Local Escapes

10 Last-Minute Escapes From Auckland To Book This Long Easter Weekend 2022

By Urban List Writers
31st Mar 2022

Paroa Bay Winery is seen with lush little islands dotted around it in Northland.

The ultimate long weekend of all long weekends is coming up, and it is thanks to our very favourite chocolate-centred holiday—Easter. This also, sadly, marks the end of sunshine-filled days and balmy summer nights. It’s our last chance to hit the road before it’s full steam ahead into dreary winter. 

Pack your bags, grab as many choccy eggs as your hands and pockets can carry, and hit one of these 10 escapes from Auckland this long Easter weekend. With accommodation booking out fast, we've scoured the region to find the spots that are still available for your last-minute getaway.

Head To The Bay Of Islands

Get exploring this Easter weekend and cruise up north to the towns of Paihia, Waitangi and Russell. Treat yourself to one of these available stays and visit the Treaty Grounds and Pompallier House before relaxing back at our favourite, Charlotte’s Kitchen on Paihia wharf. There are also activities for the thrill-seekers, like swimming with dolphins and snorkelling with tropical fish on Piercy Island.

Linger In Matakana

If you enjoy your Easter Holidays with a tipple of wine, look no further than Matakana. Home to a number of vineyards, you can spend your long weekend tasting the region's boutique wines. If the hangover isn’t too severe, make sure to check out the epic Matakana Farmer’s Market, which runs every Saturday from 8 am. While you are in the area, go check out the nearby beaches, or go for a hike to work off all those Easter chocolates. Travel a little up the coast to check out Pakari and a compulsory feed at Leigh Sawmill. Stay at Matakana Waterfall Hideaway for a romantic escape that has its very own waterfall, alternatively, plump for one of these great options. 

Venture To Tawharanui Regional Park

A short drive up and through Matakana will lead you to the golden beaches and lush green grass of Tawharanui Regional Park. The little north beachside spot is a protected area with all sorts wandering around in and out of the water—it’s even home to a few cheeky kiwi birds. There’s camping available with multiple hiking tracks, mountain biking, boating, and secluded stretches of sand to relax on. What better way to spend the last weekend of sun in the great outdoors?

The long black sand beach at Piha.Go West To Piha 

The great thing about the beach during the cooler months is that crowds disappear. You get all that gorgeous coastal scenery without the masses. For those wanting to feel the salty sea air in their hair, Piha is the perfect place to visit this Easter Weekend. Think stunning sunsets, climbing atop Lion Rock, checking out Kitekite Falls, and swims in the surf if you’re feeling brave. Stay at one of these Airbnbs that are still available in the area, but get in quick as they’re booking out fast. 

Be Blown Away By Great Barrier Island

Accessible by boat or plane, Great Barrier Island is the ultimate off-grid destination if you’re looking for somewhere to really unplug from daily life. First, live out your bougie dreams at any of these still available Airbnbs for Easter. Soak up the last of the summer sun on one of the beautiful beaches, discover the island on foot with one of many heart-pumping hikes all over the island, have a surf at Medlands beach, grab a feed at the currach Irish pub before indulging in a little stargazing come nightfall—after all, this is one of the few island night sky sanctuaries in the world.  Need more? Here’s everything you need to know about The Barrier.

The pool and the exterior of the Doubletree by Hilton.Explore South-West Auckland

Head south from the hustle of Auckland city and you will discover a lot to keep you entertained for the Easter break. Drive up to Manukau Heads, take a trip on a vintage railway and marvel at wild Kariotahi Beach, check out Spookers one evening, and be reminded of what goes bump in the dark. Stay at the brand new DoubleTree By Hilton Karaka for a romantic getaway in their stylish modern hotel. If that’s a bit rich for your blood these Airbnbs are available for the long Easter holidays. 

Wing It To Waitomo 

If you want to spend your Easter ticking something off your bucket list, head on a long weekend roadie to Waitomo. Home to the famous glow worm caves, there is a lot to get up to in this cool area. Explore the caves, find your own glow worms with a night walk at Ruakuriget an adrenaline kick with a blackwater rafting adventure, go marvel at the Marokopa Falls, which are often nicknamed the most beautiful falls in New Zealand. Stay at one of these still available Easter Airbnbs, or if you are a bit mad for animals, check out Waitomo Big Bird B&B. And if you want to squeeze in one last camping trip before the weather turns, stay at the Waitomo Top 10. 

Catch Some Waves At Raglan

Over on the West Coast is the black-sand surf mecca, Raglan. The internationally-famed beaches attract surfers from all corners of the globe with its world-class breaks and consistently epic surf. If you haven’t mastered how to hang ten, Raglan offers many more summery things to see and do. Hike to the summit of Mount Karioi, paddleboard across the harbour, check out Bridal Veil Falls or simply dig into Raglan Fish’s unmissable fish and chips. Speaking of delicious eats, Raglan is an emerging foodie hotspot with some of the best eateries in the Waikato. Start with coffee from Raglan Roast, lunch at The Shack and finish with refreshing brews and woodfired pizza at George's Beach Club. Where to stay? Check out our fave spots, alternatively, these Airbnbs are still showing availability for Easter.

Two people admire the scene at Waimangu Volcanic Valley in RotoruaStep It Up In Rotorua 

You’ve got a few days to kill, so why not take a trip to Rotorua for the long Easter weekend. There are heaps of things to do... We’re talking hot pool soaks, tree walks, ziplining, hikes, giant geysers, thermal parks, and the luge, of course. Enjoy the beauty of the lake from this cool 1960s bach the Lakefront Clubhouse Getaway, stay at the historical Prince’s Gate Hotel, at one of these solid suggestions or these spots that have availability for the long Easter weekend.

Live Your Best Life In Tauranga

The summer hot spot that is the city of Tauranga is one of our favourite getaway destinations for a long weekend. There’s plenty to see and do in Tauranga and The Mount, as well as securing that classic just-hiked-up-the-Mount Insta pic. Indulge your inner foodie with a tour of our favourite restaurants then work it all off on one of these wholesome hikes. Left it a bit late to find accommodation? These spots are still showing availability. Why not treat yourself this long weekend?

Just the two of you this Easter? Check out Auckland's most romantic getaways.

Image credit: Paroa Bay Winery, Piha by Steven Biak Ling, Doubletree by Hilton Karaka, Waimangu Volcanic Valley by Miles Holden.

Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchase.

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