Frequent ferries connect the island of Waiheke with downtown Auckland.
I caught one of these ferries, operated by "Fullers", for a daytrip to the island during my visit to Auckland in March 2006. The following information is correct as at that time:
Ferries leave for Waiheke Island approximately hourly during the day from Auckland's ferry building. You can pick up an up-to-date timetable from the tourist information kiosk at the ferry terminal, but at March 2006 the following was correct:
Weekdays: 5:20am - 11:45pm
Saturdays: 6:30am - 11:45pm
Sundays/holidays: 7am - 9:30pm
The journey between Auckland and Waiheke Island takes approximately 35 minutes. Some ferries travel direct, while others call briefly at Devonport to pick up passengers.
Ferries arrive at Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island.
Adults: 14.20 NZD one way / 26 NZD return
Children: 7.50 NZD one way / 13 NZD return
Adult 10 trips ticket: 105 NZD
Children 10 trips ticket: 55 NZD
Family return ticket: 65 NZD
Monthly pass: 260 NZD
40 ride flexipass: 340 NZD
Fullers is the main company to operate ferry services between Auckland Downtown and Waiheke Island. The ferry terminal on Waiheke is at Matiatia Bay.
An Adult Return Fare is $26 and Chile Return is $13. There are between 5 and 10 ferries a day depending on the season and the day. You should refer to the Fullers website for up to date information on ferry schedules. Return tickets are open so there is no need to plan your ferry schedule. Tickets can be purchased from the Auckland Downtown Ferry terminal before boarding (no reservation required).
Fast ferry from Auckland to Waiheke takes approx 35 minutes. They leave Auckland approx every hour on the hour throughout the day with a reduced service in the evening after 6pm. Return fare is NZ$24. The ferries run until approx midnight.
Buses on Waiheke connect to the arrival and departure times of the ferries - fantastic service.
From Downtown Auckland, at the Ferry Building, you can get out to Waiheke relatively easily. Operating hourly, roughly from 5.30am to 11.30pm, You don't have to wait long.
Sundays and public holidays, the last ferry to the island is earlier around 9.30pm.
It is a fast and smooth trip, being a catamaran, and doesn't post much of a discomfort. Refreshments are available on board if you desire. You can sit inside or on the rear deck semi covered, or on a nice day get out onto the exposed topdeck and watch the amazing views.