Last Updated On 11th July 2023 By Lauren | Wild Lovely World
Planning your trip to Waiheke Island from Auckland by ferry? You’ve come to the right place! This post will explain everything you need to know about travelling by ferry from Auckland to Waiheke Island. You will discover how to travel on the ferry as a foot passenger or with a bike or a vehicle.
How To Travel From Auckland To Waiheke Island By Ferry
Discover More Awesome Things To Do In Auckland & Waiheke Island:
- 8 Awesome Things To Do In Onetangi, Waiheke Island
- Camping On Waiheke Island: Poukaraka Flats Campground
- The Best Hostel On Waiheke Island: Waiheke Backpackers Hostel Review
- How To Get Around Waiheke Island (By Car, Bike, Bus & On Foot)
- How To Get To Waiheke Island From Auckland (Fullers360 vs Sealink)
Both companies operate daily ferry services from Auckland to Waiheke Island and there are several departures each day. Both ferry companies travel from different ports around Auckland.
I will provide more information about these companies and travel options below.
Travelling On The Ferry On Foot / With A Bike 👣🚲
If you are travelling on foot or with a bike, then you can travel with either Fullers360 or Sealink. As a foot passenger, you can take your bike on the Fullers360 ferry for free (subject to space). On Sealink, you will need to pay $5 per bike for a one-way journey, or $10 for a return journey (unless you are travelling on a multi-trip or monthly pass ticket).
Which Ferry Company To Choose To Travel To Waiheke Island From Auckland
There are a number of differences between the two ferry companies that travel to Waiheke Island from Auckland. I will explain the main differences between Fullers360 and Sealink so that you can make the best decision for you on which company to choose.
Which Ferry Is More Convenient – Departure & Arrival Locations In Auckland & Waiheke Island
Fullers360 has departures from two locations in Auckland. One is in Auckland CBD at the Downtown Ferry Terminal, and one is in Devonport on the North Shore. Some departures to/from the Downtown Ferry Terminal also stop at Devonport on the way to/from Waiheke Island.
Fullers360’s CBD Ferry Terminal in Auckland is convenient for foot passengers who do not require car parking.
Sealink has departures from two locations around Auckland. One is in Auckland CBD (Hamer Street) and one in Half Moon Bay (outside of Auckland city centre).
If you do require car parking before boarding the ferry, then I recommend travelling with Sealink from Half Moon Bay. There is a large car park there in the marina area where you can park for free for 14 hours. If you require longer, you could possibly find free on-street parking.
Matiatia Ferry Terminal On Waiheke Island
On Waiheke Island, Fullers360 ferries arrive at the Matiatia Ferry Terminal. The Matiatia Ferry Terminal is an easily accessible ferry terminal on Waiheke for foot and bike passengers.
Matiatia Ferry Terminal is a 20-minute walk from Oneroa, one of Waiheke Island’s main townships. There are also buses which travel from Matiatia Ferry Terminal to major destinations on the island. If you are visiting Waiheke on a day trip, then Oneroa is a great place to spend the day. There are lots of fun and interesting things to do in Oneroa – check out this post to learn more: 11 Awesome Things To Do In Oneroa, Waiheke Island
The Google Map below shows the location of Matiatia Ferry Terminal on Waiheke Island:
Matiatia Ferry Terminal is also a great starting point to explore Waiheke Island by bus. The Ferry Terminal has regular public bus services that journey to all the best spots on the island. The Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer Bus starts and finishes at this ferry terminal as well. I explain more about exploring Waiheke Island by bus in this post, but it’s good information to consider if you’re choosing which ferry company to travel with.
If you are interested in a more convenient arrival location on Waiheke Island, then I recommend travelling with Fullers360. The Matiatia Ferry Terminal it arrives at is well served by buses and is within walking distance of many of Waiheke’s great attractions.
Kennedy Point Ferry Terminal On Waiheke Island
Sealink ferries arrive at the Kennedy Point on Waiheke Island. The Kennedy Point Ferry Terminal is serviced by bus 501 which travels between Kennedy Point and Matiatia, via Surfdale and Oneroa. However, if you were to walk, it would take around 55 minutes to walk from Kennedy Point Terminal to Oneroa. So, Kennedy Point is not the most convenient location to arrive as a foot passenger on Waiheke Island.
The Google Map below shows the location of Kennedy Point Ferry Terminal on Waiheke Island:
Fullers360 fares tend to be slightly more expensive than Sealink’s fares. An adult foot passenger travelling on Fullers360 can expect to pay about $27 for a one-way ticket, whereas on Sealink an adult one-way ticket will cost about $24.
If you’re making a return trip, however, then Fullers360 do offer a discount. You can get a return adult ticket from Auckland to Waiheke for $42. Sealink does not offer any discounts on return tickets at present.
