It’s been a while since our last public holiday, so we’re quite thrilled that Labour Weekend is just around the corner. Whether you stick around town (which happens to be quite nice as everyone else disappears) or you head out on the boat, to the bach or perhaps for a quick trip over the ditch, we suggest you peruse a few of these inspiring ideas.
For those looking to get away but not really get away, jumping on the ferry to Waiheke feels like you’ve left the country, without the admin. With the Saturday markets going down and a plethora of wineries to while away the hours under the afternoon sun (Tantalus perfectly caters to all weather scenarios with ample outdoor space and a cosy interior) it’s an easy escape. If in need of somewhere to lay your head, may we suggest perusing the accommodation available at Mudbrick Estate?
Great Barrier Island
Pack hefty supplies (namely wine and cheese) and escape to the island for a weekend of sunshine (fingers-crossed) and relaxation. If you’ve never been, Mount St. Paul Estate Luxury Inn has incredible sea views or Oruawharo Cottage offers a tranquil, waterfront retreat.
Ticking off New Zealand’s Great Walks should be on everyone’s agenda, and we think the Tongariro Crossing is a relatively achievable place to start. It’s a World Heritage Site and has been immortalised in Lord Of The Rings, just be sure to pack appropriate clothing, snacks (of course) and a camera. The Crossing Backpackers takes a rather no-frills approach to accommodation but does boast a secret lounge that can only be entered through a hidden wardrobe that the kids will love. The team will also shuttle you directly to and from the start and finish points.
If you check the weather forecast you’ll notice that the sun seems to favour the East Coast, so a trip to the Hawke’s Bay should definitely be on the cards. More specifically, a couple of nights at the newly renovated Summerlee house at Black Barn. With eight bedrooms, a pool, spa, tennis court, petanque field and loggia, it’s highly likely you won’t want to return on Tuesday. Come mealtime, you can pop into the Bistro for lunch and dinner where we recommend you try the braised beef cheek with a glass of wine.
Take a Road Trip
If you’re undecided on one single destination, why not rent a fully equipped LandRover and see where it takes you? Trekker Adventures will provide everything you need — the vehicle, the accommodation (rooftop tent and ground-based tents), all the camping essentials, from a barbecue to kitchen utensils and GPS navigation — all you need to do is pick it up and you’re good to go.
Renowned for its epic scenery and snowcapped mountains, there is a lot going on down in Queenstown this Labour Weekend. Firstly, the 40th Queenstown Jazzfest is happening, so you’ll want to get yourself along to enjoy a few days of music, food and wine. Alternatively, if it’s something more adventurous you’re in search of, how about a dog sledding adventure with an excited pack of Alaskan and Siberian Huskies with Under Dog Tours? You’ll be in need of a drink after all of that so a visit to the Cardrona Distillery for a glass of single malt whisky wouldn’t go amiss.
A long weekend provides just the right amount of time to take a trip over the ditch, do a spot of shopping, wining and dining before heading back home. Be sure to add the beloved Chin Chin Restaurant to your list of dining out destinations. The Melbourne institution has just opened its Sydney outpost in Surrey Hills so we recommend booking a table, stat. Sculpture by The Sea has returned for another year too. Beginning on Thursday 19th October, it’s an incredible showcase of works by Australian and international artists. We think it’s worthy of a trip on its own.