Whether it's getting out and about into nature, or testing out a new eatery, here are some of our favourite adventures to make the most of summer.
The gorgeous three tiered Kitekite Falls are a 50 minute drive west of Auckland, near Piha Beach. To get to the waterfalls, you'll take the winding track through the forest along the Glen Esk stream. Time your trip around lunchtime, take a picnic and enjoy the incredible scenery. If you're feeling energetic, take the steep track to the very top of the falls - it's an amazing view! From here it's all downhill to the carpark. Allow for an hour and a half on the track to really enjoy the area.
Got a bit more time on your hands? Why not escape to Marlborough Sounds and explore the Queen Charlotte Track. There are plenty of activities you can do around the area, from walking or biking the track itself, to cruising the coast by boat or kayak. Retrace Captain Cook's journey by taking the ferry up the Queen Charlotte Sound to Ship Cove for a day trip or stay over a few days.
Our stunning Auckland Cellar Door and winery is open every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 8pm until April 2 for Pizza & Pinot evenings. Grab a beanbag out on our lawn, a woodfired Stumpy's Pizza and glass of your favourite Matua wine. Kids and dogs on leads are welcome, so bring the whole family, put your feet up and let us take care of dinner!
Saturday brunch expedition anyone? Atomic Coffee Roaster's Kingsland HQ is serving up some delicious takes on humble Kiwi classics with the brunch essential - great coffee. We're loving the avocado smash with lime and feta. Delicious!
The Karangahake Gorge Historic Trail is a two hour drive south of Auckland. The track follows the historic Paeroa to Waihi rail line, complete with a 1km long tunnel and ruins from Karangahake's mining past. An easy mountain bike or walking trail, allow for either 45 minutes or 4 hours return. If you're visiting from Auckland, stopping in at Woodturner's Cafe near Ngatea for a pick-me-up is a must.
Held on the 19th March, the Havelock Mussel & Seafood Festival celebrates Marlborough Greenshell Mussels and fresh local seafood paired with local wine and beer. For the headline act, Anika Moa will perform songs from her new album Queen at the Table followed by other great musicians. Live cooking demonstrations, face painting and more will make for a great day out in Marlborough.
Venture out to Waiheke Island's Oneroa Beach for a sunset picnic with Dragonfired Pizza. Located almost on the beach itself, this gourmet food truck is a foodie fave that lets you pick and choose your pizza toppings. Kick back and enjoy yours on the beach overlooking the sunset. We're in!
This historic French and British settlement is 75km out of Christchurch and is packed with colonial buildings, art galleries and cafés. Akaroa is great for a day trip or stay on for a couple of days to explore some more. Visit The Giants House Artists Garden with its mosaicked steps, sculptures and flower gardens, or Kayak with the dolphins and seals. Hungry? Pop in to The Little Bistro for a taste of France.
This carefully restored wildlife sanctuary 30km north east of Auckland is unique and an ideal spot for a daytrip. Book your ferry sailing ahead of time, departing from Auckland or Gulf Harbour in the morning, returning in the late afternoon. Walk the tracks around the island, keeping an eye out for some of the many native New Zealand birds rehomed on Tiritiri Matangi. The sandy Hobbs Beach is a great spot for swimming and picnicking - if you're lucky, you might even spot a passing penguin!
Across the ditch? If you're around Sydney, stop in at The Bach Eatery for a slice of New Zealand. This cute restaurant and bar in Newtown is bringing Kiwi back with its relaxed atmosphere and delicious menu from New Zealand and locally sourced ingredients.