A forty-minute ferry ride from Central Auckland, Waiheke is one of the many islands in the Hauraki Gulf. It’s a popular place with daytrippers and the third most populated area of New Zealand after the North and South Islands.
The convenient proximity to the city means Waiheke residents can comfortably commute to work, and many do.
Waiheke means cascading or ebbing water in the Maori language, and interestingly the temperatures are slightly higher than the Auckland region, which makes it ideal for growing grapes and olives.
Initially, when I started writing Maverick Lovers, I was going to set my romance in one of the country towns that surround Auckland. One day when I was thinking about my setting, the idea of using Waiheke came to me, and I ran with the idea. Waiheke turned out to be perfect, giving my characters a sense of isolation, yet maintaining the small-town feel I was aiming for.
While my characters are busy sorting out their lives, they do get to go wine-tasting, to the beach, and involve themselves in local events like the weekly Farmers’ market.
If you’re interested in visiting Waiheke, these are some of the things you might like to do:
1. Go walking on one of the many walking tracks on and around the island.
2. Check out the art galleries or perhaps the sculpture walk.
3. Go wine-tasting!
4. Try some of the fantastic restaurants, many of which are part of the various vineyards.
5. Visit one of the many beaches to relax, swim, or go bird watching.
6. Water sports – diving, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming.
7. Try out the zip-line (This is relatively new and something I want to try.)
8. Go olive oil tasting.
10. Visit Stoney Batter – the remains of a World War Two gunnery installation.
Not visiting New Zealand soon? No problem! Go armchair visiting to Waiheke and check out Maverick Lovers.
Maverick Lovers, Friendship Chronicles 6, is due out on 1 Jan 2020. Here is the blurb:
Finding and satisfying one lover is difficult…
Adding a second to the equation is an impossible challenge
Christina: her life is spiraling out of control. Her job, her friends, and her family relationships are slipping through her fingers, leaving her achingly alone and staring into the eyes of the black dog of depression. She claws her way free, and finally, a bright spot—she reconnects with a childhood friend. Not a boyfriend, but wow! That’s the way her mind is marching now, straight to Mr. Sexy Pants.
Gabriel: he’s seeing the success he’s worked for after his parents kicked him from their home for something he didn’t do. Christina’s arrival makes him happy, makes him consider a future, a family, then Aidan arrives home. Off-balance because he has feelings for each of them, Gabriel screws up both relationships. Go him!
Aidan: Tired of traveling and clawing his way to the top, he’s come home to claim Gabriel, the man he has always loved. The only problem—while Aidan was running away, Gabriel has moved on with his life. Prepared to fight, he can’t hate the gorgeous yet troubled Christina as much as he wants.
Three lost lovers battle their way to a committed relationship that shouldn’t be possible but has the potential to cement them into a solid and unconventional team.
Learn more here or pre-order https://shelleymunro.com/books/maverick-lovers/
One of the many walking tracks on the island.
Most of the vineyards on Waiheke Island have gorgeous views over the Hauraki Gulf or the Auckland region.
The beaches are lovely. Some are sandy while others are rocky. They’re perfect for exploring, swimming, and other water sports or you can just relax with a picnic and a bottle of wine.
And finally, this is a view of Auckland city from the ferry on returning after a busy day on Waiheke Island. Visit for the day or stay longer. I guarantee you’ll have fun!