Winter is heading our way, and Easter will be many Kiwis' last chance for a long weekend getaway in the sun.

The March 25-28 holiday is a week earlier than last year and three weeks earlier than in 2014.

And with two weeks remaining before Easter, there's still plenty of great options if you want to celebrate the holiday away from the rat race in New Zealand or abroad.

A whistle-stop trip to Australia is on the agenda for thousands of New Zealanders, though airfares do rise over public holidays.


Flight Centre is offering a week in Surfers Paradise, pictured above, March 23-30, including seven nights' accommodation, for about $1395.

Return flights from Auckland to Samoa departing on Easter Friday cost $1071 a person, and a five-night stay at Apia's three-star Pasefika Inn costs $441.

According to House of Travel, Queensland destinations Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Great Barrier are most popular for holidaying Kiwis.

Those keen to venture further afield can head to Hawaii for a week for $1593 a person return through House of Travel. Add six nights at a room in Honolulu for $1064 through Airbnb.

Those keen to chill out at the beach also have plenty of accommodation options through

For those wanting the lap of luxury, the $3200-a-night The Boathouse, a waterfront mansion in the Bay of Islands, sleeps four and features a sauna and a basketball court - plus you might even spot a kiwi.

For a more affordable $300 a night (and $25 for each extra guest) a two-bedroom bach is available in the Coromandel Peninsula's secluded Onemana beach.

The cute cottage - a true Kiwi bach - can sleep up to six and has a bathtub that overlooks the private cove.

Families further south could try the Kefalonia Luxury Retreat in Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast. The five-bedroom house that can sleep up to 14 people costs $590 a night for four guests, and $70 for each extra guest.

The house boasts a tennis court, swimming pool, games room and plenty of outdoor space.

The long-range forecast suggests the North Island and areas of the South Island will have warm, possibly wet, conditions and temperatures in the high 20s.

Rain is possible on the West Coast and in Queenstown, though temperatures could hit the high 20s.

Holiday homes

Bay of Islands

: $3200/night, sleeps four.

Onemana, Coromandel

: $300/night. Sleeps six.

Kapiti Coast

: $590/night, sleeps 14.

Easter events

Waipu Carnival

: Caledonian Park, Waipu, March 26. Kids' zone, food, stalls, the Waipu lawnmower racing crew and circus performers.

Royal Easter Show: ASB Showgrounds, Auckland, March 24-28.

Twelfth Night: Pop-up Globe, 38 Greys Ave, Auckland, March 25-27.

Groove: Waiheke's Rangihoua Estate, March 25.

Downtown Carnival: Tauranga, March 26-27.

Coastella International Music Festival: Paraparaumu's Southward Car Museum, March 26.