Auckland is home to some fantastic road trips, many of which are perfect for quick weekend getaways. Here are five of our favourites.
3hr drive from Auckland
Papamoa Beach Resort is sprawling and beautiful. It’s located right on the beachfront and spread over 16+ acres of land, with more than 250 campsites and 37 other accommodation options, including beach-facing luxury villas. Whether you’re looking for a luxury weekend getaway with your partner or a family camping trip in a true kiwi-style setting, there’s something for everyone.
Your hosts, Bruce and his lovely wife Donna, have owned this property for the past 30 years, having bought it from Bruce’s parents, and the love they’ve put into it is obvious. Unwind with a drink or two as you watch the sun go down from the patio of your seafront villa.
What to do: Go surfing on the beach or check out the Mount’s trendy cafes and restaurants, which are only a 17-minute drive away. Head to the Adrenalin Forest to claim your bragging rights or race your mate on a Blokart. Or pack a lunch and take a bike ride around Papamoa’s tree-lined waterways.
2hr, 45min drive from Auckland
Perched high on a headland, with spectacular views on all three sides of the peninsula, the Pacific Rendezvous is an ideal weekend getaway. With access to two private beaches, tennis courts, a pool, and a spa, you’ll have lots of fun to choose from. Go diving for the day or bring back some fresh fish to cook for dinner in your self-contained apartment – you’ll feel right at home. There are also great restaurants down at Tutukaka village if you don’t fancy cooking dinner.
The owner, Ross, is a charismatic guy who’s owned the place for a number of years and has developed quite a reputation with the regulars.
What to do: Go snorkelling on the Poor Knights Islands or get a little more adventurous and go scuba diving for the ultimate Poor Knights experience. Take a walk along the pristine beaches and immerse yourself in the panoramic views. Learn to surf on Sandy Bay or hire a kayak for the day and go exploring.
3hr, 45min drive from Auckland
Head off to the breathtaking Hokianga Harbour for some exquisite Māori hospitality. Nestled close to the harbour, with spectacular views out to the ocean, it’s the perfect place to explore the un-explored. Lose yourself in the magnificent Kauri trees and learn about the region’s rich history and culture as you trek to Tāne Mahuta – the largest kauri tree known to stand today. After a long day, come back to your home base for a soak in the outdoor spa. Then treat yourself to dinner at the on-site restaurant – it’s 20% off until September 2018.
The owners, Shane and Philippa, are passionate about the local Māori history and culture and happy to share their knowledge. Make sure you stop by for a chat.
What to do: Take a guided night tour through the Waipoua Forest with a local Māori guide, hire a jet ski and zip around the harbour at incredible speeds, or take a water taxi over to Opononi, grab a board and slide down the sand hills. There are also plenty of bush walks and cycle trails that you can explore at your own leisure.
3hr drive from Auckland
Nestled in the small tourist town of Matarangi on the Coromandel Peninsula, this resort has everything you need (and more!) for a weekend getaway. It’s the perfect escape from city life, whether you’re looking to polish up your golf skills or just want to relax and unwind. A 15-minute drive will take you to the centre of all the local activities. And the on-site restaurant and bar are just the ticket for indulging in some good food and wine after a long, hard day at the beach.
What to do: Bush walks, fishing, diving, swimming, tennis – take your pick. Admire local art at the Fluke Studio or soak up the sun on one of the many nearby beaches.
2hr, 15min drive from Auckland
Get lost in this secluded hideaway. Nestled among the slopes of Mt Pauanui, this resort has everything you need to spark up a new romance (or rekindle an existing one). Pamper your special someone in an intimate setting with superb local cuisine and beautiful views. Or for some You Time, go fishing or polish up your golf skills on the 18-hole golf course. Later, come back for an afternoon at the spa and feel your worries melt away as you relax in the sauna.
What to do: If you’re feeling active, hike up Mount Paku’s volcanic peak. Or head over to Whangamata Beach – NZ Herald’s readers rated it the best in New Zealand.Check out more Auckland deals