On Waiheke Island, there truly is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend away, a summer adventure with the kids, a crazy night out for a hen or stag night, or a relaxing escape from your hectic life, Waiheke Island welcomes you.
We pride ourselves on having some of the best local knowledge. When you stay with us, we guide you to the right restaurants, cafes, wineries, and attractions to suit your personality and tastes. We’ve compiled this guide of some of our favourite Waiheke attractions to show you just want an amazing selection the island has to offer.
Where to eat on Waiheke Island
Top End $$$
- Casita Miro
- Cable Bay
- Poderi Crisci
- Oyster Inn
- The Shed
- Boat House
- Passage Rock
- Peacock Sky
- Too Fat Buns
- Dragon Fired
- Vino Vino
- The Local
Waiheke Island is a foodie paradise. Whether you like fine dining or fish and chips on the beach, there’s something for every taste. Don’t forget to wash it down with some of our fine local wine.
126 Church Bay Road, Oneroa
One of the most iconic vineyards on Waiheke Island, the Mudbrick Restaurant will have you swooning. Enjoy a stunning degustation or a la carte menu overlooking the Hauraki Gulf, and pair your food with wine from the vineyard’s extensive cellar.
Enjoy this romantic restaurant set in a valley of olive groves and vines. The Veranda Cafe is perfect for an indulgent lunch with its menu of mediterranean-infused delights. Called, “one of the finest wineries in the world,” by the Guardian UK.
3 Brown Rd, Onetangi
Bring your group for a night of dining to remember at Casita Miro. This Spanish-infused menu is designed for sharing, with big and small plates to delight and entice. Wash down with ample glasses of the vineyard’s fortified wine.
Parked on Little Oneroa Beach Reserve
On the other end of the scale, this unassuming food truck parked at Little Oneroa offers simple and mouthwatering pizza. Choose your own toppings for a personalised experience, and eat on the sand overlooking the ocean. Perfection.
151 Oceanview Road, Oneroa
You can’t beat fish & chips on the beach as the classic Kiwi summer meal, and the Local does the best. Choose from a range of fresh-caught fish, and make sure you say hello to Bobbi, the shop’s resident cockatoo!
The best wineries on Waiheke Island
Because of its unique subtropical marine climate and superior soil and topography, Waiheke has a reputation across the world as a top wine region. We’ve already mentioned some of our favourites in the food section, but if you still want to taste more of Waiheke’s award winning wines, you cannot miss these favourites:
The Best Wineries
- Man o War
- Passage Rock
- Stony Ridge
- Te Motu
- Destiny Bay
- Peacock Sky
- Frenchman’s Hill
- Poderi Crisci
Cable Bay Vineyards
12 Nick Johnstone Drive, Oneroa.
Sweeping up awards left, right, and centre, Cable Bay has gained a reputation as one of the must-visit spots on the island. Enjoy a sampling of wines from two award-winning on-site restaurants staffed by internationally-acclaimed chefs. You can choose to sit and enjoy the view from the sweeping deck, or check out the cellar door, which offers views through to the working winery.
Man O’ War Vineyards
725 Man O'war Bay Road
You’ll have to be really determined if you want to reach Man O’War, as you’re in for a 90 minute drive along a dirt road or a boat trip out to the remote location. Either way, the journey is worthwhile. Enjoy complimentary tastings at Waiheke Island’s only beachfront cellar door. There are family-friendly activities to enjoy, as well as a lawn spread with picnic tables from which to enjoy their fantastic food platters. A highlight of any Waiheke Island holiday.
22 Te Makiri Road, Onetangi
The distinctive taste of Obsidian’s wines draw from their passion for simplicity – allowing the natural flavours of the grapes to shine. Enjoy your tastings in an amphitheatre among the vines, ideal if you want to enjoy a relaxed, friendly environment. You cannot miss their Syrahs.
Passage Rock Wines
438 Orapiu Road
Passage Rock has snapped up 18 gold medals and 6 trophies for its wines, making it the most awarded winery on the island and an absolute MUST. Enjoy a tasting in the outdoor bistro set amongst the wines. Kids can enjoy a trampoline, sandpit and bikes while you relax over a glass of spectacular wine.
Waiheke Island on a budget
You may be thinking that Waiheke Island is only for those who enjoy fine dining and fancy wine. That’s simply not true. There’s plenty to enjoy on the island, no matter your budget. We recommend the following inexpensive or free activities:
Swim at the local beaches
Waiheke’s beaches are ranked as some of the best in the world. You could spend the whole day just enjoying the sun, sand, and great food on offer across the island.
2 Korora Road, Oneroa
Various performances and exhibitions throughout the year.
Established in 1991 and entirely community run, the Artworks Complex comprises a theatre, cinema, art gallery, local radio station, story centre, music museum and public library. Enjoy sampling the local artistic and performance talent and get a taste for the vibrant arts community on Waiheke.
Ostend Saturday Market
War Memorial Hall and Reserve, Belgium St, Ostend.
Every Saturday, rain or shine
Ostend Saturday Market is an institution on the island, and no visit would be complete without a wander through the stalls of fresh local produce, arts, and crafts at this beautiful local market. There’s also plenty of entertainment for all ages with a bouncy castle, food trucks and stalls, buskers, and a storyteller.
Expert tip: There’s no ATM machine at Ostend, so take plenty of cash.
