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Waiheke Island is in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, just off the North Island of New Zealand. It is 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland and is a popular destination for day trips and longer visits.


Waiheke Island is the third most populous island of New Zealand (after the North and South Islands), with 9,800 permanent residents (2021), 2,000 of whom commute to Auckland each work day. Another estimated 3,400 have second homes or holiday homes on the island. In summer the population swells dramatically, as the island is a popular destination for both overseas travellers and New Zealanders.

The microclimate is well suited for winemaking and the island has over two dozen vineyards. Olives are well established and some extremely nice olive oils are produced. Waiheke is administered by the Auckland Council.

Get in[edit]

By boat[edit]

Passenger ferries[edit]

Fullers passenger ferries (phone +64 9 367 9111) run from downtown Auckland to 1 Matiatia on Waiheke Island, taking 40 minutes, hourly or more frequently between 6AM and 7:15PM and less frequently at night. Last departures from Waiheke are M-Sa at 12:30AM and Su at 11PM. Ferries leave Auckland from Pier 2 ferry terminal, near the corner of Quay St and Albert St. Fullers buses and the hop-on-hop-off bus depart from Matiatia, and taxis and hire cars are available there. Return fares are adult $45 ($40 using an AT Hop card), child (5-15 years or high school ID) $20, seniors with a Supergold card are free - family passes are available. The AT Journey Planner covers the Fullers ferries and Waiheke buses.

Vehicle/passenger ferries[edit]

Sealink (phone +64 9 300 5900) operate a passenger/vehicle ferry service from Half Moon Bay in eastern Auckland to Kennedy Point on Waiheke, taking 45–60 minutes. Transfers are available from Kennedy Point. Standard return fares are adult $36.50, child $20, senior/student $31, car $170 and there are different family passes. Check their website for "hot deals" - sometimes two people with a car only have to pay for the car. Cheaper fares are also available with 10-trip tickets or with day return passes.

By plane[edit]

  • Helilink makes charter helicopter flights to Waiheke.

Get around[edit]

Map of Waiheke Island

By bus[edit]

Waiheke Bus Company. These Fullers-owned buses run around the main populated areas between Matiatia Wharf and Onetangi and Rocky Bay. They do not cover Kennedy Point, Orapiu or Stony Batter. All-day passes are available from Matiatia Wharf or can be bought with your ferry ticket from Auckland (but not before 9AM on weekdays). Day passes are not sold on the bus, but bus fares are reasonable. Auckland AT Hop cards can be used on the buses.

Waiheke Explorer Hop-on Hop-off tour bus. You can just stay on these Fullers-owned buses and have a 1½ hour tour of the island, or hop on and off as often as you want at any of 15 stops, which include vineyards, beaches and restaurants. Adult $60, child $30.

By taxi[edit]

There are multiple taxi and shuttle services.

  • Island Taxis, +64 9 372 4111.
  • Waicabs, toll-free: 0800 924222.
  • Waiheke Executive Taxis, +64 9 372 0088.

By personal vehicles[edit]

Cars, scooters and bicycles can be hired near the Matiatia ferry terminal, or you can bring bicycles on any of the passenger ferries.

By thumb[edit]

Hitchhiking is commonplace with locals and visitors. There are few destinations and distances are relatively short, which increases the chances of a driver stopping for hitchers.


  • 1 Waiheke Island Historic Village, 165 Onetangi Straight, Onetangi (the Onetangi bus, number 1, stops here – just ask the driver to stop), +64 9 372 2970. Open year round Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays if they are public holidays, noon–4PM. Visit the woolshed museum and a 1930s restored cottage. There is also a photographic gallery and a textile display area. Admission is by donation ($3).
  • 2 Stony Batter. 9:30AM-3:30PM.. orld War II gun emplacements and tunnels. Located at the eastern end of the island. There is a 1.2-km (20-minute) walk from the carpark. Tunnel entry $5 per person, $15 per family; guided tours $25.. Stony Batter (Q7619480) on Wikidata Stony Batter on Wikipedia
  • 3 Connells Bay Scupture Park, 142 Cowes Bay Road. Occasional tours Oct-Apr, booking essential. A collection of 30 modern sculptures in a garden, which can be seen only on tours which last 2.5 hours. There is also a self-catering cottage if you want to stay in the park. $30.


