Waiheke is a short ferry trip from downtown Auckland. If you stay at the Hilton on the wharf it’s a short stroll to the ferry. Aside from the bonus of seeing Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf the Island is home to some of New Zealand’s best vineyards. I can’t recommend Te Whau – covered in the article – enough. Fantastic food and a great collection of NZ wines. Te Whau Vineyard shouldn’t be confused with Te Whau Lodge up the road (which is a great place to stay). Rent a car where the Ferry lands.
Get going! Air NZ flies direct.