Waiheke Island has been my home for more than 25 years. It’s a gem of a place and one that’s only just being discovered by RV travellers. The island has abundant attractions and is definitely one to add to the bucket list. However, the main reason few RVers visit this beautiful, accessible haven is because the island lacks the very facility most needed to justify the expense of the vehicular ferry crossing: a pump-out facility.

I’m glad we dropped that disclaimer in early, because you should not let this small handicap put you off a visit. Here in this magic place is a cornucopia of delights to entice almost every taste. Bush, beaches and waterfront barbecues abound. So, too, do restaurants, vineyards and retail experiences that will make you wonder why you haven’t heard all of this before. And best of all, depending on when you visit, you might get this fabulous place almost to yourself.

Matiatia Bay-half-hourly passenger ferries take just 35 minutes to reach Matiatia, Waiheke

Just recently I grabbed my camera and took myself off for a walk at Whakanewha Regional Park. I wandered for a while through the island’s only campground at Poukaraka Flats, but nary a soul crossed my path. Finally – just when I had given up hopes of sighting another human – I spied a pup tent pitched in a sheltered grove, and signs of a breakfast picnic at a nearby table. At the water’s edge, I stumbled on a young couple sitting on the grass, dipping their toes in the sea. A high tide lapped at the bank, where not a whisker of dry sand could be seen, only the freckled beach beneath a chiffon overlay of crystal-clear water.

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