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At just 19 kilometres in length, and populated by gourmet restaurants, vineyards and quirky little art galleries, Waiheke Island is a great destination for an indulgent day trip or short break away from Auckland.
More than 100 artists live and work full-time on the island, displaying their creations in the island's many galleries and studios. For people who are more interested in the ancient than the contemporary, there is the Woolshed Museum in Onetangi which charts Waiheke's history through historical artefacts and photographs. Alternatively, there is the music museum in Oneroa which houses instruments dating right back to the 1500s.
It's extremely easy to get around Waiheke by simply hopping on one of the plentiful buses departing from the ferry terminal. An all-day bus pass is probably the best value for those intending to travel around the island.
There are many beautiful vineyards scattered all over the island, producing Chardonnay, Syrah and Bordeaux-type wines. Many of these vineyards also grow their own olives, which can be sampled along with the wine and other delicacies in the vineyards' cafés and restaurants.
When you arrive at the ferry port, it might be a good idea to take a look at the tours on offer at the on-site kiosk. There are plenty of kayaking and boat tours offering a chance to get to know the island's waters and maybe even meet some of the orca whales that inhabit them. Some of these tours offer packages including gourmet meals accompanied by local Waiheke wines.
Head to Whakanewha Regional Park for a wander amidst taraire, kohekohe and kanuka forest, as well as wetlands teeming with some of the country's most elusive birdlife. The regional park is also home to the only camping area on the island.
It's quick and easy to get to Waiheke from the mainland, with regular car and passenger ferries leaving Viaduct Harbour daily. For something a bit more dramatic, you could charter a small plane or luxurious sailboat to make the short journey instead.
We were there overnight for work so just a bed for the night, but quiet and clean.
Perez on the front desk was amazing, he couldn’t have been more helpful!! Staff were excellent, property was ok
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Checking in/out was straight forward, the room was spacious, modern and clean, and the views from our deck were stunning. Such a quiet spot to stay for some rest and relaxation. Close to mudbrick, cable bay and the main town of Oneroa. Beautiful property, full of wildlife ...
Our hosts, Marg and Rob, were exemplary - personable, professional and very attentive to our needs. Delicious canapes with a glass of wine each night, refreshingly-healthy breakfasts and beautifully comfortable rooms and bed - what more could you need?? A view - they've got that covered too - perfect ...
Fantastic location made even easier with ferry terminal transfers to and from, extremely comfortable bed, wonderful Aesop products, the iron made my husband happy to prep his suit for the wedding we were attending. Fabulous breakfast the next morning. Thank you Rebecca and her team for making up ...