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.
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.