Free Travel Newsletter : June 2015
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Susan Crawford, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
Life doesn't slow down in the winter month of June in New Zealand. In fact, it gets pretty lively as Australasian skiers and snowboarders descend upon New Zealand's ski fields to enjoy spectacular landscapes, uncrowded pistes, varied terrain and family-friendly ski fields. And let's not forget to mention of course the best snow party in the country – the Queenstown Winter Festival! Enjoy our winter months gliding downhill, chowing on chocolate, spotting feathered friends (of the bird and human variety) and enjoying an indoor pursuit of culture and knowledge!
Read more about:
- Marlborough Home & Garden Show 2015
- Russell Birdman Festival, Russell
- Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, Dunedin
- Blue Penguin Tours, Dunedin
- Go See... Treble Cone, Wanaka
- 10 Top Museums
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Marlborough Home & Garden Show 2015
Location: Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000, 6 Kinross St, Blenheim
Date: 3 – 5 July 2015
Beautify your house and garden by gathering inspiration and advice at a venue packed with the latest ideas, products and services for your home. Save with massive show-only specials, go in the draw to win a fabulous show prize, listen to free daily seminars, preview the hottest trends and innovations, gather expert advice, source accessories for a new look - or simply turn up and be prepared to be inspired. We do our utmost to nurture your home or garden project through all its stages, from concept to reality – and it's all under the one roof.
View more information at the Home & Garden Show website.
Russell Birdman Festival, Russell
Location: Cass Street, Russell
Date: 10 – 12 July
The Russell Birdman Festival is in its 9th year of what is the zaniest and most Kiwi of all festivals in Northland. It's a 3 day free festival including:
- Friday - All about the kids with old fashioned races, scavenger hunts and all sort of fun for all ages, finishing off with a kids disco - with flashing lights and a disco ball!
- Saturday - Spaghetti eating competition, dinghy races, WOK Cook-off, beach dig, Eggstravaganza, Kids Fancy Dress Comp, the infamous Drag Race. There is a huge variety of food and craft stalls, plus live music all day and of course, the famous Birdman Jump.
- Plus Tribal Entertainment Street Performers - who will be stilt walking, juggling, balloon twisting and delighting the crowds with an array of magical tricks and the Elvis Ball at the Duke of Marlborough Tavern.
- Sunday - Musical Chair Madness, cake decorating, The Great Russell Race, and a kids fishing competition.
More details can be found for entries and event schedules on the Russell Festival website.
Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, Dunedin
Date: 11 – 17 July
This annual carnival delights chocolate-lovers with a week of irresistible chocolate events including: chocolate tours, chocolate decorating, chocolate painting and chocolate facials, as well as the iconic Cadbury Crunchie Train.
The Carnival culminates with the famous Cadbury Jaffa Race. A kiwi favourite, jaffas are balls of orange sugar-coated chocolate and have been made in New Zealand since 1931. Watch giant Cadbury jaffas hurtle their way down Baldwin Street in Dunedin – the world's steepest street.
As well as being home to Cadbury World, Dunedin entices visitors with its dramatic setting, fascinating heritage and proximity to incredible wildlife.
View more about this year's carnival events.
Blue Penguin Tours, Dunedin
Location: Royal Albatross Centre, Harington Point Rd, Harington Point, Dunedin
Date: 11 – 17 July
Discover Korora, the little Blue Penguin, the world's smallest penguin, in their natural habitat – scurrying up to their cliff-face burrows or feeding their young at Pilots Beach. Only one tour available each night, so bookings are essential. Dress warmly as the tours are outdoors.
Tours depart 5.30pm Saturday 11 July – Friday 17 July
Entry: $30 per family (2 adults & 3 children)
Depart from Royal Albatross Centre 1260 Harrington Point Road
Phone 027 273 6484 for more information.
Go See... Treble Cone, Wanaka
At the end of June, the South Island's largest ski field opens – Treble Cone. By European standards Treble Cone may seem relatively small (at 550ha), but it more than holds its own when you're talking about spectacular scenery. It's just 35 minutes from Wanaka and 90 minutes from Queenstown, both extremely popular tourist destinations (Wanaka is the quieter of the two). Treble Cone has been developed since the late 1960s and nowadays its huge diversity of terrain and sheer beauty means something for everyone, skiers and non-skiers alike.
If you are keen to ski or snowboard, then see what's on offer at Treble Cone - uncrowded groomed runs, a free beginner ski lift, the longest ski and snowboard runs in the Queenstown and Wanaka lakes district, views over Lake Wanaka and the snow-covered Southern Alps….plus lessons for all abilities. If you don't ski or snowboard, you should still see Treble Cone – take a camera, a scenic chairlift ride and enjoy the breath-taking natural alpine beauty of Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring. There's no better place to enjoy a winter coffee!
- Where to go: Treble Cone, Wanaka
- How to get there: From Wairakei Drive (the old SH1 & 5), turn left into Karapiti Road and travel 1.7 km arriving at the carpark for Craters of the Moon Scenic Reserve.
- When to go: Any time of year (closed on Christmas Day)
View more about the Wanaka region.
