With the Easter break just over a month away now, Kiwis all over the country are starting to plan how to spend their lengthy April hiatus from work. 2019 is a special year, where taking just 3 days of annual leave will leave you with a 10 day window to explore! For those of us in the North Island, the Easter break represents a last chance to head to the beach and pretend it’s not getting cold yet. So with summer-loving in mind, we have put together a few suggestions for how you can spend your Easter break so you are ready for winter! Thinking of beaches, rivers, hiking and generally exploring the outdoors? Great – so were we when we put these suggestions together! So, in no particular order, these are our recommendations for how you should spend your bloody long 2019 Easter break in the North Island.
The Coromandel is one of the most beautiful parts of the country (go ahead argue and prove us wrong). From the towering pinnacles shrouded by native forest in the middle, to the golden beaches and world-class surf on the coast, the Coromandel is a region that is just screaming out to be explored! We are lucky enough that we have spent some time roaming the Coromandel area with Breadcrumbs – you can see our wrap-up video of our trip here.
One of the best adventures we have ever been lucky enough to experience is Canyonz. As the video above shows, a day out on the cliffs with the team at Canyonz is about as thrilling as adventure tourism comes in New Zealand. We also heard a whisper that there is a 20% discount available through Breadcrumbs app (wink wink).
As far as the rest of the region goes, the sky’s the limit for what you can explore! If you are a keen hiker then look no further than the Coromandel Coastal Walkway (one of our favorite 20 hikes in NZ!!). If you are more about scenic sunrises, then set your alarm in time to get to New Chum’s Lookout. Stay for sunrise then park up with a picnic blanket on New Chums Beach – one of New Zealand’s most stunning golden beaches. For a taste of the laid-back, super chilled Coromandel vibes then head along to Luke’s Kitchen – a cafe/restaurant which is a local favorite in Kuaotunu. Finally, it wouldn’t be a complete recommendation without sharing a couple of our favorite “Crumbs” from Breadcrumbs app in The Coromandel area – have a look at the bangin’ Crumbs Dropped at Hot Water Beach and Crayfish Bay by awesome Breadcrumbs users and great New Zealanders – Sam and Calvin.
Taranaki is often slept on as a getaway destination for North Islanders. Perhaps it is just because not enough people love perfect surf beaches and rugged adventure? One thing for sure though is that we at Breadcrumbs bloody love perfect surf beaches and rugged adventure – and in Taranaki there is an adventure waiting at every turn! From the mighty maunga and the many trails she supports to the bouldered black sand beaches that attract surfers from the world over, there is something for everyone in Taranaki.
Start off your Taranaki getaway with a stroll through one of the tracks in the East Egmont National Park. For a combination of easy and breathtaking walks do the 5 minute jaunt to Dawson Falls and the 20 minute walk up to Wilkies Pools. If you are after a slightly more demanding or challenging track then try the visitor centre to Waingongoro Loop – a 4 hour hike that traverses the mid-mountain (waterfalls) before dropping down into the densely covered forest below (swingbridges and lush green forest). This map demonstrates where to go (Visitor Center > Wilkies Pools > Jackson’s Lookout > Enchanted Track > Waingongoro Track).
If even the Waingongoro loop isn’t enough for your taste then commit to tackling the Pouakai Crossing – an 8 hour slog with some of the best scenes you could ask for! This walk includes the infamous “Pouakai Tarns” where you can take that Insta worthy snap of the Maunga in the reflected water. Definitely not one for the unfit, the Pouakai crossing can be done in a single day or by spending the night in one of the various huts along the way!
It might sound like Taranaki is all about the outdoors, but while that is what would draw us in personally – there are plenty of arts and culture based activities in the region too! Head along to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (Also known as the Len Lye Centre) for a taste of New Zealand modern art (an A+ Crumb from Connor). Go to the Tawhiti Museum which will give you a background of the Taranaki region and all of its history – this is widely regarded as the best private museum in NZ!
