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Island Trivia

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A page for incidental and whimsical facts about Waiheke

Do you know how many steps there are up Jacob's Ladder? Or down to Fisherman's Rock? Or how many power cuts the island had last year? Or the time it takes to get to the Barrier by tinnie? Or where there's a good feed of mussels? Add your miscellaneous tidbits of interest to the Island Trivia page.

Have a seat

Dozens of roadside seats have sprung up around the island in within a couple of years, as far out as past Cactus Bay even - and all built thanks to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor.

Penguin rescue

During the building of the new wharf at Matiatia in 1992, 13-year-old Tom Delamore came back from a soccer game in town to find diggers moving the rock wall. Tom was horrified at the imminent destruction of a nest of little blue penguin and, as a result of his protest, work ceased. The penguin were relocated to Tiritiri Matangi Island. Little Blue Penguin still live in the Matiatia seawall and can be heard at dusk.

Oh, Rhett

Legend has it Vivienne Leigh (Gone with the Wind) once visited the Harbour Masters house at Matiatia, coming to the island on board the Auckland mayor's yacht. The mayor had brought her to visit Fred Alison, the landowner at Matiatia.

Behind The Green Door

Local legend has it that the green barn down at Matiatia was once upon a time something far more entertaining than a mechanic's workshop. Can anyone remember the precise shenanigans that went on in there?


Among stars rumoured or proved to have visited the island during the first America's Cup to be raced on the gulf (2001?) were Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (true), and Jack Nicholson (maybe true - rumoured to have choppered in, landing on the rear deck of a super super yacht in Oneroa Bay). Lenny Henry and Dawn French definitely did spend some months here, hidden away in a leased house at the bottom end but also seen chilling out with coffee at Salvage. Bill Gates came ashore at Little Oneroa for supplies (true). He was recognised by teenager Eric Hillman who said hello and Bill shook his hand. More recently Justin Timberlake was seen walking along Onetangi Beach. Apparently Neil Young once had his hair cut in Oneroa and Noam Chomsky has also visited our fair isle. Leonard Cohen was spotted in Salvage in 2008.

Celebrity weddings on Waiheke have included rugby internationals Zinzan Brooke, Jonah Lomu and Glen Marsh, and television presenter Wendy Petrie.


Seahorses live under the wharf at Matiatia, a fact confirmed by island diver Sid Thickpenny. They have been seen living in an old shopping trolley. All sorts of other miscellaneous bits and pieces, many dropped by accident, lie under the wharf.

Seahorses have also been recently seen by numerous people in Enclosure Bay for the first time in decades.

No Sheep Shaggers Here

Apparently the act of sheep shagging is not permitted.

Sign on Man O War Road just off Waiheke Road

Manganese mine

Manganese/Manganite was mined in the late 1800s in the Maunganui area, on the Awaawaroa side of Mt Maunganui, the summit of which is the highest point on Waiheke (231 metres).

Slumming It

Graeme Hart, who tops the New Zealand rich list, was seen slumming it with Waiheke commuters on the Quickcat. Must have been too windy to run his helicopter or is he concerned about his carbon footprint.

Speed dating at 6 am

see [[1]]

Streets and Roads

Some interesting facts about Waiheke's Street Listing. There are 163 named roads on Waiheke. The most popular letter for the name is M with 19 , followed by T with 18 and W with 13. There are no roads/streets at all that start with the letter I, X, Y or Z. The most surprising of those is the I in that Waiheke Island has a Waiheke Road but no Island road. Could be one for a future development.

Queue Jumping

Queue jumping for many Waiheke Islanders waiting for the ferry range from casual to well practised art.

Types of Jump

The dunny jump - pretending to go to the loo The rubbish jump - taking rubbish to the bin at the front of the queue. The pretend visitor jump - Is this the Ferry to Waiheke? Smokers Jump - Walking to front of queue to put cigarette out.

feel free to add more... Buffalo Girls - Going around behind the toilets.