Located 40 minutes from downtown Auckland by ferry – Waiheke is the perfect island to spend a day or two checking out its scenic beaches, wineries and outdoor activities.
♦ Getting to Waiheke. Departing regularly from downtown Auckland, Fullers will take you on a scenic cruise passing islands of the gulf on route to Waiheke’s Matiatia Wharf. A return ticket to the island will cost you $36 NZD per person.
♦ On arrival. At Matiatia Wharf there is a rest room and cafe. You will also be greeted by buses, tours and taxis which will help you towards your next destination.
♦ Transport on the island. Whilst booking your ferry ticket with Fullers you can also purchase an all day bus pass for $1o NZD. If you are looking for a carpark, bike, car rentals or even a kayak these are all based within walking distance from Matiatia Wharf.
♦ Art Trail. From the wharf its a 15 minute walk to Oneroa Village where you will find sandy beaches and the start of the art trial. This track is an easy 3km walk and will take you on a journey to discover Waiheke’s scenery and the art which is has inspired.
♦ Walks. The best way to explore is by going for a walk on a section of the Te Ara Hura walkway. Its a total 100km circuit either way around the island – So you can either go for a multi-day hike or go for shorter walks which suits you. You can pick up a trail map from info centres, the library or your accomodation.
♦ What else does Waiheke have to offer? From cruises, scenic flights, wine tasting, kayaking, zip lining there is something on the island for everyone. Be sure to check out all the tours on arrival at the wharf to book onto your next adventure.
♦ Accomodation. For a dorm expect to pay $30-$40 NZD – Hekerua Lodge seemed to be a good option for backpackers. The cheapest we found for a double or twin was at Fossil Bay Lodge starting from $85 NZD.
We decided to go camping and booked a $15 NZD camping pitch for the night at Poukaraka Flats Campground and had an awesome time. The only thing we would say is that it was a bit out of the way. If you are planning a short stay, look for accomodation in Oneroa to see the best of Waiheke.
TOP TIPS – Accomodation on the island sells out fast so be sure to book in advance. Also be aware that most places have a minimum stay of two nights.