An hour out of Auckland takes you to the delightful Matakana village. Sit back and relax with a cheese platter and a glass of pinot on an estate, or sample the coffee at a local café. Then spend your weekend pottering around the Farmer’s Markets and local artisan shops or catch a movie at the local boutique cinema. Spend your evenings at cosy Andros B&B or book a room at the Matakana Country Lodge.
Rotorua is a fantastic playground for all travellers, especially families. Get adventurous and go jetting down a river, zorbing or off-roading in a 4WD across the countryside. Families with young children will appreciate the fun and games within the Tamaki Maori Village. After dark, adults can enjoy the fruits of the Volcanic Hills Winery, before slipping into one of these great hotels in Rotorua.
Two hours north of Christchurch is Kaikoura, one of the best places in the world to go whale watching. Spend the weekend looking out for the whales, fur seals and dolphins that live permanently in the coastal waters. There are also plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops to explore and you can soak up the atmosphere staying at the historic Kaikoura Boutique Hotel.
Spend your weekend in the southern ‘highlands’ of Dunedin and visit Lanarch Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Indulge in high tea while enjoying stunning views of the city and harbour and then stroll in the sprawling castle gardens. Then spend your evenings in one of the many pubs or at the iconic Speight’s brewery. Complete your weekend by staying at the stunning Chapel Apartments.
Love adventure? For those who can’t get enough of being outdoors, Queenstown is a worthy escape. Spend your weekend bungy jumping, sky diving, kayaking, standup paddling, and pushing the limits when it comes to novel experiences.
But if you want a getaway that’s more low key, there are plenty of places to throw down a rug for a picnic, coffee shops to tuck into with a book, and boutique hotels that will make you feel at ease.