The secret is out – Waiheke Island has been named one of the world’s top 10 regions for next year in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016 publication.
The travel bible has dubbed the island the “playground of the gods” and ranked it number five in the “Top 10 Regions 2016” list, alongside Transylvania, West Iceland, Valle de Viňales and Friuli’s wine regions in Italy.
A jewel in Auckland’s crown
This is the 11th edition of the book, which covers the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year.
Mayor Len Brown says, “Aucklanders have always known Waiheke Island is one of the jewels in our crown and this accolade from one of the world’s leading travel authorities only echoes that sentiment.
“In 2014, Auckland was named in the Top 10 as one of the world’s best cities and it’s fantastic to now have Waiheke singled out as the only Australasian region to make the list,” he says.
“Waiheke is an electric, heady mix set against a Buddha Bar soundtrack: fast yet slow all at the same time – there’s nowhere else on earth quite like it.” - Chris Zeiher
Great for NZ’s tourism industry
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says this sort of recognition added weight to the city’s marketing efforts to attract domestic and international visitors.
“The tourism industry is one of New Zealand’s biggest export industries, is worth more than $5 billion a year to Auckland and supports more than 35,000 jobs,” he says.
An abundant offering
The Top 10 Regions 2016 were independently nominated by the authors, staff and travel community of Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel media company.
The chapter on Waiheke Island was written by Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher who has long been a fan of the region as a whole but made special mention of Ecozip Adventures, Mudbrick, Cable Bay, Oyster Inn, Wild On Waiheke and Fullers Vineyard Hopper.
"Waiheke has a diversity and quality of landscape, environment and community which makes it outstanding, and we celebrate recognition of this," said Paul Walden, chair of the Waiheke Local Board.
"This will be welcome news for our community who have worked hard over the past 30 years to develop a sustainable tourism economy for Waiheke. Our collective responsibility is to preserve this."
Read more about why Lonely Planet is calling Waiheke Island the playground of the gods.