Considered a haven of stunning vineyards, olive groves, and beautiful beaches, Waiheke is an island paradise in the Hauraki Gulf, just a short ferry ride from Auckland in New Zealand. This beguiling tourist destination offers plenty of places where you can indulge in NZ’s fresh Pacific Rim cuisine, dozens of high-quality vineyards producing world-class wines, and laid-back cafés where you can enjoy your morning coffee while soaking up the relaxed, laid-back vibe. Waiheke Island is also considered a homeland of artists and artisans and is brimming with beautiful galleries, workshops and craft boutiques for you to discover.
Explore The Island
There is a great range of activities and attractions available on Waiheke that you can enjoy with your family and friends.
If you’re keen to get out and explore the natural environment, there are plenty of walking trails that meander along picturesque cliff tops and into the cool enclaves of native forests. For history buffs, the Stony Batter walkway leads to a fascinating system of gun emplacements and underground tunnels that were used during World War II.
Beach lovers should head straight to Oneroa, Palm Beach, and Onetangi beaches, which are definitely highlights of this gorgeous island. These pristine stretches of soft white sand & turquoise waters are perfect for a refreshing swim, water sports, or a relaxing picnic under the sun.
Getting around by bicycle is a wonderful way to experience the relaxed vibe and local culture of the island. You can easily rent a bike once you arrive, and enjoy a self-guided or guided bike tour to some of the most popular spots on Waiheke.
For the more adventurous, head to EcoZip Adventures where you can enjoy the thrill of flying fox ziplines and eco-immersive forest walks. Alternatively, book a Fly & Dine experience where you can get a birds-eye view of Waiheke during a scenic helicopter flight, before indulging in some mouthwatering, world-class dining.
Taste The Wine
Waiheke Island attracts travellers and holidaymakers from all over the world, but what really puts this island on the international map is wine. The ideal Mediterranean climate and the philosophy of local winemakers, to produce low quantities of extremely high-quality fruit, has resulted in a host of award-winning wines. Here, you can choose from over thirty boutique vineyards dotted across the island, each of them boasting its own unique flavour and history.
Head out to Stonyridge Vineyard and discover the taste of the most expensive and sought-after red wine in the country. If you are also keen to visit one of the most beautiful wineries in Waiheke, check out the rustic and Italian-inspired Mudbrick Vineyard. Finally, known for its timeless and intriguing wines, Obsidian Vineyard is also a great addition to your itinerary.
Where to Eat
Although Waiheke is known as the “Island of Wine”, it also has a well-deserved reputation for great food. From popular restaurants in vineyards to the lesser known dining destinations serving fresh, locally grown produce, Waiheke Island will definitely excite your palate.
One of the best restaurants on the island is located in Miro vineyard, close to Onetangi Beach. Along with impressive views, Casita Miro offers a delicious tapas menu paired with a selection of Spanish sherries that make for a memorable dining experience. For another relaxed dining option, pay a visit to Wild on Waiheke. Aside from the sumptuous food and wine, this charming winery also has their own brand of craft beer made from a microbrewery nestled between the vines.
Another great option is Dragonfired, a small black food trailer in the car park at Little Oneroa beach that offers artisan, wood-fired pizza delights made from wholesome locally produced ingredients. Widely thought of as the best takeaway spot in Waiheke, their pizzas, calzones and pocket breads are best enjoyed right on the beach.
Where to Stay
Complete your getaway on Waiheke Island with the perfect place to stay. We’ve hand-picked some of the best luxury holiday homes on the island to make your planning a lot easier.
Offering stunning views of the ocean, Church Bay Estate and Fossil Cove Estate are perfect for a relaxing family getaway. For smaller groups, stay at The Sanctum, Hauraki Villa or Woodside Bay Estate. Sit back and relax on the outdoor deck overlooking the bay at Oneroa Bay Vineyard Estate – ideal for larger groups of up to 16 guests.
Waiheke Island is an easy 35-minute ferry ride from the centre of Auckland. Several ferries run throughout the day from early morning to almost midnight on weekdays. Schedule times may vary during weekends and public holidays. If you are planning to take a car to Waiheke, vehicle ferries are available. In addition, you can take a scenic helicopter flight to the island if you are looking for a quick and luxurious getaway while overlooking the other islands of Hauraki Gulf.
Looking for more options? Our range of unique and luxury accommodation options on Waiheke Island will suit your needs. Get in touch with one of our Getaway Specialist and start planning your getaway.
Image Credit: Adam Bryce, Miles Holden, Matthew Crawford & Camilla Rutherford