Waiheke Island is a stunning place. It’s pretty cool to just say “I have been to Waiheke Island”.
Getting To Waiheke Island From Auckland
Waiheke Island is only 10 miles or so from the heart of Auckland. I would say visiting here should definitely be on the “must-do” list if you are visiting Auckland.
Getting to Waiheke Island is a 40-minute boat ride from the Auckland Harbour. It is operated by Fuller Tours. We opted to do their Island Explorer bus tour that cost $50NZD and that includes ferry tickets, and an all-day bus pass. They also offer a wine tasting tour (which appears to be what Waiheke Island exports a lot of!). If you are on a budget, you could walk it, but I wouldn’t recommend it as it is pretty hot and hilly!
Island Explorer Bus Tour
Now, you are probably going to wonder about the picture you are about to see… This is Glenn our driver and tour guide for the day. If you are like me, before you book a tour, you might go on Trip Advisor. Do an FBI investigation before booking. You might even do what I do, and jump right into the negative reviews! There could be 100 good reviews, but I’ll focus on the 2 bad ones! To quote one poor review referencing Glenn (mainly due to his humour):
So if you decide to go on this tour, maybe ring up in advance and ask who the tour guide is for each session, and choose one of the other ones!
Well, guess what, we got Glenn! Now, the plot twist here is that he was hilarious. I would say his humour was very British in terms of it being rather dry and sharp. For example, at the start, he would go round the coach which held maybe 16 people and ask them their names and where they are from. It was like being in the front row of a comedy show! For myself it went a bit like this:
G: “Where are your from”
G: “Did you pay for the ticket or did you get it free?” – ZINGER!
(The joke is that the scottish reputation is to be cheap-skates!)
The tour went round the Island taking us through the small villages, through some vineyards, and along the coast. Glenn stopped at some photogenic points to take pictures and walk about.
We hopped off the bus in the village of Oneroa (which is just before the ferry terminal) to get some lunch. We walked down the main road and the restaurants were fairly pricey if you just want a relaxing lunch. However, we spotted an awesome fish and burger place down some stairs called The Local. I think it is safe to say you could call this the ‘million dollar view’. We then popped to the Island Galato Co for some ice cream!