Why not take Bae to Hawke’s Bay this Easter? Hawke’s Bay is one of the areas of the North that is lucky enough to experience Summer for a bit longer than most! The warm temperatures, coupled with the plethora of fun-in-the-sun activities available in the area make Hawke’s Bay a must include on your possible destination list for this Easter!
So what do we recommend in the area? Well if beaches are your buzz then Waimarama will be sure to float your boat – just beware of the often gnarly currents that prevail. The same can be said for Ocean Beach too! Te Mata Peak is an epic option for unsurpassed views of the region if you are looking to get scenic. Drive or walk up to the viewpoint via the long established road or track, or if you are looking to see what all of the local fury was about you can always walk the Craggy Range Track (also referred to by locals as a hideous scar on the landscape).
The bay also holds many wine and food gems with the vast array of wineries that are present! Check out the Black Barn events calendar to see what gigs are going at the infamous amphitheatre or mull on over to Te Awanga for a tasting (as Breadcrumbs user and awesome human Alex shared with her Crumb!). If you are hunting a classy feed to impress your significant other then Bistronomy (Dropped as a Crumb by Jen) is sure to win you a hefty sum of brownie points.
Especially easy for the Wellingtonians among us, The Wairarapa is an area of the country where you can find just about errythin you could want from an Easter getaway! From the infamous lighthouse and surrounding beaches of Castlepoint, to the lesser known highlights like a night spent camping at Morrison’s Bush – The Wairarapa is a destination just waiting to be explored by you!
As with anything that Breadcrumbs loves, there are so many outdoor adventures waiting to be had in The Wairarapa. Head along to the Tora Coastline for walking trails along the harsh and sparsely inhabited Wairarapa coast, or into Waiohine Gorge to set off on one of the numerous trails that head into the Tararua Forest Park. For a night spent in isolation try to book in at the Lonspur Eco Cottage (near the Tora Coastline). This cabin (set up a short 4wd farm track nestled amongst native Manuka trees) is off the grid, with only limited power supply to keep the stereo and lights pumping – an ideal romantic escape!
It goes without saying that if you are going to The Wairarapa then you will be going to Martinborough for some wine tasting! Most wineries will offer a tasting option where for $5 you can sample the complement of wines that given winery produces. We recommend Poppies, Palliser Estate and Cambridge Road among our favorites and for accommodation – look no further than Peppers Parehua (as shared by Ellen Chote on Breadcrumbs).
To round out our list of recommendations for North Island Easter Escapes, we think you should heads to good ol’ Rotovegas. Rotorua (despite the smell) is an incredible place to spend a few days, with such a varied range of experiences to keep you either on the edge of your seat, or in a state of supreme relaxation!
It would be remiss of us not to recommend that you search out Paddle Board Rotorua (and not just because you can get 20% off through Breadcrumbs). Enjoy a breathtaking scenic sunset paddle across lake Rotorua, before entering glowworm caves filled with constellations of starry-blue lights! Head on over to Eat Street afterwards for a munch and a drink (Another great Crumb from Breadcrumber Te Paea). Another sunset option… get yourself over to the Redwoods Tree Walk – a series of 28 linked bridges that suspend you high above the ground under the illuminated canopy of towering redwoods (Nice Crumb Matt!).
By no means an exhaustive list of what you can do with your North Island Easter Break – but somewhere to start at least! Get in touch with us to share what you are planning for your Easter Break, or even better…. Drop A Crumb! Haven’t got Breadcrumbs yet? Download it. Don’t have an Iphone? Sign up for our Android Release
Image/Crumb credits 📸 Give them a follow on Breadcrumbs! 🍞🥖
– Calvin Shelwell (Crayfish Bay)
– Sam O’dea (Hot Water Beach)
– Connor Gilchrist (Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre)
– Jen Howes (Bistronomy)
– Alex Pidgeon (Te Awanga)
– Ellen Chote (Peppers Parehua)
– Sam Bazalo (Putangirua Pinnacles)
– Jess Platt (Patuna Farm Adventures)
– Te Paea Whaanga-Davies (Eat Street)
– Matt Phillips (Redwoods Tree Walk)