Just a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland, Waiheke Island offers gorgeous scenery, wine tasting, walking trails and if you happen to be there in January/February you will need to check out New Zealand’s premier outdoor sculpture exhibition.
From the ferry terminal at Matiatia Wharf it is a short walk to the Headland Pavilion where the shuttle bus takes you to the start of the Sculpture exhibition. You will need sunscreen, water and comfortable shoes. The 2 km walk took us about 2 hours, the track is unsealed and there are steps. The views were spectacular and the 31 sculptures were unique and provided fun and some interesting dialogue with my companions. The shuttle bus will take you back from Rocky Bay Store, but we chose to walk along the road to Oneroa Village admiring the Olive Groves en route.
We were definitely ready for lunch in the village and a visit to Glowing Sky Clothing which is a South Island superfine Merino Wool clothing store. Then it was time for a short walk down to the incredible beach where we enjoyed an hour of just watching the paddle boarders and boats. We were even welcomed by a Beach Ambassador, I have never met one before but she was working there in January to make sure everyone was happy and also making sure the beach area was kept clean.
So it is a great day excursion from Auckland even if you are not visiting during the Sculpture Exhibition.