Recently, I decided to head over to Waiheke Island. There are many ways to explore the island, whether walking or driving or taking the public bus or a tour (or the ziplines!) But I decided to stick with the cheapest option: walking. There are many hiking paths around the island, all connected to form the Te Ara Hura walk network.
Initially I was just going to do the Ferry to Church Bay section, but as it was rather short I ended up doing the entire Headlands walk. This is an approximately five hour section of the Te Ara Hura path that leads around the headlands of Waiheke Island. The views are absolutely stunning, with beautiful cliffs and beaches for most of the walk and farmland and wineries near the end. It is winter here in New Zealand, and while there was a nice cool breeze it thankfully wasn’t too cold (though it was exceptionally windy as you can hear in the video.)
The Ferry to Church Bay section of the walk was very easy going, mostly flat land and there were stairs on any inclines. There were also lots of picnic tables every so often so that you can have a great view during your lunch. Once you pass Church Bay, things begin to feel a bit more like a hike. It had rained the day prior so on a few steep inclines (with no steps) there was a lot of slippery mud that made going up a bit more of a work out. But it is definitely worth it to carry on because the other side of the island that you get to see is also exceptional. Quiet and serene rock beaches and forests make up the mid section of the trip, which was far and away my favorite part.
If you’re looking for a place to get away from the city for a bit, I definitely recommend taking the ferry out to Waiheke Island and doing the Headlands Walk. If you are looking for a way to spend a few days, definitely look into doing the entire Te Ara Hura Walk, or at least exploring the rest of the island by bus or car.
Hours: The ferry runs hourly (more often during rush hours) from 5:35am to 11:45pm on weekdays, with shorter hours on weekends. The walking tracks are open all the time.
What to bring: Plenty of water, lunch, good walking shoes, a windbreaker, and of course your camera to capture those amazing views
Is it worth it? Yes, definitely! If you have the time while you’re in Auckland, add Waiheke Island to your to do list and you won’t be sorry.
Have you ever done any of the walks on Waiheke Island? If so, which one(s) and how did it go?