DIY wine tour
If you’re not interested in a package wine tour, you can create your own itinerary. Many of Waiheke’s award-winning vineyards – including Mudbrick, Saratoga, Te Whau, Peacock Sky, Passage Rock – offer cellar door tastings for as little as $10. Man-O-War vineyards even offer free tastings from their new tasting room.
Waiheke Island Historic Village
165 Onetangi Straight
Entry by donation.
Discover the fascinating history of Waiheke Island and its inhabitants in this outdoor museum. Visit a reconstructed woolshed, a 1930’s style cottage, several small baches, and the island’s original jail. Open from noon to 4:00PM on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holiday Mondays all year round.
The Best Beaches On Waiheke Island
The Best Beaches
- Man o War
- Sandy Bay
Waiheke Island doesn’t want for beaches. From practically any window on the island you’ll catch a glimpse of the ocean. If you want to relax on the sand and swim in the pristine water, then check out these top locations:
A stunning white sand beach offering one of the best safe swimming spots on the island and excellent anchorage for boats. Palm Beach also boasts two BBQ areas, and a children’s playground pirate ship. At the far western end of the bay is the ‘Nude y Bay’, where people swim and sunbathe nude.
A popular anchorage for boats of all shapes and sizes, Oneroa Beach is one of the most picturesque and popular spots on the island. The beach provides some shelter from the sou’wester winds and at night it’s lit up like a Christmas tree with the boat lights.
Little Oneroa Beach
A favourite spot for locals and tourists alike, Little Oneroa Beach has a great children’s playground, safe swimming, a free BBQ, and Oneroa village with its cafes, shops, restaurants and art galleries just a few minutes walk away.
Man O War Bay
On the eastern side of Waiheke is this gem of a beach. On the more isolated side of the island, you’ll often find it quieter than other beaches. Enjoy the pristine sand and beautiful swimming, and if you’re feeling adventurous climb up the walking track leading to the Stony Batter historic site.
Waiheke Island Walking and Hiking
The island is host to stunning coastal ecosystems and native birds and animals. If you want to work off your indulgent meal, it’s time to lace up those walking shoes and enjoy one of the stunning trails.
The Onetangi Reserve
A dedicated Forest & Bird reserve, you can access Onetangi along Trig Hill Road or Waiheke Road. You’ll wander along trails through towering kauri trees, nikau palms and manuka, and be delighted by native birds, including the North Island kaka parrot. Trails are 10 minutes to 2 hours.
Little Oneroa Beach Walk
Little Oneroa Beach is often cited as a favourite spot for chilling out on Waiheke. You can join a short, 30-minute walkway on the beach that will lead to the New Ton Reserve. You can turn this into a loop track by heading back through residential streets. We definitely recommend stopping at Dragonfired for pizza when you’re done.
Matiatia - Owhanake Loop
Not too far from the ferry terminal is the entrance to this lovely loop track. Just head north to Cable Bay and follow the track around the Owhanake Bay. Enjoy breathtaking coastal views as you wind around to Oneroa Beach and return to Matiatia Bay. You’ll need to budget 2-3 hours to complete the walk, and you’ll definitely want to enjoy a meal and a glass of wine afterward!
Hekerua Bay to Palm Beach
Get a taste of life on Waiheke in two hours with this walk that takes you along walking tracks and through residential neighbourhoods. Start at Waters Glen and zigzag to the Hekerua Bay reserve. Enjoy the meander through the McKenzie Reserve then head to the Mawhitipana Reserve and along Palm Beach to finish.
Transportation Options On Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is located East of Auckland, in the stunning Hauraki Gulf. The island is small enough to get most places on foot if you don’t mind a bit of walking, but there are a full range of transport options available
Arriving by sea
Fullers operate regular passenger ferry services leaving from downtown Auckland and arriving at Matiatia Wharf. Alternatively, you can use 360 Discovery Cruises for passenger services between Auckland’s CBD and Orapiu, Sealink for passengers and vehicle transport between Wynyard Wharf and Half Moon Bay in Auckland, and Kennedy Point on Waiheke Island.
You can also book a water taxi service through Auckland Sea Shuttles, Auckland Water Taxis, and Chas’n Tail Fishing Charters/Water Taxi
Arriving by air
For a dramatic beginning to a luxury retreat on Waiheke, consider arriving by air. Auckland Seaplanes and Inflite Charter operate scenic flight and transport services. For something truly unique, talk to Heletranz about one of their exciting Helicopter trips.
Te Whau Lodge offers a helipad on site for those looking for a direct and luxurious access.
You can walk between many points on Waiheke Island, but if you want to crisscross the island, you might like to take the local bus servicing key locations on the island. Most buses depart from Matiatia Wharf. Visit Fullers for an up-to-date timetable and fares.
Island Taxis, Waiheke Executive Transport and Waiheke Express Taxis all operate taxi services on the island, ideal for drop-offs and pick-ups after a dinner date.
If you want to travel independently, you can hire scooters or cars on the island. Try Island Scoot for a fun range of scooters. eCylcesNZ offer a range of ecycles and scooters for rent. For cars, try Waiheke Auto Rentals, Waiheke Rental Cars or Fun Rentals at Matiatia Wharf.
Now you’ve got all the details about Waiheke Island’s top attractions, you’re ready for your island adventure.