What’s on this Easter in New Zealand? (14 – 17 April 17)

For many of us the best part of Easter, aside from scoffing hot cross buns smeared in warm butter and gorging on deeelicious chocolate bunnies, is the two public holidays that frame the weekend.

For those of you currently travelling, we’ve put together a list of what you need to know for the upcoming long weekend, as well as suggestions for fun activities over April:

When are the Easter public holidays
When: Good Friday, 14th April and Easter Monday, 17 April
Stray office hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm, Friday – Monday

Being a religious holiday, most shops must close for trading on the Friday and Sunday and some will have limited hours of trading on the Monday. This means you will need to plan ahead in terms of eating/drinking, but on the plus most activity operators stay open for business. Your Stray driver can advise of the best places to food shop depending on where you are along the route.

Toast up a Hot Cross Bun and chow down on chocolate!

It’s estimated that New Zealanders will eat 11 million hot cross buns over Easter. These sweet, spicy buns which are typically packed with currents and raisins (although fruit-free chocolate variations are also available) are intended to be eaten on Friday to acknowledge the day Christ was put on the cross. However, Kiwis tend to binge on these buns for several weeks in the lead up to Easter.  The best way to eat Hot Cross Buns is to cut them in half, toast them up in the oven and smother them in butter. Yum!


If  chocolate is your thing, the good news is we Kiwis eat a lot of that too. Popular choices readily available in New Zealand supermarkets are Lindt Bunnies, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Cuties (small chocolate nuggets filled with caramel) and of course the classic marshmallow eggs.

Daylight Saving Time has changed

Those in New Zealand will have noted the mornings are now lighter. It’s no miracle, as on Sunday 2nd April, our clocks rolled back 1 hour making the evenings a little darker and the mornings a little lighter. You can expect the sun to rise at around 6.40am and set around 6.10pm during April as we move into autumn. Keep this in mind when you head out in the afternoon for walks.

Check out some other cool events happening this April

There will be Easter Egg Hunts hosted all over the country so if this kind of event floats your boat, then check out where to find one near you. As always there are lots of other cool events happening all over the country so we’ve included a handful of other events that may be interest to our Stray travellers this month:

Queenstown Night Noodle Market – 19 – 23 April 2017
  • Queenstown:  Night Noodle Markets (19 – 23 April).  Head along and sample some of the delicious street-style food available, live entertainment and beautiful lanterns at Queenstown’s Primary School grounds.  Also on the 23 April you can make your way over to Arrowtown and join the Pie, Pint and Pinot Autumn Festival.
  • Wellington: There is no better month than April to sign up for a local Chocolate Factory Tour while visiting Wellington. Go deep on chocolate and learn about the full process of making chocolate from ‘bean-to-bar’.  For those who are still around in May, check out the Lux Light Festival which turns Wellington’s waterfront and laneways into a captivating celebration of light, art, technology and design. Best of all, this event is completely FREE.
  • Rotorua: If you like the weird, wonderful and unbelievably acrobatic, the Weber Bros Circus is in town from the 5-9 April.
  • Auckland: If you like your electronic music, then you may want to stick around in Auckland and check out Oro17 Featuring Underworld UK on the 8th April.  This debut boutique music festival set amongst the trees of Woodhill Forest is set to dazzle its party goers.
Weber Bros Circus is in Rotorua 5-9 April 2017

As always, we wish you safe and happy travels out there on the road! If you’ve snapped up any awesome photos or videos while travelling New Zealand,  you can enter Stray’s annual Spirit of Stray Photo and Video competition for a chance to win up to $500 NZD. Enter Spirit of Stray here!

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