Skip to Content

18 BEST Things to do on Waiheke Island + Visitor Guide (2024)

18 BEST Things to do on Waiheke Island + Visitor Guide (2024)

This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Waiheke Island is the ultimate North Island destination for a weekend getaway to go wine tasting with your mates, relax on some of New Zealand’s best beaches, and traverse the much-loved walking trails.

This small island is one of the most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand with gorgeous white sand beaches and trails that take you along cliffs and into the forest. The main town here, Oneroa, is a cute spot known for its beachfront cafes and restaurants and local arts and crafts shops.

Waiheke Island is my favorite day trip from Auckland as it’s only a short 35-40 minute ferry ride away. When I lived in Auckland, this island was one of my go-to places to escape the city!

While spending a couple of hours on this scenic island is great, spending a few nights here is what I recommend to really soak up all this place has to offer.

Let me help you plan your trip to the island with some of the best things to do while you’re here! I’ve included all of the different activities you can do on Waiheke Island including other essentials to know before you go like where to stay, eat, and how to get there.

So without further ado, here is your complete guide to visiting Waiheke Island!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Here are my absolute favorite things to do on Waiheke Island:

  1. Go wine tasting– this is one of NZ’s best wine regions!
  2. Rent an e-bike and explore the entire island
  3. Have a lazy beach day on Oneroa Beach.
  4. Hike some of the trails on the Te Ara Hura track, there’s a lot to see!
  5. Check out Waiheke Island from an aerial view on a 30-minute scenic flight!

About Waiheke Island, New Zealand

A beautiful beach on Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Waiheke Island is a popular romantic getaway in New Zealand.

Located in the Hauraki Gulf, to the west of Auckland, Waiheke Island is a popular island for both New Zealand locals and tourists. It is the second biggest island in the Hauraki Gulf and in Maori, Waiheke Island, previously known as Te Motu-arai-roa, was “the long sheltering island”.

It’s easy to get to Waiheke from Auckland CBD, with ferries leaving several times a day from the Auckland Ferry Terminal. The Fullers fast ferry only takes 35 minutes and costs $55 NZD return for adults. If you want to take a rental car along, take the short 1-hour boat journey on the Sea Link ferry which costs $137.50 NZD per car, or you can hop on as a passenger for $23.50 NZD per person, each way.

While you can drive around this island, there are public buses and taxis or I really love renting a bike here. I was able to pedal from winery to winery on a beautiful day while working off some calories along the way!

If you’re craving sunshine and beach days, the best time to visit New Zealand is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and perfect for swimming and sunbathing. However, visiting Waiheke Island is one of the best winter activities in New Zealand because you can enjoy the quieter atmosphere and stunning views.

Waiheke Island is the perfect place to celebrate special events while sipping on some local wine or just spending time in nature away from the bustling city. Whether you want to be on the land or on the water, Waiheke Island has it all. 

BEST Things to do on Waiheke Island 

1. Go wine tasting 

View of the vineyards on Waiheke Island on a wine tour
The real reason I come to Waiheke is for the wine!

Known as New Zealand’s “Island of Wine”, Waiheke Island has the perfect climate for growing grapes. An absolute must-do when visiting is to go wine tasting at some of the local wineries – there are around 30 of them here! You’ll not only get to savor the taste of the wines but also enjoy the picturesque views. 

One of my top picks is Man O’War Vineyard – the waterfront location is amazing! You can enjoy views of the bay from the tasting room as you sip on a glass of Pinque Rosé with its strawberries and cream flavor with hints of watermelon and Szechuan pepper. Have you ever heard of such a unique blend- let me tell you, it’s amazing! If you have kids alone, there’s a great playground and ice cream too.

Another stop I enjoyed was Mudbrick Vineyard. The wine here is excellent (try the Mudbrick Chardonnay) and there are two restaurants here overlooking the waters of the Hauraki Gulf. They offer tastings daily at their Cellar Door, so you can try a few different wines to find what you like.

From personal experience, it can be helpful to book a winery tour to experience New Zealand’s best wine region. That way, your transport to and from a few of the best wineries is arranged for you and you can relax and enjoy. It’s a great way to visit a few of the award-winning wineries on the island on the same day.  

Book a Premium Full Day Waiheke Wine Tour to visit 3-4 boutique vineyards with complimentary wine tastings at each. You’ll travel comfortably in an air-conditioned vehicle and have a local guide along. The wineries change on this tour all the time (there are that many good ones!), so be sure to mention to your guide if you have a specific one you want to visit. This 6-hour tour is $179 NZD per person.

