The series of towns that make up the Hamptons are known for their bucolic look; endless, sandy beaches and luxurious mansions. It’s why New Yorkers make vacation escapes to the Hamptons. But, as many will agree, the Hamptons is also a popular celebrity getaway. From Alec Baldwin to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Beyonce, and Jay-Z—to Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos—the Hampton’s is something of a celebrity playground. As a result, any place that is colloquially equated to the Hamptons most probably exudes that upscale allure that the original is world-famous for.
Well, it turns out that Waiheke Island is just such a place. In this article, we shine the spotlight on Waiheke Island, showing why it’s known as the “Hamptons of New Zealand.” We also show why a trip to Australasia may not be complete without taking a detour to this little-appreciated paradise.
“Why Waiheke Island Is Known As The “Hamptons Of New Zealand”
Pronounced why-heck-ee, Waiheke Island has almost everything that the Hamptons is famous for. From the stunning beaches, the upscale look, and the celebrity allure, Waiheke looks like a perfect version of the Hamptons. Granted, it’s a little subdued and less flashy, but the rustic look and the secluded, picturesque landscape are broadly similar. And here’s one thing. Waiheke’s look may be less flashy, but it’s damn authentic. The whole island has a microclimate that’s pleasantly warm and dry, such as those in Florida’s finest beaches. And for its seclusion, with no glitzy, notable hotel brands like the Hiltons or the Marriotts, just a few small, stylish hotels, the whole area is blissfully Bohemian, serene, and laid-back, factors which make for a great, reclusive vacation destination.
And when one comes to the beaches, a distinctive feature of both spots, the scenic allure is still the same, even if not exactly identical. The reason is that the beaches at Waiheke are a bit rocky and bouldered, while Hampton beaches are not as rocky. But make no mistake. Waiheke Island beaches are almost as spotless (perhaps even more), as crisp, and just as lovely as their New York counterparts. To add to that, their emerald waters and their sparkling white, powder-soft sand would compare favorably with the best beaches in the Caribbean Islands or just anywhere else on the planet. And it’s not some small, tiny stretch. Waiheke Island boasts an impressive 144 kilometers of coastline that’s every inch breathtaking.
Here Are Other Factors That Have Made Waiheke World-famous
Regardless of its stunning beauty, Waiheke Island would never have been known as the “Hamptons of New Zealand” without its celebrity appeal. All over the world, many great cities have such spots, spots where the rich and famous secret themselves away for a while to soak in the sun, catch a romantic sunset with a special other (seldom alone), or just wind down from the glare of the cameras. Many of them go to the extent of purchasing luxurious mansions and ocean-front villas, finding it a tiny sum to pay for some of the finest views in the world. And so, Milan has its Lake Como and Cape Town its Llandudno. Tokyo, on the other hand, has its Shimoda. To Auckland, it’s Waiheke Island.
Despite being in the farthest east, thousands of miles from the bases of Western celebrities, Waiheke is something of a celebrity magnet. It has drawn such celebrities as Bill Gates, Beyoncé, and American pop icon, Justin Timberlake. Other celebrities who have stolen away to the secluded island include Madonna, Taylor Swift, and Lady Gaga. According to Mansion Global, while 10,000 people are permanent residents of the island, an additional 3,400 people own second or holiday homes. And then there are the wineries. This should not come as a surprise. Waiheke is famous for its high-quality red wines and is home to around 30 wineries, including the famous Mudbrick Vineyard which styles itself as the most romantic place on earth.
- How Much Is Wine Tasting At Mudbrick Vineyard? $50 per person with a minimum group size of 6 people.
Want To Visit Waiheke Island? Here’s What To Know Beforehand
For those not short on the dollar and are heading straight to Waiheke Island from a foreign destination, the best way to land on Waiheke is by helicopter from Auckland International Airport. However, taking a ferry from downtown Auckland to Waiheke is usually a cheaper option. It is also more practical for those making a detour at Auckland.
- How Long Does It Take From Downtown Auckland To Waiheke By Ferry? This trip will take about 40 minutes.
Of course, these ferry trips are breathtaking for the scenes and can’t compare to the traffic-jammed commutes from New York to the Hamptons. A ferry round trip is about $50. Here’s the thing. The “Hampton of New Zealand” looks like its New York counterpart with a little less glitz and shine but with a more authentic feel.