The ultimate surprise: Why an Air New Zealand Mystery Break is a must-do this year

Decisions, decisions, decisions… there have been too many of them in recent times to leave energy for planning the most fun things of all — holidays.

There’s exhilaration in hopping off a plane to explore a new place, excitement in revisiting a location one hasn’t been to in a while. But with two islands covering subtropical and alpine climates and must-see hidden gems tucked in even the smallest of towns, choosing where to go for a short break can be the hardest part.

New Zealand has a range of different destinations, and Kiwis are able to travel far and wide thanks to Air New Zealand’s extensive domestic network, servicing 20 destinations.

The question is not ‘how?’ — it’s ‘where to?’ Should we go to the snowy south or the winterless north? Do we want to be pampered and lie about doing nothing somewhere glamorous? Have an adventure or two?

Don’t reach for the too-hard basket; let someone else do the planning and booking, so all you need to do is focus on enjoying yourself.

Air New Zealand Mystery Breaks™ allow travelers to visit one of 20 domestic destinations. With the choice of destination, transport and accommodation arranged on their behalf, what’s left is pure hopped-off-the-plane exhilaration. The only “work” involved is specifying which of four options (Great, Deluxe, Luxury, and Family Mystery Break) suits you most.

Each two-night package includes transport (either hotel transfer or rental car) and accommodation, ranging from hotels to luxury lodges. You can also opt-out of one destination — perhaps you’ve already visited one this year? Then, provide your departure airport and preferred travel dates (weekdays or weekends) — and sit back for Air New Zealand to work its magic. Relax and enjoy the surprise.

All that’s left is to pack. Once you learn your destination two days before flying, your trip can be crafted from must-do activities and restaurants you’ve always wanted to try — or kept light for plenty of time to wander. Without weeks to plan, last-minute scrolling for ideas means your time is tailored to your exact mood of the moment. It’s up to you.

Someone wise once said: “When things are not happening as planned, just stop worrying and take an unplanned break to regain yourself.” They could have added, “And don’t waste time trying to make unnecessary plans when there is someone else ready to do it all for you.”

Sometimes doing nothing makes way for everything.


Every mystery novel has a few key ingredients to keep the reader on their toes. There’s a thrill in the unknown, especially from the comfort of being a reader, not a protagonist. Like a great book, an Air New Zealand Mystery Break has all the elements of an unforgettable experience.

Element of surprise: With 20 domestic destinations, there’s no predicting where a traveler may end up. This is no choose-your-own adventure — and that’s half the fun.

Structural elements: Even thrilling novels have well-structured chapters. Similarly, while the destination is a surprise until two days before a Mystery Break, the practical bits are sorted for you. All four options include return flights, lodging, breakfast and transport.

There’s the Great Mystery Break (from $599pp twinshare) with accommodation and hotel transfers, the Deluxe Mystery Break (from $699pp twinshare) with 4-4.5 star Accor Hotel accommodation and Avis rental car, and the Luxury Mystery Break (from $1629pp twinshare) with luxury accommodation and Avis rental car. The Family Mystery Break (from $1999 per family, based on two adults/two children — customized packages available for families of different sizes) includes 3.5 to 5-star Accor Hotel family room accommodation, an Avis rental car and a car seat.

A satisfying conclusion: Without stress or second-guessing, travelers can spend their time on the fun stuff: finding restaurants to try, museums to visit, and more.

Worth passing to another: Gift a trip to family or friends who’d love a rejuvenating break. Mystery Breaks can be purchased in the form of a gift voucher.

Book now at

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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