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Wine, Dine and Stretch Your Spine: 2 Day Itinerary At Waiheke Island

Germaine
Updated Jun 09, 2016

Located in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, Waiheke Island is the second-largest island in the gulf and a sunny little gem east of Auckland. The island is a lovely spot to taste some of New Zealand’s best wines, lounge on the most gorgeous beaches, admire the lovely sceneries, and be inspired by art. Only a short ferry ride away from the bustling city of Auckland, Waiheke Island is the ultimate paradisical retreat on the sea that has its own warm and dry micro-climate, which is perfect for outdoor activities. A trip to Waiheke Island is sure to rejuvenate, refresh and inspire.

Top 3 activities to book in Waiheke Island

Day 1

Take a scenic 40-minute ferry ride from the Auckland Ferry Terminal, and admire the cerulean blue ocean on the way.

Ticket prices from Auckland to Waiheke Island and vice versa are 20 NZD (approximately 13.83 USD) for each trip. Do note that the ferry ticket is only for a one-way trip. An additional ticket has to be purchased on Waiheke Island at Matiatia Wharf to return to Auckland.

Upon arrival at Matiatia Wharf, you can take one of two options as listed below.

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Option A: EcoZip Flying Fox

Take a bus to Trig Hill when you sign up with Ecozip Adventures, and learn all about the island and its attractions en route by a tour guide. The bus will take you to the next destination: the Ecozip flying fox ziplines.

Ready for the ride of your life? Get on board the flying fox ziplines with a buddy and glide through the lush green canopies of the forest! Nothing is more refreshing than the cool sea breeze in your hair and a breath-taking view as you soar across the island. Afterwards, you can be shown around the island by Ecozip Adventures’ own tour guides.

EcoZip Adventures

Address: 150 Trig Hill Rd, Onetangi, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: Free shuttle service from Matiatia ferry terminal.

Website: http://www.ecozipadventures.co.nz/

Contact: +64 (0)9 372 5646

Nearby Food: Peacock Sky Vineyard, Stonyridge Vineyard.

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Option B: Walking By Nature guided walk

If you are not up for a zipline, no worries! Start your journey at Matiatia Wharf, and make your way to Walking by Nature, where they offer a range of guided walks suitable for beginners and more adventurous souls to embark on. However, there are several recommended walks for this itinerary so that you can spend your time fruitfully on the island and explore all of its features.

One recommended walk is the Bush and Beach Walk, which takes around 3.5 hours to complete, and will take you to the highest points on the island for the great views, and then to the forests, streams, and beaches on the island to introduce you to some magnificent flora and fauna of the island.

Another recommended walk is the Double Headland Walk, one of the more popular walks that takes about 4 hours, and will start at the Matiatia ferry dock. The guides will introduce you to the gorgeous islands in the gulf where you can spot some vibrant wildlife, then around the Te Pio Hiti Reserve and the Church Bay Headland to admire the beautiful city and sea views. Whichever walk you decide on, the guides will take you on an inspiring outdoor adventure you will not forget!

Walking By Nature

Address: 44 Hekerua Rd, Waiheke, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 8.00 am - 10.00 pm.

Duration: around 3 - 4 hours required.

Website: http://walkingbynature.nz/

Contact: +64 21 669 722

Nearby Food: Peacock Sky Vineyard, Stonyridge Vineyard.

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Winetasting and lunch at Stonyridge Vineyard / Peacock Sky Vineyard

Source: Flickr

Next, stop by Stonyridge Vineyards (closer to Walking by Nature) or Peacock Sky Vineyard (closer to Ecozip Adventures) for some lunch and exquisite wine tasting! New Zealand’s wines are well-known for their freshness due to the acidic fruits that grow on their cool soils, and Waiheke is known for excellent New Zealand wines. Stonyridge Vineyards is an exotic building covered with plants, guaranteed to make you feel subsumed within nature. Peacock Sky Vineyard, on the other hand, allows you to dine with a great view of the farmland.

