warmest wine growing areas can be found just north of the Lowburn Inlet area. The climatic contrast between Central Otago and the humid, warmer wine regions of the North Island can be illustrated by the difference in the timing of the grape harvest. The structure of the soil also differs considerably from other wine growing regions of the country, with deposits of rough-edged mica. This soil drains easily, and given that most vineyards are positioned on hillside slopes, Pinot noir is the leading grape variety in Central Otago, estimated to account for some 70% of plantings. The other 30% of production comes from Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Pinot gris, sparkling wine is made in the traditional style from Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes. The Central Otago wine region is broken into multiple sub regions, each with its own climate, bannockburn is on the southern banks of the Kawarau River near Cromwell and is a very warm area that was known by gold miners as “the Heart of the Desert”. Grapes ripen early on sandy, silty loam soils, the elevation ranges from 220 to 370 metres. Bendigo lies east of the Clutha River and Lake Dunstan, with grapes planted at both elevation and high elevation terraces. This warm area has semi arid soils at depths, with free draining soils at the lower levels. The Bendigo sub-region includes the vineyards at Tarras and Maori Point, Gibbston is a tight valley enclosed by mountainous terrain
4. Cloudy Bay – Te Koko-o-Kupe / Cloudy Bay is located at the northeast of New Zealands South Island, to the south of the Marlborough Sounds and north of Clifford Bay. The area lends its name to one of the best known New World white wines although the grapes used in production of wine are grown in the Marlborough wine region further inland. The bay faces Cook Strait, stretching north-south over a distance of 30 kilometres from the extremity of the Marlborough Sounds to White Bluffs. Along its length is the delta of the Wairau River, which reaches the sea at two points, the southern of these forms an entrance to the Big Lagoon, just to the north of White Bluffs. The central point is known as the Wairau Diversion, there is also a popular swimming beach to the north known as Whites Bay. It also has a large subdivision consisting of high quality homes within the central part of Cloudy Bay nearer to the coastal man-made river which is known as the Wairau Diversion. This subdivision includes high quality homes along the beachfront and also includes inland housing areas, archaeological excavations at Wairau Bar indicate that Māori were living there in the moa-hunter period about 1288 to 1300 for a period of about 20 years. This is the oldest and best researched site of early Polynesian settlement in New Zealand, Cloudy Bay was named by Captain James Cook on 7 February 1770. Sealers first visited about 1826 and set up stations at Port Underwood and they were followed by whalers with John Guard setting up a whaling station at Port Underwood in 1828 with his ship the Waterloo. By 1840 there were approximately 150 Europeans in the area, probably the largest concentration in the South Island at that time. Between 1829 and 1832 the Waterloo made three trips to Sydney per year selling seal skins, flax and whale oil and returning with supplies. In 1832 Guard installed Capt Hall as a new master in the Waterloo, on 17 June 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by South Island chiefs at Horahora-Kakahu Island, just off-shore from Port Underwood. It was being transported around the New Zealand coast by the Herald
5. Gibbston, New Zealand – Gibbston is a community in the Gibbston Valley which is part of the Wakatipu Basin in the Otago region of the South Island, New Zealand. Through the valley runs the Kawarau River which forms the Kawarau Gorge, the most visible aspect of the area are the vineyards and wineries next to SH6 which form part of the Central Otago wine region. The Gibbston Valley is the coolest and highest of the Central Otago regions with the majority of land sloping to the north. This northerly aspect greatly assists vineyards to grow grapes because of increased sunlight and with a possibility of frost. It was voted community of the year in 2011 due to the work on the Gibbston River Trail, often Gibbston is incorrectly called Gibbston Valley or Gibbston Flats due to the land being the only flat usable land in the Kawarau Gorge. Grape varieties grown in the include, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling. Lesser known are the varieties of Gamay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Gibbston Valley & Queenstown Vineyards and Wineries
