Located a short ferry ride from Auckland, the New Zealand island of Waiheke has developed into a top international luxury destination. With 62 miles of beautiful white beaches, a rich host of wineries and other cultural amenities, Waiheke property prices have not yet caught up to its value. See the following article from International Living for more on this.
Nothing beats island life, especially when you share your island with world-class wineries, oyster farms, restaurants and endless bustling cafes. All this, and you’re just 30 minutes away from the modern city of Auckland in New Zealand.
Thirty years ago the dramatically beautiful island of Waiheke, off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, was a remote location serviced by a slow ferry. It had one main general store, a local pub and a sprinkling of “Kiwi batches” (small vacation homes).
Fifteen years ago the first real surge started, with many locals selling their homes and land and the early birds from Auckland beginning to pour in. From here began the development of wineries—over 30. Soon after, suitable amenities arrived, giving the island total self-sufficiency with everything from medical centers to yoga clubs to hardware superstores.
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Connected by high-speed ferries 20 times a day, Waiheke is fast becoming an internationally-recognized luxury destination. It was recently featured in Frommers Top 12 World Destinations. But prices have yet to catch up.
In recent years the style of restaurants and gourmet stores has changed to serve a more discerning clientele. Future development is also taking a luxury direction with the planned arrival of the five-star Landmark hotel.
Waiheke has its own micro-climate—better than that of Auckland’s—with less rainfall and more sunshine. And this sub-tropical paradise, with 62 miles of beachfront, white sandy beaches, and sun-drenched vineyards, is home to some breathtaking real estate.
Aucklanders regularly leave the city for Waiheke’s beaches, restaurants, markets, bars and wineries, swelling its normal population of 8,000 to 30,000-plus during the summer.
This number climbs higher again during the many food, wine and music festivals that take place on the island throughout the year.
Thanks to the recent downturn in New Zealand real estate, it’s still possible to find some real bargains. The national market has started moving upward again, but there are still some owners of second and third homes who can no longer afford to hold their Waiheke retreats and are selling now at bargain prices.
For example, a sea-view cottage with one bedroom, ready for renovation or redeveloping and sitting on a quarter-acre of land lists for $178,000. This is an ideal way to build in areas like Waiheke, where raw land is hard to find.
This article has been republished from International Living.