  • Fullers Waiheke Island Explorer Tour. A one hour 30 minute bus tour and commentary, twice a day in conjunction with ferry trips from Auckland. The tours start on arrival of the 10AM and noon sailings from Auckland. Bookings are essential. Fares include return ferry trip, the bus tour and an all-day bus pass for the regular bus services. Adult $55, child $27.50, under 5s free..
  • Fullers Taste of Waiheke Tour. Tastings at 3 vineyards and a light lunch. Ferry leaves Auckland at 11AM. Days vary with time of year. Waiheke Island produces some of New Zealand’s finest red wines which thrive in the hot, dry summers and stony soils. The vineyards are not large and wines are produced in limited quantities. Fare include return ferry trip, the tour and an all-day bus pass for the regular bus services. Adult $135, not suitable for children..
  • 1 Whittaker's Music Museum, 2 Korora Road, Oneroa, +64 9 372-5573. Daily 1-4PM. 90-minute live performance at 13:30 on some SSaturdays. Collection of accordions, pianos, organs and the like. Learn their history and the period they were made for. donation.
  • Waiheke Jazz, Art & Music Festival. Takes place over the Easter weekend.
  • Try deep sea fishing with Fat Snapper Fishing Charters, 21 Waiheke Road, Onetangi, +64 9 372-8755 ( Full or half day deep sea fishing. Includes all equipment (rods, reels & bait). Half day charter $80 per person. Minimum charge $200.
  • Go walking round the island's tracks and bush reserves. Including roadside tracks there are some 100 km of walks on the island. Pick up a copy of the guides locally.


The northern side of Waiheke is known for its relatively uncrowded white sand beaches, while the southern side beaches are quite tidal and swimming is dependent on the tides.

Oneroa Beach
  • 2 Oneroa Beach. The main beach, located along the northern side of the town of Oneroa.
  • 3 Little Oneroa Beach. A small secluded beach at the east end of Oneroa Beach, separated by a protruding cliff wall.
  • 4 Palm Beach. Similar in shape to Oneroa Beach (complete with protruding cliff wall on the east end that separates a small private beach in Boatshed Bay), it gets its name from the mature phoenix palms at the east end.
  • 5 Little Palm Beach. A small clothes-optional beach at the west end of Palm Beach.
  • 6 Blackpool Beach. The south-facing counterpart of Oneroa Beach, lining Blackpool and popular for kayaking and windsurfing.
  • 7 Surfdale Beach. A zoned-in beach on the southern side of Surfdale, separated from Blackpool Beach by a small, protruding peninsula, which has a scenic unsealed route called The Esplanade linking the beaches. Popular for kitesurfing.
Onetangi Beach
  • 8 Onetangi Beach. A 1.9-km-long, north-facing beach lining Onetangi. For many years it has been the site of the Onetangi Beach Races. Its western (and often inaccessible end at high tide) is clothes-optional.
  • 9 Cactus Bay. Considered by many Waihekeans as the island's most perfect beach and, with nearby Garden Cove, a romantic place for picnicking. The beach is accessible only by boat or kayak, as its land access was blocked off by a private landowner.


Oneroa has the main shopping street with a post office, two banks, a chemist, a greengrocer, a wine shop, a small supermarket, real estate agents and some clothes and souvenir shops. Ostend has a full sized supermarket, a chemist, a fishmonger, and a Placemakers if are looking for a bag of cement.

