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“Beaches, Bays, Boats, B & B's and Best place to unwind”
Review of Waiheke Island

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Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
155 reviews
263 helpful votes
“Beaches, Bays, Boats, B & B's and Best place to unwind”
Reviewed 15 November 2008

This island is only a hop, skip and a jump from Auckland. It has so many bays and beaches and is very picturesque. Being higher as you drive to the beach side on the Pacific Ocean, there are great views down over the island and beaches. Palm Beach, Little Oneroa and Onetangi Beaches are quite pleasant and even though it was the beginning of November, people were out an about walking along the beaches.
There are many wineries of which not all are opened every day. Perhaps during the summer and weekends is may be different and probably more crowded.
There is a small farmer's market held in Ostend every Saturday
morning where you can buy fresh fruit & vegetables, bread, pizzas, homemade biscuits and cakes, wraps, drinks and it also has a small number of flea and arts and craft type stalls. The island also has a Woolworths Supermarket. There are also plenty of restaurants some right on the Pacific Ocean beaches and of course in the vineyards.
It is possible to hire a car once you arrive at the Matiatia Wharf and there is a loop tour of the island. This wharf is where only
passengers arrive and has more services.
Kennedy Wharf has less to offer the tourist and is where the Sealink car ferry arrives and departs. it also takes passengers.
The eastern end of the bay is privately owned farming area.
Go down to Whakanewha beach on Rocky Bay and see the interesting boat sheds ect....great for photography.
I do suggest you grab a map of the area if driving as it is easy to get lost in the maze of small streets that wind around the hills in places.
This was a nice place to unwind after driving around the north island for two weeks and is not far from the airport.
It was relatively quiet at extremely relaxing.

Helpful?
3 Thank Niec
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
81 helpful votes
“Escaping the rat race in Waiheke”
Reviewed 2 November 2007

Waiheke is the getaway destination for Aucklanders and a great little find for the rest of us to relax and enjoy. Waiheke is a sleepy island with fantastic restaurants and vineyards. There are plenty of cottages (bachs) to rent close to beaches, but I would recommend somewhere very near to the tourist area of Oneroa where the ferry arrives.
Just 35 minutes by Fullers ferry from Auckland Harbour. On arrival grab a cab or a Fullers Bus to your accommodation. Fullers buses meet every ferry arrival. There are two main routes that cover the island, both stopping at the Oneroa township at the top of the hill and both going thru the other main town of Ostend where there is a Woolworths Store for groceries etc.
Oneroa Beach or a little further away at Palm or Onetangi have the best beaches. Limited eating out opportunities exist at Onetangi and Palm. At Oneroa, a restaurant called Vino Vino has great food and the beach views from the balcony. There are a couple of other dining out facilities plus a good little coffee shops, convenience stores and banking.
The island itself promotes some fantastic coastal walks. One I would recommend is from the wharf towards Cable Bay. Make sure you include a stop at Cable Bay Vineyard for a tasting or a meal. If you want to enjoy the best food with the most fantastic sunset and night views over Auckland book at the Mud Brick Cafe for dinner, arriving early enough to do a tasting prior. Another great restaurant is the Te Whau Cafe and Vineyard although it is a bit further to travel. Also do not miss a tasting or meal at Stoneyridge Vineyard (it is on the bus route) where you can sit in the sunshine looking out over the vines and olive trees whilst enjoying good food and wine. Next door you can enjoy probably the best wines on Waiheke at TeMotu vineyard. Here the winemaker, Paul, offers personalised information on the vineyard and wines. The smell of the food cooking in the kitchen of his 'Shed' restaurant is certainly reasssuring that the food is as good as the wine and hospitality.
All in all, Waiheke offers a restful break with the opportunity to enjoy fine food and wine, beautiful scenary along walkways that will definiteiy go a long way toward moving the bulge of indulgence in food and wine.
The island is mostly asleep during the week and suring peak holiday periods it is very busy. Best time to visit would be November or February, include a weekend.
The only word of caution would be to avoid at all costs the Rental Cars on the island. There are two of them owned by the same person. They charge well over the top for a bomb car that breaks down and their service is extremely questionable. We booked a car for 10 am, but it arrived closer to 12 despite many calls which were not answered. Better to preorganise a cab at the wharf, for a set price, to deliver and pickup when necessary for your entire stay.

Helpful?
4 Thank auntynell
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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