Post-Christmas long weekends have a habit of sneaking up. If you're yet to make plans, stay put in Auckland and enjoy a doorstep dalliance.
There are 28 regional parks in Auckland with Shakespear Regional Park making an excellent day trip for its picture-perfect location (quite literally – take a pic with the giant-sized photo frame). There are numerous walking trails to suit all abilities, perfect slivers of ice-white sand and turquoise water for a dip. Pack a picnic and set up on the grass or take a tent and stay overnight. If you prefer your Shakespeare in literary format, Takapuna's The PumpHouse Theatre is showcasing two plays this summer: Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Merchant of Venice. Performed in the outdoor amphitheatre, settle in for a night of costume and stagecraft.
Wine and dine the lazy way on Waiheke Island
Introducing the ultimate easy-as package from Fullers ferry: summer wine and dine on Waiheke. For all those who fancy a day trip to the doorstep motu but can't summon the effort to arrange, well anything, this is a godsend. The $125pp package includes return ferry tickets, a two-course lunch with wine and an afternoon pass for the island's Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer Bus. No designated driver or taxi kitty required. You may need to lift at least one finger to book online and choose your lunch venue: Cable Bay Vineyards, Stonyridge Vineyard or Batch Winery.
When long weekends require entertaining kids with more energy than a bouncing atom, look towards the water. Specifically, Waterworld Waterpark, a pop-up inflatable obstacle course that's been making the rounds at various Auckland beaches. With long weekend dates still covering Bucklands Beach, Browns Bay, Mission Bay and Mairangi Bay, jump online to secure your sprogs a space. It comprises several huge slides, rope swings and a trampoline, so parents can sit smugly on the seashore, sound in the knowledge that their offspring will feel shattered by sundown.
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Frosé all day
Perhaps while the rest of Auckland makes a mass exodus for the motorway, you'd prefer to be doing something a little more chill. In which case, an afternoon of bottomless frosé should appeal. Popping up at Dr Rudi's bar on the Viaduct, "Frosé Your Way" provides several frozen rosé flavours dispensed from slushie-style taps and a DIY garnish wall to ensure your Insta game remains strong. For $59pp, you get a full two hours to refill your glass as many times as the brain freeze (read as hangover) will allow.
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