For a shorter tour, the Waiheke Boutique Picnic Lunch and Wine Tastings Tour takes you to visit multiple wineries and stop for lunch at one of them. You’ll visit Waiheke Island’s best wineries including, Cable Bay Vineyard’s Cellar Door, Batch Winery, Stonyridge Vineyard, and Mudbrick Vineyard. While lunch is at your own cost, all wine tastings and your transport on the island are included for $178 NZD, and the set lunch is an additional $50 NZD. If you’re staying on the island, the tour will even come to pick you up from your hotel!  

Whichever you choose, you’ll have a wonderful time. Wine tasting is easily the best thing to do on Waiheke Island!

2. Grab a bike and explore 

The Waiheke Bike Shop bike with a view of the water
Photo credit: The Waiheke Bike Shop

It is so easy to explore Waiheke Island by bike! Not only can you get some exercise in, but it’s also a great way to enjoy the sunshine against your skin and the fresh salty air on your face. Plus, you can get around a lot faster than walking, and it can be even more fun!  

There are two main mountain biking trails: Rangihoua, which will take you about 25 minutes to get to from the ferry and has two loops and 6 different trails; or Whakanewha Regional Park, where you can start at the Sculpture Carpark on Gordons Road.  

Need to rent out a bike? No worries, you can hire an e-bike from The Waiheke Bike Shop, which is located in Oneroa, for $90 NZD per day. For a mountain bike, head to Waiheke Bike Hire, which is located right near the ferry. Their bikes are perfect for the terrain you will be biking on and cost $40 NZD to hire for a day. 

However, I love this e-bike rental that also includes a route map, helmet, and lock- even more convenient, it’s located in the ferry terminal! This gives all the perks of a guided tour, but you get to experience it at your own pace. The route they set is a 25 – 30 kilometer (15 -19 mile) loop and passes by 14 different wineries, so you can stop and hang out at any that you’d like. These e-bikes can reach 30 kph, and biking that many kilometers doesn’t take very long- be careful though, you can pick up some serious speed on the downhill!

And when you’re done exploring Waiheke Island on a bike, you can simply return it at the ferry terminal and hop on the ferry back to Auckland! You can rent an e-bike for $99 NZD, but if you’re staying overnight, they offer 2-day hire for $198 NZD. Be sure to reserve your bike in advance!

3. Go ziplining 

Zip lining through the native forest of Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: EcoZip Adventures

Ziplining through the native forest of Waiheke Island? Heck yes! For any thrill seeker or adventure lover, ziplining in New Zealand is the perfect way to not only have fun but also take in the island’s scenery in a new and exciting way. Plus it is simply goregous here, so it makes for a fun thing to do on Waiheke Island.

Waiheke Island: Zipline and Forest Walk is a great tour to book if you want to spend 3 hours soaring through the treetops. You’ll get a little tour of the island by minivan before your ziplining adventure. Then you’ll finish the day with a bushland walk with your guide. The small group makes this a really personal experience and you pack a lot in for $129 NZD.

I loved ziplining in Waiheke. It felt like I was on an amazing adventure in the wilderness of a beautiful island. You will not be disappointed if you decide to give it a go! You can book the same tour I took in advance here.

4. Enjoy a beach day 

Magnificent Pohutakawa tree in Oneroa Beach Waiheke Island
The beaches are calm and the water crystal clear!

If you head to Waiheke Island, you have got to make the most of the beaches! One of the best things to do in New Zealand is to grab your swimming gear and enjoy the pristine waters around this island. The water is really clear and so refreshing in the summer months.

Oneroa Beach is the main beach here, and with lots of sunshine and calm waters, it’s a great spot for swimming. There’s also a wide stretch of sandy beach to enjoy that’s lined with Pohutakawa trees to shelter under for shade. There are washrooms, picnic tables, and barbeques here or it’s just a few minutes walk from the local shops and cafes.

Palm Beach is another popular spot, named for the phoenix palm trees on the east side. The #2 bus can drop you off and you can even grab an ice cream at the Palm Beach Store before you walk over to the beach. Covered in warm, white sand you can walk along the beach, sit at a picnic table, and use the BBQs for a little cookout after a morning swim. Kids will love the playground here too!

I should let you know that at the end of the western side of the beach, there is another little bay that is separated by a bunch of rocks. This bay is known as Little Palm and clothing is “optional” here, so just be aware of that if that’s not your thing. 

