New Zealand public holidays

Unlike Russia, New Zealand has not so many public holidays during the year: in total, there are just 10 days of public holidays not to mention anniversaries of New Zealand cities and regeons. As a general rule, all New Zealand public holidays occure on a specific date, however there are few exceptions. For example, Queen’s Birthday traditionally celebrated on first Monday of June and Labour Day happens on fourth Monday of October.


Besides, there are few christian public holidays, which are celebrated exceptionally on Fridays and Mondays, like for example, Good Friday and Easter Monday. Also, if public holidays suddenly occurs on Saturday or Sunday, then following Monday is declared to be public holiday. Few public holidays go in row – Boxing day (26th December) happens straight after Christmas (25th December); Day after New Year’s Day (2nd January) goes after New Year’s Day (1st January). Thus, here in New Zealand we have long weekends few times per year, suddenly and unexpectedly. Most of public holidays occurs during summer period and sometimes we have situation, when long holidays follow each other, resulting in two four day working week!

In theory, long weekend should give you a lot of advantages, including a potential chance to have a rest and visit some places you never go during usual “short” weekend due to the remoteness of the place and/or tedious road. However, it doesn’t work well in practice and leads to price increase for accomodation and plane tickets and also creates an enourmous huge traffic jams on the roads. Actually, what would you expect if the whole country decided to have getaway for a long weekend? 🙂 One of the benefits: it is really good to stay in a city during the long weekend, walk, enjoy and explore its suburbs without any rush. For example, during this time Auckland is very silent – it has minimum of cars, the almost complete absence of people, birds singing and fresh air. Yes, it can be even cleaner! 🙂

As an option, (if you allowed by your job) you can take two day offs and try to leave the city before long weekend starts, avoiding the the trafic jams and drive back one day later afer the long weekend ends. Or you can get just one day off and try to leave/arrive one day earlier/later, it’s up to you. As for us, we decided that we are not leaving Auckland during the long weekends and stay in the city, enjoying the walking in different suburbs and parks, visiting local beaches, museums and art-galleries in CBD. And then, on the next normal weekend, we go somewhere outside the city to spend these two days and enjoy peace and quiet which are garanteed 90%

Table below illustrates public holiday in New Zealand for any year (common holidays are in bold):

HolidayDate
New Year’s DayJanuary, 1st
Day after New Year’s DayJanuary, Monday 2nd
Wellington AnniversaryMonday closest to 22 January
Auckland AnniversaryMonday closest to 29 January
Nelson AnniversaryJanuary, Monday 30th
Waitangi DayFebruary 6th
Taranaki AnniversaryMarch, Monday 13th
Otago AnniversaryMarch, Monday 20th
Good FridayPlease check with Christian Festivals
Easter MondayPlease check with Christian Festivals
Easter TuesdayPlease check with Christian Festivals
Southland AnniversaryApril, Tuesday 18th
ANZAC DayApril, 25th
Queen’s Birthday1st Monday of June
South Canterbury AnniversarySeptember, Monday 25th
Hawke’s Bay AnniversaryOctober, Friday 20th
Labour Day4th Monday of October
Marlborough AnniversaryOctober, Monday 30th
Canterbury AnniversaryNovember, Friday 17th
Chatham Islands AnniversaryNovember, Monday 27th
Westland AnniversaryDecember, Monday 4th
Christmas DayDecember 25th
Boxing DayDecember 26th

How do you spend long weekends in New Zealand? What’s your secret? Where do you go usually? Which place is your favourite? 😉

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Ivan Grigoryev's Blog
Living in New Zealand. Blogging about the country, beautiful places, everyday life.
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