People flock from all over the world to taste the wines on Waiheke Island. In Conde Nast Traveler's Best Islands in the World List. we topped the likes of the Maldives and St. Lucia. In fact, the wine-lovers paradise was named fourth on the list, chosen by readers of the influential travel magazine. The top three islands in the world, as named by readers, were Palawan in the Philippines, Bora Bora and Moorea, both located in French Polynesia.
Given an overall rating of 84.447, Waiheke was described as:
A mix of Nantucket and Sonoma, with New Zealand charm, the island is a wine-lover's nirvana"
Electric Bike Hire
Biking is a great way to get around the island, however we do see a lot of visitors struggling (suffering) with peddle bikes on the hills. So we recommend you hire power-assisted electric bikes. You still get some exercise, and enjoy the ‘green’ way to get around Waiheke, but the bike’s onboard batteries will kick in automatically whenever you need help with those hills. As their advertising suggests “put the fun between your legs.” And best of all they can hired right from the motel at $20 per hour or $60 for the day!
"These made our trip!!! Thank you for making our trip so much fun" - Sunna Kimma via Facebook
Hit the Beach
Within 10 minutes drive of the motel are 10 of the island’s most beautiful beaches. Our recommendations are:
- A morning walk on the long white Onetangi Beach, followed by coffee or breakfast at Charley Farley’s
- Family fun time at Little Oneroa. This beach is set in a sheltered bay, perfect for little swimmers, and has a great covered playground. No need to take food - get lunch from the Wood-fired Pizza cart, and follow it with ice cream from the dairy.
- Palm Beach. A picturesque beach set into a cove, dotted with palm trees and traditional holiday homes. Best fish and chips on the island and a handy general store for snacks.
Waiheke Golf Club
Possibly the most relaxed Golf Club in the country, Waiheke Golf Club was voted Best Northern Region 9 Hole Course. If you’ve always wanted to try golf, but always been too intimidated by the collars and ironed shorts, now is the time to try. Visitors are welcome, young and old, absolute beginners to experienced players. There’s good coffee and wine in the quaint club house, and even a little playground to keep the very young entertained. There’s more holes in the driveway than in the course, and watch out for the ducks at the second hole. Worth a hit.
From $20 for 9 holes, $30 for 18 holes, and $30 for cart hire
Wild on Waiheke
One place which has something for everyone is Wild on Waiheke. While the adults enjoy the wine and beer tasting, the kids can enjoy the outdoor playground and swings. Then everyone can get involved with the Giant Chess, Petanque, Volleyball and Flingo. And if you haven’t had too many wines, everyone over 8 can try archery or laser claybird shooting for $25 each. And we recommend their delicious wood-fired Pizza - great for sharing.
From $free to $25 per person
Stand Up Paddle Board
Paddle boarding is the hot new thing on Waiheke right now. Waiheke Board Riders is a water sports rental company that operates from both Oneroa and Onetangi beaches on Waiheke Island. They specialise in Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP) but also have soft top surfboards and boogie boards as well. They give comprehensive ‘on water’ SUP lessons to individuals or small groups, or offer just basic beach instruction and let you have fun and figure it out for yourself.
From $30 per hour, or $60 per hour including lesson.
Soak up the scenery from the three giant flying fox ziplines. Fun for young and old, enjoy epic 360 degree views, soar over the bush canopy and then explore ancient NZ native forest. And if you get too worn out from all the excitement, there’s a vineyard right across the road when you can rest and refresh yourself. Pick up and drop off can be arranged from the motel.
From $119 Adult, $79 Child, Family of 4 $317 (2 adults, 2 kids 15 or under)
See the best the island has to offer on horseback. There are a number of companies offering horse tours, taking you through some amazing scenery, over beaches, and views at every turn. Suitable for absolute beginners through to experienced riders. Transfers from the motel can be arranged.
Guided Art Tour
This guided tour showcases Waiheke's contemporary art scene. It takes you around vineyards, coastal waters and gets you up close to the artist in their home studio, all while feeling the wind in your hair on an electric bike.
The tour introduces you to five world renowned artists, each specialising in a different medium, including stone, kauri, painting, bronze and photography.