10 Top Museums
If you want to find out more about New Zealand's rich cultural and historical landscape, then why not spend some time in some of the excellent museums - both big and small – which are located throughout the country. A perfect way to spend a morning or an afternoon in between sightseeing and activity excursions or on a rainy, cold day. Many of the larger museums provide visitors with excellent on-site café-style dining – perfect for a reviving drink and a bite to eat.
- National Maritime Museum, Auckland - Many of New Zealand's greatest maritime adventurers and explorers have emerged from the country's pioneering spirit and the New Zealand Maritime Museum celebrates those people who sailed to the limits of their imagination.
Suitable for all ages, the museum aims to provide a rewarding, enjoyable and unique discovery experience for present and future generations through the preservation and presentation of New Zealand's maritime heritage. A major area is dedicated to national hero Sir Peter Blake, the most revered yachtsman of all time in New Zealand, who famously won the America's Cup in 1995.
View more about the National Maritime Museum
- National War Memorial Museum, Auckland - Auckland War Memorial Museum is New Zealand's first museum. The museum tells the story of New Zealand, its place in the Pacific and its people. It is a war memorial for the province of Auckland and holds one of New Zealand's top three heritage libraries. It has pre-eminent Māori and Pacific collections, significant natural history resources and major social and military history collections, as well as decorative arts and pictorial collections. Visitors can experience cultural dancing and welcome rituals.
View more about the National War Memorial Museum
- Rotorua Museum of Art and History, Rotorua - Located in the old spa buildings of the colonial-style Rotorua Government Gardens. The museum has plenty of local Maori treasures but the main emphasis is on the events of 1886 when the nearby volcanic Mount Tarawera erupted. Includes informative videos and a quake simulator together with details of the ghostly war canoe that appeared as a warning of the eruption. Pleasant café, lovely grounds including croquet lawn and 9-hole golf course.
View more about the Rotorua Museum of Art and History
- The Elvis Presley Memorial Record Room, Hawera - This private little museum is eccentric and just a little bit brilliant. Local painter and decorator Kevin Wasley is famous the world over for his Elvis Presley memorabilia celebrating the life of the 'King'. All of it housed in Kevin's garage in Hawera. An Elvis fan since the age of 12, Kevin has painstakingly collected and compiled his vast collection of recordings, souvenirs and videos for about 50 years.
The museum doesn't have set opening hours, so get in touch with Kevin to arrange a visit. A donation to help with upkeep is appreciated.
View more about the Elvis Presley Memorial Record Room
- New Zealand Rugby Museum, Palmerston North - This museum is one of the region's top attractions and is home to over 13,0000 rugby programmes alone. It is the depository for almost daily donations of rugby memorabilia including All Blacks mementos.
View more about the New Zealand Rugby Museum's collection.
- National Army Museum, Waiouru - This New Zealand museum showcases the nation's military history, telling the stories of Kiwi soldiers and exploring New Zealand's participation in major conflicts worldwide. It aims to engage New Zealanders in the stories of its soldiers and the history and development of its Army – showing how these have shaped New Zealand's identity as a country and its place in the world.
Worth a visit for New Zealanders and overseas visitors – Army Museum
- Pompallier Mission, Bay of Islands - Pompallier, is the sole surviving building of the French Catholic mission headquarters to the Western Pacific. Here, in what is undoubtedly one of the best heritage tours in the country, Pompallier Mission's knowledgeable guides will take you through each step of leather and book-making as it was done by a tiny outpost of courageous French missionaries over 150 years ago. Caught up in British Treaty-making and war between Maori and colonials, you will hear the stories of the lives and times of pioneer missionaries. The gardens will delight and entice while a walk up the hill is rewarded by magnificent views.
The building is open daily for visitors from 10am, and you might be lucky enough to catch a guided tour.
- Canterbury Museum, Christchurch - Canterbury Museum has a rich and fascinating history - highlights of the museum include the world's greatest collection of artefacts from the heroic age of discovery in Antarctica and the Māori collections in the Iwi Tawhito and Ngā Taonga galleries. Situated next to the Botanic Gardens, the museum has a wonderful Discovery Centre for children and a good café overlooking the Gardens.
View more about the Canterbury Museum
- Otago Museum, Dunedin - Encounter rare objects and special exhibitions including the special stories of Southern New Zealand, Otago's special wildlife and Otago's proud shipping past in the Maritime Gallery. The Victorian-inspired Animal Attic is a 'museum within the Museum', featuring nearly 3,000 historical specimens.
View more about the Otago Museum
- Warbirds & Wheels, Wanaka - This museum houses New Zealand's best collection of classic cars and warbird planes and is a must-do activity in Wanaka. It has a unique collection of American cars found nowhere else in the world such as the 1934 Model J Duesenberg car owned by Hollywood legend, Carol Lombard.
View more about the Warbirds & Wheels
North Island Museums
South Island Museums
Share Your Experience
If you wish to explore other New Zealand museums online, visit the NZ Museums website. Here you can find a wealth of information about museums in New Zealand and can search by topic or interest.
If you have enjoyed visiting a particular museum, let other NZTG readers know about it. Send details of your experience to the newsletter editor.
New Zealand Fast Facts
The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located in New Zealand's largest city. At a height of 328 meters (1,076 feet) it is the tallest free-standing structure in the southern hemisphere. The Sky Tower has become an iconic structure in Auckland's skyline with views of up to 80 km and dining in the revolving restaurant.