Regular car and hourly passenger ferries servie the 8,000+ residents of this large island with its delightful sandy beaches, undulating farmland and areas of native bush. Waiheke has a sunnier climate than Auckland, a relaxed atmosphere and is ideal for day trips, weekends or longer holidays. There are plenty of places to stay, as well as restaurants and shops, especially around the main settlements of Oneroa, at the western end of the island, through to lovely Palm Beach and Onetangi in the middle. Beyond this, the eastern part of the island is relatively untouched, with a rough, hilly road.
Waiheke has a great deal to offer - walks, swimming beaches, horse-riding trails - and it also has a thriving community of artists, potters and other craftspeople, many of whom have studios open to visitors.
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