If you want to go to the largest beach on Waiheke Island, then Onetangi Beach is the one to visit. With a 2 km (1.2 mile) stretch of sand, it’s great for walking and finding a private spot to set up your beach towel. If you happen to be here in February, you might just catch the iconic Onetangi Beach races – horse races, tractor races, sand castle competitions, and more!

The beach is equipped with toilets and a few BBQs. After you have spent the day at the beach, just walk across the road and enjoy a meal at Three Seven Two. The seafood here is delicious, but there’s a large menu to choose from and you’ll be treated to outstanding views of the beach while you eat.    

If you don’t have your own set of wheels, you can still enjoy beaches on this Waiheke Island Bush and Beach Walk tour. Over five hours, you will leisurely explore the native bush while learning all about the ecosystem from your local guide. But the main draw is the free time at the end to relax on the beach, swim, and have a lazy few hours in the sand! You can book this guided beach and hike experience for $395, and it includes lunch!

5. Stony Batter Historic Reserve 

Stony Batter Historic Reserve 
Photo credit: Stony Batter Historic Reserve 

Located at the eastern end of Waiheke Island, Stony Batter Historic Reserve is a place of New Zealand history, as well as being a beautiful scenic reserve. Formed in the 1930s, it was established as part of a coastal defense system protecting Auckland. It is now a protected area itself and high on a list of things to do on Waiheke Island. 

You can see the gun emplacements that have been left behind and there’s a collection of tunnels here connecting passages that were part of a defense fortress created during WWII. You can explore the Stony Batter Tunnels on a guided tour to learn more about their fascinating history.

You can reach the reserve by walking for around 25 minutes from the car park just off Man O’War Bay. Walk along the many formed trails and paths on the farmland and admire the bush and rock formations you come across.

Stony Batter Historic Reserve offers such a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else on the island.  

6. Explore Whakanewha Regional Park  

beautiful view from Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Walk Waiheke

Whakanewha Regional Park is found on the south side of Waiheke Island. Its name means “to shade the eyes from the setting sun”. It has a calm and serene atmosphere and is home to mature coastal forests and endangered birds such as the spotless crake. 

Walking along the beach, there are lots of shells and you can swim in the sheltered water here. If you want to spend a few days outdoors, camping is also available at the Poukaraka Flats Campground. It is only $17 NZD a night, which is a great price to stay on Waiheke Island!

Take a kayak out on the water, head out mountain biking on select tracks, and whip your binoculars out to go bird-watching. There are quite a few short walks you can go on. I would recommend doing the Whakanewha Loop, which is a one-hour walk through the forest and leads to the small Cascades Waterfall! It makes for a nice and relaxed activity on Waiheke Island!

banner asking people to click to join the Queenstown Diary Facebook Group

7. Hop-on hop-off bus tour 

beautiful garden at Mudbrick in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Fullers360

Exploring Waiheke Island at your own pace is great to go with the flow. It lets you be spontaneous and decide on a whim what you want to see and do.

The best way to give yourself that extra time, but still have a plan for transportation is with the Waiheke Island Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour. For $76 NZD, you’ll have an all-day bus ticket around the island with the bus leaving from the Matiatia ferry terminal. You can listen to the driver talk about the history of the island and then hop off whenever you like.

There are 8 specific stops along the tour and you’re welcome to visit all or just a couple while you’re here. Whether you desire to go to the Mudbrick Vineyard, hit Oneroa Beach, or explore the historic village, the bus can transport you around for the day. The best part is, you can visit any number of the wineries and not have to worry about drinking too much!

Be sure to reserve your spot in advance, as the hop-on hop-off bus is a popular option!

Related Read: If setting your own schedule sounds perfect, take an NZ road trip! I love the drive from Auckland to Paihia.

Why I Book Tours on Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! I almost always book all of my tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here

8. Go kayaking or stand-up paddle-boarding 

go kayaking in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Kayak Waiheke

Definitely take part in some water sports while you are on beautiful Waiheke Island. The water is pure bliss and there is no better way to make the most of it than being in or on it! I love kayaking whenever I can, and it is definitely a must-do activity on Waiheke!

Hire a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Kayak Waiheke and spend the day exploring. They are conveniently located right on Matiatia Harbour so you can simply hop on the water! Prices start at $40 NZD for a 1-hour hire for a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard. 

