Waiheke Island Warming to Big Summer Season

Waiheke Island Guesthouse is about to experience the Lonely Planet effect.

Waiheke island, off Auckland's coast, has been named by the popular travel guide as the world's fifth best region to visit in 2016.

"The secret is out," Lonely Planet's marketing director Chris Zeiher wrote in the announcement of the top 10 "best in travel" destinations.

Waiheke Island not only offers secret coves, beautiful beaches, rolling vineyards and luxury lodges...but also eclectic bed and breakfast options such as Waiheke Island Guesthouse.

Waiheke Tourism Forum chairwoman Jenny Holmes said the Lonely Planet listing was a huge boon for the island.

On the international stage people have heard of places like Rotoroa and Queenstown, she said, but Waiheke "is perhaps not so well known so it's great to receive the international recognition. We are all really thrilled."

She said no-one on the forum wanted Waiheke to be highly developed.

"The main reason people come here is for the beauty and the beaches. We have to be careful to maintain that.

"Everyone is in agreement."

Waiheke Winegrowers' Association chairman Craig Biggs said he was not surprised by the accolade.

"I've recognised for a while that Waiheke provides a world class wine and food experience. The diversity of wineries we have provides a really exciting experience for our visitors.

"Waiheke has always been a summer destination but the shoulder periods are starting to get busier now and I'm sure it's a reflection of the quality of experience people have."

The island was ranked fifth by Lonely Planet behind Transylvania, Romania, West Iceland, Valle de Vinales, Cuba and Friuli's wine regions, Italy.

It was another major accolade for Waiheke after it was last week named the world's fourth best island by readers of Conde Nast travel magazine.

The top three islands, according to the reader's choice list, were Palawan in the Philippines, Bora Bora and Moorea, both located in French Polynesia.