Now that the chaos of Christmas and New Year has subsided, Waitangi weekend brings a much-needed change of pace, perfect for relaxing and recharging before the school year kicks off in earnest and summer comes to a close.
With the help of Booking.com, here are the perfect family escapes to help you experience the simple pleasures in life, so pack the car, grab a surfboard or your boogie board and head to the coast to catch the last of the summer sun’s rays.
Whether it’s the wild west coast in the north or the blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean in the southeast, get out of town and explore the country’s beautiful coastline.
Renowned for its pearly white sand and epic surf breaks, Dunedin’s St Clair beach is also a popular swimming spot and the beachfront is perfect for unwinding with a casual lunch or dinner. The Hydro Esplanade Apartments sit directly across the road from the beach so ocean views are on the menu, as a drink on the rooftop terrace to watch the waves roll in. Fully equipped kitchens make feeding the kids a breeze.
For something more low key, the Leith Valley Holiday Park and Motel is a short drive away from the coast. It’s a brilliant place to stay with kids in tow, with a games room, barbecue, a playground and plenty of space to run around.
Further north, Booking.com has a large range of homestays, including this Piha pearler. The Piha Beachstay Accommodation is the place to recharge your batteries and feel that much-needed sun on your back from one of the terraces.
A little further up the coast and sitting at the southern end of 90 Mile Breach is Ahipara, home to stunning sunsets and one of the best left-hand surf breaks in the country. Gems Seaside Lodge beachfront holiday house has breath-taking views from both its units; The Haven, a spacious second-floor two-bedroom apartment and the Treasure Trove, a ground floor studio.
In Gisborne on the east coast of the North Island lies the famous Wainui beach, a safe and very beautiful surf beach that is a Kiwi favourite for its consistent breaks. The Ocean Beach Motor Lodge has a range of suites and studio apartments, and a refreshing dip in the ocean is only a two-minute walk away.