This Waitangi Day weekend, make the most of all the great things happening around the country. Here are our top 10 picks for things to do during the long weekend.
1. Enjoy the Waitangi Day celebrations around the country. Family-friendly Waitangi Day festivals will be held at Okahu Bay to commemorate the 177th anniversary of the Treaty, as well as Te Rā o Waitangi in Wellington. Alternatively, head up to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for the traditional dawn service.
2. Check out Auckland Live Summer in the Square. Aotea Square will be lively and full of fun for all ages as it is transformed into Auckland’s biggest backyard summer party. Soak up the sun with live music, entertainment and food vendors 3.Embrace your inner gypsy with The Extravaganza in Tauranga. All Waitangi weekend, the fair will feature market stalls, kids shows and games, tarot and palm reading, arts and crafts, and buskers.
4. Walk the Sculpture on the Gulf on Waiheke. Set amongst the stunning scenery of Matiata Bay, the walk features sculptures from some of New Zealand’s most acclaimed artists.
5. While you’re in Waiheke, head down to Ecozip Adventures. Spend the day soaring over native forest and vineyards and exploring the scenery through a guided tour. If you’re in the central North Island, check out Rotorua Canopy Tours, which will see you flying high above untraversed native forest valleys.
6. Celebrate The Year of the Rooster with Lunar New Year celebrations around the country. Capital E is leading the festivities in Wellington, while Parnell is the place to be in Auckland with the Heard Park festival.
7. Spend a day wandering through an artisan market and discover all that New Zealand creativity has to offer. Our picks are the Boulevard Arts Market in Christchurch the Summer Pop-Up Village in Wellington and the Silo Markets in Auckland.
8. Dust off the bikes and head out to one of the country’s many cycle trails. No matter your cycling experience, there will be one to fit your ability –from the Hauraki Rail Trail to the Otago Central Rail Trail or simply Auckland’s new bright pink light path. If you’re more into walking, there are thousands of walks to take, short to long, easy to hard, all around the country to explore. A favourite of ours at this time of year is the Mangawhai Cliff Walk in Northland.
9. Embark on a beer or wine tasting tour and experience the best of local tipples in your area. If wine isn’t your thing, try a local brewery.
10. Explore some of New Zealand’s best swimming spots. The whole country is ridden with these little gems, so pack the car with a picnic and spend the weekend discovering them. We love Cleopatra’s Pool in the Abel Tasman, the mermaid pools in Matapouri, West Auckland’s Kitekite Falls, and Ashley Gorge in Christchurch.