- Caitlin Hogan
The Foodie Haven of Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is a beautiful island located in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand's North Island. It's renowned for its beautiful beaches, wineries, and restaurants, making it a culinary bucket list destination for both locals and tourists. When visiting, it’s all about putting the brakes on, soaking up the offerings and living the ‘bach-life’.
With its nautical themed interior of yellow, navy and white hues and and views of Oneroa Bay, Oyster Inn is the perfect backdrop for a long boozy lunch. Anyone that’s familiar with New Zealand’s MasterChef series and culinary scene will know the name Josh Emett. His cheffing career has taken him from New York to Los Angeles, and every ounce of experience shows in the menu he’s curated for the restaurant.
At Oyster Inn they specialise in seafood. A handful of oyster centric dishes star on the menu, and with deliveries being made daily by local oyster farm Te Matuku Oysters, why wouldn’t you go all out? The first port of call for our crew was an off menu request that the team eagerly whipped up - Bloody Mary oyster shooters. This was followed by their signature battered oyster roll with harissa mayo and courgette pickles. And finally, a seafood tower to share that featured natural and battered oyster varieties alongside miso salmon, spicy coromandel mussels, fish croquettes, ceviche and smoked kahawai mousse. As part of the main performance we enjoyed Market fish and cockles served in seaweed butter, Coromandel mussel linguine and ceviche.
Address: 124 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Auckland 1081, New Zealand
Food and wine is aplenty on the island with Ki Māha being amongst the top rated restaurants. Small plates are a great place to start, in fact a number of these shared amongst a group makes for a top notch light meal. A must try were the seared scallops served with parsnip purée, black pudding crumb, crispy jamon and hazelnut burnt butter. Round out the order with a bottle of Ki Maha wine and you’re in for a banging experience!
Address: 1 Fourth Avenue, Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island 1081, New Zealand
Mudbrick Winery & Restaurant
With its Tuscan-style charm and water views, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were holidaying along the Southern coastline of Italy. Mudbrick Winery was established in 1992 by Robyn and Nicholas Jones. The couple's vision was to create a boutique winery that would produce exceptional wines using sustainable practices. They chose Waiheke Island because of its unique climate and soil conditions, which are ideal for growing high-quality grapes.
The winery has two restaurants, both of which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The Mudbrick Restaurant serves a contemporary New Zealand menu, featuring locally sourced ingredients, while the Archive Bar and Bistro offers a more relaxed dining experience with a focus on sharing plates and tapas.
Address: 126 Church Bay Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island 1971, New Zealand
Waiheke Distilling Co.
Founded in 2018 by a group of friends who were passionate about spirits, the Waiheke Distilling Co. produces a range of high-quality gins and vodkas using locally-sourced botanicals and pure spring water. The team at Waiheke Distilling Co. are committed to producing spirits that are not only delicious but also sustainable and environmentally responsible. Their flagship gin, Spirit of Waiheke, is made using a blend of botanicals that are sourced from the island itself. These include kawakawa, manuka, and juniper, as well as other herbs and spices that are carefully chosen to create a unique flavor profile. When visiting the distillery, opt for the gin flight which features their three gins served with Fever Tree mixers.
Address: 258 Cowes Bay Road, Waiheke Island 1971, New Zealand
Batch Winery and Thomas Estate Vineyard
At Batch Winery's restaurant, the ethos is simple. Their menu embraces fresh, local ingredients and as one of the highest vineyards on the Island, their venue offers views of Auckland as well as the Coromandel Peninsula.
Address: 129 Carsons Rd, Waiheke Island
Waiheke Specialty Food
At Waiheke Specialty Food located in Ostend, you'll find a great range of specialty cheese and meat from France, Spain and Italy, coffee, plus baked goods and fresh, local oysters from Te Matuku Oysters.
Address: 28 Belgium Street, Ostend, Auckland 1081, New Zealand
Waiheke Villas is a hilltop retreat offering a number of private, luxury villas with breathtaking views. Each villa is beautifully decorated and fully equipped with all the amenities you could need, including full kitchens, comfortable living spaces, and private outdoor areas. Did we mention there's a heated mineral swimming pool and spa?
Address: 1 Musson Drive, Waiheke Island, Auckland 1971, New Zealand
For any foodie that loves a remote seaside getaway, New Zealand’s Waiheke Island provides that and more! Take a 45-minute ferry ride from Auckland and will land you on this bountiful island. So if you're planning a trip to New Zealand, be sure to squeeze this location onto your itinerary.