Stonyridge Vineyard

Address: 80 Onetangi Rd, Auckland 1971, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 11.30 am - 5.00 pm.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: http://www.stonyridge.co.nz/

Contact: +64 9 372 8822

Peacock Sky

Address: 152 Trig Hill Rd, Waiheke Island, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: Sat-Sun: 11.00 am - 4.00 pm. Closed on weekdays.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: http://www.peacocksky.co.nz/

Contact: +64 (0)9 950 4386

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Connells Bay Sculpture Park

Source: Connells Bay
Heralded by Lonely Planet as "one of the greatest properties we've ever seen", this 60-acre coastal property is the vision of owners John and Jo Gow who wanted to unite art with nature. New Zealand Tourism

After lunch, your journey will continue on the eastern part of the island. Head east to Connells Bay Sculpture Park, where you can admire artwork by New Zealand’s artists in an outdoor sanctuary. Be inspired by the avant-garde outdoor art gallery that tastefully combines art and nature. Do note that this is a private park, and you will need to book a tour beforehand.

The tour costs 30 NZD (approximately 20.74 USD) per adult and 15 NZD (approximately 10.37 USD) per child.

Connells Bay Sculpture Park

Address: 142 Cowes Bay Road, Waiheke Island 1971, New Zealand

Opening Hours: Dependent on booking. Preferably from 10.30 am - 3.00 pm.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Website: http://connellsbay.co.nz/sculptureparkoverview.html

Contact: +64 9-372 8957

Nearby Food: Poderi Crisci, Casita Miro.

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Stony Batter Historic Reserve

Next, head to Stony Batter Historic Reserve, a marvellous site built during World War II, and gawk at the impressive gun sites and a Counter Bombardment (CB) Heavy Coast Defence Battery, which has three gun emplacements and a substantial network of underground chambers. The scenery is worth a picture too, with its rolling green hills and unusual rock formations strewn around. This historic reserve is perfect for inquisitive minds of all ages who want to learn about the island’s history, and it will take about 1.5 hours to explore.

Admission costs 8 NZD (approximately 5.53 USD) per adult and 5 NZD (approximately 3.46 USD) per child.

Stony Batter Historic Reserve

Address: Stony Batter, Auckland 1971, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: http://www.fortstonybatter.org/

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Dinner at Charlie Farley’s Restaurant and Bar / The Sand Shack

Lastly, wine and dine at Charley Farley’s Restaurant and Bar by Onetangi Beach, and enjoy the sea breeze. Take a stroll down the beach, make sandcastles, and if you are lucky, perhaps catch a horse or sealeg race! Alternatively, if you already went to Charley Farley’s for lunch, you may want to dine at The Sand Shack instead.

Charley Farley's Restaurant and Bar

Address: 21 The Strand, Onetangi, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 8.30 am - 11.00 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: http://charliefarleys.co.nz/

Contact: +64 (0) 9 372 4106

The Sand Shack

Address: 1 Fourth Avenue, Onetangi, Auckland, New Zealand 1081

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sand-Shack-Waiheke-Island/1653604778256427

Contact: +64 9-372 2565

See our full list of recommended hotels near Waiheke Island and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Waiheke Island

Day 2

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Waiheke Community Art Gallery and Whittaker's Musical Museum

Start the day at Waiheke Community Art Gallery, and admire the myriad of beautiful art pieces. The eclectic, refreshing, and unique collection comes from artists from Waiheke and all around New Zealand. Walk right next door to Whittaker’s Musical Museum, a cosy place which houses an extensive and impressive collection of antique musical instruments. Be inspired by the sounds of the past!

Admission for the Waiheke Community Art Gallery costs 20 NZD (approximately 13.83 USD) per person, while admission for the Whittaker’s Musical Museum costs 25 NZD (approximately 17.28 USD) per person.

Waiheke Community Art Gallery

Address: 2 Korora Rd, Oneroa, Waiheke Island 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 10.00 am - 4.00 pm.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Website: http://www.waihekeartgallery.org.nz/

Contact: +64 9-372 9907

Nearby Food: The Oyster Inn.

