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The top 5 things to do on Waiheke Island

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Waiheke Island, located just a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland, New Zealand, is a popular destination for visitors looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With its stunning beaches, lush forests, and world-class wineries, it’s easy to see why Waiheke is the "Jewel in the Crown" of Auckland Tourism.

Whether you’re visiting for a day trip or an extended stay, here are the top five things the locals highly recommend you should do while you’re here:

1. Visit a Winery - Waiheke is home to over 30 wineries, and is one of the few places in New Zealand where you can sample a wide range of local and international wines all in one place. From crisp, refreshing whites to rich, full-bodied reds, there’s something for every palate. Some of the most popular wineries to visit include Mudbrick Vineyard, Tantalus Estate, and Stonyridge Vineyard. Each winery offers a unique experience, with many offering guided tours, tastings, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Plus, for craft beer and spirits lovers we now have The Heke and the Waiheke Distilling Co.

2. Explore the Beaches - Waiheke’s beaches are some of the best in New Zealand, and offer a range of activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, go for a swim, or try your hand at stand-up paddle-boarding, there’s something for everyone. Some of the most popular beaches to visit include Oneroa Beach, Little Oneroa Beach, and Palm Beach. Fun fact: Waiheke Beaches are so safe that there are no surf life saving clubs anywhere, because they would have nothing to do.

3. Hike Through the Forest - For a more rugged and natural experience, head to the Waiheke Island forest and hike through the lush, subtropical vegetation. There are several trails to choose from, each offering its own unique features and breathtaking views. Some popular trails include the Whakanewha Regional Park Walk, the Onetangi Foreshore Walk, and the newly rejuvenated McKenzie Reserve.

4. Visit the Art Galleries Waiheke is home to a thriving art community, and there are several galleries and studios to explore. From contemporary art to traditional Maori carvings, you’ll find something that appeals to your personal taste and interests. Some of the most popular galleries to visit include the Waiheke Community Art Gallery, the Toi Gallery, and the truly spectacular Connells Bay Sculpture Park.

5. Enjoy a Meal at a Local Restaurant - Waiheke is home to a range of fantastic restaurants, serving up everything from fresh seafood to delicious Italian cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a family-friendly meal, there’s something for everyone. Some of the most popular restaurants to visit include The Oyster Inn, The Shed at Te Motu Vineyard, and Casita Miro Vineyard. Special mention must be made of a local favourite - The Courtyard.

No matter what your interests, Waiheke Island has something to offer. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, this beautiful South Pacific island is sure to leave a lasting impression that we hope brings you back again and again!

Which of these 5 options would be your main reason for visiting Waiheke Island

  • Visit a Winery

  • Explore the Beaches

  • Hike through the Forest

  • Visit the Art Galleries

You can vote for more than one answer.

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