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Most Aucklanders dream of escaping the big smoke for the festive season – but the City of Sails is Airbnb’s most popular holiday destination for Kiwis this summer.
More than 5860 Kiwis are set to stay in Airbnbs in Auckland between December 2017 and January 2018, according to the company’s list of the top 20 travel destinations for New Zealanders this holiday season, based on bookings.
New Zealand’s biggest city trumps local holiday hotspots Queenstown, Rotorua and Taupoo and overseas destinations including the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Paris, London and Tokyo.
Northland and the Bay of Islands, which are home to some of the country’s popular summer holiday destinations such as Matapouri, did not feature on the list.
Whitianga was the only Coromandel spot, in the top 20, coming in 15th with 994 guest arrivals booked between December and January.
Chief executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chris Roberts said Kiwi holidaymakers spent $631 million in Auckland between December 2016 and January 2017. The next closest area was Christchurch where the domestic tourism spend was $228m.
He expected the spend to grow as much as five percent this summer.
“The traditional view of the Kiwi summer holiday is heading to the lakeside or beachside, and that definitely does happen, but as our biggest city, Auckland does attract visitors during that time as well and that is often event based.”
A number of major international artists are set to play in Auckland in December, including Sir Paul McCartney, Harry Styles and Jack Johnson. The usual line up of summer events such as the Ellerslie races and ASB Classic tennis tournament were also a major drawcard for the city, said Roberts.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development general manager of destination, Steve Armitage, said summer was traditionally Auckland’s busiest season in terms of attracting domestic and international visitors.
“All accommodation providers, including hotels and motels, [are] in high demand during this period.”
The five top destinations for Kiwis this festive season, according to Airbnb’s list, were Auckland, Queenstown, Tauranga, Christchurch and Taupo, with a total of more than 16,000 guest arrivals booked as of October.
An Airbnb spokesman said the list was comprised at the end of October and could change closer to Christmas as last-minute bookings were made.
The great escape
Whether it’s lounging in a $5000 per night luxury pad, sleeping in a caravan or an aviation-themed loft, there are plenty of places on offer across the country this summer.
Among the most expensive properties on accommodation website Bookabach was Korora Estate on Waiheke Island.
The six-bedroom home located in a gated complex comes complete with a pool, tennis court, helipad, spectacular views and price tag of at least $5070 per night over December and January.
Another luxury property was listed on Airbnb from $1200 per night over the same period.
The four-bedroom architecturally designed home in Queenstown, called Altitude Luxury, featured breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.
With outdoor and indoor fireplaces and a large outdoor living space with a BBQ, this place has your summer covered.
For those after a more moderately-priced, family-friendly holiday, Bookabach had a number of great options for around $200 per night.
A stylish eco cabin situated amongst native bush at Ruapuke Beach, just south of Raglan, was going from $240 per night over the Christmas period.
With no cellphone coverage or wifi and run on alternative power – solar for lights and gas for cooking and hot water – this was the perfect place to wind down and enjoy some family time over summer.
There were also plenty of budget options on offer on Bookabach and Airbnb.
Two caravans permanently parked up on a lakefront property in Cooks Beach, Coromandel, were on offer from $125 per night over the festive season on Bookabach.
The caravans sleep eight people plus there was plenty of extra space for tents. Don’t fear – although this sounds like camping, the property had all the amenities including a shower, toilet, kitchen and television.
Alternatively, for those looking to stay in the city over the holiday season, an aviation-themed apartment was up for grabs in Auckland CBD on Airbnb.
With quirky furnishings including plane seats and airport signs displaying departure and arrival times, this Airbnb was sure to be a bit of fun.
The one-bedroom, renovated space was going from $99 per night on the Airbnb website, over December and January.