Discover some of Auckland’s best wineries and beaches on Waiheke Island! With regular passenger and car ferries departing the city daily, the 40-minute trip is well worth it. Because there’s so many things to do and places to discover, it would be easy to spend a few days here! But if you’re short on time, we’ve done the hard work for you with a list of 6 epic things to do.
1. STONY BATTER HISTORIC RESERVE
If you’re after a longer, more remote walk, head east to Stony Batter Historic Reserve! With remains of Second World War gun emplacements and underground chambers, as well as unusual rock formations and incredible sea views, Stony Batter takes a look back at the island’s role in protecting the Auckland Harbour during World War Two. Approximately a 40 minute drive from the passenger ferry wharf, Stony Batter is more remote and not serviced by public transport, however is a great option for those taking the car ferry or staying out on Waiheke Island.
To plan your adventure to Stony Batter Historic Reserve, head here!
2. Ecozip Adventures
Discover Waiheke from above! With three different zip lines to choose from, there’s something for everyone and all abilities. Zip One – the Vineyard Cruise, flies over a working vineyard and is 220 metres long. If you’re afraid of heights or new to ziplining, Zip One is an awesome option. Zip Two – the City View, goes higher and faster than Zip One. With epic views of Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf, you’ll fly over the forest and witness several native New Zealand plants, such as the New Zealand fern. Zip Three, also known as Kurinui, is for the adrenaline junkies as you’ll be flying down at a speed of over 50 kilometres per hour! With an awesome view over Auckland’s eastern beaches, you can partner up with your travel buddy and zipline down at the same time beside each other on the twin zipline cables.
Check out the Ecozip site for contact details and rates.
3. Vineyards & Wineries
Waiheke is famous for its many vineyards producing some of New Zealand’s best wines, with many wineries such as Mudbrick and Cable Bay also boasting some of the best views of the harbor on the island. Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant, Cable Bay Vineyard, Tantalus Estate, Man O’ War Vineyard and Casita Miro are worth a mention and are great if you’re after treating yourselves to some awesome food and award-winning wines. For further information and a full list of vineyards, head here.
4. WILD ON WAIHEKE
With many activity options to choose from and an onsite restaurant and brewery, Wild on Waiheke makes for a great day out in the sun with a few mates. Try your hand at archery, claybird shooting, Wildtag, or a giant game of chess! Wildtag is a unique activity exclusive to Wild on Waiheke and is a combination of dodgeball and paintball where you’ll duck and hide from your mates as you try to get each other out!
The onsite restaurant menu features sharing plates, classic pizzas and tapas, and the brewery produces four types of craft beer, cider and their famous non-alcoholic ginger beer. If you’re after a fun-filled day out on Waiheke with great food, Wild on Waiheke is the place to be!
For directions and further information, visit the Wild on Waiheke site!
5. RELAX AT THE BEACH
You’re spoiled for choice as Waiheke is home to several safe, white-sand beaches, and many are easily accessible to those on a day-trip. Oneroa Beach is Waiheke’s main beach, centrally located beside the main street and numerous cafes and restaurants. Palm Beach is easily accessible, safe, and features barbeque facilities. If you’re after kayaking or windsurfing, head out to the south-facing Blackpool Beach an bask in the Waiheke sun.
As you can see, it's pretty hard to narrow down the best things to do on Waiheke and you could easily spend a relaxing few days here! If you're after an awesome day-trip to escape the concrete jungle that is Auckland, Waiheke really is an island paradise!
6. Northern Walking Track
A short 2-3 hour walk, the Northern Walk is great for those wanting to see and discover as much of Waiheke as possible, without wandering too far from the passenger ferry terminal and main street area. The track starts at the Matiatia passenger ferry wharf, linking around to the Matietie Historic Reserve and Cable Bay, Island Bay and main street area of Oneroa. With World War Two pillboxes located along the trail and terraces from a historic Maori pa, the walk is an awesome option for those with limited time.
For further information, visit the Tourism Waiheke site!