Glaciers in New Zealand
Maori children
Northland, New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Sound
Routeburn Track
Boating in Taupo
Tongariro, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

Free Travel Newsletter : October 2015

Written by Steph Kendall

Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.

Lucky Subscriber

Congratulations to David Cooper, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.

We're not rushing headlong into a Christmas countdown, life is about the journey and taking the time to enjoy all the great destinations New Zealand has to offer. So, "stop and smell the roses" - and while you're at it, the coffee, the ice-cream, the roses, the gardens, the motor oil - and the sea air too.

Read more about:


New Zealand Cup and Show Week

New Zealand Cup and Show Week

Location: Christchurch
Date: 7 – 15 November

New Zealand Cup and Show Week is all about racing, agriculture, fashion and entertainment. It includes:

  • Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas Day
  • Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day
  • Canterbury A&P Show* (11 to 13 November – visit the website for more details)
  • Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup
  • New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas Day

Best dressed competitions are a highlight of the race days, with prizes up for grabs. Lots of other entertainment is on around Christchurch city during the week too for race-goers and visitors.

* The Canterbury A&P Show is jam-packed with livestock, entertainment and attractions, indoor and outdoor exhibits, feature marquees and pavilions. It's where country comes to town in a spectacular mix of colour, excitement and competition – a true celebration of everything great in New Zealand.

Pacific Rose Bowl Festival

Pacific Rose Bowl Festival

Location: Hamilton
Date: 12 – 15 November

The Pacific Rose Bowl Festival takes place every November in the Rogers Rose Garden, located in the beautiful Hamilton Gardens. The four-day Festival is centered on the New Zealand Rose of the Year Trial.

The New Zealand Rose of the Year is one of only two Rose Trials in the Southern Hemisphere judged by public votes. There is also a Children's Choice Award section. The roses in the trial are clearly marked and all you have to do to be part of this wonderful event (free entry) is to take a stroll amongst the gardens and select your favourite five roses.

The Hamilton Rose Trial Grounds are linked to Australian, Japanese and Californian trial grounds. The 2015 programme includes:

  • Waikato/BOP Interschool Rose Exhibition
  • Temporary café in the Rose Garden for your enjoyment
  • Free performances by local musicians

Visit the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival website for more information.

Rotorua Festival of Gardens

Rotorua Festival of Gardens

Location: Rotorua district
Date: 13 – 15 November

The Rotorua Festival Gardens is held every 2 years and this year over 45 gardens in the region will be open to the public. Gardens vary in size from small city garden to large rambling country gardens; some owners' labours of love, other professionally designed and maintained. It's a great way to find inspiration for your own garden. All gardeners donate their time and efforts to raise funds for the BayTrust Rescue Helicopter.

Self-Guided Garden Ramble - When you purchase a ticket you will receive a booklet listing all the gardens and detailed maps to help you find them. Many of the gardens will also have items for sale - plants, food, artworks (on a cash only basis).

Tickets cost $30 for a 3 day pass. Children under 14 are free. For more details on ticketing visit www.rotoruagardens.org.nz

The Burt Munro Challenge

The Burt Munro Challenge

Location: Southland (Oreti Beach, Teretonga Park raceway, Wyndham)
Date: 26 – 29 November

The 10th annual Burt Munro Challenge created by the Southland Motorcycle Club celebrates the Invercargill motorbike racing legend, Burt Munro who set a land speed record in August 1967. Born and bred in Southland, Burt was 68-years-old when he set the record which still stands today.

The event includes the Burt Munro Challenge Rally, beach racing, hill climb, sprint racing, speedway spectacular, street racing as well as a toy run which benefits local charities and underprivileged families.

The event is held in different locations around Southland including Oreti Beach, Teretonga Park raceway (one of the safest tracks with one of the fastest and longest turns in New Zealand). The event finishes with street racing in the town of Wyndham.

The inaugural event was held in 2006, and it has since forged a name for itself as one of New Zealand's major motorsport events. The event has been named as one of Time magazine's 5 must-do events of 2013.

View the Burt Munro Challenge website for more information.

Go See... Split Apple Rock, Tasman Bay

Split Apple Rock, Tasman Bay

Split Apple Rock is a very photogenic geological rock formation in The Tasman Bay off the northern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Made of granite, it is in the shape of an apple which has been cut in half. It is a popular tourist attraction in the waters of the Tasman Sea approximately 50 metres off the coast between Kaiteriteri and Marahau.

