Free Travel Newsletter : April 2016
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Jane Tanner, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
Remember it's Mother's Day this month (Sunday 8th May), so make sure you book your special event, brunch, lunch or afternoon high tea with Mum in plenty of time. You'll find a wide array of choices throughout the country – use search engines and the local press to find options near you.
Aside from sending you a Mother's Day reminder (no need to thank us!), we wanted to highlight the cultural diversity that makes up the New Zealand landscape. May festivals include celebrations of music, faith, food and sport – all things that bring people together.
Read more about:
- NZ Music Month
- Buddha's Birthday Festival
- The Wellington Food Show
- Girls on Curls - Ladies Surf Event
- Go See... Tāne Mahuta, Waipoua Forest
- 10 Top Cooking Schools
- New Zealand Fast Facts
NZ Music Month
Location: Throughout New Zealand
Date: 1 - 31 May
The month of May celebrates homegrown New Zealand musical talent throughout the country and has done since 2000. You can find out about new gigs, musical discoveries and revisit your favourites from the past – the NZ Music Month website and Facebook page are stacked full of information.
The month culminates with the Official Music Month Summit on Saturday May 28th. This summit provides the time to ask the questions that matter to you as well as the opportunity to meet some of New Zealand's most experienced Music Industry professionals. Free to enter, but places limited so book ahead.
To find gigs close to you, simply google "NZ Music Month Gigs".
Visit the museum website for more information and ticketing.
Buddha's Birthday Festival
Location: Fo Guang Shan, 2 Harakeke St, Riccarton, Christchurch
Date: Sat 14 May
Buddha's Birthday Celebration has become very popular amongst the local community in recent years. Come and join us to celebrate the festival, which includes:
- Future and Hope Prayer Ceremony
- Bathe the Buddha
- Art & Craft Stalls
- Baby Blessing (Pre-registration required)
- Multicultural Performances
- Buddhist Prayer Beads stall
- Vegetarian Food Stalls
- Free Chinese and Western Health Check
- Tea Meditation
- Sutra Transcription
For more information, please phone 03-341 6276 or visit the website.
The Wellington Food Show
Location: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Date: Friday 20 – Sunday 22 May
It's time for Foodies to get out, taste and buy from a huge range of the very best food, drink and kitchen equipment available. This food show combines a massive delicatessen, an upmarket kitchenware shop and the supermarket of your dreams all rolled into one. Entry tickets include access to dozens of free cooking demos from celebrity chefs including Ray McVinnie, Kyle Street and Simon Gault in the Whirlpool Cooking Theatre, plus more great show features such as the Healthy Hub, Artisan Village and Street Food Alley, and tons of great money-saving show-only specials.
This is the show that makes Wellington the capital of cuisine for three days. Visit the website for more information and advance ticket purchase.
Girls on Curls - Ladies Surf Event
Location: Omaha Beach, Matakana Coast
Date: Sunday 29 May
Learn to surf or improve your surf skills in this unique Ladies Surf Event, Girls on Curls - the last of the season! This two-hour surf event is all about: having fun in the saltwater, learning to surf or improving your surf skills, promoting self-confidence and friendship, healthy living and fitness and showcasing quality local produce.
$65 per person which includes surf equipment, expert tuition, photos from the day and our famous homemade beachside treats: baking, juices / hot chocolate. Kids can also be entertained with a Kids Surf Session.
Enquiries and bookings via the Salt Water Eco website.
Go See... Tāne Mahuta, Waipoua Forest
Tāne Mahuta is New Zealand's most famous tree. Its name means 'The Lord of the Forest', it is the largest kauri standing in New Zealand today, it is estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old and it is still growing. It is nearly 18 metres to its first branch and it is 4.4 metres in diameter.
The tree is located in the Waipoua Forest on the west coast of the North Island in one of New Zealand's kauri forests. When you visit this forest, you walk within an ancient green world of subtropical rainforest, towering trees and rare birds.
