• self-guided walk
  • 1 night hotel, 3 nights self-contained apartment
  • 3 Dinners
  • 4 Lunches
  • 4 Breakfasts


5 daysfrom


Trip Code: GSE

Trip highlights

  • Enjoy day walks with stunning scenery and natural landscapes
  • Indulge in delicious food and wine from local producers
  • Embrace the vibrant art scene, visiting local galleries and sculpture gardens at your leisure
  • Escape to an island just 30 mins by ferry from New Zealand's largest city
  • Centre-based exploring - unpack only once

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 plenty to explore on Waiheke Island. This trip offers a glimpse into its diversity with a selection of nature walks on part of the Te Ara Hura route with stunning views, fine food and wine to sample, and some leisure time to visit galleries, a sculpture park and explore the art scene if you choose. The peace and charm of the island is exuded in abundance. Staying at the same centrally-located accommodation every night there is no need to pack up your luggage until the day you leave, meaning you explore 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 no wonder this is a popular island escape.


Make your own way to Auckland and check-in to your trip 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:  Nil

Take the 9:00am ferry this morning from Auckland to Waiheke Island. On arrival at the Matiatia wharf, your luggage will be transferred to your trip 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.) 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 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 where you will find your accommodation for the next three nights. Settle in and relax.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a short transfer this morning, begin walking from historic Rocky Bay. The trail is undulating and is both on and off road, weaving up from the shores of Rocky Bay through a loop around 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), and take in the the scenic path back toward your base through forest pathways, coastline and pretty bays of the south west of the island. Along the way, taste some signature Waiheke wines at Stony ridge Vineyards (own expense). Walk back to Onetangi at leisure to round out the day. It is possible to shorten the day by not visiting Whakanewha Regional Park; this option involves more road walking. An additional winery can also be added (tastings own expense) if desired.

Meals:  B,L,D

Although longer in duration, today's walk starts from your accommodation and is a gentle gradient for much of the day. Mostly following ridgelines inland a little and alongside the road, 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). Please check winery opening times, some venues may be closed on weekdays and/or outside of the peak season. There is much history in this area 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 a final night.

Meals:  B,L,D

Enjoy a leisurely pace for your final day on the island, either browsing the Community Art Gallery in Oneroa and nearby sculpture parks, exploring Oneroa Village (the main settlement on the island) with its cafes, boutique shops and galleries, or simply relaxing on the beach with a book and a picnic. You will need to make your way to the Matiatia ferry wharf for your 4.00pm return journey to Auckland, where your luggage will be waiting. Trip arrangements end on arrival in Auckland.

Meals:  B,L



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 1 night hotel accommodation in Auckland (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 3 nights self-contained apartment (twinshare) on Waiheke Island with all linen and private bathroom
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Return ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island
  • Luggage transfers on Waiheke Island
  • Transfers between accommodation and trailheads on Waiheke Island
  • Route notes with local information, maps

  • Travel to Auckland on Day 1 and onward travel from Auckland on Day 5
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks other than tap water
  • Optional activities, extras and upgrades (such as wine tasting, entry fees to historic sites, entry fees to art galleries, single supplement, guided art walk) Please check winery opening times, some venues may be closed on weekdays and/or outside of the peak season.
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Daypack (large enough to fit a lunch box and water bottle)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface




INTRODUCTORY These trips involve walking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace. Our introductory trips are not ‘easy’ trips and you will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. During the walking stages you will need to carry your daily requirements such as water, lunch, spare clothing and personal items. Suggested preparation: We recommend 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (fast walking, jogging or cycling) four times a week for three months leading up to your departure. Hill or stair walking with a full daypack is also highly recommended at least once a week for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness. Walking in variable weather conditions is advisable.

Departure dates

Daily year-round


Waiheke Island is extremely popular in summer (Oct - Apr), particularly over weekends. We recommend planning your trip between Monday and Friday.
Trip pricing is based on minimum of 2 travellers. If you are travelling solo, please ask us for options.
Many of the islands wineries and tasting rooms are closed or on limited operating hours during the Winter months.

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.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplement (Own room)NZD$850
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Best of Waiheke Self-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.


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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