So although Sealink’s fares are slightly cheaper overall for one-way tickets, if you are a foot passenger and booking a return then I recommend you use Fullers360 as you will get a better price with their return ticket deal.
Save More Money With AT HOP Card
An AT HOP card is Auckland’s public transport system card. Using an AT HOP card can help you save money on your travel tickets as the card gives you access to discounted fares. It costs a few dollars to buy the card, and then the card must be pre-loaded with credit that can be used to pay for ferry, train and bus journeys around Auckland.
Fullers360 accept the AT HOP card on their ferries. If you have one of these cards then you can travel from Auckland to Waiheke and vice versa for a slightly reduced rate ($21 rather than $27 for an adult single). See here for more information on AT HOP ferry fare discounts.
Sealink does not currently accept AT HOP card. However, AT HOP Gold cardholders can travel free of charge with Sealink (not including vehicles).
Which Ferry Is Faster – Travel Time Between Auckland & Waiheke Island
The Fullers360 ferry to Waiheke is faster than Sealink (40 minutes vs 60 minutes). This is because Fullers360 can operate a faster ferry as they do not take vehicles. So if you use Fullers360, you can arrive on Waiheke Island in around 40 minutes.
If travelling with Sealink, the ferries also carry vehicles as well as passengers, so the travel time is slower. It takes around 60 minutes to travel with Sealink from Auckland to Waiheke.
How To Book Your Ferry Ticket With Fullers360 (For Foot Passengers / Bicycles)
Book your tickets directly on the Fullers360 website or via GetYourGuide here*. Remember, you can get a return ticket for $42 between Auckland and Waiheke Island (Matiatia Ferry Terminal) and the journey takes just 40-minutes each way. Departures are from 6am until late everyday. Check ticket availability here:
Travelling To Waiheke Island On The Ferry With A Vehicle 🚗
If you want to travel to Waiheke Island with your vehicle, then you must travel with Sealink. Sealink is the only company to operate vehicle ferries to Waiheke Island.
Do You Need A Car To Explore Waiheke Island?
No, not at all! While having a car will be more convenient, it is not absolutely necessary. Waiheke Island is a great island to explore on foot, by bike and by bus. The island is well-equipped for tourism and has many options to help you get around, including the public bus, e-bike rental and the tourist hop-on-hop-off Explorer bus.
Travelling with your own vehicle will be useful if you are going for several days, have a campervan or wish to explore the island more thoroughly. There are some more remote areas in the east of Waiheke Island that are not accessible by bus. The island is also much larger than you might expect, so having a car can come in handy if you are staying for a few days and want to do many day trips. If you want to camp on the island, there are a few camping options for tents and for sleep-in vehicles too.
Taking a car to Waiheke Island will be something you need to carefully consider. While it can be more convenient, it is also much more expensive. You will need to weigh up the cost vs the need for a car and see what suits your itinerary and budget.
Check out this post to discover the best things to do on Waiheke Island without a car: 16 Fun Things To Do On Waiheke Island Without A Car
There are Sealink vehicle ferry departures from Auckland city centre (Hamer Street) and from Half Moon Bay which is east of Auckland CBD (approx. 30-minute drive).
It is much easier to take the vehicle ferry from Half Moon Bay to Waiheke Island because it is not in the CBD. There is less traffic and a larger parking area in Half Moon Bay where you can wait before you board. There are also more facilities available at the ferry terminal.
The Google Map below shows the location of Half Moon Bay Marina in Auckland:
How Much It Costs To Take A Vehicle To Waiheke Island From Auckland
You must pay for your vehicle and passengers separately on Sealink. The cost of the vehicle depends on the size. Prices for passengers and cars will also vary depending on the date, time and availability at the time of booking.
Sealink charges about $115 per car up to 5.5m and then $24 per passenger (both prices one-way).
You will not receive any discount for booking a return ticket! So a return trip to Waiheke from Auckland with your car will cost around $280 for one car and one passenger.
If you wish to take a motorcycle only it will cost $42.50 one-way and $85 return. A quadbike only will cost $56 one-way and $112 return.
If you need to transport a larger vehicle to Waiheke Island from Auckland, such as a truck, trailer, caravan or motorhome, then you need to enquire directly with Sealink to get a quote and to book. Spaces are subject to availability so you need to plan well in advance.
It is also best to book in advance to get the best prices and the times you want to travel because the ferries do fill up.
How Long The Vehicle Ferry Takes From Auckland To Waiheke Island
It takes around 60 minutes to travel on the Sealink vehicle ferry from Auckland to Waiheke Island.
Vehicle bookings must arrive 30 minutes before departure and check-in will close 20 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing time for vehicles.
