9 Ideas You'll Love For Your Long Weekend Plans

18 October 2020

9 Ideas You'll Love For Your Long Weekend Plans

From Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington


Yippee!! As the days brighten and the weather warms, we talk excitedly about the upcoming ‘long weekend’. A divine gift from the powers that be that says we get to add another day off to our usual two-day weekend. So, what are your plans? Read on to check out our top 9 ideas for a fun long weekend…


  1.       Raglan – 2 hours from Auckland

Go surfing… (is it hot enough yet!?) and hike a Volcano!

Whilst we’ve had some hot days, it might not yet be warm enough to go no wetsuit, but don’t let that stop you! Don on a wetsuit or hire one for cheap and head to Raglan – the surfing capital of New Zealand! That is not all there is to do in Raglan, oh no!... There is also a lovely laid back surfer style town, Bridal Veil Falls and great walking there too. Hike up Mount Karioi, a 2.4-million-year-old extinct volcano and soak up some nature!

Read up on everything you need to know about visiting Raglan here.

  1.       Head to Taupo via Hamilton - 3 hours 20 mins from Auckland 

Traditional Maori Gardens & a long list of activities! 

Hamilton is full of fun things to do, and why not stop here on route to the unreal scenes of Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake! Visit the beautiful and culturally diverse Hamilton Gardens featuring elaborately themed gardens from all over the world, including Japan, Italy, and traditional Maori. When you get to Taupo immerse yourself in the long list of activities, from geothermal hot pools and boat trips with Maori rock carvings, to Water Sports, Skydiving and sculpture gardens... there really is something for everyone. 

Plan your itinerary at lovetaupo.com!

  1.       Visit a Winery on Waiheke - 2 hours from Auckland 

Drink in the views and the wine! 

Want stunning views, delicious food and beautiful wine? Then Cable Bay Vineyards is the place for you this long weekend! Located on amazing Waiheke Island (ideal, why not explore the rest of the island whilst you’re there, or just drink wine… whichever!), you’ll drink in more than just wine with the spectacular views and gardens… Cable Bay’s menu also offers dishes to dream about, made from organic locally sourced produce and fresh as finishing touches from their very own garden. Be sure not to miss the wine tasting whilst you’re there!



  • Trip to Franz Joseph & Fox Glaciers - 5 hours from Christchurch 

Visit the glaciers… whilst you still can! 

With global warming and climate change, our wonderful glaciers are melting slowly but surely. They may not be there forever so go and explore these wonderful, vast, icey structures whilst you still can. It doesn't cost a thing to walk up and see the glaciers from afar, but if you want to splash the cash (weather permitting) you can take a helicopter ride up to the glacier and explore the crystal blue caves. The little towns offer lovely accommodation, hubs for booking activities, and quaint alpine restaurants and pubs!

Check out westcoast.co.nz’s useful info page for both the Franz and Fox Glaciers. 

  • Mighty Mount Cook - 2.5 hours from Christchurch 

If not to summit, then at least to admire! 

Mount Cook (known as Aoraki in Maori) is New Zealand's tallest, mightiest mountain. If you haven't laid eyes on this magnificent beast yet, then a long weekend is the perfect opportunity. If you’re not up to summiting Aoraki, fret not, as there are plenty of stunning tramps and hikes in the surrounding national park. The aquamarine dreamlike lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo are also within range and worth a day trip!

Read more at newzealand.com’s Aoraki page for key stands and need to know info.

  • Pancake rocks of Punakaiki - 3 hours 50 mins from Christchurch 

Pretty piles of pancake rocks! (Sadly no, you can’t eat them).

The gateway to Paparoa National Park, Punakaiki is a strange natural sight to behold. Flat piles of rocks stack up in tall impressive structures, like pancake stacks for giants. With plenty of lush and vibrant wildlife in the area, brimming with native animals and plants, it is a must see area of New Zealand. Why not try a bit of horse riding too, so you can sit atop a noble steed and enjoy the views, there are plenty to choose from in the local town

Get planning your Punakaiki adventure at their official site


  1.      Take a trip to Mount Taranaki - 4 hours 25mins from Wellington 

THE mountain view 

OK so really this should be on everyone’s list, not just Wellingtons!... Behold the mighty Mt. Taranki! Claiming the title of ‘New Zealand’s most perfectly formed volcano’ by newzealand.com, round of applause please! If you are a sucker for gorgeous epic scenery, then this is a must for your long weekend. Shaped like the mountain peak emoji, Mt. Taranaki is every tourists’ dream. The snow-capped peak juts out from the landscape in a standalone idol of Mother Nature. Drive just a wee 4 hours and 25 mins to see this sight (or fly, probably fly) it will be worth it! 

  1. Hawkes Bay 

Wine and dine in New Zealand's food and wine country

Look for a chilled long weekend of beautiful food, beverages and beaches? Hawes Bay is for you. The flat, sunny area provides huge skies and low horizons of rolling gentle landscapes. Beautiful wineries, beaches, and walks are some of the favorite things that entertain visitors. Check out the options that will tickle your tastebuds here. 

Napier, one of the main towns and has a typical beachy vibe and Art Deco architecture. There is a strip of great bars and restaurants for evening activities. 

  1. Sunsets in Kapiti Island

Peace and serenity away from Windy Wellington 

One of New Zealand’s oldest and most important nature reserves, rich in human history, Kapiti Island is the heaven for nature lovers. Sunset seekers will also love the vast open seaside, with horizons filled with mesmerizing colours of gold, turquoise and orange as the sun sets reflect on the sea soaked sand. Immerse yourself in nature and see some of New Zealand’s rarest birds up close, such as kākā, kōkako, takahē and hihi. 

For everything you need to know about getting there, check out docs handy page here.