Alternatively, join a tour that Kayak Waiheke runs, such as the Half Day Guided Coastal Explorer, which is their most popular tour to visit coves, caves, and canyons you can only reach with a kayak. If you’re looking for a magical way to spend an evening, try the Guided Sunset and Moonlight Invigoration tour. You’ll paddle toward the sunset and watch the stars come out as you go west from Matiatia Harbour.

9. Eat seafood at the Oyster Inn 

Salmon & horseradish crumpet from The Oyster Inn in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: The Oyster Inn
Local Te Matuku Oysters with chilli, sambal and chives from The Oyster Inn in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: The Oyster Inn

In Oneroa village, you will find The Oyster Inn, which is an award-winning bistro by the beach. It’s open every day of the week from 12 pm until 9 pm (open at 11:30 am on weekends), so it is a perfect location for lunch or dinner.

Whether you are in Waiheke just for the day or are staying for a while, make sure you stop here for a meal. You get to soak in the beachside views of Oneroa Bay as you eat your coastal-inspired dish which has been locally sourced.

Be sure to try their fresh oysters that get shucked to order. I also recommend ordering the seafood tower if you are a seafood lover (like me!) and want to taste all the fresh goodies that the ocean provides. 

10. Waiheke Distilling Co.

Drink with a view at Waiheke Distilling Co Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Waiheke Distilling Co
Stunning views at Waiheke Distilling-Co in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Waiheke Distilling Co

By now, you may have realized there are countless wineries and wine tastings available on Waiheke Island, but if you are keen on spirits, you are in luck!

Waiheke Distilling Co. is the place to visit. Located on the east side of Waiheke Island, along the ridge of Cowes Bay, they have created a beautiful garden and distillery for visitors to come and enjoy their unique spirits and stunning expansive views. 

Book a table at their cellar door, Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm, and taste their specialty botanically crafted gins such as the Red Ruby (made with ripe New Zealand cherries!), Spirit of Waiheke, and London Dry.  

To take your distillery involvement and understanding a bit further, you can take part in a 2-hour distillery tour where you will have the opportunity to learn about their handcrafted spirits as well as taste them. 

You certainly won’t go thirsty while exploring the island. Visiting a winery, craft brewery, or distillery is a super fun thing to do on Waiheke Island!

Related Read: Another popular North Island activity is visiting Hobbiton. You can easily take a tour of Hobbiton from Auckland, making for yet another epic day trip!

11. Waiheke Museum 

view of the Waiheke Museum Building, New Zealand
Photo credit: Museum of Waiheke and Historical Village

Interested in Waiheke Island’s History? The Museum of Waiheke and Historic Village is a cool little place to check out that was built back in 1998 after the old one burned down the year before. Here you will explore displays of Maori artifacts, photographs, fossils, and other past memorabilia. 

The main exhibits are in the woolshed but the Goodwin, Keane, and Champion cottages each contain collections of objects and photos based on the theme, which are really interesting. The original jail that was built on the island back in 1942 is even still there!

Overall, you could spend an hour or two wandering around and taking in the history of Waiheke Island. The museum is open Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, and holiday Mondays from 11 am to 3 p.m. Admission is by donation for a suggested amount of $3 NZD per person. If you are remotely interested in history, you will really appreciate visiting the museum!

12. Connells Bay Sculpture Park 

human sculptures created by Gregor Kregar in Connells Bay in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Connells Bay

You won’t find a more interesting park than the Connells Bay Sculpture Park. Go on a guided walk through bush and farmland filled with 30 handmade sculptures made by New Zealand artisans. These thought-provoking sculptures display the artist’s unique skills and work while giving visitors a multifaceted experience by guiding them through the Waiheke landscape.  

Admire the rock displays by Chris Booth, contemplate the human sculptures created by Gregor Kregar, and check out Virginia King’s functional pieces. In addition to the permanent sculpture displays, there are often temporary displays and photographic works to see. 

Bookings are required to visit and must be done in advance. The season runs from the end of October to the beginning of April. The guided walks start at 10:30 am and cost $30 NZD for an adult. If you love art, there is no doubt that you will love exploring Connells Bay Sculpture Park, it is one of the most unique things to do on Waiheke Island.

13. Go hiking 

Go hinking at Te Ara Hura in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Terra and Tide

There is a network of tracks on Waiheke Island called Te Ara Hura that are perfect for hiking. Discover 100 km (62 miles) of short and long tracks going through the bush or coastline. If you want to explore Waiheke Island’s beautiful landscapes, then these different trails are a great choice to do so. 

