Waiheke Activities. Click on each activity to take you to that section. Alternatively, keep scrolling for the full experience
Boho Hill Boutique Accommodation Owner|Hosts, Neill & Michelle Clarke, share their Waiheke activities - play eat, drink & explore
Having once co-owned a luxury bespoke tour company on Waiheke — Michelle is the perfect person to share her island recommendations. Here, the former Purveyor of Unique Experiences tells us why a trip to this “Pacific Paradise” shouldn’t be complete without a stay at their beautiful boho chic accommodation, Boho Hill in Palm Beach, a summer hike with packed picnic or a bite of some top-notch fare.
Neill and Mich, on being early risers, love their daily walks along idyllic Palm & Little Palm Beaches, both of which incidentally, are only 300 steps from Boho’s doorstep. Another favourite thing of theirs are night walks along a Waiheke beach at Full Moon when the tide is full. Extraordinary. During winter, they love to thaw out after a full day in their outdoor cedar hot tub (which their guests can prebook in Winter as an added extra - it’s worth it), after a full day or sip on mulled wine in front of a fire on the deck of the cottage and toast (complimentary to our guests) marshmallows. If the weather’s dismal, and fishing (off anything) is off the cards, Mich (usually) books in for one of Yenny Jari’s deep tissue treatments — if there’s anything ailing you, she WILL FIX YOU. She’s worth every dollar you spend.
Activities and shopping on Waiheke Island
Waiheke’s Community Cinema.
If you haven’t already been, you’re in for an absolute treat (but ring in and book your desired movie ahead or you might not be able to get in). They’ve about 20 old couches thrown in. Thread your way straight to the front row if you’ve arrived early. Make this night an event. Try not be like the rest of the audience not too long after the movie’s begun with your head thrown back, your jaw ajar and you’re fast asleep with the majority of them.
For perfect pre-cinema drinks or cocktails head to The Courtyard Bar & Restaurant in Oneroa where Kit, their Barman Extraordinaire, will mix you THE best Negronis this side of the Equator. Well, we think so at least! Their Bloody Marys are outrageous too! For dinner, head to Adajz (excellent curries) located next door to the cinema. Post cinema, if you’re not hotfooting it back to The Courtyard from whence you came pre-cinema drinks for their tiramisu, then enjoy dessert & cocktails at Fenice close by. If you attended an afternoon matinee, Island Gelato for their award winning gelato is perfect for a post-cinema OR dinner treat to enjoy whilst wandering around the village’s quaint boutiques.
Picnics at Goldies.
Neill and Mich rarely miss the opportunity to kick back at the island’s oldest vineyard with one of their artisan picnic baskets, a bottle of their rosé on a blanket up the hill under the sun. The relaxed surroundings will blow you away.
On Saturday mornings, Christy’s Nourish Gardens Flower Farm for a wheelbarrow load of Christy’s fresh and dried flower bunches. One bunch of her exquisitely grown blooms is never enough.
Oneroa has become home to some chic retail.
I wholly recommend dropping into boutique homeware store Verandah in Oneroa for stylish homewares where the owner, Mary, curates everything so beautifully it’s impossible to walk out empty-handed. I rarely have. I love Timmy Smith for her unique jewellery pieces and for last minute gifts, Island Design in Oneroa and iconic True Blue in Ostend for nostalgic kiwiana.
For clothing, Greatest Friend has some pretty cool, hipster vintage finds.
No visit to Waiheke is complete without a trip to the Ostend Market on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. From delicious juices to sampling locally made honey, the market provides an introspective cross section of Waiheke life, hippies and hipster included.
Restaurants, cafes and more on Waiheke Island
Italian long lunch at Poderi Crisci
This family owned vineyard and restaurant serves as the ultimate combination of exquisite food, quality wine and glorious scenery.
The Courtyard Restaurant and Garden Bar
In nearby Oneroa Village, this spot is renowned for its brunch & their cocktails - the Bloody Mary is like no other.
This casual smart beachside restaurant is a recent opening in Onetangi. Their seared scallops are the best we’ve ever eaten anywhere.
Three Seven Two (372)
Another excellent beachfront eatery that we find hard resisting anything anytime. On their mouthwatering menu conceived by uber talented Chef, Bronwen Laight (formerly of Te Motu), the deep fried cabbage is an absolute must try. Also, If you thought you'd tried fish and chips all over, prepare your self for 372's version of it... Their whole melt-in-the-mouth flounder, bouillabaisse sauce, juicy Vanuatu organic prawns and saffron served with the perfect accompaniment of shoestring potatoes. A next level experience.
The best calamari & on the planet can be devoured at Wild On.
Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant
Celebrating something really special? Mudbrick is always an absolute hit. It has excellent food and wine, an elegant setting, and is the perfect place to watch the sun set over the Auckland City skyline in the distance.
Te Matuku Bay Oysters
In Ostend, slurp down half a dozen freshly shucked oysters that were plucked out of the water a few kilometres away in Te Matuku Bay. Bring them home or take them down to the beach with you.
A cool new plant focused café,this is Michelle's go to for a hefty chunk of their decadent chocolate gateau (why I’ll never fit into a bikini)
For freshly roasted coffee beans and some of the best coffee in the Hauraki
Little Tart Bakery
The perfect compliment to coffee, these guys have the most indulgent pastries and cakes (ooh, they're everything).
Palm Beach Store
Their toasted sandwiches are loved by all, as well as their really warm hospitality. Mark will make you feel like a Rock God!
Other ‘Waihetian’ nods include Merchant for Supreme Coffee, Double Shot for theirs, La Dolce Vita for pizza & their Gelato, Little Oneroa Fish and Chips for the freshest fish and chips, Arcadia Restaurant and Bar for their steak nights on Wednesdays (steak night is our date-night) and Mint As (food cart) for their dynamic burgers (they make their own beef patties & homemade sauces) and hands down the best truffle fries on the island.
Wine and coffee on Waiheke Island
Obviously, being Waiheke, this could become a huge, long list. So we'll keep it brief with our favourites!
Frenchmans Hill Estate
All their wine
Bubbles at sunset
Man O’ War
All their wines, as well as their fantastic non alcoholic ginger beer
Places to explore on Waiheke Island
A Boho Wine or Sightseeing Tour
A good way to get your bearings is to put yourself in the hands of a local guide for a private or small group tour. One of the first people you meet on the island is Michelle Clarke, your host at Boho Hill, of ex Waiheke Bespoke Tours. Michelle will greet you with hugs and introduce herself as a “purveyor of unique experiences”. Her emphasis is on luxury with a choose-your-own-adventure spirit.
Go for a Glorious Walk
Did you know Waiheke has over 100km of walking trails? If the hills are a bit too daunting, be sure to stroll on the golden sands of one of the island’s gorgeous beaches. Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi beaches are firm favourites.
Go for a coastal walk; the little coves, the vast vistas, the birdlife, and the mansions that you see along the way appeal to most tastes, and the exercise is fantastic. It takes the appreciation to a whole new level.
A magical, must-do path is the Matiatia walkway, where New Zealand’s leading outdoor art exhibition, Sculpture on the Gulf, is held every two years. The event features a range of contemporary artistic concepts installed along a scenic coastal trail; think the Whitney amid a serene, natural environment.