Best things to do on Waiheke Island

Published 23rd August 2020

Enjoy fun activities and world-class experiences in summer or without the crowds in winter. With a sub-tropical climate and only 35 minutes from Auckland, Waiheke Island is a world apart, not a world away. Here are our recommended things to do anytime of year.

Explore Paradise

The Te Ara Hua Walkway is a 100 km circuit around the island where you can start and stop anywhere. Choose from the “Headlands” offering million-dollar views. “Beaches ’n’ Baches” taking you through the village and quiet and quirky walkways full of island character. “Forest Heart” is through beautiful native bush, streams, wetlands, and birdlife. The “Far End” is a place apart with big skies, big views, and fresh air therapy.

Getting around is easy with taxis, hire cars, scooters, electric bikes, and regular public buses that meet each arriving and departing ferry.

To enjoy the best of Waiheke we recommend staying a few days. Choose from luxury holiday homes, quaint baches, beachfront apartments to hotel resort-style accommodation.

World Famous Beaches

There are 10 beaches within 10 minutes of each other! Stroll along unspoiled white sandy bays taking in the abundant sea and birdlife or relax and enjoy a bite to eat at a beach-front café. For the more adventurous take try kayaking or catch fresh snapper on a fishing charter trip.

Meet, Discover & Taste Artisan Products

Chat with local artists in their studios which are dotted all over the island. There is an easy 3 km trail of discovery that starts from Matiatia ferry terminal and takes you through native bush, a sculpture park, and into Oneroa Village full of artist studios, galleries, restaurants, and retail shops.

It may surprise you to learn that Waiheke produces some of the best olive oils in the world. Take a tour through an olive estate to see how it is produced and enjoy a tasting of the award-winning olive oils.

Grown locally in our pristine waters, our world-famous Te Matuku Oysters is a delicacy not to be missed. At Timmy Smith’s you can create your own unique tea blend, experience a Pause for Tea tasting of sugar-free organic sparkling herbal tea, and purchase bespoke memory-evoking jewellery.

The Waiheke Wine Centre has the largest selection of Waiheke wines under one roof and there are 32 from Waiheke island you can taste. If you are here for the weekend, then you must visit our local market held every Saturday rain or shine. Looking for local arts and crafts, a gift, a bargain, something tasty to eat, or just a coffee (some of the best on the island) then this is the place to visit.

World Class Wining & Dining

There is a reason why Waiheke is called the “island of wine” with over 30 vineyards and 17 cellar doors producing some of the world’s best wines. Relax and enjoy a tasting by a cozy fire while admiring the incredible views of Auckland City, the Hauraki Gulf, or vineyard filled valleys.

It is no secret that Waiheke is a great place to taste local products and our quality craft breweries are perfect for that. There are 3 gems of small boutique breweries within walking distance of each other and you may even get to meet the brewer in person.

Waiheke’s award-winning restaurants and cafes offer fresh innovative cuisines from around the globe. With everything from fine dining to takeaway burgers, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out.

Fun & Adventure for Everyone

Looking for a fun adventure suitable for a group of friends, family, or work team and can be done no matter what the weather? Then the Great Escape Island Challenge is the answer. An exceptional amazing race activity where teams are armed with digital cameras and set off in vans to experience the best sights while completing fun challenges. The event ends with an entertaining slideshow and prizegiving.

Other popular choices include zipping above the vines on 3 x 200-meter dual ziplines, Segway games and experiences, archery and laser-claybird shooting, and barefoot bowling.

If you are staying on the island for a few days then why not let us bring some fun activities to your accommodation such as artisan sausage making, or perhaps a botanical gin and tonic or fragrance experience.

Ready for your ultimate Waiheke event?

We here at Destination Waiheke are the best on the island for planning your next event, whether it be a Corporate event, Christmas party, Stag/Hen-Do, Family gathering, or something completely different. With 30+ years of corporate event management experience and 20,000+ happy guests bought to the island, we know how to put everything together for you, just perfectly.