One of our team recently over heard someone saying “well, its not the shopping you come to Waiheke for” and we thought, “How wrong!”. So, we’ve pulled together this locals guide to the best of island retail to help eradicate the myth. There are two main shopping centres on Waiheke, Oneroa and Ostend both offering a range of retail treats.
Oneroa, perhaps the better know shopping district, has food, wine, clothing, gift and homeware gems squeezed between the real estate and eateries.
Gifts and homewares
Our favourite spot is Timmy Smith’s where you can have a tea tasting (hot, cold or sparkling) while you peruse her collection of jewellery, leatherware, tea accoutrements and stationery. On the high side of the village above the roundabout pop into Jones with its collection of handcrafted, and interesting new and retro bits and bobs including a great collection of sunhats, clothing items, and jewellery. Futher down the village on the same side Island Design has a range of kiwiana chic including island made products. Keep heading down the road to Veranda where you will find a very stylish collection of Waiheke, New Zealand and imported household goods and gifts. For a uniquely Waiheke shopping experience visit Upcycle which is nestled in Pendragon Mall, behind the Oneroa Beach Club. Everything in this retail collective (you’ll likely be served by one of the product makers) is made on Waiheke and most items use recycled or re-purposed elements in true Waiheke style.
Over the years Waiheke has provided refuge for those escaping the mainstream. Many residents have found their new path through their connection with the island’s natural envirnment and their creativity. Consequently the island has a proud tradition of artistic endeavour – not all of them just for therapy! Oneroa Village boasts three excellent galleries we encourage you to visit. Upstairs in the Artworks complex is the home of Waiheke Community Gallery. This gallery curates and hosts exhibitions of local and national artists in it’s three gallery spaces throughout the year. They also have an excellent gift shop with ceramics, jewellery, books, and more. In the middle of the village on the high side is the small entrance to the Tardis-like [ s p a c e ] gallery. This is another Waiheke collective and is manned by a roster of the artists whose work is available for sale. You will find scuptures big and small as well as paintings and mixed media works across three gallery spaces. Across the road is Toi Gallery the home of Sally Smith and Chris Bailey’s work. Both of these local artists have strong connections with the island’s Piritahi Marae and both are highly successful artists with works sent globally.
Until fairly recently clothing choices on the island were largely restricted to hunting thorugh the island’s three second hand stores: The Red Cross in Oneroa, WISCA (formerly SPCA) on Pacific Parade or New Hope at the tip in Ostend. While these can still come up trumps if they suit your style, as an island we’ve grown up a bit now and designer wear is no longer a ferry ride away. In Oneroa we recommend visiting We-Ar for fabulously sylish sustainable and organic yoga and street wear for men and women. Futher down the village you can satisfy your tourist urge for locally inspired t-shirts at Shop the Rock, across the road local artist Sally Smith has screen printed t-shirts in some of her key designs at Toi Gallery, and back on the high side Waiheke Central Supply Co. stocks t-shirts and a cleverly curated collection of street and designer wear for men and women. Continuing down the road, pop in to Glowing Sky for South Island made (originally made on Stewart Island) merino wear for men, women and children. Under the Oyster Inn you will find their store which has a its own range of “beach chic” clothing as well as designer eyewear and accessories including Karen Walker and Deadly Ponies. Shoes, accessories and other treats can be found at Body and Soles just down from the top roundabout, on the sea side.
The island’s Village Butchery is at the top of the village opposite the library. As well as expertly butchered fresh meats and delicious homemade sausages they have a treasure trove in their frezeers, and a growing selection of pre-made meals. Their sausage rolls, hot pies and traditional english pork pies are also hard to pass on. On Fridays they sometimes have (weather and whim dependent) fresh Hauraki Gulf fish, caught and processed by a local fishing boat. The Island Grocer on the roundabout stocks everything you need for a treat filled holiday pantry and fridge. They are licensed and have an excellent selection of organic fruit and vegetables, a mouth watering delicatessen and cheese counter and a comprehensive selection of island made artesan food products.
No longer a “blink and you’ll miss it” village, Ostend is thriving and growing. Belgium Street, now home to the island’s supermarket is the main shopping street, but it is well worth heading to the light industrial area in Tahi Rd. Here’s your locals’ guide to Ostend.
Gifts and homewares
True Blue has something for everyone from babies to difficult to buy for blokes and everyone inbetween. It is also has hands down the best selection of gift cards on the island. Across the road, beneath our new office, our neighbours downstairs are well worth a visit. Eclectic Boutique have moved in from their spot in Surfdale and with the new larger shop have expanded their range of gorgous gifts, homewares and Heidi Altmann orginial upcycled furniture. They also have fabulously stylish clothing (see below). Next door is locals’ favourite Likerish which really does stock all-sorts: from bedding and rugs to crystals and dog beds. Tucked in behind you will find the Ostend Gallery, the art studio of Daisy Land and Ingrid Berzins who work and sell their paintings and screen printing on site. Just around the corner on Whakarite Rd is Colony, a vintage and antique store focusing on kiwiana and well worth a rummage if you are a treasure hunter. Across the road in Ostend Rd visit the Flower Gallery for gorgeous bouquets as well as a fantastic collection of gifts, potted orchards and terrariums. For toys, gifts and things to entertain the children head to Waiheke Art and Crafts which is across the way from Placemakers, down Ostend Rd. This is also the place to stock up on wool and art supplies, plus they sell NZ Skellerup redband gumboots for the whole family. Continue on from there to Tahi Rd and you will find Factory Ceramics. This working studio has a shop displaying their fabulous ceramic homewares. While their popular products are sold elsewhere on the island only the factory shop has seconds bins where you can pick up bargins which may have special wonky bits to set them apart.
Arriving on the island from a fashion career in Ireland Chrisy Macleod is the co-owner and buyer of Eclectic Boutique’s clothing and footwear. She has pulled together a masterful collection of designer clothing and footwear. Stunning items that will take you from the beach to fine dining and everything in between. Across the road at Out There you can pick up a surfboard, a pair of sunnies, a new swimsuit and a pair of jandals. They also have a great selection of streetwear for men, women and children including New Zealand labels Huffer and Federation.
Specialty food shops seem to be popping up throughout Ostend. RAW is open on Putaki Rd and offers an extensive selection fresh fruit and vege including organics, meats, Franco’s breads, and specialty grocery items. They are licensed for beer and wine and have a great selection of market flowers, so are truly a one-stop-shop. Te Matuku Oysters have a fantastic shop in front of the supermarket on Belgium Street. Head in for fresh island farmed oysters, sustainably caught fish, Coromandel Smoked Fish products and a range of local and international specialty items. They have yummy lunch and premade dinner options too – their oyster pies and seafood chowder are hard to pass by!
Gulf Foods have opened a new cash and carry shop on Tahi Rd. Their refillery means you can shop without plastic packaging guilt. They also have a huge range of frozen goods and other bulk and specialty grocery items. The local milkman has also opened a fantastic shop, Sophia’s Gourmet Foods, on the corner of Poto and Erua Rds. This is where you will find divine cheeses, meats and specialty grocer items for great prices. Look out for their short date specials.