What I love about this is having the freedom to stop and start wherever you like within the four different areas. “The Far End” is a perfect walk if you want to wander around out in the open, see the sky, feel the fresh air against your face, and soak up the sun.  

“The Headlands” are where a lot of the most popular sites in the area can be seen, such as vineyards, local beaches, and historic sites. If you would prefer to stay around the typical tourist area and take in the beautiful Pohutukawa trees, that would be it.  

Keen to get off the beaten track and love exploring smaller villages? If so, definitely check out the “Beaches ‘n’ Batches” area and also look at stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf. Lastly, the “Forest Heart” is ideal to get amongst the native bush, wetlands, and developing forests and streams.  

If you feel like you might have trouble finding the trail on your own or want to know more about your surroundings, a guided hike is a nice option. In this case, on the Waiheke Island Double Headland Coastal Walk you’ll enjoy a scenic walk in a small group led by an expert. Over 5 hours, you can learn about the history and land and walk at your own pace while taking in the animal and plant life that surrounds you. 

This is also a great option if you don’t have transportation, as it meets right at the ferry terminal and will end there too. This tour is $395 NZD and also includes lunch- book it in advance here! The island is simply beautiful, so taking a hike is one of my favorite things to do on Waiheke!

Related Read: Add some more trails to your list by checking out all the best hikes on the North Island for all levels and abilities!

14. Try archery and clay shooting 

Woman aiming at the archery target in Wild Estate Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Wild Estate

Test your archery and clay shooting skills (or try it out for the first time) at Wild Estate. This amazing venue is so much more than a vineyard with some fun activities to bring out your competitive side.

Soak up the sun and landscape of Waiheke Island and take up your bow and do your best to hit the bullseye! You can reserve 30 minutes of archery for only $40 NZD. To see if you are a master at clay bird shooting at virtual pigeons, using a real gun, book your 30-minute session for $40 NZD, or do both clay bird shooting and archery. 

Discover a new talent, or just have a good time trying something new while on Waiheke Island!  

15. Scuba diving or snorkeling 

scuba diving at Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Waiheke Dive and Snorkel

I loved snorkeling around the bays on Waiheke Island – the water is SO clear and brimming with marine life. Waiheke is a popular place for scuba divers and snorkelers for this reason. You may see some cute seahorses, leatherjacket fish, eagle rays, stingrays, or if you’re lucky enough, maybe a 2-meter (6.5-foot) kingfish! 

If you are new to these underwater activities, Waiheke Island is a great place to start learning and getting involved in it, and if you are experienced, then scuba diving or snorkeling here will be a dream! 

Join Waiheke Dive for a shore dive, boat dive, or night dive, or get your hands on some gear to go scuba diving or snorkeling on your own. Whatever you do, get in the water and explore and see the beauty of the underwater world surrounding Waiheke Island.

16. Have brunch at Akito 

Brunch at Akito Eatery in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: Akitō Eatery

If you want a place to go to for lunch, I highly recommend Akito. Found in the heart of Oneroa, the team works with local growers to produce food that is created with love and care.

It’s one of the best spots for brunch on the island. I would recommend ordering the banana pancakes, or if you want a cocktail at lunch, go for the hot spiced cider! 

The meals are reasonably priced and you can tell the care that goes into the dish when it is served to you. Akito overall has a relaxing and calm vibe to it and you will leave feeling nourished and satisfied. Plus, there are a lot of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options if you need them.

17. Waiheke Ostend Market 

Located on Ostend Road, every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm you will find the Waiheke Ostend Market bustling with locals and visitors checking out the different stalls of items, food, and gifts.

With a great community atmosphere and friendly locals, the weekly market is a wonderful place to be to connect with the community, artists, and local businesses. It’s a nice way to spend time outdoors in the sun wandering around and checking out the variety of products.

I love that this gives you a local perspective, it’s a truly unique activity on Waiheke Island and a great way to get out of the main tourist areas. No matter who you are, there will be something here that will capture your interest! Be sure to pop down on a Saturday morning if you are around. 

18. Go on a scenic flight 

View of Waiheke Island from a scenic flight
The views are epic! Photo credit: Juliuscwt Depositphotos

Don’t spend all your time on foot, explore Waiheke Island by going up in the air on a scenic flight. Book a 30-minute Scenic Flight and immerse yourself in the scenery of not only Waiheke but also the Rangitoto Volcano, Treasure Island, and Auckland City as you are flown in a Cessna aircraft. 

