Long Weekend Ideas to Get You Out of Auckland

GEORGIA ROSE

FYI: This is a long weekend to-do list that doesn’t include New Chums beach or Whangamata.

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01 FEB - 2022

We’re all itching for some sort of getaway. Trust me when I say I’ve spent the year planning fictitious events and holidays just to get me through.

I’ve got to be honest, I’m quite sick of everyone shoving the whole “beautiful backyard”, “explore local” down my throat. I’ve been to Queenstown more times than my boyfriend would like, and the Coromandel is no longer a peninsula of unexplored instagram shots. Impatient for an international flight, I needed something different for 2022 - so I’m guessing you do too.

With a plethora of long weekends approaching us, it’s the time for us all to get out of the city and see some of New Zealand's less frequented, but no less beautiful, locations!

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Whananaki

Only a 40 minute drive from the Whangarei CBD, it will have you thinking you’ve landed in a Fijian beach paradise. When I took our Editor Sophie for a visit last NY, she was crammed in the back seat with all our supermarket shopping and couldn’t have been happier to see the ocean! My accommodation pick: Motutara Farm, a privately owned property with beach front camp sites. Ditch the cell reception and sink into your bottle of gin with a good book.

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Kai Iwi Lakes

Dargaville you say? Once you see the pictures you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Pitch a tent from $15 or grab an Airbnb and spend the weekend in some of the clearest waters you’ll ever dip in. My accommodation pick: Lake Land Station, the ultimate lakeside glamping!

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Vacation, Staycation

Surely it’s time for a well overdue staycation? For those who haven’t, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! I had the pleasure of reimagining my own city a few weeks ago. We tried a restaurant we’d never been to before, wandered around with no plans and then snuck back to the hotel for drinks before donning a robe for room service dessert! My accommodation pick: QT Auckland.

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Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, Taranaki

Come for the art, stay for the architecture. Really, I’m here for the silver mirrored building. It definitely gives me Downtown Los Angeles vibes. Once you’ve got the obligatory outfit shot (TIA IG boyfriend) you’ll be free to explore Len Lye’s personal art collection or wander off in search of coffee. I must also recommend a stop at Crystal Cylinder on route! My accommodation pick: King and Queen Hotel. You couldn’t be closer to the art gallery if you tried!

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Walk the Cape Brett Track

Contrary to popular belief (and the six day tramp I did last year) I am not a huge hiker. In saying that, the Cape Brett Track is still on my list, even after swearing off tramping after coming out of the bush in March. It’s an overnight walk that is full of stunning coastal views as you pass down the point towards the Brett Lighthouse. My accommodation pick: Well, there’s only one: The Cape Brett Hut - make sure you book.

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Waiheke

This wouldn’t be a long weekend list without me suggesting a boozy trip over to Waiheke. Whether you stay or not is up to the budget, but I’d rather blow it on a four course at Tantalus restaurant followed by rounds of Espresso Martinis before jumping in a cab to the ferry! Always a successful day, with some very ‘gram-able pics. My accommodation pick: Oyster Inn. I’ve never stayed, but the idea that there might be a rare sighting of Josh Emett at breakfast is a big tick for me.

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Tantalus Winery

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