A day trip is just what the doctor ordered after lockdown.
We love Wellington, but sometimes, it is nice to get out of the city and explore something new and exciting nearby. Wonderfully, the North Island offers some iconic gems to discover, and now that the weather is picking up and lockdowns are ending, venturing on one of the greatest New Zealand day trips could be the pick-me-up you need. From scenic mountain drives to indulging in fine wine and sharing boards, to unwinding on beaches…we’ve found something for everyone to enjoy. So, get ready to enjoy a fantastic Spring day trip this season.
1. Nelson And Abel Tasman
For the real adventurists, follow the sunshine and take a 3-hour ferry ride, followed by a 2-hour drive to reach this majestic beach destination. Alternatively, you could take a quick 30-minute flight. There are plenty of water activities awaiting you as well as tourist attractions like one of New Zealand’s greatest National Parks and The World Of Wearable Art Museum. And if you just want to relax, you can lounge around the pristine beaches. Indeed, this spot is the closest thing you’ll get to a tropical adventure.
2. Martinborough Wine Region
Treat yourself to an educational wine tour this season in the picturesque countryside of Martinborough. Visit attractions like Cape Palliser Lighthouse and the Putangirua Pinnacles along the way. Foodies will adore this day out because you can gorge on plenty of scrumptious local cuisine, such as cheese platters from the unique cheese shop, mouth-watering chocolate treats from the chocolate shop, just to name a few. Certainly, one of the best day trips from Wellington, but be sure to nominate a designated driver if you plan to indulge in some wine tasting.
With a strong sense of community, Wairarapa is one of the friendliest spots in the country. Just one hour drive from Wellington, prepare for a unique charm and diverse experience. Start off by exploring a stunning vineyard and chowing down on mouth-watering gourmet food, then finish off your road trip by trekking another hour to create magical moments at the famous Castlepoint Lighthouse. Definitely, this spot is a must-visit in Wairarapa.
Get up early and drive the totally-worth-it five hours to discover the natural wonders and take in the stunning views of Lake Taupo. Indeed, this tranquil haven is the best place to sooth your tensions in rare hot pools, embark on various cycling routes and partake in terrific adrenaline activities. After a long week, one dip in the natural hot springs is what you need to wash all your troubles away. Social Media influencers will adore this breathtaking place. Visit their Instagram feed for more inspiration.
This picturesque sight of carefully preserved world-class 1930s architecture is the greatest tourist attraction in Hawke’s Bay. Interestingly, a 1931 earthquake was responsible for this seaside resort, which gives you all the Great Gatsby vibes through its art deco facades, vintage cars and streetscapes. Undoubtedly, it is worth the four hour drive. Perfect for any type of getaway, but especially for all you foodies! With the amount of jaw-dropping places to eat, you’ll be in ultimate bliss.
Grab your hiking boots and start your Taranaki adventure! This terrific destination offers countless outdoor explorations, from the mind-blowing volcanic peak of Mount Taranaki, to sublime underwater adventures. It is an excellent day trip for people of all ages. For the greatest experience, pack some camping gear and pitch a tent on route. Indeed, one of the most instagrammable places in New Zealand.
Just a short 45 minute drive from Wellington, this little gem is full of natural beauty, delicious cuisine, as well as cool art galleries and museums. Be brave and take on the Fly By Wire, which is a bungy jump adventure in the forest. Alternatively, experience Paekakariki Escarpment Track which is a hiking enthusiasts dreamland along the coast. It offers picture-perfect views of the coastal surroundings, making the 3-4 hour expedition worth it. Pack a lunch and reward yourself when you reach the top. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest day trips from Wellington.