Combine your ferry travel with the most flexible and cost-effective way to experience the island’s top spots. The Hop-on Hop-off bus tour gives you the freedom to visit popular vineyards, beaches and seaside villages full of galleries, shops and cafes at your own pace.
Board a modern coach, and hop on and off as much as you like at any of the tour’s 17 convenient stops. Or if you prefer, stay on board and enjoy a 1.5 hour scenic tour of the island.
Accompanying your local driver, a friendly host will deliver engaging commentary about the island’s history and culture, plus share insider tips to help plan your day. There are so many ways to customise the Hop-on Hop-off tour to your liking!
Here are some suggested itineraries to make the most of your day. The stop numbers correspond to the tour route map, downloadable from the bottom of the page.
Stop 1: Coffee & breakfast in Oneroa Village
Oneroa boasts plenty of quaint cafes with beautiful sea views. Grab a premium coffee and cheese scone to fuel up for your day. If you have extra time, pop into art galleries and shops before going on your way.
Stop 4: Wine tasting and a walk
With six wineries within walking distance, this is a great spot to spend some time in. Start with a wine and craft beer tasting and outdoor games at Wild on Waiheke, or sip on Bordeaux-style wines lounging on Stonyridge's sunny terrace. Take a 10-15 minute walking trail down to Casita Miro for a taste of the Mediterranean, or jump back on the coach for lunch by the beach.
Stop 6: Onetangi Beachfront Lunch
Onetangi Beach is simply stunning. There are two casual beachfront restaurants to choose from for lunch - both with outdoor patios for the optimal view.
Stop 9: Batch Vista Point
The highest-altitude vineyard on Waiheke Island, Batch, offers incredible 360-degree views - from Coromandel to the Sky Tower. Plus, it has a laid-back restaurant serving classic Kiwi dishes with a modern spin and locally-sourced ingredients.
Stop 2: Tasting at Goldie Estate Vineyard
Known for handcrafted wines and island hospitality, Goldie is also home to University of Auckland’s Wine Science Centre.
Stop 4: Walk between six wineries
Take your pick between Tantalus' upscale dining, sipping Te Motu's flagship Cabernet blends in their rural wine shed, or the famous fortified Madame Rouge wine at Casita Miro. Also nearby are Wild on Waiheke, Stonyridge and Obsidian.
Stop 14 or 15: Mudbrick or Cable Bay
On your return journey, make one last stop at one of these two premium wineries - both with views across the Gulf to Auckland. Closest to the ferry terminal, you can even opt to walk back to the ferry at your own leisure.
Ferry Terminal: Morning Headland Walk - From Matiatia Wharf, there is a wonderful walk along the Southern headland, following the Te Ara Hura markers. After rounding Church Bay, you'll have an option to walk inland - west to connect with Church Bay Road. Choose to end your walk at Mudbrick (Stop 14) or continue to Oneroa Village (Stop 1) for lunch.
Stop 6: Stroll Onetangi Beach - Onetangi beach features 2.5km of beautiful white sand. After your walk, duck into one of the beachfront restaurants to refuel.
Stop 9: Batch Vista Point & Cascades Trail - Hop off at Batch Winery for a spectacular 360-degree view over the island. A beautiful new trail leads to the Cascades in Whakanewha Regional Park. 200 easy-gradient steps start at the Central Track opposide Batch's carpark.
Stop 9: EcoZip Adventures - There's another outdoorsy option from this stop! From Batch Winery, follow an easy walking trail to the ultimate adrenaline rush. Choose from three flying fox ziplines across vineyards and native forest.
Stop 6: Casita Miro Tapas - Not only is Casita Miro a beautiful place to dine, but they specialise in Spanish tapas - perfect for sharing. Be sure to try their delicious housemade focaccia bread. Please note that bookings are essential. They also feature a beautiful wine tasting with food pairing.
Stop 9: Food & Wine Pairing at Peacock Sky - From Bath Winery, follow an easy footpath to Peacock Sky Vineyard. You'll be rewarded by a premium wine and food pairing - worth the walk!
Stop 10: Rangihoua Estate Olive Oil Tasting - Sample award-winning extra virgin oil amongst the olive tree groves. Visit the Rangihoua Estate shop to take a bottle home for your own kitchen.
Stop 11: Te Matuku Oyster Shop - On your way back to the ferry, stop in Ostend for locally-grown oysters from the Te Matuku Marine Resrve - unpolluted and nutrient-rich.
Stop 13: Dinner in Oneroa Village - If you'd like to stay on the island a bit longer, enjoy one of the many acclaimed restaurants in Oneroa for dinner. Try The Oyster Inn or Fenice - and don't forget Island Gelato Company for dessert!
The MyTours app is the perfect companion to the Waiheke Island Explorer Hop-on Hop-off tour. It’ll provide you with more information about vineyards and activities near each of the bus stops, plus a detailed interactive map, and other quick links.
Duration: Go at your own pace, but we recommend at least half a day, including ferry travel
Availability: Tour operates daily, except for Christmas Day and ANZAC Day
Departure time: Ferries to meet this tour departs Auckland every 30 minutes from 9.00am to 4.30pm daily. Tours start: at 9.50am from Matiatia and run every 30 minutes until the last drop off at Matiatia is at 6.40pm. Last ferry departure time of 7.00pm will allow time to utilise the hop on and hop off buses on the island.
ONE DAY PASS: Adult $68 Child $35 Family $180* (ferry fare, plus explorer pass is included)
TWO DAY PASS: Adult $99 Child $55 Family $270* (ferry fare, plus explorer pass is included)
*Family is two adults and up to two children.