Easter holidays in New Zealand are a fun, action-filled, or totally relaxing time, topped with an over abundance of chocolate! To help you choose what's best for you and your family, here's a quick guide on how to spend your Easter holidays in New Zealand.
Get outdoors during your Easter holidays!
Kayaking, swimming, and hiking in New Zealand at Easter.
Easter holidays in New Zealand are really the last burst of summer, and kiwis don't waste the chance to make the most of it. Easter weekend sees people flock to the beach, the bach, or the back country to go hiking, kayaking, surfing, swimming, cycling, or just simply to relax away from city life. If you're looking to be in New Zealand during your Easter holidays, a great place to base yourself for outdoor activities is Marlborough and Tasman, at the tip of the South Island. This is the sunniest region in New Zealand, hanging onto long summer days longer than the rest of the country, right up to Easter, and there's an incredible range of world-class outdoor activities to do in the area: walk the famous Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds, kayak the Pelorus river where The Hobbit was filmed, or enjoy strolling the endless beach and bathing in the calm waters of beautiful Golden Bay and Abel Tasman National Park.
Join in kiwi traditions during your Easter holidays
Easter egg hunts in remote and wild New Zealand
Ask a kiwi kid what happens at Easter and you'll invariably get one answer: the Easter Bunny brings us chocolate. The Sunday morning Easter-egg hunt is a kiwi tradition, and it's the stuff of special memories for kids to wake up and hunt around for chocolate eggs that the Easter Bunny has magically managed to bring to wherever they are, no matter how remote - outside a tent in the central South Island high country, at a campground by the beach in the Coromandel, at a bach by the river in Marlborough, or in an apartment in Wellington. For Easter Bunnies who don't get the chance to buy from the staggering range of Easter chocolates that appear in New Zealand supermarkets at Easter, there are also a number of public Easter egg hunts taking place in the towns and cities.
What to Eat during your Easter holidays in New Zealand
The best food for your Easter holidays in New Zealand
It may not please the dieticians and health advisers among us, but hey, it's only once a year that you can say this: today is all about chocolate. Just stepping into a supermarket will give you an idea of how well confectionery companies do in March and April, and mob mentality takes over in gorging guilt-free on chocolate over egg hunts, after dinners, and family morning teas. That said, chocolate is by no means the star of the show: Easter in New Zealand is the time for hot-cross buns to shine. This descendent of British traditions, a pillowy soft, fruit- and spice-infused bread roll criss-crossed on top with icing, unfathomably only appears in New Zealand around Easter. Don't miss out on eating it while you can - but be warned: warm hot-cross buns spread with melted butter can be addictive, and life-changing.
Enjoy fun festivals and events
Take part in special Easter events around New Zealand
Marking the unofficial (and always changing) end of summer, Easter holidays in New Zealand is a time when kiwis love to pack in as much fun in the sun as they can before the winter sets in. This is evident in the huge number of events, festivals, and concerts that take place all over New Zealand. There's a huge diversity in the range of events - from local Easter markets, fairs, and Storybook Sundays to pop concerts, the annual National New Zealand Jazz Festival, and even a Balloon Festival. Check up-to-date Easter events around New Zealand on eventfinda.
Pay your respects on Anzac Day
Take part in a unique New Zealand experience
Marking the start of the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign in 1915 and commemorating the men and women who gave their lives in service to New Zealand during the two world wars, Anzac Day on April 25 is a revered public holiday in New Zealand. Depending on when Easter falls each year, the two public holidays are sometimes separated by less than a week. Attending an Anzac Day dawn service is a special, solemn, and unique experience. Dozens or hundreds of people gather, heads bowed, in the early-morning mist, as former soldiers or family members perform moving readings, a cannon salute thunders into the silent morning, and a haunting rendition of The Last Post on bugle or trumpet moves many to tears. If you're on holiday in New Zealand around Easter, look for one of the hundreds of local Anzac Day dawn services (or mid-morning second service) that take place at RSA clubs, cemeteries, and public spaces around the country.
Take the kids to church for Easter
Social events during Easter in New Zealand
Even if you don't pray, an Easter play is a good way to teach kids a little bit about the origins of Easter. Better yet, it's a lot of fun! New Zealand is not an overly religious country, but going to a local church at Easter is something that even non-church goers enjoy. They're more like a social day out and community event than a church service, with market stalls, kids games, plays, and a great chance to meet local people. Look up the local churches in different areas to see what'll be on where you'll be!