Walking tracks in and around Waiheke Island
Waiheke is such a great place to explore by foot that they even hold an annual walking festival to celebrate this. Most of these walks offer stunning coastal vistas as you amble through bush reserves and the small boutique vineyards that scatter the island and there are many beaches and bays to cool off in if it gets too hot. Here are just a few suggestions.
Matiatia/Owhanake Loop – 3 hours
This walk is ideal to take in as much of the island as possible without venturing too far from the ferry and Oneroa Village. The main loop starts at Matiatia Wharf and takes about three hours at a leisurely pace, while several side trips take in some of Waiheke Island's historical highlights.
Hekerua Bay to Palm Beach – 2 hours
Shingle beaches and rocky pools are an attractive feature of the Hekerua Bay to Palm Beach walk and both are also popular swimming spots. From the top of Goodwin Ave and Queens Drive a concrete path zig-zags down through Watters Glen to Hekerua Bay. Turn hard-right from the end of the concrete path to access Te Aroha Avenue. The incline is gentle and grassed for 250 metres, then becomes a steep track with more than 100 steps.
Oneroa / Blackpool Stretch – 1.5 hours
This walk is a great way to see the beaches, coastal reserves, baches, Oneroa Village and residential areas. From Oneroa, the island's main village there are 2 access ways available to Oneroa Beach - one on the corner of Oceanview and Waikare Roads, and the other opposite the Red Cross Hall.
Church Bay Circuit – 3 hours
Spectacular views, a special scenic reserve and an area of historical significance are features of this sometimes strenuous walk. Follow the beach from Matiatia Wharf to the southern end, cross the stream and climb the hillside to the first track intersection.
Whakanewha Regional Park – 2.5 hours
On the south side of Waiheke Island, Whakanewha Regional Park is known for its mature coastal forest, cascading streams, and sweeping crescent-shaped beach, which is cut in two by a forest-covered headland. At high tide the water is shallow, warm and ideal for children.
For more information visit the Auckland city council or Department of Conservation.