Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, just off the North Island of New Zealand. It is 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland and is a popular destination for day trips and longer visits.


Waiheke Island is the third most populous island of New Zealand (after the North and South Islands), with 8000 permanent residents, 2000 of whom commute to Auckland each work day. In summer the population swells dramatically, as the island is a popular destination for both overseas travellers and New Zealanders. The microclimate is well suited for winemaking and the island has over two dozen vineyards. Olives are well established and some extremely nice olive oils are produced. Waiheke is administered by the Auckland Council.

Get in

By sea

Passenger ferries

Fullers passenger ferries (phone +64 9 367 9111) run from downtown Auckland to Matiatia on Waiheke Island, taking 40 minutes, hourly or more frequently between 6AM and 7:15PM and less frequently at night. Last departures from Waiheke are at 12:30AM M-Sa and 10:15PM Su. Ferries leave Auckland from Pier 2 ferry terminal, near the corner of Quay St and Albert St. Fullers buses and the Island Hopper hop-on-hop-off bus service depart at Matiatia. Taxis and hire cars are also available at Matiatia. Return fares are adult $36, child (5-15 years or high school ID) $18, seniors with a Supergold card are free - family passes are available. The AT Journey Planner covers the Fullers ferries and Waiheke buses.

Explore run passenger ferries from downtown Auckland to Matiatia. Return fares are adult $36, child (5-15 years or high school ID) $18.

360 Discovery ferry stops at Orapiu on Waiheke at weekends on its return trips from Auckland to Coromandel. It departs Pier 4, downtown Auckland, Sa, Su and public holidays (except 25 Dec) at 8:45AM. Return trips depart Hannafords Wharf, Coromandel Harbour, at 4:30PM. Orapiu is on the south-eastern tip of the island, well away from the island's main residential region, and there is no public land transport. Auckland-Orapiu adult $25 one way, $41 return.

Vehicle/passenger ferries

Sealink (phone +64 9 300 5900) operate a passenger/vehicle ferry service from Half Moon Bay to Kennedy Point on Waiheke, taking 45 minutes. Transfers are available from Kennedy Point. Standard return fares are adult $36.50, child $20, senior/student $31, car $152 and there are different family passes. Check their website for "hot deals" - sometimes two people with a car only have to pay for the car. Cheaper fares are also available with 10-trip tickets or with day return passes.

Sailing times

Waiheke Ferries lists sailing times for all ferry providers scheduled to and from Waiheke Island for the current day. These timetables are great to use for a day trip or if you are unsure when the next few ferries are going from a particular wharf.

By plane

Helilink makes charter helicopter flights to Waiheke.

Get around

Public transport

Waiheke Island Buses Buses run around the main populated areas between Matiatia Wharf and Onetangi and Rocky Bay. They do not cover Kennedy Point, Orapiu or Stony Batter. All-day passes are available from Matiatia Wharf or can be bought with your ferry ticket from Auckland (but not before 9AM on weekdays). Day passes are not sold on the bus, but bus fares are reasonable. There are multiple taxi and shuttle services.

Hopper offers service from Oneroa Village to several wineries. To reach Oneroa Village you'll need to catch the #2 bus from the Matiatia Ferry Terminal and exit at the first roundabout. Cross the road to the bus stop outside of Video Ezy.

Personal vehicles

Cars, scooters and bicycles can be hired near the Matiatia ferry terminal. Vehicular ferries operate from Half Moon Bay in Auckland to Kennedy Point on Waiheke. Bicycles can be taken on all passenger ferries.

By thumb

Hitchhiking is commonplace with locals and visitors. There are few destinations and distances are relatively short, which increases the chances of a driver stopping for hitchers.




The northern side of Waiheke is known for its relatively uncrowded white sand beaches, while the southern side beaches are quite tidal and swimming is dependent on the tides.

Oneroa Beach
Onetangi Beach


Oneroa has the main shopping street with a post office, two banks, a chemist, a greengrocer, a wine shop, a small supermarket, real estate agents and some clothes and souvenir shops. Ostend has a full sized supermarket, with a Placemakers next door if are looking for a bag of cement.



Waiheke wine are premium brands, with bottles starting around $25 in the supermarket, and many costing a few times more.


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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, December 28, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.