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.