Thirty minutes sure doesn’t sound long, but from my past scenic flight experiences, time seems to slow down while in the air! For $149 NZD, from a bird’s-eye view, marvel at the ocean, landscape, and beaches while you receive key information about interesting places from the pilot. The flight path follows the coastline, so the views are incredible the whole way! Be sure to book this 30-minute flight in advance here.

If you’re interested in a longer and more immersive scenic flight, check out this full-day fly-and-dine tour from Auckland. This tour will pick you up from your Auckland hotel and start with a bang as you take the scenic flight to Waiheke, soaking in all the views from above! Once you land, you’ll get to feast on a 3-course meal, go wine tasting, and enjoy the island before heading to the ferry terminal to return to Auckland. You can also spend free time on the island before returning on the ferry.

This tour includes everything- the flight, lunch, wine tasting, and ferry tickets for $599 NZD. It is a day of luxury and amazing views! It truly boasts Waiheke’s incredible beauty. I recommend booking this tour out as far in advance as possible, as it is popular.

No matter how much you explore Waiheke Island, you will not get the opportunity to see it like this! 

Related Read: See more of beautiful New Zealand from the air with one of the best scenic flights from Queenstown!

Where to Stay on Waiheke Island, NZ

Room from The Oyster Inn in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Photo credit: The Oyster Inn

Waiheke Island is this wonderful little escape that once you’re here, you’re going to want to stay a while! If you do plan to spend a night or two here, then you should book your accommodation online in advance. Choices are limited, and they book up quickly!

If you’re not sure where to stay, here are my top picks!

Waiheke Backpackers Hostel – $

Backpacking is one of the best ways to explore NZ and Waiheke Backpackers Hostel has you covered for your trip to the island. It’s located above Onetangi Beach, so the sea views are amazing and beach days are a breeze by heading down the hill to hit the sand.

There’s a shared lounge with Netflix for fun movie nights, a shared kitchen, a garden, and free parking or you can rent a bike here too. You can get a bunk bed for $30-40 NZD or a private family room for around the $100 NZD mark. Check availability and book your stay on or

Kiwi House Waiheke – $$

For a mid-range option with a home-away-from-home feel, Kiwi House Waiheke is our pick. This B&B has lots of rooms to choose from and a great central location in Oneroa. The breakfast is awesome and there’s a lovely private deck to relax on after a busy day. Rooms here are around $150-200 NZD and can be booked online here.

The Oyster Inn – $$$

Remember we said The Oyster Inn was fantastic for seafood? Well, you can also stay here too! The location is superb – right across the street from Oneroa Beach. Every room is designed with wooden flooring and wooden furniture – total beach vies! Plus, you get a complimentary breakfast from their restaurant. Check availability and book your room online here.

Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand

Bailey stands in front of a right green JUCY campervan
JUCY is one of my favorite campervan rental companies (read below for a discount code!)
Bailey stands behind her Mad Campers campervan cooking in the kitchen at Piha Beach
I also really like Mad Campers!

Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!

You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:

  • Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to rent a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
  • Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It’s what most budget travelers use for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping…and be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime! My favorite campervan rental company is JUCY because they have a huge selection of campervans to choose from, plus multiple pick-up/drop-off locations. You can browse JUCY’s campervan selection online here. Alternatively, you can easily compare all campervans available in NZ on Motorhome Republic here.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE: I’ve managed to snag a discount code for 5% off for my readers if you book your campervan or motorhome through JUCY or Star RV! Simply click here to select your JUCY campervan, or click here to select your Star RV motorhome, and then use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off – it’s that easy!

Thanks for reading!

A photo of Bailey from My Queenstown Diary at a winery in Queenstown
Thanks for reading!

Waiheke Island is a little paradise only a short ferry ride away from downtown Auckland. Whether you drop into a winery or two, plan a beach day, or take in some of the history on the island, there is so much to do. It’s definitely worth more than one visit!

If you’re looking for more great activities around Auckland or New Zealand in general, I’d love to help you out! After living and traveling around this country, I’ve discovered some real hidden gems and have tips and tricks for pretty much wherever you want to go. Make sure you give some of my other blogs a read while you’re planning your own epic trip to NZ!

Where to Stay in Auckland: The BEST Auckland Hotels for all budgets!

16 Things You NEED to Know Before Renting a Car in New Zealand

18 FUN Things to do in Hamilton, New Zealand

50+ EPIC Things to do on the South Island, New Zealand