Secret Swims with Karen Walker on Waiheke
Designer and native New Zealander Karen Walker, who spends her holidays on Waiheke Island, gives Condé Nast Traveler her “summer hit list” for the magazine’s weekly edition of Summer Fridays – a weekly series in which the publication asks the “most interesting, well-travelled people we know” about what they’re doing this weekend.
“The general vibe [on Waiheke] is relaxed to the extreme,” Walker says, “If I were to compare it somewhere I’ve holidayed in the States,” she says, “I’d say it’s a little bit of a Montauk vibe, with better beaches and less hipsters … It’s simultaneously chic and chill.”
Walker’s ideal day on the island:
“I wake up early, do yoga, then have breakfast on the deck looking at the bay. Then I’ll go for a walk on Big Oneroa Beach, finishing with at least 15 minutes on the tire swing hanging from a gorgeous old pohutukawa tree. After that, I’ll grab coffee at Wai Kitchen, pick up a few supplies from Waiheke Fruit and Veg (terrific) and walk home for some reading or gazing out to sea. Then a cliff top walk down to Little Oneroa, sensational pizza from the Dragon Fire pizza truck. Wander home again, swim in the pool and then to The Oyster Inn for dinner. Walk home past the Island Gelato Company for the best gelato this side of Italy.
“There’s a secret wee bay nestled between Big and Little Oneroa that’s accessible only at low tide – unless you’re prepared to swim in. We’ll head around the rocks and spend the afternoon there with the beach entirely to ourselves swimming and reading.
“[The sensations that bring me back to summer are] the sight of pohutukawa in flower, the smell of garlic on the barbecue and sunblock and salt on the skin.”
Original article by Andrea Whittle, Condé Nast Traveler, July 7, 2017.