Isle de Waiheke

I spent the last few days on Waiheke Island with the whanau. Man, it was hot. It didn’t feel like Auckland – more like a tropical island.

While Waiheke is rapidly being overrun by holiday homes and vineyards, there is still a core of residents, many of whom look like they live there because they cannot, for whatever reason, live in a city.

Waiheke has several Old Waiheke Men. Their look usually consists of a long grey or white beard, messy hair, a threadbare singlet, rainbow-coloured shorts, tanned, leathery skin, and bare feet.

While there is a parking warden, locals do not like getting tickets. One guy dramatically ripped up his parking ticket on the main street (or at least attempted to, because it was made of that thick plasticy paper. Another guy attempted to sweet talk his way out of getting a ticket for an expired WOF, but when that didn’t work, he switched to verbally abusing the warden, before angrily driving off. Yeah, that’ll work.

There are lot of Waihekeans sporting tattoos that were en vogue in the mid ’90s. I saw one guy with an elaborate Nine Inch Nails tattoo, another guy with a Celtic snake wrapped around his arm, and many many of those thorny armband tattoos.

But for both locals and visitors, there was Sculptures on the Gulf. I trekked up and down and around looking the 2007 selection of sculptures, and I was very impressed. See hot pics at Flickr.

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