When a public holiday falls against a weekend it's the universe telling you to pack your bags and go somewhere exciting for the long weekend. It's a holiday taster; long enough to make it count, short enough for carry on luggage. Conveniently, Mastercard have gathered a group of tastemakers to put together a series of Priceless Getaways, long weekend itineraries to let you hit the ground running at your minibreak destination of choice. Perhaps you fancy taking in the beautiful waterfront towns from Queenstown to the Milford Sound? Or do you prefer ducking into Melbourne's laneways and hidden gems for world class coffee and shopping? You can spend your time exploring Sydney's Northern Beaches, cruising up to wineries around Auckland or getting a local's persepctive on the Gold Coast. Whatever your holiday style, three days gives you that little bit of extra breathing room so that it feels like a holiday, not just a weekend away.
Feel the fresh air in your lungs in and around Auckland
Auckland is a city that rewards the adventurous of spirit and sturdy of foot, and photographer Nicola Easterby has locked down your hitlist. Hike up to Mount Eden and explore the Maori sites and volcanic cores. By now you've earned a tasting menu at Clooney, but save room for ice cream from Giapo. A day exploring West Auckland will reward you with winery tours, spectacular surf and a waterfall swimming spot. Keeping things outdoorsy there's boutique shopping and bushwalking to be had on Auckland's North Shore, plus a visit to a cheese factory to be factored in. But surely the prize destination has to be Hobbiton, the movie set that lets you explore Middle Earth.
Get a little local knowledge on the Gold Coast
When you think of Queensland's Gold Coast, tans, bikini babes and party nights probably spring to mind, but there's a lot more to this beautiful stretch of Australian coastline than first meets the eye and BlkWhiteBlog's Brigette Dyer has scouted out the top spots to hit on your holiday.You can go hard with jet skiing at Main Beach or kick back with share plates at Nobby Beach. There are more coastal locations in your future. Spend a day At the famous Cabarita Beach surf break, or lounging by the pool at the newly renovated Halcyon House. On day three it's time to get into the thick of things in Brisbane city where you can shop, see art or climb the famous Story Bridge.
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Unearthing the secrets of Melbourne's laneways
Travel writer Emma Kate knows full well that the wonderful thing about a trip to Melbourne is how you can lose yourself completely in the laneways, boutiques, coffee shops and cultural institutions of this decidedly cosmopolitan city. But with an extra day on hand you can also strike out for the Yarra Valley for a sunrise hot air balloon ride before heading back into town for afternoon cocktails and dinner on a rooftop overlooking the city. The tram system is both charming and easy to navigate so hop on a trolley car out to St Kilda, and for the ultimate perspective shift, head up to the Eureka Skydeck viewing tower to see Melbourne from on high.
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A whirlwind, gastronomic tour along the lake
New Zealand is blessed with some of the world's best produce so it stands to reason that the dining opportunities are outstanding - loose-fitting clothing is reccommended if you want to take in everything this region has to offer. But the options can be overwhelming. Luckily for you, blogger Chrizelle Lategan has pinpointed the essential eats and drinks for your visit. Start in Queenstown, exploring the picturesque lakeside city in between coffee stops, barbecue, ice creams and tasting menus. Only a 20 minute drive will see you exploring historic Arrowtown before you use the 50 minute drive to Wanaka to build up an appetite for French frin dining at Bistro Gentil. Of course no visit to Queenstown is complete without a tour of the famous Milford Sound and a Fergburger burger to round out a pretty perfetc weekend away.
A weekend of beaches, brunch and beautiful vistas
Getting to the airport on a long weekend is a nightmare, and given there are so many incredible spots in Sydney to explore, Melanie Huehnlein wants to save you the struggle and help you devote your long weekend to a seaside getaway along the Northern Beaches. Of course boarding a plane is part of the adventure, only make it a seaplane from Rose Bay to Jonah's at Whale Beach where you'll stay with stunning water views. Over the next three days you can indulge in beachside yoga, brunch at Palm Beach and Collaroy, beautiful walks and every water sport you can imagine. Work your way south to Manly where award-winning dining awaits, not to mention shopping and drinks once the sun goes down and the party vibes start to pick up at this northern nightlife hub.
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