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No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

The quintessential 80’s ballad No Sleep Till Brooklyn by The Beastie Boys is taking on a new meaning for Kiwis who may struggle to sleep on planes. Hopefully that won’t be the case for any of you, but with Air New Zealand’s new direct flight to New York from Auckland starting October 2020, the irony of the title was too good not to reference.

If not sleeping is a legitimate fear of yours, the aircraft they will be operating 3 times a week should help to ease your mind: the aptly named Dreamliner. Having been on the Boeing 787 myself on the Chicago route, I can assure you it is a cut above the rest. Without the normal window shades it may seem like it would be hard to fall asleep, but the windows effectively block out any light and if you happen to be awake at dawn it’s nice to see it over the horizon without disturbing everyone around you.

Following on the heels of the announcement, Air New Zealand just took away the coveted airline of the year again and with the Late Show host Stephen Colbert plugging the new route on his show, it is sure to be a popular route. It doesn’t come without its downfalls though; the LA to London route will officially be retired which means that no Air New Zealand planes will be flying all the way to Europe now. Not to fear though, because you will still be able to fly on one of their direct routes and then use a partners' airline to multiple points in Europe. The Auckland to London route via Los Angeles has been around since the 1980's and it will be sorely missed, but having not been as popular as it once was, it opens more exciting options to Europe...including New York from next year.

The flight is estimated to take approximately 15 hours 40 minutes on the way there and 17 hours 40 minutes on the way back, so it's safe to say that it's not a good route for a short weekend. It is, however, fantastic for any pizza lovers, movie lovers, music lovers, art lovers, food lovers, and virtually anything else that you may love - you can almost certainly find it in the Big Apple. With the city's census population being an estimated 4 x the population of the whole of New Zealand though, it may be a bit intimidating to some. If getting out of the city to experience some true Americana appeals, here's some of our top 5 day trips out of the city that you may or may not have thought about:

1. Niagara Falls

This isn't as close as one might think to the city, so if you want to make it into a day trip perhaps some flights are in order. Getting to the falls is about 6-7 hours driving, a 9.5 hour train ride, or about an hour flying to the nearby Buffalo, New York airport. Plenty of companies offer it as a day trip, just be mindful of how long your day will be. If you have the time, maybe look at having a night on either the US or Canada side of the falls.

2. Tarrytown, New York / Sleepy Hollow

Did you know that The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is based on a real place just outside of New York? The author Washington Irving lived in the small town less than an hour north of Manhattan called Tarrytown - famous for its small town charm, boutiques, antiques, and art galleries, it is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

In the Tarrytown area, you can see where the New York family (the Rockefellers) used to spend their days with a visit to their estate, Kykuit. Or visit the Lyndhurst Mansion, a beautiful Gothic Revival castle nestled in the hills above the Hudson River. Or how about a visit Sleepy Hollow itself - more specifically The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow which provided the backdrop and inspiration to Washington Irving's short story.

3. Amish Country - Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster is a small town in Pennsylvania best known for its Amish population. The Amish religion is a way of life more so than a religious sect and instills a hard-working ethic without modern conveniences. Devoid of electricity, cars, or anything else we take for granted, a visit to Amish Country is taking a step back in time to a more simple life.

Without cars, they get around with horse and carriage (or horse and buggy as they are more oft called in this part of the states) and as soon as you see one on the road, you know you've arrived. The markets are worth a stop with all hand-made trinkets, quilts, furniture and even a wide array of foods from candy to meats. If you're brave, try the scrapple for a local flavour.

4. Fire Island

The 32 mile-long island is located just off the southern shore of Long Island and is interspersed with state parks, boutiques, gay-friendly communities, protected beaches and much more. A great alternative to the Hamptons, this is the more quaint way to enjoy the beaches outside of New York.

5. The Catskills

Fans of the Amazon Prime show The Marvelous Mrs Maisel will surely already know what the Catskills is, but if you haven't had the opportunity to watch the show the name may elude you. The Catskills, located in Upstate New York , is a mountain range in the greater Appalachian Mountains that was best known for its resorts in the mid- 20th century. Today, the summer resort atmosphere is more of a relic, but the mountains are still a fantastic getaway from the city life offering numerous hiking trails and skiing in winter.

Whatever your reasoning for heading to New York, it's nice to know that getting there is easier now than it's ever been. On sale now with services starting from 29 October, 2020 be sure to get in touch with us to book your next New York holiday!

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