Whittaker's Musical Museum

Address: 2 Korora Rd, 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Website: http://www.musicalmuseum.org/

Contact: +64 9-372 5573

Nearby Food: The Oyster Inn

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Lunch at the Oyster Inn

Just a short drive away, have lunch at the Oyster Inn, a cosy, down-to-earth restaurant with a rustic, old colonial style. At the Oyster Inn, freshness is paramount. Seafood and vegetables in particular are so fresh that they were caught or harvested on the island itself. Must tries in the restaurant include their extremely fresh oysters from around New Zealand and Waiheke Island.

The Oyster Inn

Address: 124 Oceanview Rd, Oneroa, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: http://www.theoysterinn.co.nz/

Contact: +64 (0)9 372 2222

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Walking by Nature guided walking tour / Dead Dog Bay

If you missed it, now is a good time to embark on the guided walking tour by Walking by Nature. Otherwise, visit Dead Dog Bay instead! Despite the slightly macabre name, Dead Dog Bay is a lovely sculpture park located in a remote valley. Wander through the beautiful gardens and admire the avant-garde artwork dotted around the park. Also, visit the privately-owned rainforests and wetlands for a great view of Waiheke’s lush green landscapes.

Dead Dog Bay

Address: 100 Margaret Reeve Lane

Opening Hours: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: http://www.deaddogbay.co.nz/

Contact: +64 9 372 6748

Nearby Food: Stonyridge Vineyard, Te Whau Vineyard and Restaurant

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Goldie Estate

The best value picnic hamper on Waiheke. thomoo

Afterwards, if time permits, head to the Goldie Estate, the oldest vineyard on Waiheke Island, for a phenomenal wine-tasting experience. Drawing upon the experience and knowledge of the founders of wine-growing on the island, the Goldie Estate has produced many noteworthy wines. Enjoy the excellent service provided by the friendly and courteous staff, and perhaps try a picnic hamper and have a nice picnic in the vineyard!

Goldie Estate

Address: 18 Causeway Rd, Surfdale, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Website: http://www.goldieestate.co.nz/

Contact: +64 9 923 4094

Nearby Food: Te Whau Vineyard and Restaurant.

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Relax at Oneroa Beach

Source: Wikipedia

To conclude the Waiheke experience, visit the gems of Hauraki Gulf, Oneroa and Little Oneroa, The dazzling golden beaches and calm cool waters are the perfect escape. Lounge under the potuhawa trees on the pristine sands, and let all the tension in your body float away as the sun sets.

See our full list of recommended hotels near Waiheke Island and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Waiheke Island

Dinner at Vino Vino Restaurant and Bar

Source: Flickr
Popular restaurant with wide sea views. mhallcool

For dinner, simply head to Vino Vino Restaurant and Bar nearby for a sumptuous meal and a crisp glass of wine. An Italian restaurant with a slight New Zealand twist, this cosy little restaurant located at the heart of Oneroa is only a short drive or walk from Oneroa Beach. A must-try at the restaurant is their succulent rack of lamb. Enjoy a great sea view and a hearty meal before heading home!

Vino Vino Restaurant and Bar

Address: 153 Oceanview Rd, Oneroa, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Opening Hours: 12.00 noon - 1.00 am.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Website: http://vinovino.co.nz/Menus.html

Contact: +64 9-372 9888

See our full list of recommended hotels near Waiheke Island and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Waiheke Island

Wai are you still waiting?!

An island packed with great wine and beautiful sceneries, Waiheke Island is the perfect getaway for city-dwellers looking for a relaxing and luxurious vacation. If you are looking for a romantic trip for your honeymoon, or a de-stressing holiday for your family, Waiheke Island is the place for you. The best time to visit Waiheke Island is during the spring and summer months of October to February. Expect to see lots of visitors during the peak spring period from October to April. Waiheke Island is also great to visit during the winter and autumn, if you are seeking a quieter vacation.

This article was originally published on Jun 09, 2016

Germaine is a free-spirited individual who likes to write and travel. She is also a TV junkie and an animal lover. She has been to several countries, and some of her favourites include Australia,...Read more

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