Waiheke Island – the gem of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf – has long been known as a haven for those that want to get away from it all. The island has a colourful history of attracting a wide array of creatives, eccentrics and holiday makers since the early 1900’s. Today, it’s still a world away in every sense of the word. But the award-winning vineyards, olive groves, walking tracks and art galleries have helped the island ‘grow up’ into a soulful, scenic and unique holiday destination. It’s the kind of place where you discover a delightful new treasure, place or experience every time you visit – the perfect excuse to return again, and again (like after an intensive lockdown!).
Appreciate the art
Colourful, talented and with a passion for sustainability, Waiheke’s creative community is part of what makes the island such a unique place to live and visit. From Barbara Robinson’s earthy oil paintings and upcycling pieces to Gabriella Lewenz’s stunning abstract paintings – and the beautiful outdoor sculpture park and island art galleries – Waiheke is home to truly inspired artists and an eclectic, unique creative community. Sue Engels, the island’s artisan shoemaker, creates one-of-a-kind, bespoke shoes.
If you’re an art aficionado looking to time your visit well, don’t miss the annual Sculpture on the Gulf event. This spectacular 3-week outdoor exhibition features unique, eye-catching large-scale artworks in the form of an art trail, and is held annually in late summer.
Step out of your comfort zone
There’s more to Waiheke than wine tasting and exploring palm-fringed beaches, although a good holiday most definitely includes plenty of both. Waiheke is a top spot to ‘do something new’. When was the last time you went zipline racing high above a vineyard, or got the girls together and unplug on one of our relaxing Wellness Retreats? From archery to claybird shooting or a jet ski tour; there’s no better way to create holiday memories than to do something you’ve never tried before.
Mother Nature at her finest
From the Tuscany-like landscapes of Stonyridge Vineyard to the perfection of the north-facing sands of Oneroa Beach, Waiheke’s rockstar landscapes are captivating. Did you know that the island is home to more than 100km of walking tracks to explore? Ranging from an easy stroll to a multi-hour hike, lacing up your walking shoes is one of the best ways to discover the island’s environments. Stony Batter Historic Reserve, located at the Eastern end of the island, features stunning views, walks and historic gun sites that date back to WWII.
Sailing is another great way to soak up Waiheke’s natural wonders. Exploring remote beaches and other nearby isles, the combination of the salt air and stunning scenery is the ultimate in relaxation.
Waiheke Island delivers on so many different types of holidays. It’s why it’s such an incredible place to return to and rediscover. From a weekend of art, walks and wineries with the girls, to hiring a beachfront bach in Oneroa with the kids or a romantic few days away for a special occasion, Waiheke delivers. There’s something really special about hopping on a ferry and setting off on holiday across the water – it feels like you’re heading off into a different world. And that’s what this chameleon-like island is: A totally different world, only 45 mins away from downtown Auckland. We’re here at Terra & Tide to make your next trip a little different, whenever it might be that you return.