  • 1 Countdown Supermarket, 13 - 19 Belgium St. Daily 7AM-9PM. Large supermarket
  • 2 Four Square Supermarket, 151 Ocean View Road, Oneroa. Daily 7:30AM - 8:30PM. four aisle supermarket
  • Waiheke Wine Centre, 153 Oceanview Rd, Oneroa (Next door to Four Square Supermarket). M-Th 9:30AM-7:30PM, F Sa 9:30AM-8PM, Su 10AM-6PM. A large selection of wines both local and from elsewhere. If you want to taste Waiheke wines, then you can buy a card, to serve yourself samples from 32 different bottles - price of samples depends on the bottle price.


  • 1 Stefanos, 18 Hamilton Rd, Surfdale. Nice thin crust pizza. Pizzas $18-30.
  • Ajadz, Oneroa Arts complex. Basic Indian, eat-in or takeaway.
  • 2 Oyster Inn, 124 Ocean View Road, Oneroa. Fish-based restaurant, bar and three hotel rooms (from $195). main from $28.
  • 3 Island Grocer, 110 Ocean View Road, Oneroa. M-Sa 8AM – 6:30PM, Su 8AM – 6PM. Deli and cafe. Has a good selection of cheese, fruit and vegetables, and some ready meals.
  • 4 Charlie Farley's, 21 The Strand, Onetangi. Beach bar with food. Mains around $30, beer handles from $9.


Waiheke does not have a mains water supply so water fountains are not as common as elsewhere in Auckland (and your accommodation may ask you to save water). There is a filtered water fountain in the Matiatia ferry terminal.

Waiheke wine are premium brands, with bottles starting around $25 in the supermarket, and many costing a few times more.

  • 1 Molly Malones, Miami Ave, Surfdale. Irish styled pub with reasonably priced beers including of course Guinness on tap. Nice food as well - particularly the Guinness Pie. Outside seating and pool table. Good place to watch the rugby or listen to live music on the weekends.


  • Awaroa, +64 9 372 6579. W-Su 10:30AM - 5PM. Tastings and food.
  • 2 Batch Winery, 129 Carsons Rd,, +64 9 372 3223. Tastings and food.
  • 3 Cable Bay, 12 Nick Johnstone Drive, Oneroa (follow walking track from Maitiatia ferry). Cellar door wine tastings and two restaurants. tasting $10.
  • 4 Goldie Estate, 18 Causeway Road.
  • 5 Jurassic Ridge, 144 Church Bay Road. Small vineyard - almost a one man operation. Good Montepulciano. tasting $10.
  • 6 Kennedy Point, 44 Donald Bruce Road. tasting $9.
  • 7 Mudbrick. vineyard first planted in 1992. Cellar door tastings, bistro bar and restaurant. tasting from $10.
  • 8 Passage Rock, 438 Orapiu Road.
  • 9 Peacock Sky, 152 Trig Hill Rd, Onetangi.
  • 10 Tantalus Estate, 70-72 Onetangi Road. Vineyard and brewery


  • 1 Hekura Lodge, 11 Hekura Rd, Oneroa. Dorm beds from $32, double room $90, tent $20.
  • 2 Fossil Bay Lodge. Cabins and glamping tents in a pleasant garden setting. From $60.
  • 3 Waiheke Backpackers Hostel, 421 Seaview Road, Onetangi (near Onetangi Beach), +64 9 372 7003. Backpackers run by Auckland Council accommodating about 40. beds from $33, rooms $85.
  • 4 Tawa Lodge, 15 Tawa Street, Oneroa. 3 B&B rooms, a studio and two cottages. The owners also have Punga Lodge, with 10 rooms in the next street. from $120.


  • 1 St Paul's Presbyterian Church, 140 Ocean View Rd, Oneroa, +64 9 372 6573. Small church which hold services every Sun at 9:30AM, often with tea after the service.
  • 2 St. Peter's Catholic Church, 197 Ocean View Rd, Oneroa. Modern church in a lovely setting, with mass on Sat at 5PM and Sun at 9:15AM. The church is often open for viewing.
  • 3 St Andrew's by the Sea, 1 Eden Terrace, Onetangi. Small Anglican church.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Waiheke Island is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.