We feel as though we’ve been preparing ourselves for Easter weekend for weeks now, thanks to a healthy amount of hot cross buns already consumed in the lead-up (we’ve still left more than enough room for Easter Sunday itself, mind). No doubt many of you are in the same boat — however, if this preparedness hasn’t quite extended to planning the weekend’s activities, never fear. Supplement what will, hopefully, be a relaxing and rejuvenating time, spent with family and loved ones, with our round-up of some lively Easter-centric events taking place in Auckland and nearby. If dining out is on the agenda, scroll to the bottom of this piece to find out when some key local eateries are open over the weekend and statutory holidays.
Head out on the boat for a pizza night to remember
Woody Bay Pizzeria is one of the Hauraki Gulf’s best kept secrets — although it’s well-known to boaties. Tucked away on Rakino island, it specialises in Napoli-style pizza, using two-to-three-day fermented dough, with a succinct selection of delicious toppings. If you’re planning on setting sail this weekend, don’t miss Woody Bay’s Easter Sunday Pizza Party, which will also be its last day open for the year until December. With live music from Rakino local Stacey Thomas and Jenni Cruise, and all-you-can-eat pizza for $15, pull up from 5PM with a (BYO) chair, a blanket and let the good times roll.
Let Soul take care of the cooking
Don’t let a public holiday get in the way of some spectacular kai and one of the best locations in town, as Soul Bar & Bistro is opening its doors on Good Friday for the first time this year. Head down from 11AM for a delicious meal of all your Soul favourites — we’re craving some Cloudy Bay clam linguine, and a crayfish potato bun wouldn’t go amiss, either. Find the rest of Soul’s hours at the bottom of this page.
Ring in the long weekend at an Easter night market
Who wouldn’t love a smorgasbord of delicious eats to ring in the long weekend? Love Street Food NZ is putting on a special Easter night market on Thursday, 1st of April. Head down to Victoria Park from 5PM for some of the best food trucks in town, including Hapunan Filipino food, Brooklyn Dogs, Stumpy’s Pizza — and plenty of sweet treats to boot. Live music will be on hand to entertain the whole family, and the variety on offer means everyone will have their food craving satisfied.
Groove to some jazz at the Waiheke Jazz Festival
This in-demand jazz extravaganza is occurring Friday to Monday on the Island, and while several sessions have sold out already, you can still catch a host of great acts on Friday, 2nd of April. Good Friday Groove at Rangihoua Estate sees four acts performing from noon until 5PM, delivering a diverse range of music including Americana, Latin-Ska, Jazz, Soul, R&B and Salsa-Flamenco. Artworks Theatre is hosting One Night at Fillmore East from 8PM, where local musicians will salute the fabled performers from the infamous “Fillmore East” in New York in the 60s and early 70s like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the WHO. Find all information and tickets at www.waihekejazzfestival.co.nz
Find scrumptious deals all weekend at Auckland Fish Market
Auckland Fish Market’s sundrenched situ will be the place to be this weekend thanks to fun-filled activities and very enticing deals. Children can enjoy balloon making, Easter treats daily and face painting, with live music providing the good vibes. Bang Bang Kitchen is offering $10 Dim Sum all weekend, Market Galley has complementary Easter eggs with all kids’ meals, and there will be prawns on the BBQ from noon until 4PM everyday.
Enjoy a special Easter high tea at Park Hyatt Auckland
The Living Room at Park Hyatt Auckland is one of our favourite places to book in for Afternoon Tea (the hotel’s inventive take on high tea), and this Easter the offering has been given a timely update with hints of Autumnal flavours fused with traditional Easter delicacies.
Executive Chef Brent Martin has designed the Easter Afternoon Tea menu to include delicious hot cross buns, milk chocolate and confit pear choux, a spiced butternut and bitter honeycomb tart — plus, an exclusive collaborative recipe with Giapo which has resulted in an absolutely divine carrot and walnut cake, with burnt vanilla ice cream and caramelised white chocolate. Available Wednesday, 31st of March until Sunday, 4th of April, why not settle in for an afternoon of delicious delights, washed down with artisan teas or Champagne. For bookings and enquiries, please contact Aimee Tuck on 09 366 2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Catch Peter Rabbit 2 at the cinema
The Easter Bunny won’t be the only rabbit getting attention this weekend — head to the cinema to reunite your little ones with the loveable Peter Rabbit and his furry friends, as Peter Rabbit: Runaway launches in theatres. Open all Easter, including Good Friday and Easter Monday, find tickets at www.eventscinemas.co.nz
Restaurant Easter opening hours
Not keen on cooking? Let these establishments take care of it for you this long weekend. Check with individual eateries on holiday surcharges.
Auckland Fishmarket sites: Open as usual Good Friday, Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Andiamo: Open as usual Wednesday to Sunday from 12PM, Monday and Tuesday from 4PM.
Amano: Open from 8AM until late on Good Friday, from 7AM until late on Saturday and Easter Sunday, opening at 8AM and closing at 4PM on Easter Monday.
Azabu Mission Bay: Open as usual Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday, closed on Easter Monday.
Azabu Ponsonby: Closed Good Friday and Easter Monday, open Saturday and Sunday.
Blue Breeze Inn:
Clay: Open from 4pm — late Good Friday and Saturday, Closed Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Commercial Bay: Ahi, Bluebells and Lodge Bar & Dining are open on Good Friday, everything else is closed. Open Saturday 10AM — 7PM, closed on Easter Sunday aside from Ahi, Bluebells and Lodge Bar & Dining, open Easter Monday 10AM — 6PM.
Depot: Open from 11AM — 8:30PM Good Friday, normal hours Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Ebisu: Closed Good Friday and Easter Monday, open Saturday and Sunday.
Euro: Open as usual from noon until late on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday, closed on Easter Monday.
Federal Delicatessen: Open from 8AM all Easter Weekend.
Honey Bones: Open 8AM — 2PM Good Friday and Saturday, Closed Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Hotel Ponsonby: Open from noon until 10:30PM on Good Friday, from noon until late on Saturday and closed Easter Sunday and Monday.
Huami: Open as usual for lunch and dinner Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday, open from 5:30 Easter Monday.
Jervois Steak House: Open from noon — late on Good Friday, 5:30PM — late on Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Masu: Open Good Friday 5PM — 9:30PM, lunch and dinner as usual on Saturday and Easter Sunday, Easter Monday from 5PM for dinner.
NSP: Closed Good Friday and Easter Monday, open Saturday and Sunday.
Ostro: Closed Good Friday and Easter Monday, open Saturday and Sunday.
Prego: Open right through the weekend from noon each day, including Good Friday and Easter Monday.