Waiheke Island is the most popular of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf islands for visitors. Around 8,000 people live on the island year-round, with art galleries and a lively café culture in the communities, as well as white-sand beaches along the coast.
A number of pathways wind along the shoreline and through the island interior for keen walkers and hikers. The Church Bay Circuit is a three-hour walk that exhibits the best of the island and offers stunning vistas and a hard hike.
Stony Batter Historic Reserve, with its underground tunnel system cut out during World War II in case Auckland was attacked, is a must-see for history buffs. Waiheke Island ferries run on a regular basis from Princes Wharf in central Auckland and take 35-45 minutes.
There are a range of decent lodging alternatives available for people who want to stay longer, ranging from oceanfront cottage rentals to bed and breakfasts.