Overview

Waiheke Island boasts 92 square kilometres of pristine beaches, stunning coastal headlands, vineyards, olive groves and seaside villages – and is only a 40-minute cruise from Downtown Auckland. One of our most popular destinations, Waiheke Island was recently rated one of the top island escapes in the world.

For an indulgent culinary experience, taste the fresh local cuisine, sip your way through wineries, and sample fresh pressed olive oils. Or if you're feeling adventurous, explore the network of coastal walking and cycle trails or go ziplining – perfect for breathtaking cliff-top views. 

Where is it?

Located in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island is only a 40-minute ferry ride from the Downtown Auckland ferry terminal. You'll cruise past Auckland's stunning coastlines and beautiful islands as you journey towards your destination. You can also catch the ferry from Devonport Wharf.

What can I do?

  • Vineyards - Home to more than 30 boutique vineyards, Waiheke has become known as New Zealand’s “island of wine”. This group of winegrowers have successfully matched the maritime climate and ancient soil structures to produce some of the country’s best wines. Visit cellar doors, or enjoy wine and food pairings at vineyard cafes and restaurants.
  • Food - The many island wineries are perfect for culinary indulgence. You'll find a range of onsite options - from food pairings, to platters and casual lunch options, to gourmet meals at award-winning restaurants. Oneroa Village has beautiful cafes, gelato shops and takeaway options. For a relaxing lunch, take in sea views from The Oyster Inn's restaurant verandah, or venture to Onetangi for casual beachside dining at Charlie Farley's. Visit Rangihoua Estate to sample internationally awarded Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or stop by Te Matuku Oysters to purchase locally farmed seafood.
  • Shopping - Oneroa, Ostend and Surfdale have great shopping opportunities. Unique stores are bursting with local art, gifts, jewellery, clothing and more. The Ostend Market operates every Saturday from 8.30am - 12.30pm.
  • Beaches - Waiheke is best known for its pristine beaches, and its warm microclimate makes it the perfect swimming spot. Oneroa Bay and Little Oneroa sit side-by-side, and are within walking distance of the main village. Little Oneroa is a perfect place to spend the day, with BBQs, a children’s playground and a sprawling grassy area. Onetangi Beach features 2.5 km of beautiful white sand, plus convenient bars and restaurants at the water's edge.
  • Walking Tracks - Waiheke offers a number of native bush tracks, and scenic coastal walks with sensational views of surrounding islands and the Coromandel. Starting from Matiatia Wharf, the Northern Walk features the most diverse track - without venturing too far from the ferry. Follow the headland track to Cable Bay, Owhanake Bay, and Oneroa Village before completing the loop back to Matiatia. See more detailed directions for a recommended track here.

What do I need?

  • Good walking shoes, sun block and a sun hat.
  • Swimming gear and a towel, in the warmer months.
  • A light rain jacket, and warm layers. Temperatures can change quickly, regardless of the season.

How long should I stay?

Waiheke Island makes for a perfect half or full day trip from Auckland. But with so much to see, it's also a superb weekend getaway or extended holiday destination.

What you need to know FAQ's

  • How far in advance do I need to arrive for my ferry?

    We recommend you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your preferred ferry departure. During summer and on public holidays, Waiheke Island becomes incredibly popular – at this time of the year we recommend you allow at least 30 minutes.

  • How long should I stay on the island?

    Waiheke is an easy trip from Auckland City – perfect for a special meal, a full day adventure or even a weekend getaway. We recommend dedicating at least half a day to experience the island.

  • Can I take a car on the Fullers ferry to Waiheke Island?

    No you can't take a car on a Fullers ferry, as we operate a passenger service only.

  • What part of the island does the Fullers ferry arrive into?

    The Waiheke Island Fullers ferry service arrives at Matiatia Wharf, located on the western side of the island. This is the main wharf, where most tours, bus services and taxis originate from.

  • Is there a ferry service that arrives into Orapiu Wharf?

    360 Discovery Cruises operates services to Orapiu which is at the remote south-eastern end of the island. Here you can also catch a ferry to Rotoroa Island and the Coromandel Peninsula.

  • What transport options are available to get around Waiheke Island?

    There are plenty of options for travel once you get to Waiheke, from a convenient Hop-on Hop-off bus to public buses to car/scooter hire to taxis. Fullers operates the Waiheke Island Explorer Hop-on Hop-off Bus which meets the ferries on arrival every 30 minutes during Summer (operating between 9.50am and 7.15pm). Read more about the flexible tour here. You can also hire a car or scooter – check out our Drive Waiheke package for a cost-effective option.

  • Are there public buses on Waiheke Island?

    Yes, Waiheke Bus Company operates a network of public bus service to transport you to key parts of the island. Most services connect with the ferry arrivals and departures. For more information and timetables visit our section on the Waiheke Bus Company.

  • What do I need to bring?

    This varies depending on how long you plan to stay and which activities you plan on doing. If you’re planning to explore the beaches and walking trails, wear good walking shoes, plus bring sun block and a sun hat, swimming gear and a towel during summer. We’d also recommend bringing a rain jacket and warm clothing, depending on the time of year and conditions. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants on the island, so there’s no need to bring your own food.

  • Is this destination suitable for children?

    Yes, Waiheke is a perfect place for a family day out.

  • Can I bring a children's stroller?

    Yes, but please be aware that access to some walking trails will be difficult, as well as the buses.

  • Is Matiatia Wharf wheelchair accessible?

    Yes, Matiatia Wharf is wheelchair accessible, however the buses on Waiheke Island are not. Orapiu Wharf is not wheelchair accessible.

  • Can I bring a bicycle?

    Yes, there are dedicated bike racks on all our Waiheke Island ferries.

  • Can I take my dog to the island?

    Yes, dogs travel free with any fare-paying passenger. Dogs can travel inside the cabin but we ask they are kept inside a suitable crate, cage or pet carrier. Official service dogs can travel inside the cabin and do not have to be kept in a crate, cage or pet carrier. There is also allocated seating on the external decks for those travelling with pets.

  • Is there cellphone coverage?

    Yes, mobile coverage is available on Waiheke Island.

  • Can I stay on the island overnight?

    Yes, there are plenty of accommodation options across the island. We recommend booking in advance, especially in the peak summer season. As most of our ferry tickets to Waiheke are open return, meaning you can return to Auckland City on any day of your choosing, on any sailing – as long as it hasn't reached capacity.

  • Is the Fullers ferry to Waiheke Island a direct service?

    Select sailings may travel via Devonport to pick up or drop off customers.

  • How long are Waiheke Island ferry tickets valid for?

    Unless specified otherwise, Waiheke Island ferry tickets are valid for one year of the purchase date. These open tickets don’t specify a time or date you must travel, so you may take any sailing that suits your schedule - as long as it hasn't reached capacity. 

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