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10 things to do on waiheke (that aren't visiting a winery)

10 things to do on waiheke (that aren't visiting a winery)

1 // walk te ara hura

the perfect way to explore the island and discover its stunning natural beauty is by throwing on a pair of walking/running shoes and exploring any of the 100km of trails that make up te ara hura. there’s everything from bush to beaches, with short walks and longer ones

2 // or take part in the waiheke walking festival

held annually towards the end of the year, this multi-day festival has walks for everyone

3 // hit the beach

with some great of sandy spots on the northern side of the island, there’s no better way to spend a cash-free day than with a picnic, a beach towel, a dip (or two) in the ocean and a good book. oneroa, palm and onetangi beaches are all on the bus routes

4 // eat the locals

waiheke island’s te matuku have really great oysters. you can grab yourself a dozen freshly shucked from either raw food market, or waiheke specialty food in ostend, or head to the oyster inn for cooked oyster options

5 // visit the ostend market

if you’re here on a saturday, the ostend market is not to be missed. with locally produced food, crafts and other goodies, there’s something interesting there for everyone

6 // sleep under the stars

skip the airbnb or holiday house, and pitch a tent at whakanewha regional park. there’s sheltered swimming, great camping and picnic spots and a bunch of the te ara hura tracks nearby

7 // get your gourmet burger fix

if you’ve got a craving only a great burger will fix, visit elmer and ian at too fat buns or sarah at mint as. both have great meat and vegetarian/vegan options

8 // sample some locally made whisky at heke

arguably one of the island’s best casual eateries, heke make their own whisky, bourbon, rye, vodka and gin. wash it all down with some great seasonal food in a great family and dog friendly location

9 //catch the sunrise

for the early risers that are ready to seize the day without a moment to spare, set your alarm and have your coffee & croissants ready to go as you hunt down the perfect spot to watch the sunrise. the picnic table off cory road, on the hill above mawhitipana bay, and the strand at onetangi are a couple of my favourites.

10 // or the sunset

if early mornings aren’t for you, grab a gourmet burger—or a pizza from fenice—plus a bottle of wine from the waiheke wine center and find a spot to watch the sunset. the picnic table just past jurassic ridge on cable bay road is a favourite of mine, with great views of rangitoto and auckland city in the distance