For a quick day trip head to Waiheke Island. A 30 minute ferry ride away. There’s an option to purchase a hop on hop off bus pass for the island which will take you around to different points for walks and vineyards. I chose not to buy the bus pass because it costs $10 and walking is free.
I chose the southern coastal walk which is supposed to take 1.5 hours. It took me a bit longer because I stopped a few times to take photos. This walks takes you along the coast past a vineyards, the chance to see penguins (I didn’t see any), and Blackpool beach. I don’t recommend spending much time at Blackpool as Oneroa beach was nicer.
Wear proper footwear as the path is a bush walk at points. When I entered the trail there was a section to clean your shoes with a few spray bottles of soap and brushes made of twigs. The goal is to protect the forest and stop soil movement.
Oneroa is small with a few restaurants and shops. I didn’t go further east but there’s much more to the island. The walk to the ferry is 30 minutes and on the way you’ll pass the public library. Stop in for washrooms and free wifi.
Time: 30 minutes each way
Multiple ferries run per day, usually in 30 minute increments.
Price: $38 round trip
Purchase your tickets from the Fullers ticket window not the ferry tours. Tickets can be used at any time so there’s no need to rush for a specific departure.
What to do on Waiheke
There are several coastal walks you can do. They range is distance but some are as short as 1.5hours. I usually take longer because of all the photo stops.
One of only a few towns on the island. It is a 30 minute walk from the ferry terminal so give yourself enough time to head back to catch your ferry. I suggest bringing a picnic lunch as the restaurants and cafes are more expensive than Auckland with few cheap options.
While on some of the coastal walks you may run into a vineyard. You can join an organized tour of wineries or explore them on your own.
There were several tour companies offering organized tours form Auckland to Waiheke Island for a day. These tours are perfect options if you’re short on time. They are a little expensive as with all tours. You’re paying for the convenience. If you have the time, try heading out on your own.