If you’re looking for a mid-winter break in a stunning location, Auckland Council has 23 baches – as well as other types of accommodation – which offer attractive and cost-effective places to stay.
Here are just a few of the baches on offer some of the most beautiful spots in the region:
Have an island break
With room for up to 10 people, five-bedroom Fitzroy House on Great Barrier Island is great for families and large groups. Nestled in Glenfern Sanctuary Regional Park, the house was built in 1901 and retains many historic touches.
The 83ha park serves as the gateway to the predator-fenced Kotuku Peninsula, where trustees and volunteers are restoring native forests, giving threatened and endangered flora and fauna renewed habitats to call home. If you’d rather hunker down indoors, Fitzroy House has a wood burner to keep you warm, as well as a selection of books and games.
Enjoy a romantic weekend
The one-bedroom Plateau Tourist Flat at Martins Bay Holiday Park offers million-dollar views across Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana and south toward the city. It is fully self-contained, with kitchen and bathroom facilities as well as linen, towels and utensils, meaning you only need to bring yourselves.
Or head south-east and unwind at the charming seaside Te Kuiti Cottage at Umupuia Beach, just one hour from central Auckland. This two-bedroom cottage offers dazzling views and is next to Duder Regional Park where you can enjoy various walking trails. And because it’s just a short drive to Clevedon or Maraetai, you can refuel at much-loved local eateries.
Take the kids to the beach
Overlooking the Firth of Thames you’ll find Tāpapakanga Regional Park, where the three-bedroom Tāpapakanga Bach rewards visitors with stunning views across farmland and out towards Coromandel Peninsula. While the park is well-known for swimming, kayaking and mountain biking, the bach offers the perfect launching pad to explore Tāpapakanga’s Māori and European history.
Go bird watching
If you enjoy walks across rolling farmland, through ancient and regenerating native forests, wetlands and hills which are home to a range of birds, then Ātiu Creek Regional Park is for you – and Ātiu Cottage is the place to stay. This four-bedroom semi-detached home sleeps six and includes a farm-style kitchen and cosy living room where you can swap stories about the birds you may have sighted, from kererū (New Zealand pigeon) and tūī to mātātā (fernbird) and, if you’re lucky, pāteke (brown teal).
Barr Cottage, a cosy three-bedroom home in Huia, clearly inspires creativity – even its builder, Bill Barr, was a man ahead of his time, using recycled material from an 1880s cottage to construct it. The cottage has been a base for Auckland Council’s Artist in Residence programme, featured in the 2007 film The Man Who Lost His Head, and is a 25-minute drive from Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi, where you’ll also find ample dining options.
If you’re looking to be inspired by nature, Huia is located at the southern end of Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, and there’s a small beach right in front of the cottage. It’s also the starting point for Ōmanawanui Track, which is best tackled on a fine day by the very fit (there are 2420 stairs to climb there and back!).
Even if it’s not warm enough to swim, you can still enjoy sea views and beach walks at Scott Point, Mahurangi Regional Park (East). Make a weekend of it and stay at Baileys Cottage. This traditional one-level bach sleeps six and offers easy access to beach and bush walks. There are also historic sites to explore, like the nearby Scott Homestead.
It might be too wet and wild to pitch a tent, but if you fancy winter walks and a spot of beachcombing followed by a hot chocolate, the seaside town of Ōrewa is just 30 minutes north of Auckland. The self-contained deluxe cabins at the popular Ōrewa Beach Holiday Park have space for four people, and all linen and kitchen utensils are supplied.