Getty Images

Waiheke Island

Close to Auckland and blessed with its own warm, dry microclimate, Waiheke Island has long been a favourite escape for city dwellers and visitors alike. On the island’s landward side, emerald waters lap at rocky bays, while its ocean flank has excellent sandy beaches.

While beaches are Waiheke’s biggest drawcard, wine is a close second. There are around 30 boutique wineries scattered about, many with tasting rooms, swanky restaurants and breathtaking views. The island also boasts plenty of quirky galleries and craft stores, a lasting legacy of its hippyish past.

When you’ve had enough of supping, dining, lazing on the sand and splashing in the surf, there are plenty of other pursuits to engage in. A network of walking trails leads through nature reserves and past the cliff-top holiday homes of the Auckland elite. The kayaking is excellent and there are ziplines to whizz along and clay pigeons to shoot.

Explore Waiheke Island

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Waiheke Island.

Guidebooks

Learn more about Waiheke Island

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.