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New Research Reveals Kiwis’ Are Embracing Matariki One Year Out From It Becoming A Public Holiday

New research, commissioned by Bookabach, revealed 40% of all Kiwis are keen to know more about Matariki and ways to mark the occasion. Bookabach commissioned the survey to find out how much people know about the Māori New Year and what it meant to all New Zealanders ahead of it being marked as a new public holiday in 2022.

“We know that Kiwis embrace public holidays with baches in most parts of the country being booked on average close to 100 days in advance with most popular destinations being Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Wellington and Otago.

“Whilst Matariki has one year until it is recognised and celebrated as a public holiday and added to the calendar, we are already seeing families and friends embrace winter weekends away to spend time together,” says Simone Scoppa, Travel Expert at Bookabach.

The survey found 57% of New Zealanders are keen to take a trip away with friends and family this winter despite the new public holiday being added from 2022. The most booked areas for Matariki this year (19 June to 11 July) are Otago, Queenstown and Nelson with travellers booking 32 days in advance on average. The most searched amenities for this time of year include fireplaces and hot tubs.

What was most interesting from the research, according to Scoppa, was the large number of New Zealanders keen to know more about Matariki (40%), that 19% are more likely to attend a Matariki event than in previous years and nearly a quarter (24%) say Matariki becoming a public holiday in 2022 has increased their understanding of what it is. The survey also revealed that 68% of Kiwis embrace and are happy for the Māori New Year to be marked with a public holiday.

To help travellers embrace a last minute winter escape, Bookabach have put together a list of destinations that have baches left to book for a weekend getaway in June and July:

Where you can still find a bach:

Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty is where families can enjoy plentiful good times together from dining out to Mount Maunganui’s hot water pools. In central Tauranga, travellers will find seven majestic poupou (carved figures) representing the cluster of stars known to Māori as Matariki. Created by local master carver, James Tapiata, the seven carvings represent the navigational aspect of Matariki, the travels undertaken by Māori, food and harvesting, water and its healing properties.

Fifty eight per cent* of baches in the Bay of Plenty have availability for Matariki 2021, including this classic Kiwi bach right on Papamoa Beach that sleeps eight for $233 per night#.


It’s little surprise that Queenstown has limited baches this winter given the opportunity for Kiwis to visit the tourism mecca sans international visitors. For those who get in quick to book a bach before they are booked out, head to nearby Wanaka for fireworks, hangi, workshops and performances on Saturday 24 July.

Baches left for Matariki this year include ‘The Castle’ just five kilometres to central Queenstown for $281 per night (sleeps six)#.

Hawke’s Bay

Families can seek out some warmer winter days in Hawke’s Bay. The region, famed for its wines and art deco architecture, is also home to one of New Zealand’s Great Nine walks. For Matariki, families can head along to a free event at the Ātea a Rangi - a celestial star compass based on a traditional Pacific Island concept to teach traditional navigation. From 21 to 25 June, there will be free viewings and korero (talks) of the Matariki star cluster.

Amongst the baches left to book for this week, is this family home in Havelock North that sleeps seven and is priced at $537 per night#.


Thanks to Southland’s low light pollution, families who holiday here have a good chance of viewing the Matariki star constellation. After exploring the region's ruggereed beaches and wildlife, families can head over to Stewart Island/Rakiura, the second island in the world to be named an International Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2019. The status is awarded to areas with high quality starry nights and ensures pollution levels are controlled to safeguard the skies.

Baches in Southland include this pet-friendly “sun trap” in Te Anau that sleeps five and is very affordable at $198 per night.


The Otago region is proving popular with Kiwis this winter with around 20% of baches already booked out. But for those with quick fingers who book now, can soak up the Central Otago Rail Trail, wineries and snow capped mountain views. Visitors during Matariki can head to Dunedin for the Puaka Matariki Festival (2 - 16 July 2021). Unique to Dunedin, the festival marks the Māori New Year with a citywide programme of community and digital events that promise to celebrate wānaka (learning) and whanaukataka (community spirit).

Baches in Otago include this Victorian Villa in Dunedin that sleeps four and is priced at $159 per night#.

# Prices are current as at 24 May 2021 on based on checking in 25 June 2021 for a two night stay. Subject to availability.

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