Waiheke Island is the ultimate dormitory suburb in NZ. The island is semi idyllic, and for those that live on the island this is the best of all worlds. Waiheke Island has moved on from the early ‘hippy’ days and over the last three decades has grown into a vibrant wine and tourist centre. Right on the doorstep of Auckland and only a thirty minute ferry ride from the city centre and so determines the island is a must visit. Allow a minimum of a day, and be sure to do lunch and the winery visits.
The port of Matiatia at the western end of the island is 17.7 km (11.0 mi) from Auckland and the eastern end is 21.4 km (13.3 mi) from the Coromandel. The climate is slightly warmer than Auckland with less humidity and rain and more sunshine hours.
The Wine Festival and the Jazz Festival and weekend trippers from around the country and the world. It is safe to say the population increases significantly, rents go up, almost all homes and baches are full and a festive atmosphere exists.
Around two thousand people commute daily to Auckland for work as career opportunities on the island are limited. The main employment sectors are horticulture (wine and olives), agriculture, tourism, construction, food services, retail and real estate. The cost of living on the island is higher compared to the mainland, due to the shipping freight costs of most foodstuffs, fuel and amenities.