According to the Maori creation myth, Tāne Mahuta is the son of Ranginui the Sky Father and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother. Tāne separates his parents from their marital embrace until his father the sky is high above mother earth. Tāne then sets about clothing his mother with vegetation. The birds and the trees of the forest are regarded as Tāne's children.
- Where to go: Tāne Mahuta, Waipoua Forest, Northland
- When to go: All year round
Find out more about the Northland region.
10 Top Cooking Schools
You almost certainly will get to savour some beautiful New Zealand cuisine during your visit - described as 'Pacific Rim', the country's cuisine draws inspiration from Europe, Asia and Polynesia. You may have tasted New Zealand style dishes of lamb, pork and cervena (venison), salmon, crayfish (lobster), Bluff oysters, whitebait, paua (abalone), mussels, scallops, pipis and tuatua (shellfish), kumara (sweet potato), kiwifruit, tamarillo and pavlova, the national dessert.
The great news is that you can re-create some of the taste and flavour of New Zealand back home. A course at any one of the cooking schools below offers a wonderful way to try new culinary techniques, meet like-minded people and enjoy delicious food.
- Auckland Seafood School, Auckland - Stop wondering how to prepare seafood, start bringing it into your life after a short course at this well-known seafood cooking school based at the Auckland Fish Market. Interactive hands-on two and a half hour cooking classes based around the freshest seasonal seafood NZ has to offer.
- Beckenridge Lodge, Hawke's Bay - Be part of a cooking class and learn culinary skills from a renown Chef. A typical lesson teaches you skills for preparing a 3 course gourmet dinner menu, with ideas for matching wines.
- Milly's Kitchen, Parnell - Choose from a range of baking and cooking classes from Italian cuisine to wedding cakes, paleo to pastries. Friendly and informative cooking instructors are very knowledgeable and provide culinary adventures!
- Ruth Pretty Cooking School, Kapiti Coast - Operating on weekends from February to December, the Ruth Pretty Cooking School starts with preparation and cooking, then finishes with a long lunch on the veranda.
- Sachie's Kitchen, Auckland - Classes run for approximately 2.5-3hrs and are totally hands on with the creation of a full meal and 3 dishes inspired by Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Malaysian cuisine.
- Wild Food Cooking School, Treetops Lodge, Rotorua - A half day Wild Food Cooking Experience starting with a 4WD drive into the forest to collect indigenous herbs and spices. Learn how to recreate the hangi or Maori pit-oven at home.
- Akaroa Cooking School, Akaroa - Situated in the spectacular Akaroa Harbour, the Akaroa Cooking School share recipes, cooking ideas and entertaining secrets for small intimate groups.
- Madame Lu's Kitchen - Madame Lu's offers interactive cooking classes in a variety of food styles. Classes run for three hours and are a mix of both interactive and observational cooking, followed by a seated, shared style meal at the long gathering table. Guests learn four recipes, an entrée and three mains, using the most seasonal produce straight from the market gardens of Nelson.
- Otahuna Lodge Cooking classes, Christchurch - Culinary excellence is a cornerstone of the Otahuna experience. A three-hour hands-on cooking lesson with Executive Chef Jimmy McIntyre provides an enjoyable overview of the philosophies behind the Lodge's celebrated food and wine programme.
- She Chocolat Chocolate School, Christchurch - This Chocolate School features in Lonely Planet's Top 10 Culinary Schools and provides a choice of chocolate workshops for adults and children.
Cooking Schools in the North Island
Cooking Schools in the South Island
Share Your Taste Sensation
What food did you most enjoy during your travels in New Zealand? Why not make other NZTG readers feel hungry - send details of your dining experience to the newsletter editor or visit our Facebook page and post your top cooking experiences.
New Zealand Fast Facts
New Zealand is a modern, secular, democratic society and freedom of religious beliefs is guaranteed by law. Over half of New Zealanders identify themselves as being Christian. The main Christian denominations include Anglican, Catholic and Presbyterian. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in people whose religion is non-Christian. As more migrants choose to make New Zealand home, the landscape of religion is changing. Hindu, Buddhist, Islam and Spiritualism make up the most significant minority religions. (Approximately one third of the population indicate they don't have a religion.)