Waiheke Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide


Travelling to Waiheke Island for the weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Waiheke Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide

If you're seeking an escape that seamlessly blends city sophistication with island allure, you're in for a treat with Waiheke Island. Just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, Waiheke Island beckons travellers with its pristine beaches, award-winning wineries, and captivating art scene. 

Our Waiheke Island ferry service is your passport to explore this island paradise. Here’s what you need to know to plan your weekend away from the bustling city of sails. 


Discovering Waiheke Island restaurants and culinary delights

No Waiheke Island visit is complete without indulging your taste buds in the Island’s many culinary wonders. From vineyard picnics to seaside seafood feasts, Waiheke Island sets the stage for a dynamic gastronomic journey spanning farm-to-table dining, winery tours and unique culinary experiences. Some of our favourites include:


  • The Heke: This local gem celebrates good company, good food and locally brewed beer. Providing an inviting atmosphere, this is where laid-back is at its best and kids are welcomed too!
  • The Oyster Inn: Nestled in the heart of Oneroa, The Oyster Inn is an iconic Waiheke Island restaurant boasting a casual sophistication paired with culinary excellence. 
  • Tantalus Estate: The beauty of Tantalus Estate extends beyond the vineyards, offering an refined setting to experience elevated Waiheke Island dining at its best.


Sample world-class wine from New Zealand’s best vineyards

Waiheke Island is renowned for its world-class wineries and vineyards, offering a delightful array of wine experiences for curious enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. Here are some of the best wine experiences on Waiheke:


  • Te Motu Vineyard: A testament to exceptional wines and beautifully refined food. Te Motu offers a casual ambiance that beckons discerning palates. Unwind in the laid-back setting as you enjoy the perfect blend of island charm, award-winning wines and culinary excellence.
  • Poderi Crisci: Located in a beautiful vineyard setting, Poderi Crisci beckons food and wine enthusiasts alike. Experts in Italian cuisine, from traditional dishes to wood-fired pizzas, each plate is a testament to their dedication to authenticity.
  • Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant: A standout winery on Waiheke, Mudbrick offers not only exceptional wine but also a stunning setting with panoramic views. The restaurant is renowned for its fine dining, making it a perfect spot to pair exquisite cuisine with their acclaimed wines.


Gear up for adventure on Waiheke Island

If you’re seeking adventure, Waiheke Island offers a range of activities that cater to different interests and thrill levels. Here are some of the best adventure activities on Waiheke Island:


  • EcoZip Adventures: Soar through the treetops on a zipline adventure with EcoZip. Enjoy breathtaking views of the island and Hauraki Gulf while experiencing an exhilarating ride.
  • Kayak Waiheke: Explore the island's coastline by kayaking. Guided tours are available, taking you to hidden coves, sea caves, and providing opportunities to spot marine life.

Remember, to help minimise the impacts of pests on the plants and animals which call Waiheke Island home, always check your gear before leaving the mainland. Find out more about pest-free travel on the Island Direct ferry here


Embark on a seamless journey with Island Direct

As Waiheke Island’s only family-owned and operated ferry service, let us be your guide to this special place we’re proud to call home. The Island Direct ferry offers 18 daily crossings between downtown Auckland and Waiheke Island and our bookable service means you can guarantee a seat at no added cost. 

Got questions? We've got answers. Explore our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to ensure a smooth booking process and start planning your ultimate Waiheke Island adventure today.

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