6. Gisborne District – The Gisborne District or Gisborne Region is an area of northeastern New Zealand governed by the Gisborne District Council. It is named after its largest settlement, the city of Gisborne, the region is also sometimes referred to as the East Cape, although that also refers specifically to the promontory at the northeastern extremity. More recently, it has been called Eastland, although that can also include Opotiki in the eastern Bay of Plenty to the northwest, and Wairoa to the south. Its Māori name, Te Tai Rāwhiti, means the Coast of the Sunrise, the district is located in the northeastern corner of the North Island. It ranges from the Wharerata Hills in the south, which divide it from the Wairoa district in the Hawkes Bay region, the western boundary runs along the Raukumara Range, which separates it from the Opotiki district. In the southwest, its boundary runs along the edge of Te Urewera National Park. It is sparsely inhabited and isolated, with small settlements mainly clinging to small bays along the shore including Tokomaru Bay. Three-quarters of the population –36,100 – lives in the city of Gisborne, no other settlement has a population of over 1000. The largest other settlements are the towns of Tolaga Bay and Ruatoria, inland, the land is rough, predominantly forested, hill country. A spine of rough ridges dominates the centre of the region and this mountain is the fifth highest mountain in the North Island, and the highest that is not a volcano. Regarded as sacred by the Māori, there is some justification to the claims that this is the first mountain to see the sun in summer. The regions population has higher than the average proportion of Māori - over 50% in some areas -. The predominant iwi are Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Gisborne District Council is a unitary territorial authority, which means that it performs the functions of a regional council as well as those of a territorial authority. It includes a mayor,13 elected councillors, a chief executive officer,4 department managers. Its headquarters are in the city of Gisborne, the area it governs is constituted as both the Gisborne District and the Gisborne Region. Gisborne District Council was created as part of a major reform of local government in 1989. It was the unitary authority in New Zealand until three others were created in 1992. The sub-national GDP of the Gisborne region was estimated at US$1.031 billion in 2003, the region is sheltered by high country to the west and has a dry, sunny climate
7. Hawke's Bay Region – Hawkes Bay Region is a region of New Zealand on the east coast of the North Island. It is recognised on the stage for its award-winning wines. Hawkes Bay Regional Council sits in both the cities of Napier and Hastings and it derives from Hawke Bay which was named by Captain James Cook in honour of Admiral Edward Hawke who decisively defeated the French at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759. The region is situated on the east coast of the North Island and it bears the former name of what is now Hawke Bay, a large semi-circular bay that extends for 100 kilometres from northeast to southwest from Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers. Five major rivers flow down into the coast of Hawkes Bay, from north to south, they are the Wairoa River, Mohaka River, Tutaekuri River, Ngaruroro River and Tukituki River respectively. Lake Waikaremoana is situated in northern Hawkes Bay roughly 35 km from the coast and it is the largest lake in Hawkes Bay, 4th largest in the North Island and 16th largest in New Zealand. In June 2015, the Local Government Commission proposed the amalgamation of the four local councils with the Hawkes Bay Regional Council and this proposal was rejected by the affected communities. The region has a hill with the longest place name in New Zealand, taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is an otherwise unremarkable hill in southern Hawkes Bay, not far from Waipukurau. The regions population is 161,500 as of June 2016,3.4 percent of New Zealands population, around 81 percent of the regions population lives in the Napier-Hastings conurbation. Below is a list of areas that contain more than 1,000 population. The region has a significant Māori population,24.3 percent of the population identified as of Māori ethnicity at the 2013 census, a major local Māori tribe is Ngāti Kahungunu. Around 50.5 percent of Hawkes Bays population affiliate with Christianity at the 2013 Census, Hawkes Bay Province was founded in 1858 as a province of New Zealand, after being separated from the Wellington Province following a meeting in Napier in February 1858. The Province was abolished in 1876 along with all provinces in New Zealand. It was replaced with a Provincial District, on February 3,1931, Napier and Hastings were devastated by New Zealands worst natural disaster, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter magnitude scale, which killed 256 people. Napier rebuilt and now the city is world-famous for its Art Deco buildings, MTG Hawkes Bay, formerly Hawkes Bay Museum and Art Gallery, has an exhibition on the earthquake, its causes and impact. The GDP of the Hawkes Bay region was estimated at US$4.3 billion in 2003, the region is renowned for its horticulture, with large orchards and vineyards on the plains. In the hilly parts of the sheep and cattle farming predominates. The climate is dry and temperate, and the long, hot summers, missionaries in the mid 19th century planted the first vines in Hawkes Bay and it is now becoming an important place for full bodied red wines
