Five Escapes for the Long Weekend

By Ian Benet
21st Oct 2016

After months of waiting we finally have a long weekend and as if by magic some spring sunshine in which to enjoy it. So ditch the activewear, forget about owning your own home and leave the city with these five escapes for the long weekend.


Just an hour and 15 minutes from Auckland brings you to Mangawhai, a charming seaside town. If doing nothing on a white-sand beach and poking around second hand shops is your idea of heaven, then this is the place for you. The local tavern is something of a live music institution. On Saturday you can channel your inner Gold Dust Woman at a Stevie Nicks tribute night before resting up at the Mangawhai Lodge.


A couple of hours further up the coast and you arrive in Paihia and if you need to seal the deal after some hard time spent Tindering then Chalet Romantica is the place for you. Kayak in the morning, swim with dolphins in the afternoon, enjoy a drink on the deck at 35 Degrees South in the evening before retiring to your beautiful room with big ocean views.


Tauranga needs no introduction, so let’s focus on the accommodation. Trinity Wharf is not cheap, but my it’s pretty. The apartments are built on stilts that jut out into the harbour and there is an infinity pool for you to splash around in when you’re not hiking up extinct volcanoes or surfing on the beach. This weekend is also the Wheels on Mainstreet classic and custom car show.


You want a hot tub on the roof? At the Crow’s Nest they’ll give you one. Whitianga and Mercury Bay is the playground of the Coromandel and although the banana boat won’t be making an appearance just yet, there is still plenty of other things to do.


A guaranteed way to beat the traffic is to fly, so head down to Christchurch and check out PurePod.  Nestled in regenerating bush, the location of this one off slice of secluded paradise is kept secret and only revealed once you book your stay. This glass box even has a glass roof, allowing you to spending the night looking up at the stars for a totally immersive nature experience.

Thanks to the team at for help collating this list.

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