Marino Ridge Web Blog 01:
Things We Recommend Doing From Here
1. Fall into our horizon lap pool, heated in season,
2. swim a while and absorb the vistas,
3. flop into the hot spa, discharge any stress,
4. soak up some rays on the sunbeds,
5. Start again at 1…
Bliss! Sheer bliss.
Having fallen into our pool, swum a while, flopped into the spa, soaked up some rays why not wander down to Isla’s Glen to relax some more and sit in various rustic seats we’ve made amongst the cool shading trees. Watch the fantails, the pairs of tui, marvel at the occasional Kereru native woodpigeon doing aerobatics in season (their bustling but beautiful visits are increasing in frequency as their food trees we’ve planted grow toward maturity), enjoy the tiny yellowhammers and kingfishers all flashing by in their glorious colours. Watch the sailboats and small cruisers meander in and out of the bay; enjoy the visits of their rubber ducks bringing their pooches ashore for a run. Experience the true tranquillity and calm of Marino Ridge.
Then (or before breakfast even), when it’s time to reactivate your rested bones, go the extra 75m to the beach and choose your coastal walk.
Go left for a beautiful coastal excursion past some lovely architecture and to enjoy the real magnificence of nature along the coastal edges. The trick with this walk is to recognise that you regulate its length by turning around at a given time. If you don’t turn around after say 30 minutes for the 30-minute return walk, you will simply end up in Matiatia Bay where the passenger ferry arrives. Just past the red house (ex-woolshed) is a driveway running up to the left which takes you to the main gate through which you entered the estate. 400 meters up you can then take the right fork and another 100 meters will get you home. That walk will take you about 75 minutes.
Go right - and 40-45 minutes later you’ll be in the village. The first hill is somewhat testing heart-lungs-legs wise, but from then with one short and moderate exception it’s downhill most of the way. Initially with very picturesque views over Owhanake Bay the tracks segues into open grassland then rural roadside en route to the gentle sands along Oneroa Beach. Turn up off the beach to the centre of the beautiful Oneroa Village. About 2.5km.
Return the same way, or by following Korora and Tiri Roads then Delamore Drive. About 2.9km. Or about $20 taxi.
Check the state of tide (ask me!). Leave us via the roadway towards the estate main gate at the end of Delamore Drive and then, if the tide is half or more out, about 25-30m from the main gate take the public track on the right to the beach below and, when there, turn left along the beach in the direction of the ferry terminal. If the tide is more than halfway in, don't take the path to the right but stroll slowly onwards another 500m to the top of the hill above Matiatia and the well-marked walking track just past the WW II lookout post and cookhouse, on your right. Be wary of traffic on those corners. Walk down to Oceanview Road leading to the ferry, then head across the road and along the beach front towards the Kayak Rentals.
You can decide if you’ll take the short and most direct route - in which case go left at the kayak shed onto the grassy field then past the old tavern ahead. Veer off right, leaving it and the car parking and rental operations on your left. After 50m on the path turn right up the clearly marked walking/tractor track to Nick Johnstone Drive. Otherwise, continue past the Kayak Rental and take the Te Arahura coastal track which continues at the far end of Matiatia’s beach, across the little bridge. You can turn off it onto the low, middle or high road walking tracks on the way to intersect that tractor track at different point along that main track. These are the more interesting walks.
You can change your mind for an even longer stroll and go on past the high road intersection about 250m to where it touches Nick Johnstone Drive. Once up on the road head left and stroll/jog/run/sprint the 1.2km towards Cable Bay Winery. Fabulous views to the South en route...
Whichever way you go, please do ensure you follow the Kauri Dieback prevention processes - well marked at the entrance to each main track.
Once up the track – say 600m gentle rise - it’s 100m on to Cable Bay Winery and its beautiful Tuscan-like winescape, with Mudbrick and Jurassic Ridge 1km beyond…
Then… the REAL decisions! You must choose in which order you visit which winery: Jurassic Ridge is next beyond Mudbrick’s entrance and is a favourite of ours: fabulous Cabernet Franc, beguiling Montepulciano, Syrah to live for… His Sauvignon Blanc is from his Marlborough vines and is, well, spectacular. Mudbrick’s Velvet is always very interesting and reflects the winemaker’s art. Cable Bay brings its wines from various sites around New Zealand as well as from the island – again, some very interesting wines.
Our recommendation is as mentioned: stretch out that little extra at the beginning when you’re fresh and pop on over to Jurassic Ridge. After Jurassic Ridge visit Mudbrick’s cave - and enjoy a quick snack at their Archive Bar if you’re hungry. Or save yourself for Cable Bay’s Verandah Bar after your tasting there. Make sure you visit their Wine Library if it’s open. Fascinating.
The views are special, all slightly different, each reflects the character of the vineyard – how they’ve incorporated their views differently to create their special ambience - and the wines obviously reflect the changing geology even within that relatively tiny space. That change, sometimes almost row by row, the multiple microclimates affecting the terroir plus the small acreages available (forces winemakers to focus on quality to survive) helps explain why Waiheke’s wines stand so tall.