Small Company, Big Adventures: Big Aroha Tours on Waiheke Island

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Just 40 mins by ferry from Auckland, Waiheke Island is known as a wellspring of food, wine and spectacular scenery.

Join laid-back locals Jane and Darren (your guides for the day) and discover the best of Waiheke's vineyards.


Guided Tours.

Join one of our guided tours or create your own! We offer affordable local rates.


Experience the rich and ancient world of Te Ao Māori.

The stories of our ancestors are infused into everything we know, love and cherish about our island.


Explore the ‘Island of Wine’

With over 20 wineries - we’ll show you the best!

Waiheke Island Tours by Local Experts: Big Aroha Tours

Welcome to Big Aroha Tours, your local guide to exploring Waiheke Island! We are a small independent tour company operated by Darren and Jane Rippingale, the two passionate locals who founded and run the business. With years of local experience, we pride ourselves on delivering unique and memorable experiences that showcase the beauty and cultural richness of our homeland.

At Big Aroha Tours, we believe in providing exceptional service and manaakitanga (hospitality) to ensure that you have an enjoyable time on the island. As a close-knit team, we are dedicated to delivering personalized and tailored experiences for our guests. Our relaxed, leisurely-paced private tours are ideal for wine and food lovers, families and friends celebrating life, anniversaries, engagements, hens parties, and our extended Kiwi friends, and corporates.

We offer a range of tours, including Waiheke Wine Tours, Cultural Tours, and Whiskey & Beer Tours. Our tours are designed to showcase the cultural significance of Waiheke, our Polynesian roots, and our past, present, and future. We travel around the island and visit locations of great importance, including Whakanewha regional park, where you can hear the stories of the ancestors that resided here, and learn about the arts and crafts of our people.

Book your tour with Big Aroha Tours today and let us, Darren and Jane, show you the beauty and cultural richness of Waiheke Island.


Love Waiheke Island Winery Day Tour

The Love Waiheke Tour is a sweet snapshot into the wines and wonders of Waiheke: the ‘island of long shelter'. Explore beaches, vineyards, and idyllic scenery with tastings, lunch and a boatload of local knowledge.

Spirit of Waiheke Wine & Whiskey Day Tour

Come and enjoy the only Wine, Whiskey & Waiheke Tour you will ever need! And it’s not JUST wine and whiskey. We’ve got liqueurs, gin, and craft beer as well!

Te Motu Ārai Roa - A Cultural Tour

Take a tour of Waiheke’s cultural heritage. Listen to ancient stories about times gone by while you explore the island’s most exciting collections of Māori carvings, art galleries, spectacular scenery and places of interest.

Bespoke Tours

Do it your way. Sip and swirl your way across the island. Absorb the heritage and hospitality in a way that works for you. From short transfers to week-long adventures, we deliver!


The most amazing tour guide!

Communication from when we first enquired, the night before, morning of and even after the tour was A+++

We arrived on the island to a warm welcome, she took us on tiki tours between stops, introduced us to locals and staff and was just the most amazing tour guide!
You’re the best Aunty Jane! Can’t wait to come back in the new year xx

S Livs

January 2023


“Fantastic company! We went over with our 7 month old baby on a long weekend and I was a bit anxious about how we would get around the island with a pram and no car. We met Jane at the ferry terminal and she was just went above and beyond to help us. I could not recommend them enough, they made our trip so easy and relaxing. Great communication & great pricing. Thank you Jane and Darren you guys were amazing!”

cleo kasmara

November 2022

"Thank you for transporting our conference group around the island Darren! Your knowledge and friendliness had us all feeling incredibly welcome and at home on Waiheke. Fully recommend Big Aroha!!!"

Rachael Bear

May 2022

Create the perfect tailored day that feeds your soul and lifts the spirits of colleagues, friends and family.

The Journey

Learn about and experience our island home through a Te Ao Māori lens



Visit the pouwhenua — beautiful and richly carved posts that are used to mark territorial boundaries or places.

Whakanewha Sculpture Park

We take you to the Whakanewha Sculpture Park <need more info here>


Food and Drinks

Experience some of our most celebrated fare at local restaurants, cafes, and olive groves.

Rainforests and Old Volcanoes

Connect to our island as you’re transported along our pristine and visually striking coastline through rainforests and old volcanoes.


Trig Hill

Take in 360-degree views at Trig Hill look out.

Oneroa Village

Explore charming Oneroa village and wander the shops, art galleries and cafes.


Know before you go:

  • Waiheke is a really big island, so there will be some driving between venues (no more than 20 mins)

  • Kiwi weather can be changeable (regardless of the season), best bring a jacket. If you prefer more time at each venue, you might like to consider a bespoke tour

  • Please be ready and waiting at your specified pick-up time as the tour has set times at each of the attractions visited and unfortunately cannot wait

  • This tour requires a minimum of 4 people

Getting to Waiheke

There are many ways to get to Waikehe, but the most common are via the ferries.

Here are the details for each one:

Terms and Conditions

Our prices do not include ferry tickets. Itineraries are subject to change on occasions depending on weather, ferry operations, closures, and availability. Substitutions of equal quality will be made. Our tour is not weather dependant and we do operate if it is raining! If we do cancel we will review and make a decision by 8pm on the day. If we cancel the tour we will refund in full or offer to rebook at a date to suit.

Food and beverages at owners cost unless otherwise stated. Every effort will be made to secure lunch at the restaurant of your choice however this is beyond our control and maybe impossible. It does not constitute a reason to cancel your tour. Soiling fee of $300 applies.

All tours must be paid for at the time of booking, Preferred mode of payment is internet banking, if paying by credit card please add 3% — contact us for account details.

If you cancel within 48 hours (or if you ‘no show’) no refunds will be made — however we may offer to rebook depending on the circumstances and our availability.

The minimum age for wine tour booking is 18 years
All tours require a minimum of two guests to operate

All cancellation fees are based on the total amount paid

Bookings maybe amended one time only (preferably with at least 24hrs notice)
If cancelling within 48 hours (or no show) no refunds

Bookings close at 9:30pm the evening before or on the day please phone before 8:30am.


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john smith

October 28, 2022


“This is just placeholder text. Don’t be alarmed, this is just here to fill up space since your finalized copy isn’t ready yet. Once we have your content finalized, we’ll replace this placeholder text with your real content. Sometimes it’s nice to put in text just to get an idea of how text will fill in a space on your website.”

john smith

October 28, 2022

Te Motu Ārai Roa -
A Cultural Tour