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Waiheke Island

Oneroa Beach, Waiheke Island

A favourite escape for Aucklanders for generations, Waiheke Island (pop 10,000) is booming. House prices have skyrocketed and increasing numbers of commuters head into Auckland daily on the 40-minute ferry ride from Matiatia Wharf, near the western end of the island.

Holiday-makers used to to turn up for the beaches, but these days, a growing number of domestic and international visitors come for the Waiheke Island Wine, cuisine and boutique accommodation. It’s up-market stuff that’s pricing out all the aging hippies who discovered Waiheke in the ‘60s & 70s.

Increasingly, helicopters zip in with deep-pocketed clients keen to tick Waiheke off their bucket lists. Most still come on the ferry though.

Practical Info Practical Info icon

Waiheke Island Official Site


Waiheke Island is only 40 minutes by ferry from the downtown Auckland Ferry Terminal with Fullers Ferry – return ferry adult/child $42/21. Travel out of commuting time for cheaper fares.

You can also take a Sealink Car Ferry to Waiheke if you want to take your own wheels.

Buses & Tours

A good public bus service operates on Waiheke, with a stop at the Matiatia Ferry Terminal. Fullers, the ferry company, also run a Waiheke Explorer Tour by bus. Rental cars, scooters and bicycles are also good options for getting around on Waiheke.

Te Ara Hura Day Walk

Walk the western end of Waiheke Island (3hrs)

Waiheke Island Beaches

Sun-soaked sand everywhere

Waiheke Island Wine

World-renowned wine destination

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by brent simpson