Now it's a bit of a stretch until our next long weekend. What better way to cheer yourself up than to plan your own long weekend away?
Flight Centre, New Zealand's largest travel agency, has made their top picks for a long weekend away.
With a flying time of just under four hours from Auckland, Rarotonga is a great destination for a relaxing, long weekend escape. Leaving on a Thursday evening and coming back the following Monday is enough time to unwind and explore this unique island, not to mention that they also use the New Zealand dollar - making it an even easier getaway! If you have some annual leave up your sleeve, grab a Flight Centre special and stretch your stay for five nights.
Get your Cook Islands drivers license and see the sights by scooter, go snorkelling at the fruits of Rarotonga, attend an island night and treat yourself to some mid-winter sun and relaxation.
Flight Centre has Rarotonga holidays including return airfares, five nights accommodation with tropical breakfast daily and return airport transfers from $979* ex Auckland or $1,319* ex Wellington or Christchurch per person, twin share.
*Price subject to availability. Valid for sales until 06 July 2012. Travel from 01 November - 11 December 2012, 05 February - 24 March 2013.
With Air New Zealand offering direct flights to the Sunshine Coast from July, this destination is now very attractive for a long weekend away. Choose from Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Noosa, Caloundra or Coolum beach, or juggle your travel time to combine more than one destination.
Spend the day on the beach relaxing and eating ice cream in Mooloolaba. Walk it off with a trip up to the lighthouse reserve, the beach is perfect for swimming and there are plenty of trees if you want to stay in the shade. In Noosa, walk down Hastings street and check out the boutique shopping. The beach is right there so it's easy to go from the restaurants to the shops, to the beach for some relaxation. Try your hand at paddle boarding at Noosa beach and give it a go in the surf or take a lesson on the river.
Flight Centre has Sunshine Coast holidays including return airfares to Brisbane flying Air New Zealand and three nights four-star accommodation in Mooloolaba from $869* ex Auckland, $925* ex Wellington or $779* ex Christchurch per person, double share.
*Price subject to availability. Valid for sales until 06 July 2012. Travel from 18 August - 21 September 2012. Airfares based on Air New Zealand Seat+Bag.
Sitting in the middle of the blue Pacific Ocean almost exactly halfway between Australia and South America are the beautiful islands of French Polynesia, and perhaps the most famous island of them all - Tahiti. Just a five hour flight away, you can leave on Thursday afternoon and fly back Sunday evening, in time for work on Monday morning, or use an extra day of annual leave and stretch your stay for four nights.
What better way to spend a long weekend than snorkelling, swimming and lying beachside? You could even try your hand at scuba diving or surfing. Bloody Mary's is a well known restaurant in Bora Bora with a cult following, walk on the sand floors and sit on coconut stools.
Flight Centre has Tahiti holidays including return airfares, four nights accommodation and return airport transfers from $1,619* ex Auckland or $1,869* ex Wellington or Christchurch per person, twin share.
*Price subject to availability. Valid for sales until 06 July 2012. Travel from 08 - 26 September, 11 October - 07 December 2012.
One of Australia's best destinations, Brisbane is the third largest city and has a lot to offer. If you fly out on Thursday afternoon and back on Monday it will give you three full days to explore and take in the sights.
Check out South Bank, the heart of entertainment and culture with great restaurants and bars, boutique shopping, markets, museums and the man-made Streets beach. Wander through the botanic gardens, bordered by the CBD and the Brisbane River, it was originally planted by convicts in 1825 with food crops to feed the prison colony.
You could even tie your weekend in with the Bledisloe Cup Match at Suncorp Stadium in October and support the All Blacks away from home.
Flight Centre has Brisbane holidays including return airfares flying Air New Zealand and four nights 4.5-star accommodation from $1,058* ex Auckland, $1,109* ex Wellington or $969* ex Christchurch per person, twin share.
*Price subject to availability. Valid for sales until 06 July 2012. Travel from 17 July - 19 October 2012. Airfares based on Air New Zealand Seat+Bag.
Heading a little further afield for a weekend in Hong Kong is a realistic long weekend option. If you fly out on a Thursday evening, you're ready to get exploring on Friday. Fly back Monday evening and you're back in New Zealand Tuesday morning - if you were brave you could even head in to work for the afternoon!
Check out the Peak Tram which takes you to the upper levels of Hong Kong Island, it climbs 400 metres in just over one kilometre and provides some great views at the top. Females should check out the 'Ladies Market', one of the most popular fashion street markets in Hong Kong, it's surrounded by great food stalls specialising in authentic and well-priced meals.
Flight Centre has Hong Kong holidays including return airfares and four nights four-star accommodation in a deluxe room from $2,069* ex Auckland per person, twin share.
*Price subject to availability. Valid for sales until 16 July 2012. Travel from 02 August - 10 September 2012.
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