February 27, 2020
3 Day Family Escape to Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is an easy family getaway that feels like a world away. Just a scenic 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland, this top destination for holiday makers offers something for everyone in the family, all-year round. From toddlers to teenagers and travels with grandparents – this slice of island paradise is a fantastic escape to enjoy the good life. Plenty of outdoor fun, community and culture plus vineyards galore, Waiheke Island is your ticket for a truly unforgettable family holiday.
Day 1 Beaches + Big Screen
Welcome to Waiheke and the best of island life. What better way to start your holiday here than beach hopping? Discover the popular northern shores of Oneroa Beach – close to shops, restaurants and the ferry, it’s the perfect place to stroll along the stunning white sands, swim in the clear waters or simply watch the boaties go by. There are plenty of shady areas near the picturesque pohutukawa trees and BBQ facilities if you want to bring your own picnic. And for those looking for a bit more action, you can also hire kayaks or SUPs nearby to explore the beautiful bay.
Little Oneroa Beach, also known as Little O by the locals, is located on the south end of the bay and is perfect for families with small children with its wide beach it’s safe for swimming while the shaded playground is always a hit with Mums and Dads. Go barefoot, feel the sand between your toes, it’s a messy hair, don’t care kind of day – it’s a common occurrence here for adults to kick back and feel like kids again.
After all that fun under the sun, head to Waiheke Island Community Cinema. This hidden gem is run by passionate volunteers and offers the best mix of arthouse, blockbuster and family friendly screenings daily. A well-loved and welcoming place, you’ll get a sense for the tight-knight community and culture that thrives here, with the cosy sofas and quirky décor making you feel right at home. Bookings by phone are recommended.
Day 2 Arts + Adventure
EcoZip Adventures is a top family must-do while on Waiheke. It’s where state of the art flying fox ziplines and an eco-immersive forest walk come together for an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors. Set above stunning vineyards and native forest canopy, this family friendly experience caters to all ages and will definitely be one of the highlights of your holiday. With three unique and breath-taking courses, starting from Vineyard Cruise to City View and finishing off with Kurunui, these dual flying fox ziplines lets you fly side by side to experience the beauty and thrills of EcoZip Adventures together. Complimentary pick-up from Matiatia Ferry Terminal or Oneroa Village and drop-offs make it a breeze to book a family fun day out at EcoZip adventures.
Connells Bay Sculpture Park
After flying high, explore the unique wonders of Waiheke on foot at Connells Bay Sculpture Park. A definite crowd pleaser, this extraordinary walk will inspire plenty of oohs and aahs along the way – big kids and little alike. With one-of-a-kind larger than life art set amidst 60 acres of sprawling gardens and magnificent coastal landscape, there are over 30 permanent works by New Zealand’s top sculptors for what feels like a walk in Waiheke wonderland. Bookings are recommended to avoid disappointment.
Day 3 Markets + family friendly vineyards
Try to time your visit to Waiheke so that you’re there for the Saturday morning Ostend Market – colourful, vibrant and friendly, with everything from quirky art to organic skincare and artisan cheeses, this is a great way to start the day with the kids. Feast on crepes or pastries for breakfast, grab a coffee and enjoy the live music and community feel. When the kids need to burn off some energy there’s a huge bouncy castle, as well as local storyteller that often pops in to read her latest tale.
Passage Rock Winery
Wineries and children don’t often go hand in hand, but Passage Rock is a refreshing exception. Out the back of the winery is a trampoline, sandbox and art area – the perfect way to keep them entertained while you get to taste-test the wines of Waiheke’s most awarded vineyard. The Reserve Syrah – with 18 gold medals – is to die for; and the wood fired pizzas make for an awesome lunch option. It’s the perfect way to spend your last afternoon in this island paradise.
Cheers to that!
Check out our Waiheke Island Itineraries for more weekend escapes to Waiheke Island.