It's no secret we love long weekends, especially the kind where we're actively encouraged to eat chocolate for not one, but four consecutive days (genius!).
However it's not all about the choccy, there's also a slew of special events happening around the city; as well as the chance to check out new openings, embark on new adventures... and catch up on a few new shows. So without further ado, here are the most egg-citing ways to spend Easter weekend in Auckland this year.
Tune Into The 2022 Hot Wheels Legends Tour
Rev your engines, 'cos the 2022 Hot Wheels Legends Tour is roaring into town (albeit virtually) this Thursday night. Hot Wheels can be found in the toy box of practically every Kiwi kid (and not just the boys!), so embrace that lil' petrolhead living inside of you and tune in from 6 pm to see contestants from around the country compete to have their custom car designs made into a legit 1:64 scale diecast (for Hot Wheels fans, there is no greater honour). This will be followed by a global grand finale, hosted by comedian, talk show host and car enthusiast Jay Leno, later in the year.
Chillax With Live Jazz On Waiheke
Kickstart your Easter weekend with an evening of live jazz at the stunning Casita Miro vineyard on Waiheke Island. Good Friday is the first of many dates this gorgeous venue will be putting on live jazz sessions right up until July, this time 'round with Cousin Alice who will be performing a collection of jazz standards, pop, nostalgia, blues and even some of her own original songs. Throw a load of Spanish tapas and plenty of lush wine into the mix, and you're setting the tone for one seriously epic Easter weekend.
Load Up On Easter Treats
What's Easter without treats? Be it chocolate eggs, hot cross buns or a slice of Simnel cake (Google it!), 'tis the season to stuff your face full of sugar. Many of our fave cafes, bars and restaurants are getting in on the act, whipping up creations that the Easter Bunny himself would be proud of. From Ima Cuisine's queue-causing hot cross buns through to Miann's novelty chocolate creations, and even a couple of cheeky Easter cocktails—there's something for every bunny. Check out some of our fave Easter treats here, along with a dedicated list of Auckland's best hot cross buns here.
Get Your Street Food Fix
Let the face-stuffing continue with a trip to Greenhithe on Saturday night, where some of the city's best street food vendors including Jo Bros Burgers, Grownup Donuts and The Rolling Pin will be descending on Collins Park in all their delicious glory between 5-9 pm. Hosted by our friends at The Food Truck Collective, this is a fine way to fill your belly with something other than chocolate and hot cross buns.
Check Out A Legit T. Rex Skeleton
Bunnies are cute and all, but the real star of the Easter show this year should be the 11-metre-long, three-metre-high T. rex that's going on display at Auckland Museum from Good Friday. The first real T. rex fossil ever to be exhibited in New Zealand, this is one seriously impressive animal and is made even cooler by the fact that the bones are a stunning obsidian black colour. This is due to the carbon the bones were preserved in and is just one of four T. rex skeletons of its kind in the world. Big kid or little kid, this bad boy is a must-see this long weekend.
Stuff Your Face With Schnitzel (And Win An Entire Years' Worth While You're At It)
Schnitzel might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Easter, but this year, it should be. That's 'cos Newmarket fave, The Bavarian, is giving you the chance to win one of three years' supplies of schnitzel (that's one schnitzel every week for 52 weeks!) when you dine with them this Easter long weekend. Simply snap up one of their mouthwatering Golden Schnitzel Platters between Good Friday and Easter Monday, and you're in the draw.
Get Amongst The Great Outdoors
This is the last long weekend before winter officially arrives, so with that in mind pop on your walking shoes and get amongst nature while the weather's still (fingers crossed) fine. Whether it's a hike up one of Auckland's famous volcanoes, a seaside sojourn around the likes of Catalina Bay, or a trek amongst some of the city's beautiful bush, there's certainly no shortage of Insta-worthy spots to get your heart pumping. Finish things off by loading up with brunch from a nearby cafe, and we reckon you have the recipe for a perfect weekend, long or otherwise.
Indulge In An Easter High Tea
Oh, how we love us a high tea—throw an Easter theme into the mix, and it's game over. This long weekend we have two to choose from, starting with Hotel DeBrett's indulgent Chocolatey High Tea. Head along to this bonafide sugar fest between Good Friday and Easter Monday for hot cross buns, a special Easter treat pavlova and their decadent Chocolate Martini with Bailey's Irish Cream, chocolate liqueur, and vodka ($60pp). Alternatively, check out Cordis' High Tea with TWG, again running all weekend long and where you'll be treated to the likes of carrot panna cotta, truffle brie tart and pumpkin St. Honore, along with chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs and a boozy Easter bunny cocktail (from $69pp).
Flick On The 'Flix
Or if you'd rather just stay indoors and blob (an entirely appropriate way to spend a long weekend, just saying), grab the popcorn and tune into Netflix (or Neon, Disney+ or even good old TVNZ On Demand...). As always, you'll find a huge selection of movies, new and old, as well as television shows just begging for a binge—click here to see a list of our current faves on Netflix.
Enjoy An Easter Seafood Extravaganza
Spill All Your Saucy Secrets
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Stock Up On Cool Finds At The Kumeu Market
After what seems like an age, the Kumeu Market has finally returned. This is one of the best markets around and not just 'cos of the relaxing rural setting. There's always a tonne of great stalls to peruse (keep an eye out for the art in particular), as well as plenty of food and coffee to get amongst. Who knows, you may even get to pet an (Easter) bunny or two. Head along from 9 am-2 pm, Easter Sunday.
Eat Out Somewhere New
Check Out An Autumn Plant Fair
End your Easter weekend on a botanical note with the Auckland Horticultural Council's second-ever Autumn Plant Fair, taking place on Easter Monday from 10am-2pm. Mosey on over to Western Springs and pick yourself up a couple of new plant babies, and have a yarn with some fellow green-fingered folk while you're at it (there'll be peeps there from the Auckland Rose, Iris and Lily societies, to name but a few). Plants aside, there'll also be a number of cool craft vendors on hand as well as coffee and treats. Of course, a trip here wouldn't be complete with a stroll around Western Springs afterwards. $2 entry.
Image credit: Casita Miro, Cordis.