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4
Introductory to Moderate
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • 1 night hotel, 4 nights self-contained apartment
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

Price

6 daysfrom

$1690NZD

Trip Code: GWI

Trip highlights


  • Walk the network of tracks and trails connected to form the Te Ara Hura route around the island
  • Enjoy stunning scenery and natural landscapes
  • Indulge in delicious food and wine from local vineyards
  • Feel the character of an island well known for its art, artisans and New Zealand's elite
  • Escape to an island just 30 mins by ferry from New Zealand's largest city
  • Local insight from a professional guide
  • Centre-based walking - unpack only once

The best way to discover the character of Waiheke Island is on foot, with a local guide to share stories and delightful gems of information. From its remote eastern corners, rugged coastal headlands and forested interior to its more inhabited western side with picturesque vineyards, swimming beaches and vibrant artisan community there is much to explore. Walk over a variety of terrain from gentle local footpaths to narrow bush tracks across hill slopes. Everywhere there are spectacular vistas. The Te Ara Hura (which means "Discover the Way") is a continuous route around the island made up of numerous tracks, trails and paths linked together. By walking a different section of the route each day it is possible to truly discover the diversity of this place, one day at a time. Returning to the same centrally-located accommodation every night there is no need to pack up your luggage until you leave, meaning you walk with only a daypack and have plenty of time to relax. Located just a short ferry journey from the bustle of Auckland but feeling a world away, it is easy to appreciate why this island escape is so popular.


Itinerary

Make your own way to Auckland and check-in to your accommodation any time after 2:00pm. The city is New Zealand's largest, both in area and population and hence is often mistakenly thought of as the country's capital. Spend some time exploring the gardens and open spaces of The Domain, wander through the fascinating War Memorial Museum for a glimpse into Maori history and culture, visit the Sky Tower for spectacular 360 degree views, visit an art gallery, cruise the harbour, wander the foreshore or explore the shops. Food lovers will be spoilt for choice with a multitude of cafes, restaurants and bars to suit all budgets and tastes.

Meals:  L

Take the 9:00am ferry this morning from Auckland to Waiheke Island. On arrival at the Matiatia wharf, your guide will meet you and arrange for your luggage to be transferred to your accommodation so that you can commence walking right away. (You will need to be prepared with your requirements for the day already packed in your daypack.) After introductions and a short trip briefing, the walk today follows the northern coastline around headlands, up and down hills, beside secluded bays and along beautiful sand beaches. Enjoy stunning views of Hauraki Gulf islands and the Coromandel Peninsula, explore Oneroa Village (the main settlement on the island) with its cafes, boutique shops and galleries, and take a refreshing swim at one of several beaches along the way. Pass through reserves where native vegetation regeneration is underway and by vineyards that produce award-winning wines before reaching the white sands of Onetangi Beach. The longest beach on the island, this is the location of your accommodation for the next four nights. Settle in and relax before a delicious evening meal.

Meals:  B,L,D

Although longer in duration, today's walk starts from your accommodation and is a gentler gradient than yesterday. Mostly following ridgelines inland a little and alongside the road, more superb views abound. Exploring the remote eastern end of the island you will encounter fewer inhabitants, places of historical significance, rural vistas, wildlife corridors, wetlands and isolated beaches. Take an optional detour to historic Stony Batter Reserve (own expense) before taking time to admire the white sands of Man-o-War Bay and the nearby stands of magnificent kauri trees. Enjoy a swim and a picnic lunch at the beach and maybe some wine tasting (own expense, winery opening times permitting). There is much history in this area, on which your guide will provide insight, from Maori settlement to logging operations. Continuing to the south east corner of the island, there are amazing views and some fascinating stories about the smaller offshore islands you can see. At the Orapiu wharf, you will be met and transferred back to your accommodation for the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a good breakfast, transfer with your guide to Orapiu where you finished walking yesterday. There are some steep sections on today's walk and it is considered the most strenuous on the Te Ara Hura route. The exertion is worth it, however, with the rewards being beautiful forest, birdlife, a marine reserve, delectable wines (optional, own expense) and the exhilaration of standing at the highest point on the trail (155m) with uninterrupted views all around. Maunganui (231m), the highest point on the island, can be seen nearby before descending into the picturesque Awaawaroa Valley and completing the journey on the other side at Trig Hill (Putiki-O-Kahu). Transfer from there back to your accommodation for a well-deserved swim, shower and a relaxing evening.