The rock sits in shallow water at low tide and is accessible by wading. It is also a point of interest for the boats which operate along the shores of the Abel Tasman National Park.

The cleft producing two sides of the 'apple' was a natural occurrence. Geologists believe this rock would have been split in one of the 'Ice Ages' when water seeped into a crack in the rock and as the ice advanced and temperatures dropped, the water froze and in doing so expanded, causing the rock to split.

However, the cleaving of the rock is also the subject of a Maori legend which tells of two gods fighting over the possession of the large boulder. To settle the matter, they used their god-like strength to break it in half.

  • Where to go: Abel Tasman National Park
  • How to get there: Any morning, all year round

View more about the Abel Tasman National Park and the Nelson region.

10 Top Ice Cream Parlours

10 Top Ice Cream Parlours

Across the country, you'll find some great places serving up delicious ice-cream and mouth-watering gelato that rivals the best in the world. Most if not all of these ice-cream parlours make their own gelato using locally sourced fresh ingredients. From a happy Tip Top cone to an 'haute ice cream' experience – there's something for everyone and what better than an ice-cream and gelato trail to follow on your travels!

    North Island

  1. Charlie's Gelato Garden, 17 Sharp Rd, Matakana - Homemade artisan gelato and sorbetto produced in the traditional Italian manner, made in small batches on the premises every day to ensure fresh taste and high quality. Gelato and sorbetto made using seasonal fruit, either grown on the property or sourced locally.
  2. Danish Delight Ice Cream, 5 Main Rd, Tirau - Delicious ice creams in their famous waffle cones topped with cream and sauce. Choose between Tip Top or Rush Munro ice cream in a range of flavours.
  3. Giapo, 279 Queen Street, Auckland - Giapo describes its product as "haute ice cream". It is run by Gianpaolo Grazioli and has won a coveted Cuisine artisan award – "you won't have an ice-cream like this anywhere else".
  4. Kaffee Eis, 146 Cuba St, Wellington - Established in 2004, Kaffee Eis represents a modern fusion of New Zealand and European flavour specialising in gourmet gelato and boutique coffee. Kaffee Eis offers café seating both inside and out, perfect to enjoy Wellington's gorgeous harbour.
  5. Lady Jane's Ice Cream Parlour, 1092 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua - Rotorua's iconic ice cream parlour has been serving up sumptuous treats for more than 30 years. Rain or shine Lady Jane's is the perfect place to take a break with over 40 flavours of ice cream plus waffle cones, sundaes, smoothies, coffee, fudge and sweets to choose from.
  6. Milse, 31 Tyler St, Auckland - Styled as a 'secret dessert garden', this restaurant serves exquisite cakes, pastries and decadent degustation menus, plus award-winning gelato.
  7. The Gelato Café, Cnr. High and Regent Sts., Hawera - Serving sorbets and gelato made fresh daily in the workshop in Hawera, South Taranaki. Made using only local milk, fruit and the best pastes and flavours imported from Northern Italy.
  8. South Island

  9. Black Peak Gelato, 123 Ardmore St, Wanaka - All gelato and sorbets are freshly made in their lake front shop in Wanaka. The shop says, the difference between Black Peak Gelato and other standard ice cream is that it contains no air and has a lower fat content. Visitors are welcome to do the "melt contest"!
  10. Movenpick, 68 Beach St, Queenstown - Serving Swiss ice-cream made using the finest ingredients, selected with the greatest care and processed in a natural manner with no artificial colours or flavourings. The reward is a subtlety of flavours and textures that no artificial colours can match.
  11. Patagonia Chocolates, 50 Beach St, Queenstown - A chocolate and ice cream manufacturer and coffee roaster creating and serving award-winning artisan ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt, using only quality ingredients and real milk inspired by the owners' South American and Italian roots.

Share Your Experience

If you've come across a little-known nook of spring flowers, why not let other NZTG readers know about it - send details of your adventure to the newsletter editor.

New Zealand Fast Facts

The New Zealand national men's rugby union team, officially nicknamed the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men's rugby union, which is regarded as the country's national sport. Founded in 1893, the All Blacks toured Britain in 1905 achieving legendary status within the rugby world and New Zealand – a status which continues to this day.

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New Zealand Coach Tours

The largest range of escorted & small group tours

Boutique touring itineraries designed for you

Specialist NZ Tours

Boutique touring itineraries - designed for you

New Zealand self-drive tours

NZ Self-Drive Tours

Explore NZ on a custom self-drive package holiday

Bluebridge Ferry

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Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

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Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for independent travellers.