While on the ferry you can enjoy the lounge/cafe facilities and admire the views. There are also toilets available on the ferry.
Arrival On Waiheke Island – Kennedy Point Ferry Terminal
Sealink ferries go to the Kennedy Point terminal on Waiheke Island. This is a different ferry terminal to the Mataitai Terminal (the most well known and popular ferry terminal on Waiheke Island). The Kennedy Point terminal is southeast of Oneroa, about a 10-minute drive.
The Google Map below shows the location of the Kennedy Point Terminal on Waiheke Island:
You can book your tickets with Sealink directly on their website.
I travelled to Waiheke Island with my campervan from Half Moon Bay in Auckland.
It cost around $152 for 2 passengers and a vehicle. I paid for the price of a car because vehicles can be up to 5.5m in length and my campervan is within this.
I found the whole process (booking, checking in, boarding and disembarking) very straightforward.
The staff are very helpful and the ferry was comfortable for the journey.
You are welcome to leave your vehicle during the journey and explore the ferry. If the weather is nice you can enjoy the view across the Hauraki Gulf and islands!
Sealink and Fullers360 are the two ferry companies that you can travel with to Waiheke Island from Auckland. Each company has their own pros and cons and is best suited depending on the method of travel you choose.
If you need to travel to Waiheke Island with a vehicle, then Sealink is your only option.
If you are travelling as a foot passenger or with a bike, then you have the pick of Fullers360 or Sealink. However, looking at the differences between the two in terms of speed, convenience and price, Fullers360 offers a better value for money and time service than Sealink overall.
Discover The Best Things To Do On Waiheke Island – Plan Activities For When You Arrive
Once you arrive on Waiheke Island, make sure to check out Oneroa – one of Waiheke’s main townships. This cute village has plenty of awesome things to do! Find out more in this post: 11 Awesome Things To Do In Oneroa, Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island has some of the best beaches in New Zealand! Discover all the best beaches and what to do there in this post: 10 Best Beaches On Waiheke Island & What To Do There
If you’ve travelled to Waiheke Island without a car, find out the best things to do by walking, cycling or bus and how to get there in this post: 16 Fun Things To Do On Waiheke Island Without A Car
Looking for fun things to do on Waiheke Island? Check out these ideas:
Waiheke Island Full-Day Bike Rental
Discover Waiheke’s best beaches, activities and wineries at your own pace with an e-bike! An e-bike will help you cycle Waiheke’s hilly terrain with ease! Rental includes the bike, helmet, a lock and itineraries/maps. Once you’ve finished, the bikes will be collected from you making it a stress-free experience. Get a full days rental from $110 per group (up to 8 people). For more information on Full-Day Bike Rental in Waiheke Island click here* (Viator).
Waiheke Island Explorer Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tickets
Catch the ferry from Auckland and explore Waiheke on the hop-on/hop-off tour bus. Taking the bus is a flexible and cost-effective tour option on Waiheke Island. The Explorer bus goes to all the major stops on the island, including vineyards and beaches. The bus stops at 16 stops including the Matiatia Ferry Terminal, Oneroa Village, Onetangi Beach (another awesome beach on Waiheke), Mudbrick Vineyard and Cable Bay Vineyard and more! Tickets from $68 per person. For more information on the Explorer Bus click here* (Viator).
Waiheke Island Zipline & Native Forest Adventure Trip
The Zipline & Native Forest Adventure is a different activity to do on Waiheke Island. Glide over a forest canopy in native New Zealand bush. You can go with a friend and enjoy 3 200-meter ziplines together. The zipline glides over a vineyard! You will also get panoramic views of the beautiful Hauraki Gulf. The trip includes pickup and drop off from the Matiatia Ferry Terminal. From $129 per person. For more information on the Waiheke Island Zipline Adventure click here* (Get Your Guide).
Waiheke Island Premium Food & Wine Tour With Platter Lunch
Make your own way to Waiheke Island and then discover local produce and wines from top boutique vineyards on this fully-guided food and wine tour. The Waiheke Island Premium Food & Wine Tour lasts around 5.5 hours. Your guide will meet you at the Matiata Wharf (or your Waiheke Island accommodation) and will transport you across the island. Taste fresh and award-winning local foods of the island along with great wines. Your tour also includes a platter lunch at one of the island’s top vineyard restaurants. This is a really popular tour with 4.9/5 star reviews from previous visitors! From $215 per person. For more information on the Waiheke Premium Food & Wine Tour click here* (Get Your Guide).
Book Activities On Viator
Book Activities With Get Your Guide
Search For Accommodation On Waiheke Island
How To Get To Waiheke Island From Auckland – Thanks For Reading!
I hope that this post has helped you when planning your trip to Waiheke Island from Auckland on the ferry!
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