From America, fly Air New Zealand or Hawaiian Air - both outstanding airlines. From Europe, fly Emirates, it doesn't get any better.
No matter what you fly, the distance works in your favour. You get onboard, they serve a meal, watch a movie or two, then get a full night's sleep; none of the redeye nonsense of transcontinental or crossing the Atlantic. Because the flights are longer, the airlines take a lot better care of you, even in coach.
When you arrive at Auckland International Airport (AKL), customs is efficient and polite. Declare all food though. Then it is your choice on how to get to the Central Business District. The Airbus is inexpensive and comfortable. Its last stop is the ferry terminal which makes it easy. Alternatively take a cab and tell them you want to go to the Fuller's Ferry Terminal in central Auckland. If you feel adventurous and want to rent a car for the rest of your holiday, remember that we are on an island, and it will cost about $150 to take the car ferry. Ask for directions to the Half Moon Bay terminal and use a GPS.
This is the view as you depart Auckland.
The ferry travels past protected islands - if you can, sit or stand outside. It will wash away the fast life as you go by Rangitoto, the dormant volcano, then Motu Tapu (Sacred Island) and arrive at Waiheke's Matiatia Ferry terminal.
If you are on the early boat, the colours are magnificent.
This is the view of the Casale from the road.
And as you pull in the drive.
The Guest cottage
Your choice of bedrooms
Your main room