Waiheke Island is 35 min's from the Auckland CBD by fast ferry - accomodation is largely in managed holiday homes with two or three larger places. Plenty of B&B and Luxury options too. In between AC race days there are many Vineyards for Wine, Olive and Honey tasting and local cussine plus outdoor activities for families, bike hire, kayaking, horse treks etc. Theres a locally based Charter boat who will be providing trips from here to the race course so avoiding the central harbour mayhem. Waiheke Island is very close to one of the race course options. For those with their own vessels, the island has ideal anchoring options due to lying West-East - in the Sou West or NE prevailaing wind patterns. Several Supermarket's make provisioning easy including Deli supplies etc. The surrpounding Hauraki Gulf has many other islands to explore.