8. Kumeu – Kumeu is a small town 25 km north-west of the Auckland City centre in New Zealand. State Highway 16 and the North Auckland Line pass through the town, Huapai lies to the west, Riverhead to the north, Whenuapai to the east, West Harbour to the south-east, and Taupaki to the south. The population was 6,603 in the 2006 Census, an increase of 933 from 2001, the district was originally settled by immigrants from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, many of whom were part of traditional winegrowing families. At the 2006 Census, the income of people in the Kumeu area unit was $30,600. The unemployment rate in Kumeu was 2.9 percent, compared with 5.6 percent for Auckland, areas surrounding the Kumeu district produce labels such as Kumeu River, Coopers Creek and Soljans Estate Winery have gained a good reputation for their Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc wines. The wine growing district is the industry in both Kumeu itself and the smaller nearby settlements of Huapai and Waimauku. Kumeu River Wines, established in 1944, matua Valley closed its doors in 2016. Nobilos was established in 1943 by Nikola Nobilo and remained family owned until the late 1990s, now known as Nobilo Wine Group, the company is New Zealands second largest wine company. Soljans Estate Winery was established in 1932 in Henderson, West Auckland, as the company grew they later moved to Kumeu in 2002 The area is popular for lifestyle block farming and equestrian pursuits. The nearby localities of Woodhill forest and Muriwai Beach means it has strong recreational interests, since 1948 Kumeu has had a brass band, competing in many events, and playing in parades, concerts & private Functions, traditional & modern music for all occasions. The Kumeu Showgrounds are also the venue for the annual Auckland Folk Festival, the festival is generally held over the last weekend in January. The North Auckland railway line passes through Kumeu, and for six years the town was the terminus of the isolated Kumeu-Riverhead Section railway and this line linked Kumeu to Riverhead, where ferries ran to Auckland, and operated from 1875 until 1881. In 1881, the North Auckland Line reached Kumeu, making the town a railway junction and this status lasted a mere five days, the new railway from Auckland made the line to Riverhead redundant and it was accordingly closed. In June 2007 it was announced that rail services would be extended to Helensville in 2008, with temporary stations to be built at Huapai. The service commenced on 14 July 2008 for a trial period. The majority of highschool-aged students attend schools in surrounding suburbs, the closest secondary schools are Kaipara College, Massey High School, Liston College, Albany Junior High School and St Dominics College
9. Kurow – Kurow is a small town in the Waitaki District, New Zealand. It is located on the bank of the Waitaki River,60 kilometres northwest of Oamaru. At the 2013 Census, the town had a population of 312 people, the name is an Anglicised form of the name of the nearby mountain Te Kohurau. In the 1920s the town was the base for the building of the nearby Waitaki Dam, examples of pre-European Māori cave paintings are close to the small settlement of Duntroon. The land around the town includes summerfruit orchards, and increasing amounts of Pinot noir are being planted in the limestone soils. The town was the terminus of the Kurow Branch railway, opened in 1881 to Hakataramea, across the Waitaki River and it closed in 1983, the line can be traced on the ground, and the station still building stands on Liverpool St. From 1928 until 1937, a line owned by the Public Works Department ran from Kurow to the hydroelectric project 6.4 km to the west, notable people from Kurow include All Black captain Richie McCaw, All Black and rugby administrator Charles Saxton and mathematician Roy Kerr. From 1929 to 1934, Dr Gervan McMillan and his wife Ethel were residents of Kurow, with Dr McMillan running a medical practice
10. Marlborough Region – The Marlborough Region, commonly known simply as Marlborough, is one of the regions of New Zealand, located in the northeast of the South Island. Marlborough is an authority, both a region and a district, and its council is located at Blenheim. It has a population of 45,500, Marlborough is known for its dry climate, the picturesque Marlborough Sounds, and Sauvignon blanc wine. It takes its name from the earlier Marlborough Province, which was named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Marlboroughs geography can be roughly divided into four sections. Two of these sections, in the south and the west, are mountainous and this is particularly true of the southern section, which rises to the peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges. These two mountainous regions are the final vestiges of the ranges that make up the Southern Alps. Between these two areas is the long valley of the Wairau River. This broadens to wide plains at its end, in the centre of which stands the town of Blenheim. This region has fertile soil and temperate weather, enabling it to become the centre of the New Zealand wine industry, the fourth geographic zone lies along its north coast. Here the drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds make for a convoluted, the town of Picton is located at the southern end of one of the larger sounds, Queen Charlotte Sound. The town of Havelock is located at the end of the Pelorus Sound. Blenheim is the capital and largest town, with 30,500 residents. The major towns are, Wairau Valley Marlborough is administered by a unitary authority, between 1859 and 1876 Marlborough had its own provincial government, and was known as the Marlborough Province, which ended when the Abolition of the Provinces Act came into force on 1 Nov 1876. Much of the population is found around the coastal plains around and to the south of the mouth of the Wairau. Apart from the urban areas of Blenheim and Picton, Marlboroughs towns include Havelock, Renwick, Ward. Marlboroughs world-famous former residents include rocket scientist William Pickering and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ernest Rutherford, the sub-national GDP of the Marlborough region was estimated at US$1.193 billion in 2003, 1% of New Zealands national GDP. Marlborough can lay claim to starting the modern New Zealand wine industry, here in the late 1970s, Marlborough produced Sauvignon blanc, among other varietals, which led to confidence that New Zealand could produce interesting wine. Today, the Marlborough wine region represents 77% of total area in the country
