Waiheke Island is a popular vacation island off the coast of the North Island, New Zealand in the Hauraki Gulf. It is a forty minute ferry ride from Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Waiheke is known for its many wineries and white sand beaches. Its proximity to Auckland means that its a great day trip, but there is plenty of accommodation for people wanting to stay longer.
The easiest way to get to Waiheke is via the high speed ferry, which leaves from Auckland’s ferry terminal in the city centre. The passenger ferry docks in Matiatia Bay and there are buses to get you around the island. They make stops near most of the wineries. There is are two car ferries as well, if you want a car on the island. They depart half Moon Bay and Wynyard Quarter, Auckland and arrive at Kennedy Point, Waiheke.
Waiheke Island is the third most populous island in New Zealand after the North and South islands, with nearly 9,000 permanent residents and around 4,000 with holiday homes there, not to mention the seasonal locals that come out to work each summer (but aren’t resident). With so many people, it’s no wonder that Waiheke has a bunch of different hostels and guesthouses. Most of them are close to the ferry dock in Matiatia or near Oneroa. Hostels in New Zealand are traditional backpacker hostels and often full, especially in the summer. Waiheke is a very popular spot; don’t assume that you’ll be able to get a hostel on arrival, you should book in advance.
The rich volcanic make up of Waiheke means that its perfect for growing grapes, olives, hops, and fruit. There are over 25 wineries, breweries, cideries, and orchards on Waiheke. If you need to take a break between drinking, head for one of Waiheke’s beaches to swim, surf, snorkel, or scuba. And, at the end of the day, tuck into dinner in Oneroa or Onetangi Bay.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Waiheke Island hostels. Welcome.