Waiheke Walking Festival
For all 50+ walks available during the festival refer to www.waihekewalkingfestival.org
At the wharf in Auckland or Matiatia, grab the Waiheke Island “free visitor guide” for ferry times, taxi numbers, tours, a map, and information about all things Waiheke. It even includes a historical timeline of the island.
Ostend Market An alternative school started this market way back in 1975; now it’s an institution and stall rentals help fund the Waiheke Community Childcare Centre. Stock up on artisan breads, cheese, honey, jams and handmade sausages; artist Jay Lloyd’s fine “Koa” bronze sculpture and jewellery; nettle tea; and, if you’re lucky, books direct from locals Mike Johnson (fiction and poetry), and Mark and Rowan Sommerset (children’s books). Ostend, Saturday, 7.30am-1pm Ostend Although undeniably rustic, Ostend is the nerve centre of Waiheke. This is where you will find the Saturday markets, the supermarket, Island Coffee, The Annex cafe ( Metro magazine’s Best Destination Café 2017), Te Matuku Bay Oysters, and excellent design/decor/art/clothing shops like Colony, True Blue, the Ostend Gallery, Weave and Eclectic Boutique.
Waiheke Community Art Gallery This Oneroa gallery is only two bus stops from the ferry terminal, so it would be a crime not to visit. The gallery shop stocks ceramics and jewellery from artists throughout the country. 2 Korora Rd; 7 days, 10am- 4pm; ph (09) 372-9907
Waiheke Island Walking Festival With more than 50 free guided walks, some on private land, this annual nine- day festival (17-25 November) has something for everyone, even small fry.
Whether it’s taking part in the epic five- day guided circumnavigation of Waiheke, on Te Ara Hura, or a gentle ramble, in some cases this is the only way you will ever get to see some of the island’s most glorious nooks and crannies.
Check out the website for extras such as concerts and dinners, and to make a booking for a walk. And you must book, as numbers for each walk are limited. waihekewalkingfestival.org
The passenger ferry from Auckland city arrives at Matiatia, and walking tracks extend from the terminal. The dotted white line shows Te Ara Hura, a 100km track that circumnavigates the island. Most sections can be reached by bus or car. Jan Ramp says a very fit person can do it in three days – but most allow five. Much of Waiheke is farmland or bush.