11. Martinborough – Martinborough is a town in the South Wairarapa District, in the Wellington region of New Zealand. It is 65 kilometres east of Wellington and 35 kilometres south-west of Masterton, the town has a resident population of 1,600. John Martin is regarded as the founder and set out the first streets in the pattern of the Union Flag in the 19th century. Many of the streets are named after foreign cities visited by Martin. Before Martinborough was established the part of the region was known as Waihenga. A feature is the architecture, one example of which is the historic Martinborough Hotel. Prior to the expansion of viticulture, Martinborough was largely a rural town for nearby farms. Martinborough has a number of vineyards producing wines, notably Pinot noir. Martinborough has a warm micro-climate, with hills to the east and west, almost all the vineyards are in thin ribbons around the northern and eastern sides of the town, and on the Dry River to the south. All follow dry riverbeds, which provide appropriate soils for viticulture, during November, the regions wines are celebrated in the Toast Martinborough wine festival. This event temporarily enlarges the population by 10,000, other industries around Martinborough focus on traditional beef and sheep farming, growing olives, lavender and nuts, and fishing at the coast settlements of Ngawi and Cape Palliser. Tourism is an important industry for the town, and the centre is a good source of advice about accommodation, activities, wineries. There are numerous options for accommodation, from casual B&Bs to a five-star hotel, a vibrant shopping precinct exists with boutique shops. It is also home to the Martinborough Brewery, the town is home to the South Wairarapa District Council. The town offers education at a level at Martinborough Primary School
12. Nelson, New Zealand – Nelson is a city on the eastern shores of Tasman Bay, and is the economic and cultural centre of the Nelson Region. Nelson is the oldest city in the South Island and the second-oldest settled city in New Zealand, Nelson city is bordered to the west and south-west by the Tasman District Council and the north-east, east and south-east by the Marlborough District Council. The city does not include Richmond, the areas second-largest settlement, Nelson City has a population of around 50,000, making it New Zealands 12th most populous city and the geographical centre of New Zealand. When combined with the town of Richmond which has close to 14,000 residents, Nelson is well known for its thriving local arts and crafts scene, Each year, the city hosts events popular with locals and tourists alike, such as the Nelson Arts Festival. The annual Wearable Art Awards began near Nelson and a local museum, Nelson was named in honour of the Admiral Horatio Nelson who defeated both the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Many roads and public areas around the city are named after people and ships associated with that battle, inhabitants of Nelson are referred to as Nelsonians. Nelsons Māori name, Whakatū, means build, raise, or establish, in an article to The Colonist newspaper on 16 July 1867, Francis Stevens described Nelson as The Naples of the Southern Hemisphere. Today, Nelson has the nicknames of Sunny Nelson due to its high sunshine hours per year or the Top of the South because of its geographic location, settlement of Nelson began about 700 years ago by Māori. There is evidence the earliest settlements in New Zealand are around the Nelson-Marlborough regions, the earliest recorded iwi in the Nelson district are the Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Tumatakokiri, Ngāti Apa and Rangitane tribes. Raids from northern tribes in the 1820s, led by Te Rauparaha and his Ngāti Toa, soon decimated the local population, the New Zealand Company in London planned the settlement of Nelson. They intended to buy cheaply from the Māori some 200,000 acres which they planned to divide into one thousand lots, the Company earmarked future profits to finance the free passage of artisans and labourers and their families, and for the construction of public works. However, by September 1841 only about one third of the lots had sold, despite this the Colony pushed ahead, and land was surveyed by Frederick Tuckett. Three ships sailed from London under the command of Captain Arthur Wakefield, however, after some delay, Hobson allowed the Company to investigate the Tasman Bay area at the north end of the South Island. The Company selected the now occupied by Nelson City because it had the best harbour in the area. The Company secured a vague and undetermined area from the Māori for £800 that included Nelson, Waimea and this allowed the settlement to begin, but the lack of definition would prove the source of much future conflict. The three colony ships sailed into Nelson Haven during the first week of November 1841, within 18 months the Company had sent out 18 ships with 1052 men,872 women and 1384 children. However, fewer than ninety of the settlers had the capital to start as landowners, the early settlement of Nelson province included a proportion of German immigrants, who arrived on the ship Sankt Pauli and formed the nucleus of the villages of Sarau and Neudorf. These were mostly Lutheran Protestants with a number of Bavarian Catholics
