Waiheke Island is the ultimate getaway and easily accessible with a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. However you will feel a world away.
It is the second-largest island in the gulf with 100km of coastline, after Great Barrier Island, but the most populated with 8730 (2013)permanent residents plus another estimated 3,400 who have second or holiday homes on the island.
It’s a popular holiday spot, especially during the summer season. The population then increases significantly. However, due to corporate functions, weddings, art exhibitions, music events at vineyards and restaurants, the island population now grows year round. The annual Waiheke Jazz Festival attracts visitors from around the country and the world over Easter Weekend, as does the Headlands Sculpture Exhibition in February.
It is often said that Waiheke has a “micro-climate” differing from that of Auckland. A recent NIWA report suggests Waiheke Island receives over 100 hours more sunshine than Auckland per year.
When you are done lazing on the many beautiful beaches, exploring some of the 30 boutique wineries & restaurants on offer you may feel that a scenic walk is what you are looking for. There is a great range of trails from easy to more challenging that lead through nature reserves and past some stunning cliff-top holiday homes.
Exploring the bays and vineyards by bike is also great fun and more so with an electric bike! For those who enjoy being on the water the kayaking is excellent along with paddle board hire.
In 2015 Waiheke Island was rated the fifth best destination in the world to visit by Lonely Planet and also voted the fourth best island in the world by Condé Nast Best Island in the World List.