Free Travel Newsletter : July 2016
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Susan Klug, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
Welcome to winter New Zealand-style! Get ready to ski, slide, skate and wrap up to enjoy the fresh, crisp winter days and nights. There are numerous outdoor festivals to enjoy which make the most of winter lights and cosy fires - so much so, you may think that Christmas has come early!
Read more about:
- Brick Man Experience
- Botanic D'Lights
- New Zealand Chocolate Festival
- All Blacks vs Australia
- Go See... Kai Iwi Lakes, Northland
- 10 Top Skifields
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Brick Man Experience
Location: Claudelands Arena, Brooklyn Rd, Hamilton
Date: 29 July - 14 August
The kids will love this one (and so will all fans of Lego). This is the biggest exhibition of Lego Works in the southern hemisphere featuring 60 exhibits, interactive kids' zones and over 5 million spectacular Lego bricks. The unique Brick Man Experience includes exhibits with unique behind-the-scenes stories, original drawings and sketches.
Designed by one of only 14 Lego Certified Professionals in the world, the works include an enormous Star Wars Lego build, a model Airbus A380, a quarter scale Lego Ferrari and the world's largest Lego flower.
For more information visit Brick Man Experience website.
Location: Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Christchurch
Date: 3 – 7 August
Turn on the lights, switch on your imaginations. Botanic D'Lights transforms the Botanic Gardens into a spectacle of illuminated artworks and innovative light installations. Developed and produced by a dedicated team from Christchurch, this five-night winter spectacle engages New Zealand's leading lighting artists, designers and creative thinkers.
When darkness falls, you'll explore an illuminated pathway which turns the Gardens' vast collection of plants and grand conservatories into a glittering winter wonderland. All to the beat of exciting soundscapes and special performances. (All proceeds from the gold coin donation will go to revitalising the Children's Garden.)
On the night:
- Plenty of hot drinks and tasty street food from top food vendors
- Buy great lighting goodies from three retail locations
- Dress warmly and don't forget your gloves, hat, and sturdy walking shoes
- Gold coin donation
- Bring a torch!
We suggest you walk to Botanic D'Lights, or take public transport, with entry points at Rolleston Avenue and the Armagh Street car park foot bridge. If you come by car the Armagh Street car park will be open. Riccarton Avenue car park will be closed to vehicles.
New Zealand Chocolate Festival
Location: Te Papa, 55 Cable St, Wellington
Date: 13 – 14 August
Chocolate for grown-ups! Chocolate treats galore await you at this festival of pure chocolate indulgence.
Savour the finest freshly handcrafted chocolates, meet New Zealand's elite chocolatiers and buy delicious goodies direct from the makers. Watch culinary experts demonstrate the skill of working with chocolate and taste their exquisite creations. Give in to the allure of the chocolate fountain and enjoy so many other chocolate temptations. The New Zealand Chocolate Festival is an experience not to be missed.
Limited tickets on sale! Buy your tickets now before they are all gone.
All Blacks vs Australia
Location: Westpac Stadium, 105 Waterloo Quay, Wellington
Date: 27 August (7.35pm - 9.10pm)
If you are a fan of rugby, this is a great opportunity to watch two of the best rugby teams in the world compete in the Bledisoe Cup. This is 2016's decisive battle for Trans-Tasman rugby supremacy.
It's been three years since the All Blacks played Australia in New Zealand's capital, and the rivalry is as fierce as ever. Can Australia finally wrestle the coveted cup from New Zealand hands? Or will the All Blacks Bledisloe dominance extend into a 14th year?
Tickets on sale 4 July! Enjoy the atmosphere and get caught up in the excitement.
Go See... Kai Iwi Lakes, Northland
1.8 million years ago a place of sheer beauty was created that remains the delight of international visitors and kiwi campers - the Kai Iwi Lakes - crystal clear freshwater lakes just 30 minutes from Dargaville (3 hours from Auckland).
This is a great place to recharge the batteries and soothe the soul - the lakes are part of the Taharoa domain, a superb recreational reserve. Take the kids, bring the tent, hire or bring the kayaks, windsurfer, fishing and dive gear, boat and water skis, surf ski and of course swimming costumes (yes, even in the winter!).