13. Northland Region – The Northland Region is the northernmost of New Zealands 16 local government regions. New Zealanders often call it the Far North, or, because of its mild climate, the main population centre is the city of Whangarei and the largest town is Kerikeri. The Northland Region occupies the northern 80% of the 330 kilometre-long Northland Peninsula and it is bounded to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the east by the Pacific Ocean. The land is predominantly rolling hill country, farming and forestry occupy over half of the land, and are two of the regions main industries. Although many of the kauri forests were felled during the 19th century. New Zealands largest tree, Tane Mahuta, stands in the Waipoua Forest south of the Hokianga Harbour, the western coast is dominated by several long straight beaches, the most famous of which is the inaccurately named 88 kilometre-long stretch of Ninety Mile Beach in the regions far north. The slightly longer Ripiro Beach lies further south, two large inlets are also located on this coast, the massive Kaipara Harbour in the south, which Northland shares with the Auckland Region, and the convoluted inlets of the Hokianga Harbour. The east coast is rugged, and is dotted with bays. Numerous islands dot this coast, notably the Cavalli Islands, the Hen and Chickens Islands, Aorangaia Island, the northernmost points of the North Island mainland lie at the top of Northland. These include several points often confused in the mind as being the countrys northernmost points, Cape Maria van Diemen, Spirits Bay, Cape Reinga. The northernmost point of the North Island is actually the Surville Cliffs, close to North Cape, Cape Reinga and Spirits Bay do, however, have a symbolic part to play as the end of the country. In Māori mythology, it is here that the souls of the dead depart on their journey to the afterlife. Northland is New Zealands least urbanised region, with 50% of the population of 171,400 living in urban areas, Whangarei is the largest urban area, with a population of 56,400. The regions population is concentrated along the east coast. During the five-year period up to 2006, Northland recorded a growth of 6.0 percent. Northland includes one of the fastest growing towns in New Zealand, Mangawhai, the region of Northland has a sub-tropical oceanic climate with warm humid summers and mild wet winters. Due to its latitude and low elevation, Northland has the countrys highest average annual temperature, however, as with other parts of New Zealand, climate conditions are variable. In summer, temperatures range from 22 °C to 26 °C, in winter, maximum temperatures vary between 14 °C and 20 °C
14. Waiheke Island – Waiheke Island is in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. Its ferry-terminal in Matiatia Bay at the end is 21.5 km from the downtown terminal in Auckland—measured on GPS by Fullers Ferry captains. It is the second-largest island in the gulf, after Great Barrier Island and it is the most populated island in the gulf, with nearly 8,730 permanent residents plus another estimated 3,400 who have second or holiday homes on the island. It is New Zealands most densely populated island, with 95 people/km², and it is the most accessible island in the Gulf, with regular passenger and car ferry services, a Waiheke-based helicopter operator, and other air links. It is 19.3 km long from west to east, varies in width from 0.64 to 9.65 km, the coastline is 133.5 km, including 40 km of beaches. The port of Matiatia at the end is 17.7 km from Auckland. The much smaller Tarahiki Island lies 3 km to the east, the island is very hilly with few flat areas, the highest point being Maunganui at 231 m. The climate is warmer than Auckland, with less humidity and rain. There are many beaches, including, Oneroa Beach – The main beach. Little Oneroa Beach – A small secluded beach at the east end of Oneroa Beach, Palm Beach – Similar in shape to Oneroa Beach, it gets its name from the mature phoenix palms at the east end. Little Palm Beach – A small clothes-optional beach at the west end of Palm Beach, Blackpool Beach – The south-facing counterpart of Oneroa Beach, lining Blackpool and popular for kayaking and windsurfing. Onetangi Beach – A1. 87-kilometre long, north-facing beach lining Onetangi, for many years it has been the site of the Onetangi Beach Races. Its western end, often inaccessible at high tide, is clothes-optional and it has sandcastle building contests annually, participants have a few hours to build their creations in soft sand that is free of shells and suitable for digging. Cactus Bay – Considered by many Waihekeans as the most perfect beach and, with nearby Garden Cove, the beach is accessible only by boat or kayak, as its land access was blocked off by a private landowner. Shelly Beach – A small and well sheltered shell and stone beach located between Oneroa and Ostend and it has free BBQ facilities and a diving platform located just off shore. Its a popular choice with families as at high tide, it is very calm. Summers tend to be warm and humid, while winters are mild with frost being a rare event on Waiheke. It is often said by locals that Waiheke has a micro-climate which differs to that of other parts of the Auckland Isthmus