Waiheke Island is only a 45-minute ferry ride from Auckland central, yet a million miles away. You’re greeted by rolling hills, sloping vineyards, tranquil bays, and relaxed island dwellers. Consistently ranked in the top islands worldwide by travel media such as Condé Nast and Lonely Planet, the not-so-secret little island in the Hauraki Gulf attracts many visitors every season for a reason. Plan your next island escape with this complete travel guide including Waiheke’s must-visit wineries.
5 Top Wineries on Waiheke Island
Tantalus Estate – Surrounded by lush vineyards and rolling hills, this estate embodies the essence of New Zealand’s wine country. Their stunning tasting room and restaurant offer a unique experience, where you can indulge in wine tastings, gourmet local cuisine, and soak in the breathtaking views of the island.
Cable Bay Vineyards – Just a stone’s throw from Oneroa and the ferry station you can start your day here and combine a snack and wine at their beautiful modern restaurant and setting.
Mudbrick – Just up the road from Cable Bay, Mudbrick offers old-world warmth in a beautiful Mediterranean garden setting with stunning views back to Auckland. The food is superb so book early for a meal there.
Passage Rock – Beautiful wines and a bit off the beaten track, on the southern part of the island, take some time out to relax on their patio in the vineyards and taste gourmet foods from their bistro.
Waiheke Island wine tours
Leave it to the locals and book a guided winery tour on Waiheke for your next island escape:
Things to do on Waiheke
Zip Lining: Zipline And Forest Walk from $129 pp.
Waiheke Distilling Co: Enjoy a one of a kind distillery tour and gin experience.
Cascades waterfall: A shady, beautiful, 7km/2hrs loop walk within the Whakanewha Regional Park including the Cascades.
Waiheke beaches: Explore sandy beaches and tucked-away bays on the island including Oneroa Beach, Palm Beach, Surfdale Beach, and Onetangi Beach.
Ferry to Waiheke
The ferry ride is already an attraction on its own. You can board ferries with or without your car in Auckland’s CBD or in Half Moon Bay. The crossing takes about 45 minutes depending on where you hop on the boat and it takes you passed Rangitoto Island and the stunning coastline in the Hauraki Gulf. You’ll have fantastic views of the Auckland skyline from the boat!
Fullers – Passenger FerryFullers run a regular passenger ferry service departing from downtown Auckland Ferry Terminal every hour, on the hour, between 9- 5 pm with extra early morning and evening ferries. Some sailings go via Devonport.
SeaLink – Passenger & car ferrySeaLink runs a comprehensive car and passenger ferry service to Waiheke Island. Departs from Wynyard Quarter in Auckland and from Half Moon Bay in Auckland’s eastern suburbs.
Helilink – Helicopter Transfers (if you want to splash out!)Waiheke is a 12-minute flight from Helilink’s base in Mechanics Bay in Downtown Auckland.
Once you’re on Waiheke
There are many options for transport on the island including a few rental car agencies, taxis, and shuttles.
Buses: Waiheke Island Buses meet all Auckland ferries and return to Matiatia Wharf for all Auckland ferry departures: Timetable.
- Waiheke Auto Rentals offers scooters, motorbikes, convertibles, jeeps, and cars.
- Waiheke Rental Cars offer late-model sedans, hatchbacks, people movers, minivans, and more.
- Waiheke Executive Taxis: 09 372 6643 or 0800 372200
- Waiheke Independent Taxis: 0800 300 372
- Waiheke Quality Cabs: 09 372 3000
- Island Taxis: 09 372 4111
For more wine tips, make sure to check out the following articles: