Itineraries for Your Trip to Waiheke Island

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1 Day on Waiheke Island for First Timers

Curated by Elen TurnerElen is a writer and editor based in the small city of Nelson, on New Zealand's South Island. Her work focuses on travel, arts, culture, and the humanities. When not working, she likes to explore one of the three national parks on her doorstep.

Known for its vineyards and nature, Waiheke Island is just a short ferry ride from central Auckland. From nature walks to evening swims, here’s how to make the most of a single day on this island in the Hauraki Gulf.


Get off the ferry, and work up an appetite on a guided nature walk. The terrain is hilly but not too strenuous, and you’ll discover secluded bays, spot local birdlife, and even visit art galleries along the way. If you’d rather not walk, opt for a cycle or Jet Ski tour, to cover more ground and take in some impressive views of the island.


Home to a lot of vineyards for such a small island, Waiheke is famous throughout New Zealand for its Bordeaux-style reds, as well as its syrah and chardonnay. Head to a vineyard restaurant for a leisurely lunch and tasting. Or if you’re really enthusiastic about wine, join a tour that stops by several wineries.


If you’re there in the summer, cool off in the water at one of Waiheke’s gorgeous beaches. It doesn’t get dark until around 9pm, and ferries return to Auckland well into the evening—so chill out and relax a bit longer in this island paradise.

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