The chilly blast of rain, wind and snow blanketing the country has rapidly wiped summer from our minds. Winter sport fanatics grin ear to ear; summer lovers consider hibernation. With next weekend the last long weekend until October – yes that’s five whole months away, sometimes it is best to simply rug up and enjoy the change of season.
Queen’s Birthday weekend provides the perfect excuse to head north – little holiday traffic to battle, no queues of people and if you’re lucky clear blue sky days. In recent years, Russell in the Bay of Islands has provided the perfect winter escape from Auckland. Heading off Friday lunchtime and even with a coffee stop, you arrive with plenty of time for a walk along the waterfront before dinner.
The Foodie Inc’s Top Picks
Whether your plan is to simply get away and recharge or you’re after an action-packed weekend, you’re spoilt for choice for things to see and do. Here’s a few of our favourites:
Coffee or wine on the deck at The Duke of Marlborough hotel watching the ferries come and go. The Duke of Marlborough on Russell’s waterfront was granted New Zealand’s first liquor licence in 1827 and offers accommodation and dining too but don’t forget to book for dinner on weekends.
Parasail in the Bay of Islands with Flying Kiwi Parasail – getting wet is optional so perfect for the winter months and provides a bird’s eye view of all the islands.
Bay of Islands Farmers' Market every Sunday from 8.30am to 12 noon in Hobson Ave, Kerikeri and if you’re in Paihia on Thursdays you’ll find many of those same stallholders at the Village Green between 2-5:30pm.
Drive to Kerikeri Mission Station and enjoy a visit to Kerikeri Stonehouse and Kemp House – New Zealand’s oldest building.
Holiday parks, baches, hotels, luxury accommodation and everything in between you’ll find plenty more information online:
- Northland & Bay of Islands, New Zealand | Official Visitor Information
- Bay of Islands Information
- Bay of Islands Travel Guide
- Or check out holiday rental websites such as: Holiday Homes Bachcare or Bookabach
Make the most of your next long weekend.