Waiheke Island is a magical, magical place. The only thing between us and plenty of island wineries, tramping trails and beach picnics is a 40-minute ferry ride. Not too shabby.
Waiheke makes for a perfect day trip – whether you want to do something outdoorsy and low-key, or kick it up a notch relaxing at luxurious wineries and restaurants.
Since it was our first time, we chose the hybrid approach, opting for a 2.5 hour hike ending at two of the more accessible wineries. (Waiheke is big, so if you’re hoping to see the whole island, you’ll need to rent a car or take the bus between destinations.)
We attempted to follow a trail map (similar to this walk), but I’m not entirely sure what we ended up doing. All that matters is that we had stellar views and explored a lot of the Western part of the island.
- Views over Cable Bay and Owhanake Bay
- Time to explore, and a quick lunch in Oneroa with beach views (we chose the covered patio at Oneroa Beach Club, which I’d definitely recommend)
- Tasting at Cable Bay Vineyards and Mudbrick Vineyard, plus a long rest sipping (not so great) wine on Mudbrick’s amazing patio
- A short walk back to the ferry, by way of fields of sheep*** (see below)
- Cable Bay: Interestingly, both servers we talked to were American. We loved everything we tried here and walked away with a bottle of rose for later. We were planning to have a glass at their restaurant, but it was way too fancy for our muddy hiking attire.
- Mudbrick: The more casual atmosphere here was more our speed. We took our time here, sitting outside looking over the bay. But unfortunately, the wine was not impressive in any way.
Known as “The Island of Wine,” Waiheke Island is home to more than 30 wineries. We’ll just have to go back!