Meals:  B,L,D

Return to Trig Hill this morning to commence today's walk. The trail is undulating and is both on and off road, weaving around the coastline and pretty bays of the south west of the island. Explore the Whakanewha regional park containing forested streams, significant ancient pa sites (fortified Maori settlements) and important dotterel nesting grounds. Wander through small communities tucked away in the bush, visit a sculpture park (own expense), sample some local olive oil (own expense), learn the importance of historic Rangihoua pa from your guide and discover the most popular bay in which to moor a houseboat. Of course there are magical coastal views throughout the day and flowering native trees add to the spectacle in season. Complete today's adventure at Surfdale Beach after walking through the secluded Te Toki Reserve wetlands. Return to your accommodation to soak up the Waiheke atmosphere and feast on local cuisine for a final night.

Meals:  B,L,D

The last day of walking is relaxed and is the easiest day on the route. After packing your luggage and checking out of your accommodation, you will be transferred to Surfdale once again. Commence walking from here to Te Huruhi Bay where it is worth visiting a Maori cemetery and the beautifully decorated Piritahi community Marae (meeting place). The Marae is not a tribal one and while respecting Ngati Paoa (the original inhabitants of Waiheke) it welcomes people from all races. The beach in this area is a significant godwit (migratory wading bird) feeding ground, their arrival and departure in September and March marking the extended summer season for locals. Indulge in some final wine tasting (own expense) with a view from the well-regarded Cable Bay or Mudbrick Vineyards and pass by Church Bay where some of the grandest mansions on the island are located. You can shorten the day if required or walk the full length of the route around beautiful headlands to the Matiatia ferry wharf. Farewell your guide here, where your luggage will be waiting, before boarding the return ferry to Auckland, departing at 4:00pm. Trip arrangements end on arrival in Auckland.

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • 1 night hotel accommodation in Auckland (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 4 nights self-contained apartment (twinshare) on Waiheke Island with all linen and private bathroom
  • 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Return ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island
  • Luggage transfers to/from the ferry wharf and accommodation on Waiheke Island
  • Transfers between accommodation and trailheads on Waiheke Island
  • Professional local guide
  • Route notes and maps

  • Travel to Auckland on Day 1 and onward travel from Auckland on Day 6
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks other than tap water
  • Optional activities, extras and upgrades (such as wine tasting, entry fees to Stony Batter Reserve, entry fees to art galleries, single supplement)
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Daypack (large enough to fit a lunch box and water bottle)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface


Accommodation


Grading

Introductory to Moderate  
4

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE - GRADE 4 These trips involve a combination of what is described in our Introductory and Moderate levels. The emphasis is on introductory activity with several moderate stages. These adventures involve walking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions. Walking each day is over a variety of terrain including flat pavements, sandy beaches and hills with uneven track surfaces. Care needs to be taken as there are some steep sections that have a loose surface and are slippery when wet. A very good level of fitness is required and your preparation should include climbing and descending stairs, hills or sand dunes on uneven terrain. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise - swimming, cycling, jogging, stair or hill walking - three to four times a week for three months prior to your journey. During the walking stages you will need to carry your daily requirements such as water, lunch, spare clothing and personal items.


Departure dates


Notes

1
Trip departs all year, subject to availability of accommodation. Please ask if you prefer alternative dates. Keep in mind that Waiheke Island is extremely popular in summer (Oct - Apr), particularly over weekends. We recommend planning your trip from Monday to Friday.
2
Minimum group size 4 people. Maximum group size 10 people.
3
Departure time from Auckland ferry terminal is 9:00am on Day 1. Arrival time at Auckland ferry terminal on Day 5 is 4:35pm. Trip can be customised to 5 days (6 - 8 hrs walking per day) if required (min 4 people).
Note:
From time to time short sections of the Te Ara Hura may be closed for vegetation regeneration or trail maintenance. Alternate routes may be available in some places but please be aware it may not be possible to walk the full100km route due to circumstances beyond our control.

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events and even making the trail accessible for everyone. Learn how you can organise a Customised Tour with Great Walks of New Zealand.

Total Priceper person from

$1690NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Low season reduction (May - Aug)NZD$140
  • Single supplementNZD$590
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Waiheke Island Te Ara Hura Guided Walk trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.

Kaitiakitanga

A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

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