Waiheke Island Escape   - a 6   day New Zealand Tour

waiheke-island-blog-luxury-travel-7b6d29
Waiheke Island Escape

Auckland shopping, gardens and museums. Waiheke Island sights, wineries, arts & crafts, plus more…

 

Join our tour and escape to Waiheke Island, what a contrast to the hustle and bustle of Auckland - yet just a short ferry trip away.

 

To begin we visit some Auckland sights before dining together the top of the Sky Tower on our first night. Then unwind for 4 relaxing days on Waiheke, visiting the best wineries, gardens, arts and crafts and much more. This is a must see destination for our international A list celebs, so why not come and enjoy its many delights as well. 

See tour calendar for dates and prices

Day 1 - With bags packed, and a pick up at your door, we head off for a getaway to wonderous Waiheke Island. We enjoy the relaxed drive to Auckland, getting to know your new tour mates with plenty of stops along the way. Through the scenic Karangahake Gorge to Paeroa for morning tea at the L&P cafe, then across the Hauraki Plains before climbing the Bombay Hills and into central Auckland.

Before checking in to our city hotel we offer the option for some retail therapy at the new Newmarket Westfield shopping mall, or if you prefer, time to explore the Wintergardens or Auckland Museum in the Auckland Domain. If these options are not for you then you can check into the hotel which is just a 10 minute walk from the Holy Trinity Cathedral, a stunning building and well worth a visit.

Tonight we dine at the Orbit Restaurant, at the top of the Sky Tower, where you have fantastic 360 degree views of the city while enjoying your meal.

Day 2 - Time for us to skip across the Hauraki Gulf to Waiheke Island – our home for the next 4 nights. The 45 minute ferry from Half Moon Bay is spectacular with scenic views of the harbour, city and surrounding islands such as Rangitoto and Browns Island. 

On arrival on Waiheke we take a short tour of the western end of the island before heading to one of the island's top wineries - Mudbrick Vineyard. We begin with wine tasting and then relax in the casual Mediterranean influenced bistro for our included lunch today. The restaurant sits on a ridge overlooking the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf, what a way to start our island escape. 

After lunch it's then just a short drive to our beachside accommodation at Onetangi. Dinner is not included this evening so you are free to do your own thing, or join us for a social evening at one of the popular cafe bars in Oneroa.

Day 3 - Today we have a morning free so you can relax and explore Onetangi, or join us on an optional visit ($30 pp entry fee) to see the Stoney Batter Tunnels, a WWII Coastal Defence Fortress located at the Eastern end of the Island.

Commissioned in 1942 under absolute secrecy, the complex comprises 1.2km’s of subterranean passages, chambers and stairwells - all tunneled by hand. The fortress is in a very high state of preservation and our guided tour will give you the background to this Heritage Grade 1 listed monument of national significance (a 1km walk each way). 

We return to Onetangi to freshen up at the motel before we head out for a leisurely lunch together (again this is included today) at a stunning location overlooking Palm Beach - our usual Christmas Day lunch venue on the Christmas tour.  

After lunch we head back to our apartments to relax. Dinner this evening is not included, so you have the evening free to do your own thing. Maybe try one of the local restaurants just a few minutes walk away (if you still have any room).

Day 4 - After breakfast we take a short drive to one of the islands most stunning gardens - The Sacred Blessing Garden. This two acre garden is an oasis of plant diversity as well as a private collection of sculptures by New Zealand sculptors Paul Dibble, Phil Price & Ray Hayden. The garden has sculpture, a serene fernery, heritage roses, butterfly enclosures, lush lawns and gardeners who hand-clip the carpeting pratia with scissors. You can wander the many pathways at your own pace.

Leaving the gardens - our next destination is the island's Museum and Historic Village. The museum houses a reconstructed woolshed, a 1930s-style island cottage, 3 small bach-style houses with period rooms and photo exhibits. There is also a working, manually-operated telephone exchange, the original Waiheke jail and and even a fine old long-drop toilet! A chance for us to see what the island was like in days past.

Next is a visit to a boutique wine producer set in a stunning location. Their hi-tech gravity-flow winery is located at the island’s highest vineyard and produces wines which are crafted in small lots without compromise. After a tour of the winery we will enjoy the more exclusive food paired wine tasting in the restaurant, tasting wonderful examples of Waiheke wines including Syrah, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Flora.

You can stay on at the winery for lunch (your cost) or return with us for a relaxing afternoon at Onetangi. We also offer a trip to Oneroa for some 'retail therapy' for an hour or two in the islands 'village'. This evening we will dine out together at a local restaurant close to our accommodation.

Day 5 - Today we are joined by a local guide to explore more of the island. Our guide has a wealth of knowledge and is a real "Waihekean" so will impart some interesting stories as we travel the more remote eastern side of the island, leaving behind the residential areas where most of the 10,000 locals live.

Along gravel roads, through farm land and vineyards, with truly spectacular views from hill top lookouts across the Hauraki Gulf, our destination is "Man O War" Bay and its beach front winery of the same name. The winery is part of a 4,500 acre family farm with 75 vineyards, as well as orchards, olive groves, restored native forests, beehives and livestock. Our visit begins with wine, olive oil and honey tastings, followed by our lovely included lunch today. Set amongst native trees overlooking the tranquil bay, this beautiful setting makes this winery a popular choice.

Following lunch and maybe a dip in the sea or a few games of boule, we continue around the coast road with great views back to the mainland. We pass many multi-million dollar homes of the rich and famous (sadly hidden behind secure fences) on the way to Oneroa to visit the Waiheke Arts and Crafts Centre. Be sure to have your credit card to hand as there will be many works that may tempt you. 

Returning to the motel, time to relax this afternoon before we head out to a local restaurant for dinner, our last on the island. 

Day 6 - Today we are homeward bound, departing Waiheke after breakfast and maybe that last stroll along the golden sand beach. We take the ferry back across the Hauraki Gulf to Half Moon Bay and begin our journey south.

We have one final treat in store though - our mid morning visit to the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Covering 64 hectares, including 10 hectares of native forest, the gardens opened to the public in 1982, so is a young garden by world standards. The gardens are home to more than 10,000 plants from around the world as well as many native species, so something for everyone to enjoy. Before we depart for Tauranga, you can visit Café Miko (located in the visitor centre) where there is a wide selection of food available for lunch if needed. Or just spend your time enjoying the gardens and woodland.

We make a mid-way stop for refreshments on the way back home and will have you dropped at your door late afternoon after this great trip.

All Hinterland multi-day tours can be taken by clients from any region of New Zealand or Australia. Please contact us for details. Additional charges may apply.

What's Included:

  • 6 days of touring

  • 5 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service (Tauranga area)

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by your guide

  • All breakfasts

  • 3 lunches and 3 dinners

  • Sky Tower Orbit Restaurant dinner

  • Auckland Botanic Gardens

  • Guided tours on Waiheke Island

  • Wine tasting at three wineries

  • Mudbrick Winery

  • Man O War Winery

  • Batch Winery

  • Visit to an arts & crafts gallery

  • Waiheke Island Village Museum

  • Plenty of stops along the way

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • The City of Sails - Auckland

  • Sky Tower - casino optional!

  • The Waitemata Harbour

  • Waiheke and the Hauraki Gulf

  • The island from end to end

Options:

  • Visit to the Stony Batter Tunnels

Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

If you do not wish to taste the wines or beers during our visits, then alternative beverages will be offered instead.

 

* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.

Man of war winery Waiheke Island New Zealand
Vineyard on Waiheke Island Tour