It’s a long stretch between public holidays and what better way to break the winter blues, than to create your own weekend away. Flight Centre, New Zealand’s largest travel agency, has asked its expert travel consultants their top picks for an international long weekend – you can go further than you might think!
Uluru – Australia’s Natural Treasure
Just over the Tasman and a world away is Australia’s Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and it’s the perfect long weekend with a difference. Leaving on a Friday morning and coming back the Monday is enough time to take in the unique Red Centre.
Take an Aboriginal guided tour around Uluru or Kata Tjuta, ride a camel into the sunset, trek to the Valley of the Winds, try your hand at a dot painting workshop or visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre.
Flights from Sydney to Ayers Rock are just over three hours – the perfect opportunity to explore two places in one weekend.
Head away for a long weekend and discover the top of Australia. The new Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue alliance means there are plenty of ways to get to Darwin, leaving ample time for sightseeing.
Be sure to take in Crocosaurus Cove in the heart of Darwin’s CBD. Here you’ll find one of the largest saltwater crocodile’s in the world on display, along with more than 50 Northern Australian Reptiles and a turtle sanctuary.
Or jump on a five-star tour and head out to Litchfield National Park to explore Darwin’s native bush and incredible waterfalls.
At seven times the size of Singapore, Kangaroo Island has the perfect blend of wildlife, native bushlands and pristine beaches. Getting to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide is easy – choose the ferry or fly there in just 30 minutes. There are a huge range of tours available on the island, which means you can sit back and enjoy as you take in the island.
For the adventurous, you could also bike or hike the island, although at 155 kilometres long, it’s not for the faint hearted!
Air New Zealand fly direct from Auckland to Adelaide late in the week which means you can choose to head straight to Kangaroo Island, or stop and explore Adelaide for the night first.
With a flying time three hours, Tonga is a great option for a long weekend escape with a difference. There are 170 islands of Tonga with 37 inhabited islands to choose from, divided into the Tongatapu Group in the south, including the capital Nuku’alofa, and the Vava’u Group in the north.
Explore Eua’s national park either on foot or by horseback – it’s just a short flight from Tongatapu. Or try scuba diving from Ha’apai, go game fishing or shop at the Nuku’alofa markets. Really unwind and relax in Tonga’s slow-paced atmosphere.
Heading a little further afield for an adventure weekend in Malaysian Borneo is a realistic long weekend option. Perfect when your mates ask what you’re doing this weekend – just heading to Borneo!
Leaving Auckland late on Friday night means you can arrive in Kota Kinabalu late on Saturday morning leaving plenty of time to check out the orang-utans, take a dive trip or even climb the highest peak in south-east Asia – Mount Kinabalu.
Depart again on Monday night will have you back in New Zealand on Tuesday afternoon – you could even save half a day’s leave and head into work that afternoon if you were game!
For a dinner date with a difference, why not have dinner in Denarau. Nip over Friday night and come back Sunday – you don’t need to worry about a thing as packages can be tailor-made to include airfares, accommodation with breakfast, airport transfers and even the romantic dinner while you’re there.
At just over three hours flying time and on the same time zone as New Zealand, Fiji makes the perfect weekend escape.
If you’re interested in travelling to any of the countries we’ve mentioned or need more information phone 0800 38 44 38 or contact one of our Flight Centre travel experts – 135 stores nationwide.