It’s a New Year and Christmas is just a memory. The tree is down, the cake eaten, and it’s time to go back to work, which for many means resuming the daily commute.
The island heaves with the additional thousands of summer visitors and it is possible to visit the park at Little O, and not actually see anyone you know.
The queues in the island’s single supermarket are lengthy, as they are in the Oneroa petrol station as well. Oneroa village is busy with retail businesses and cafes enjoying increased trade over summer. Summer is also a good time of year for Waiheke Island tour and activity operators, accommodation providers, wineries and restaurants.
Usually quiet beaches have become well populated, dotted with brightly coloured umbrellas and beach towels, while bathers in the water enjoy a respite from the heat. Yes, it’s summer on Waiheke Island, and for the large part it has been very hot and very dry.
For residents this means keeping an eye on the water tank levels – due to high demand deliveries are currently taking 4 days. Mosquitoes are another problem particularly during the warmer months, so in our house we’ve put up our mosquito nets to prevent getting eaten alive while we sleep.
Being mindful of the harsh New Zealand sun, I have put up every type of shade cover available: umbrella, gazebo and shade sail to create safe areas for the kids to play outside, and putting on sun cream has become a ritual. Tog bags are ready and waiting so we can head of to the beach at a moments notice.
As most locals do, we have our favourite beach. Palm Beach is at the top of our list as it offers everything we need: a safe beach, children’s playground, green space, some shade, BBQ’s, public toilets, and a few minutes walk away, a good fish and chip shop and diary selling ice creams. Parking spaces are plentiful along Palm Road and at each end of the beach, and the bus route runs down Palm Road as well, making this beach an accessible destination for visitors without a car.
This summer on Waiheke Island there is plenty to do and see, lets hope that the hot weather continues during the day, however, it would be fantastic to get a few heavy rain showers overnight to keep those tanks full.