The deep dune lakes are rimmed by shallow water perfect for the kids to run and splash in or for freshening up. You can also cycle the lake's perimeters or hike over neighbouring farmlands. If fishing is your favourite pastime, you are also in for a great time as the lakes teem with rainbow trout, koura, crabs, freshwater mussels, native and exotic fish.
For more information and to book campsites, visit the council website.
- Where to go: Kai Iwi Lakes, Taharoa Domain, Northland
- When to go: All year round
Find out more about the Northland region.
10 Top Skifields
There are plenty of skifields to choose from throughout New Zealand and we've picked out 10 top skifields which offer picture perfect views at every turn, mountain and alpine peaks, beautiful lakes and ski resort towns – including Queenstown and Wanaka – that ooze Kiwi hospitality. It is easy to include a day at the ski fields in every New Zealand winter holiday – it's an unforgettable experience for skiers and non-skiers alike. Many resorts offer childcare and non-skiing snow-based activities. (Simply 'google' the names of the ski fields below to find information and reviews about them).
- Turoa, Mount Ruapehu - Turoa Ski Area on the south-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu offers a massive 722m of vertical descent on New Zealand's highest chairlift - The "Highnoon Express."
- Whakapapa, Mount Ruapehu - Whakapapa Ski Area on the north-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu boasts a massive 550Ha ski terrain and New Zealand's premier learning facility, Happy Valley. Visit the renowned Knoll Ridge Cafe, the highest cafe in New Zealand at 2020m above sea level, enjoy a free tobogganing area and sightseeing chairlift.
- Broken River, Canterbury - A boutique club ski field in the heart of Canterbury's mountains (open to visitors). This ski field has been described as a 'hidden gem' and offers fresh powder and fantastic terrain with uncrowded slopes, rolling bowls and steep chutes. Friendly, laid-back atmosphere and on-mountain accommodation available.
- Cardrona, Otago - This field has the longest scheduled snow season in the South Island and offers something for everyone. It is styled as a fun, family-friendly resort and is popular with all types of skiers/boarders. The resort is also open during summer with mountain biking, carting and walking trails.
- Mt Hutt, Canterbury - Mt Hutt isn't just Canterbury's own big mountain - it's also one of New Zealand's largest ski areas with some of the best natural snow around. With an altitude of 2086m and a skiable area of 365 hectares, Mt Hutt lies just 35 minutes from Methven, offers easy rentals, supervised kids' programmes, free activities for under 10s and lots more.
- Mount Dobson, Mackenzie Country - All day sunshine, wide open uncrowded runs and a friendly kiwi atmosphere make Mt Dobson the ultimate snow experience. From the well-groomed beginners' slopes to challenging black runs with miles of untracked powder. This ski area offers the largest learner and intermediate area in New Zealand.
- Rainbow Ski Area, Nelson - Perfect for travellers who do not have time to make it further south! Rainbow offers wide uncrowded slopes and terrain park. Its well groomed trails provide superb terrain for beginners and intermediates. Advanced skiers can challenge themselves in the high powder runs and chutes, whilst snowboarders love the varied terrain, jumps, bumps and drops.
- Roundhill, Mackenzie Country - Roundhill is a fantastic family ski field with breathtaking views of Aoraki Mt Cook, the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. Learners are well catered for with a massive beginners area including beginner tows. Intermediate trails include dips and curves making for some fun and interesting skiing. For the more adventurous, there is the world's longest and steepest rope tow.
- Temple Basin, Canterbury - Temple Basin Ski Area is located on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps in Arthurs Pass National Park. On field accommodation is provided for 120 people. Three rope tows provide the lift to spectacular runs and scenery. Suits all levels of ability.
- Treble Cone, Otago - This is the largest ski area in New Zealand's South Island and offers the longest vertical in the Southern Lakes. It is famous for its long groomed slopes, legendary off-piste and unrivalled views.
Skifields on the North Island
Skifields on the South Island
Share Your Experience
Have you got a favourite ski field in New Zealand? If you do, what do you like about it? Let us know, so we can pass your tips onto other skiers visiting New Zealand or post your ski pictures to our Facebook page and share the snow!
New Zealand Fast Facts
Legend has it that New Zealand was fished from the sea by the demigod Maui. Maui is the gifted, clever demigod of Polynesian mythology. After a miraculous birth and upbringing, Maui won the affection of his supernatural parents, taught useful arts to mankind, snared the sun and tamed fire. (Read the story).