After you have arrived at the wharf in Matiatia, the first village you will come to as you are starting to explore the Island is Oneroa.
Oneroa: The hub of the island. This is where the main business infrastructure of the island is situated. Shops, cafes, the post office, banks, churches, medical centre etc. All this sits just above the beautiful sandy beach of Oneroa. Around Christmas and Easter many recreational boats are anchored in the Bay boosting the village's population and providing a lovely picture for those ashore. Oneroa is the gateway to the island and is renowned with the tourists as a lovely seaside village. A lot of the Oneroa settlement originated as holiday homes and a certain degree of the leisurely character has remained.
Little Oneroa: The small but beautiful beach in Little Oneroa is perhaps the most popular family beach with its playground and convenient beach store, as well as council barbeque facilities all in one handy location. Further uphill you can find magnificent ridgeline homes with spectacular views over the Gulf.
Surfdale: One of the most popular residential family areas, handy to schools & kindy and central to all other amenities. The vehicular ferry departs from the upmarket Kennedy Point area of Surfdale. The quaint village of Surfdale has recently developed into another culinary hotspot with an award winning café and a popular family pizzeria. Surfdale Beach is a tidal beach with abundant birdlife and an easy launching strip popular with local fishermen. Surfdale is within walking distance to Oneroa and the route around the Esplanade Reserve to Blackpool makes for a pleasant and scenic walk.
Ostend : With the old wharf being here, you can find some of the oldest baches and most established gardens on Waiheke in this vicinity. The area around the old wharf is still popular as a lookout as well as a spot to fish, another “best kept secret” is the quaint little beach at Shelly Beach, where lots of locals go to “avoid the crowds’ on the main beaches in summer. The boating community of the island is largely serviced by the boat club on the causeway. A lot of infrastructure like the council offices, the Supermarket, Placemakers and the popular Saturday markets are handy to the residential areas. Further towards Onetangi, the commercial areas in Tahi Road and Erua Road house many of the islands businesses.
Palm Beach: This is a lovely sandy beach popular with holiday makers as well as permanent residents. Many homes on the adjacent hills overlook the Beach and the Gulf. The beach is a busy little spot in summer and a quiet winter retreat in the off season. The Waiheke Island Resort, which houses many conferences as well as many other holiday accommodation facilities are located here.
Onetangi: This is the most spectacular and longest sandy Beach on Waiheke. There is abundant Beach life here in summer as well as on fine winter days, often with many boats anchored close by. The cafés along the waterfront cater for the summer beach crowd as well as staging various events in the off season. Many residential homes are in easy walking distance to the beach in the lower lying areas of Onetangi. Further up on the clifftop you can find spectacular views over the Gulf and many executive homes.
Rocky Bay: is one of the quietest areas of the island. The Bay with the Rocky Bay Boating club and its adjacent moorings is one of the most idyllic spots around. Many longtime residents of Waiheke have retreated to the bush clad hills around Rocky Bay as the other parts of the island have become increasingly “busy” with the population growth the island has experienced. You will find many artists and legendary Waiheke characters around the shores of Omiha and Rocky Bay.