As mentioned previously, my parents are back over here from the US for a few weeks visiting, which has been keeping us quite busy. The other day we did one of those quintessential Auckland experiences that I've never actually done, visiting Waiheke Island. Waiheke is about a half-hour ferry ride from downtown Auckland and home to 8,000 people. A sizable community lives over here in the Hauraki Gulf and it's a very popular holiday home and tourism destination. I've meant to go go over here for years but never quite got around to it (in the way you often don't visit the most touristy things in your hometown until you have out-of-town guests). We found a nice ferry/guided tour/bus pass package that worked out really well for a day's adventure. It's a beautiful rambling island, full of vineyards, beaches and greenery and with a nice "back in the bush" feeling with Auckland's skyscapers visible in the distance across the gulf.
In an Auckland spring you get about 40 different kinds of weather a week but fortunately the weather gods smiled on us for our day on Waiheke. Gorgeous clear skies, weather warm enough I regretted not bringing the swimming togs, and low winds. If there's anything finer in life than fish, chips and beer by the golden sandy beaches, I don't want to know it.