Local Escapes

10 Last-Minute Escapes From Auckland To Book This Easter Long Weekend 2024

By Urban List Writers
28th Feb 2024

Motuarohia/Roberton Island is seen from above.

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 so it’s our last chance to hit the road before it’s full steam ahead into autumn and winter. 

Pack your bags, grab as many choccy eggs and hot cross buns 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 favourites, The Gables, The Duke Of Marlborough and Charlotte’s Kitchen on Paihia Wharf.

Alternatively, hop on a charter and visit the stunning Motuarohia/Roberton Island (main article image above), take a thrilling trip to the iconic hole in the rock or go dolphin and marine animal-spotting on this rad eco tour.

Linger In Matakana

If you enjoy your Easter Holidays with a tipple of wine, look no further than Matakana. Home to many 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 Pākari and a compulsory feed at the iconic 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 that are still available. 

Venture To Tāwharanui Regional Park

A short drive up and through Matakana will lead you to the golden beaches and lush green grass of Tāwharanui 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?

Vineyard Hop In Hawke’s Bay

Two people enjoy a picnic with wine at Te Awanga Estate in Hawke's Bay.Image credit: Te Awanga Estate | Kirsten Simcox

Hawke’s Bay is extending a warm welcome to visitors this Easter, so why not partake in one of our favourite things to do there—vineyard hopping? With more than 200 vineyards, 70+ wineries and 30+ cellar doors, the toughest decision you'll have is where to start.

First up, book into one of these still available Hawke's Bay Airbnbs. Then work up an appetite and cycle between the vineyards of Napier city, taking in Mission EstateChurch RoadCrab Farm and Urban Winery; or head to the sea and cruise along Te Awanga coastline, visiting Clearview EstateTe Awanga Estate and Elephant Hill

Hire a tour guide and discover the vineyards of the famed Gimblett Gravels sub-region, including Trinity HillUnison Vineyard and Stonecroft Wines; or visit the neighbouring Bridge Pa Triangle, where you will find ParituaOak EstateAsh Ridge and Abbey Estate.

Finally, don’t leave Hawke’s Bay before visiting the incredible vineyards surrounding Havelock North, including Craggy RangeBlack BarnTe Mata EstateSmith & Sheth and Askerne Estate. In fact, you better tack on another day to your trip and do them all.

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 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.

Explore South-West Auckland

The pool and the exterior of the Doubletree by Hilton.Image credit: DoubleTree By Hilton Karaka | Supplied

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, marvel at wild Kariotahi Beach, explore Auckland Botanic Gardens and check out Spookers one evening to be reminded of what goes bump in the dark.

Stay at the new DoubleTree By Hilton Karaka for a romantic getaway but 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 your own private tourget an adrenaline kick with a blackwater rafting adventure, and 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 and not far from Waitomo lies the black-sand surf mecca, Raglan. The internationally famed beaches attract surfers from all corners of the globe with their 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.

Step It Up In Rotorua 

Two people admire the scene at Waimangu Volcanic Valley in RotoruaImage credit: Waimangu Volcanic Valley | Miles Holden

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 The Mount And 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. There are also activities for thrill-seekers, like swimming with dolphins and snorkelling with tropical fish on Piercy Island.

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.

Main image credit: Motuarohia/Roberton Island | Northland NZ

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