BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Auckland Region > Hauraki Gulf > Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is the second-largest of the Hauraki Gulf islands. It is the most populated, and the most easily accessible – it’s a mere 35 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland. Waiheke has a permanent population of around 8000, which swells to over 30,000 over holiday periods, particularly during the Waiheke Island Jazz Festival on Easter weekend.
There’s an artsy, bohemian vibe still alive in Waiheke – you might see stickers calling it the “People’s Republic of Waiheke” or spot a “Free Waiheke” t-shirt – and there’s a vibrant café culture and arts scene. At the same time it’s also become an upscale, fashionable place with expensive homes and vineyards.

Still, Waiheke retains plenty of natural, relaxed charm. There are more than 40km of beaches and numerous walking tracks, and a much more laid-back vibe than its big-city neighbour to the west, Auckland.

Practical information

Waiheke i-SITE Visitor Centre

2 Korora Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island
Tel (09) 3721 234 or 0800 282 552
Website www.aucklandnz.com
Open 9am-5pm daily

Coming & going

Waiheki is only a 35-minute ferry ride from central Auckland making it the most accessible of the Hauraki Gulf islands.

Most travellers take the Fullers Ferry (tel (09) 367 9119) that runs hourly from the Auckland ferry terminal on Quay Street. The ferry costs $15.60 one-way or $28.50 return.

Sealink (tel (09) 534 5663) also operates ferries between Auckland and Waiheke, but they depart from suburban Half Moon Bay rather than the downtown ferry terminal. Sealink’s return fare is $28.50.

Local transport

There are frequent local bus services on the island, although a rental car offers a lot more flexibility. Local bus fares range from $1.40 to $4. An all-day pass costs $8.

There are five bus routes on the island, all of which originate at the Matiatia Wharf ferry terminal. Most buses run every half hour.

Waiheke Auto Rentals (tel (09) 372 8998) and Waiheke Rental Cars (tel (09) 372 8635) are both located at Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island and give you the flexibility to explore the whole island at your own pace.

Hostel accommodation

Hekerua Lodge

11 Hekerua Road, Oneroa
Tel (09) 372 8990

Waiheke Island Hostel

419 Seaview Road, Onetangi
Tel (09) 372 8971


Sea kayaking

Ross Adventures operates sea-kayaking trips that depart from Matiatia Wharf. They offer popular two hour and half day trips and full day and two to three day trips are also available.

Matiatia Wharf, Matiatia
Bus 1, 1a, 2, 3, 4
Tel (09) 372 5550
Website www.kayakwaiheke.co.nz
Half day trip $70; full day trip $135; two day trip $270

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