Beaches on Waiheke
Oneroa Bay is one of Waiheke’s most celebrated beaches and a popular and safe anchorage for boaties seeking shelter from the predominant sou’wester winds. At holiday weekends, in particular Christmas and New Year, the bay at night is a veritable fairy grove masthead lights.
Little Oneroa is a small beach situated at the Eastern end of Oneroa Bay and within walking distance of Oneroa Village. This little beach has everything – free BBQ, a children’s playground, an enormous grass area and a pristine white beach. Across the road from the beach is the Little Oneroa Beach Store, one of the islands few remaining beach stores. Facing north, both sunny beaches are popular with locals and the many visitors who head to Waiheke Island in warm weather. Just minutes away is Oneroa village, with its cafes, restaurants, shops and art galleries.
Sandy Bay is on the northern coastline of Waiheke Island. It is a great beach with safe swimming for kids and one of the few beaches where boats can be launched all year round. If you’re lucky enough you might see a pod of Orcas swimming into Sandy Bay to feast on the resident stingrays.
Enclosure Bay is partially cut off from the sea by interesting rock formations, making it a very sheltered area safe for swimming. With lots of rock pools and coastal rock outcrops this is a great little beach for kids to go exploring. Great fishing off the rocks and the snorkelling can be amazing too – if you’re lucky you might get to see some sea horses!
Palm Beach White sands, safe swimming and good anchorage, Palm Beach is another of Waiheke’s pristine northern beaches. Sheltered from the SW wind this sheltered beach has all day sun. 2 BBQ areas, 1 in the reserve on the far eastern end of the beach, the other right next to the great “pirate ship” children’s playground. “Nude y Bay” is a small bay at the far western end of Palm Beach frequently used for nude swimming and sun worshiping.
Onetangi Beach, 2.5km of beautiful white sand and Waiheke’s largest beach. Onetangi is also home to the Onetangi Beach Races, Auckland’s most iconic event which has been going for over 100 years. A great swimming and fishing beach with superb surf when the northerly blows. With 2 bar / restaurants on the waters edge make sure Onetangi Beach is on your to see list.
On the south side of the Waiheke Island, Whakanewha Regional Park is known for its mature coastal forest with taraire, kohekohe and old kanuka trees, cascading streams, and sweeping crescent-shaped beach cut in two by a forested headland. A large wetland is home to some uncommon birds, bittern, banded rail, spotless crake and the New Zealand dotterel. At high tide the water is shallow, warm and ideal for children. Picnic spots on the foreshore are plentiful. At low tide a broad expanse of sandy tidal flats is revealed. The beach is divided into two sections by the pa promontory. Whakanewha is also home to a campground. The accessible, large, flat campground is set back from a beautiful bay and child friendly beach, and the park offers a number of places to explore and escape from washing up duties. The camping areas are sheltered by native plantings which help ensure bird watchers get tent side viewing and to top it off the park rangers give all comers a friendly island welcome.
Man O’ War Bay is located on the eastern side of Waiheke, commonly referred to as ‘The Bottom End’. A popular bay for anchorage, Man O’ War Bay is on the isolated side of the island. A Department of Conservation walking track leads up to the historic site, Stony Batter.