Ever since we arrived in Auckland we have wanted to visit Waiheke Island, however the prices really put us off! To take the van over would have cost us up of $150 on the car ferry and accommodation on the island is expensive to say the least! Finally we took the plunge on New Years Eve to head over on the passenger boat and explore for a day!
The Fullers boat departs regularly and if you add the bus pass, will set you back $45 for a return. With a couple of pre-made sandwiches and some water we headed out early to see as much as we could!
The boat ride itself is stunning, waving goodbye to the Auckland Skyline you head towards Waiheke and within 40 minutes you are ready to explore!
We took the bus to our first stop; Oneroa. A quaint little village with a few eateries and a long stretch of sand and sea. However beautiful it was nothing too impressive so we didn’t stay long. We jumped back on the bus with our passes and headed to Palm Beach.
By far the best beach on the island (from what we saw) with great beauty comes great amounts of people! It was clear to see why it was so popular with the bright blue water gently lapping the shore and gorgeous soft sand to drape yourself upon. We nabbed ourselves a spot and sun-creamed up!
One thing we did notice is that the buses run few and far between, many just once an hour and they never came on time. Most being late, it was hard to estimate when to head back to the bus stop.
After a dip in the sea which was surprisingly cool, we jumped aboard the bus to get ourselves to Onetangi Beach for some more waves and a walk through the forest!
A much larger beach makes for a great stroll along the waters edge with shells half buried into the sand you could get caught up looking down at your feet at the glimmering colours and miss everything else! If you are feeling adventurous then you can go through the Onetangi reserve taking one of the loop tracks into the wilderness!
It was getting late and it became very clear that we should have either started earlier in the day or booked to stay the night. However like I said, accommodation on the island is not cheap, however camping is a more budget friendly option!
Knowing that the sun was setting, we decided to make our last stop in Surfdale for a cheeky Cider before heading back to the ferry. The beach was almost empty at Surfdale but the sand was not as luscious as Palm Beach. After snapping some shots we relaxed in a small Irish Pub with a Magners in hand, reflecting on the day!
If you want to visit Waiheke Island then I suggest you save it for a sunny day! The island is all beaches and lush walks so a grey day would just not be worth it! Also, you may be ashamed to hear that Waiheke Island is the land of WINE! It is the biggest thing about the whole island! Yes! Vineyards everywhere and wine tasting galore! However, the wine tasting can be pricey for a full day and I really wanted to get to see the coast, as it may be the only time we visit!
Have you been to Waiheke? Let me know in the comments which part was your favourite and whether you could some bargains!
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