Things you Can’t miss in Waiheke Island!
If there’s one Auckland city escape you can’t miss it has to be Waiheke Island. Waiheke brings the best of city life, with good food and good drink, and mixes it with the best of island life, with golden sand beaches. Like many of us, you probably have limited time on the island so make the most of it by choosing some of the Waiheke Island must-dos!Out of all the offerings on Waiheke Island, we’ve managed to narrow it down to just five must-dos on Waiheke Island! Waiheke Island is mostly famous for its wine and beaches so, of course, they make the list. While you might be surprised there are some more wilderness experiences you can have on the island too. Either way, if you need more inspiration, be sure to check out our Waiheke Island Guide for Backpackers.
1. Wine tasting on Waiheke
Waiheke Island is not only one of the most popular wine regions in New Zealand, but it’s also one with the best views. Hang out at one of the 20 wineries/vineyards on the island with awesome island views while sipping on local wine. Either visit the cellar doors independently or jump on one of the winery tours taking wine-os around the island.
2. Hike in the Onetangi Reserve
Waiheke isn’t all about the luxurious wine tasting. It has it’s wild side too! One of the best places to check it out is in the Onetangi Reserve. This forest-filled reserve just behind Onetangi Beach is home to palm forests and giant kauri trees, as well as an abundance of birdlife. Hike your way through the forests and high onto on open hilltop for awesome views over the island. For more information and more walks, head to 7 Wonderful Walks on Waiheke Island.
3. Go to the beach
Perhaps more famous than its wineries, the beaches on Waiheke Island are definitely somewhere that you’ll want to spend some time. Which beach is the best? Well, if you want accessible, then head on over to Oneroa Beach. This is the most accessible and stunning golden sand beach within walking distance of the passenger ferry terminal. Otherwise, seclusion can be found at Cactus Bay with pohutukawa trees lining the beach.
4. Do a foodie crawl
Waiheke Island has all the food and culture of a city set in the stunning surrounds of an island. Tasting the local cuisine is another Waiheke Island must-do and you are spoiled for choice! Taste oysters at The Oyster Inn in Oneroa. Visit olive groves, such as the Rangihoua Estate or Azzuro Groves to taste their homegrown olive oils. Craft beer, whisky distilleries, French cafes and Italian restaurants all exist on the island so take your pick!
5. Kayak or SUP along the coast
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore the Waiheke Island coastline then kayaking or Stand-Up Paddleboarding (or SUP) would be the way to do it. Either freedom-hire your gear from Matiatia Wharf (ferry terminal), Oneroa or Onetangi Beach or join a guided tour to explore the island’s hidden gems.