Our favourite beaches to visit and walks to explore
Waiheke is known for its golden sand beaches, so we’ve listed some of the ones we love the most.
If you’re looking for a good all-rounder, Onetangi is known for having the whitest sand on the Island, safe swimming, and beach front cafes.
Once you’ve had your fun on the beach, refresh with a cocktail at Three Seven Two or enjoy a fine dining experience at Ki Maha.
A fun and easy beach experience. Our favourite option for afternoon BBQ’s using the outdoor cooking facilities and picnic tables that can be found at the eastern end of the beach. The location takes its name from the giant Pheonix Palms that can be seen running along the coastline here.
Walk around the rocks from Palm Beach (or try the walk from the top which has stunning views but is quite a challenging descent). The water is spectacular, it’s sheltered and quiet, but a little heads up – it’s nudie beach!
The Palm Beach Store is a 2 minute walk from the beach and perfect for grabbing an ice-cream or toastie.
A small, sheltered lagoon style bay with the warmest waters on Waiheke. It’s a pebbly beach that’s great for snorkelling but is tidal, so check before heading out. Insider tip: If you want to stay a while, be sure to get there early.
After enjoying the warm waters of Enclosure Bay, we recommend stopping off at Oyster Inn or the Courtyard.
Scenic Island Walks
Waiheke offers 100km of beautiful scenic walks. The Te Ara Hura Walk Waiheke Network is the perfect way to explore the island and discover its natural beauty.
You can explore the coastline, pass through native bush and visit historic sites. These are a handful of our favourites.
Oneroa to Palm Beach
1.5-2hours, 6.4km, moderate/difficult
A stunning bi-directional walk over undulated coastal terrain, trails and quiet roads. Beautiful northern views of the Hauraki Gulf. A great track to discover hidden beaches and Kiwi baches.
Casscades loop walk
2hours, 7km, easy-moderate
A shady loop walk through Nikau Forest and native bush. Birdlife is amazing, you might see a few kererū (wood pigeons) and kōtare (kingfisher) along the way. It can get muddy – wear appropriate footwear.
Matiatia to Oneroa
2 hours, 5.5km, difficult
A 2-hour bi-directional walk with stunning coastal views and passes the historic site of Mokemoke Pā. Even on an overcast day this walk is special. Tip: If you're not keen to get your feet wet, we recommend doing this walk at low tide. If that’s not possible, there is a detour that can be taken.
Fishermans rock path
30mins, 1.6km, easy/ moderate
A hidden jewel, the Fishermans rock path is a beautifully scenic walk around the northern side of the Island. It's not a long walk but it does contain a lot of stairs. If you get hot, stop off for a swim in one of the secluded beach coves along the way.
Stony Batter Historic Walk
1 hour, 1.2km, easy
Escape to the eastern end of the island for amazing views towards the Coromandel in a quiet and remote setting. Walk through 1.2km’s of subterranean passages, chambers and stairwells all tunnelled by hand over 80 years ago. This is a guided tour that costs $30 per person.