Waiheke Island is the most visited island in the gulf. A delightful 45 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland will find you standing at Matiatia Wharf set to enjoy a multitude of diverse attractions. The island is home to around 7,000 people but during the summer weekends there can be as many as 35,000 people enjoying the vineyards, restaurants, cafes, arts and the idyllic scenery. Among the two dozen or so vineyards on the island, Mudbrick, Goldwater Estate, Stoneyridge and Te Whau are some of the best known. The beaches are pristine and the countryside provides many interesting walks. Most notable is the trip to Stoney Batter where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Hauraki Gulf. The area also has the remains of gun emplacements and a series of tunnels and chambers, protected by the historic places trust.
Known as ‘New Zealand’s Island of Wine’, Waiheke has become home to a dedicated group of award-winning wine producers. With a unique micro-climate and the winemakers’ philosophy of “small is beautiful”, Waiheke has produced some of New Zealand’s most prestigious wines.
Visit three of Waiheke’s top vineyards and sample a range of their wines. Along the way enjoy a commentated scenic drive, learning about the Island’s history, geography, people, and culture from your knowledgeable local guide.
If you are after a relaxed pace afternoon tour this is perfect for you. Discover some of Waiheke's 'off the beaten track' vineyards located amongst the rugged and beautiful landscape found at the Eastern End of Waiheke. The tour includes tastings at three boutique vineyards, a micro-brewery and an excellent platter lunch.
Enjoy succulent fresh oysters, award-winning olive oil and other locally-produced speciality foods, accompanied by wines from some of the Island’s top boutique vineyards. The guide will provide an entertaining and informative commentary along the way.
Visit an award-winning olive oil mill, followed by two vineyards, each offering a range of gourmet tastes to accompany the wines. A platter lunch at one of Waiheke's top vineyard restaurants is also included.
EcoZip Adventures offers state-of-the-art flying fox ziplines and an eco-immersive forest walk on breathtaking Waiheke Island, for nature lovers of all ages. Upon arrival and welcome at our visitor centre, you will be checked-in, geared up, and readied for one of Auckland's most eco-friendly activities! Three 200m dual flying fox ziplines will fly you smoothly side-by-side with a partner, friend or relative down into a stunning tract of original and regenerating native bush (forest). It's a scenic interpretive walk back to base, where you'll learn about local flora and fauna and the conservation of this spectacular natural environment. You'll enjoy the full Waiheke experience with a complimentary pick up from the island ferry and a range of drop-off locations afterward.
Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant is renowned for its stunning location and special type of ambience. Situated on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf, the sea and vineyard views are spectacular. If you visit Mudbrick in the evening, prepare to be spoilt by the breathtaking sunset and sparkling city lights.
The first plantings at Mudbrick were in 1992 by Nick and Robyn Jones, who still own and operate the property today.
Mudbrick offer wine tastings from their cellar door 7 days a week, all year round. For groups less than 10 guests, you do not need to make a booking for tasting in the Cellar.
The Bistro menu provides a selection of lighter lunch options should you wish to linger longer and enjoy the view in a casual setting amongst the Potager gardens. A collection of locally produced products and gifts are available for purchase from our cellar shop as well as retail wine and gift packs. The main restaurant offers both an a la carte and a degustation menu providing a range of fresh local cuisine.
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.
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