Free Travel Newsletter : October 2016
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Kate Lodder, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
This month, we're putting Auckland in the spotlight and highlighting what there is to see and do in the area with a ready-made Top 10 Wishlist. If your favourite Auckland highlight isn't included, tell us about it on Facebook or Instagram!
Also included in this month's round-up are events as different from each other as chalk and cheese and a uniquely Kiwi piece of 'geographic eye-candy' for you, and more!
Read more about:
- Whakatane Sky Show 2016
- Remembrance Sunday
- Inside Out Akaroa House & Garden Tour 2016
- Free Travel Prizes and Competitions
- Go See... Rawhiti Cave, Takaka
- What There Is to See and Do In... Auckland
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Whakatane Sky Show 2016
Location: Rugby Park Whakatane, 47 Domain Road, Whakatane
Date: Saturday 12 November 2016 6:00pm – 10:00pm
New Zealand's largest fireworks extravaganza is coming to Whakatane featuring live entertainment, delicious food stalls, amusement rides, an exhilarating lighting showcase and a spectacular choreographed fireworks display. This is the inaugural Whakatane Sky Show and is set to light up the sky.
Grab your family and friends, sort out your tickets and enjoy a spectacular night. The Whakatane Sky Show is proud to support the Dream Chaser Foundation. You can help the Dream Chaser Foundation by purchasing glow sticks or giving a donation on the night. Buy your tickets at the Whakatane Sky Show 2016 website.
Location: Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Domain, Parnell
Date: Sunday 13 November 11:00am – 2:00pm
To commemorate Remembrance Sunday this year, the dance troupe Feisty Feet will perform 'Keepsake', a ceremonial dance piece exploring a community's impression of remembrance. Afterwards the Auckland Girls' Choir will sing to remember those who lost their lives in the First World War.
Prior to this special day, on Friday 11 November we commemorate Armistice Day. Join us for this commemorative memorial service remember those who served and those who gave their lives in the First World War.
For more information visit the Auckland Museum website.
Inside Out Akaroa House & Garden Tour 2016
Location: Akaroa Information Centre, 74a Rue Lavaud, Banks Peninsula
Date: 26 - 27 November, 10:00am – 5:00pm
The biennial 'Inside Out' Akaroa House and Garden Tour has15 local properties on show – some old favourites and some stunning new properties welcoming visitors for the very first time. It's the perfect excuse to spend the weekend in Akaroa, enjoying the food, wine and hospitality – and getting a rare glimpse into other people's backyards, front yards and homes. Akaroa and the surrounding bays provide the perfect backdrop for gardens bursting with lavender, roses, native and exotic trees, fruit and nut orchards, vineyards and birdsong.
Among the highlights of this year's tour are:
- 'All Season's' cottage built in 1896 and situated west of the Customhouse near Daly's Wharf
- 'Banksia Cottage' built in 1858 and now fully restored
- 'Akaroa Fyrne Brook House' is tucked away in a beautiful park-like garden filled with old world and modern roses, rhododendrons, ornamental and native trees and perennials.
- For wine-lovers, visit the Valley Road Vineyard. The landscaped grounds lead into the vineyard which spreads down the hill towards the harbour.
- French Farm, a large informal country garden nestled in the beautiful valley.
Take the scenic drive out to the Simpsons garden high above Fisherman's Bay and you will be rewarded with one of Banks Peninsula's top gardens. This is a small selection of the 15 wonderful and varied properties that will be open on the weekend. Most gardens will be open from 10am-5pm all weekend.
The cost is $25 per person.
Garden Passes/Tickets will be posted to you by the event organiser, please ensure you provide your full postal address. Tickets will be sold at the Akaroa Adventure Centre, Akaroa Museum, Ballantynes in Christchurch & Timaru, The Little River Gallery, and Eventfinda.
Free Travel Prizes and Competitions
New Zealand Tourism Guide runs regular competitions with great prizes from our extensive network of tourism operators throughout New Zealand. Prize draws include accommodation prizes, adventure prizes, attraction prizes, rental car prizes and more.
Sign up on this page to make sure you find out what's on offer – be in to win! https://www.tourism.net.nz/competitions
It's not too late to enter these competitions!
- Enter the Omau Settlers Lodge Competition (closes 30 November) to win two nights' accommodation at Cape Foulwind, home to beautiful coastal walkways, seal colony, secluded beaches and blowholes - includes breakfast (worth over $300).
- Enter the Dolphin Seafaris Competition (closes 30 November) to win a dolphin swim at Tauranga and watch voucher for 2 adults. Includes gear hire and worth over $300.
- Enter the Rainbow's End Competition (closes 30 November) to win a family pass to Rainbow's End in Auckland, with over 20 rides and attractions to enjoy. (Worth over $200)
Go See... Rawhiti Cave, Takaka
Described as "geological eye-candy" in a Lonely Planet review, Rawhiti Cave (also known as Manson Cave) is considered by the Department of Conservation to be nationally significant for its diverse and extensive entrance (about 40 x 20 metres) - and twilight-zone flora of any cave in New Zealand. Rawhiti Cave was originally formed some one million years ago.
The cave ceiling is densely covered in stalactites which become increasingly finer deeper down into the cave. The track to Rawhiti Cave starts at an informal car park on private farm land and leads into the Dry River valley for 30 minutes, followed by a 30 minute uphill zigzag track to the cave entrance. The viewing platform inside the cave entrance includes information panels and is still well enough lit that no torches are needed. This is one of very few such caves that is open free of charge to the public, hence visitors are urged to stick to the path to avoid damaging the fragile environment inside the cave. Reasonable fitness and hiking experience are recommended for the steep and narrow section at the end of the track.
- Where to go: From Takaka on the South Island, drive east towards Pohara Beach. At Motupipi turn right into Glenview Road, then left into Packard Road. Rawhiti Cave is signposted from near the end of Packard Road through private property to an informal carpark.
- When to go: All year round (not after heavy rain as Dry River is prone to flooding).
What There Is to See and Do In... Auckland
For many visitors to New Zealand, Auckland is their point of arrival and what a place it is to start. This is the country's largest city – known as the 'City of Sails - and it is home to not one but two harbours (on different bodies of water – the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean), black-sand beaches, beautiful bays and over 50 islands. For lovers of water activities, seafood, fine wine, stunning beaches, pristine rainforest and aquatic adventures (swimming with sharks, diving, sailing and more), it's easy to see why Auckland is a huge hit with over 3.2 million visitors every year.
- Base jump off the Sky Tower attached by wire
- Bungy jump off the Auckland Harbour Bridge
- Dive the famous Goat Island Marine Reserve
- Enjoy the family rides at Rainbow's End
- Experience the marine and sea life at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
- Fine wine tasting at one of Auckland's North West vineyards
- Take a short ferry trip to the volcanic Rangitoto Island
- Be amazed by hundreds of beautiful butterflies at Butterfly Creek
- Sail to the islands, superb beaches and anchorages of the Hauraki Gulf
- Take a fishing charter and try to hook a snapper or yellowtail kingfish
What Did You Do and See in Auckland?
If you enjoyed an activity during your stay in Auckland, why not let other NZTG readers know about it? You can share with the Instagram community or post on the New Zealand Tourism Guide Facebook page. We look forward to seeing your news and views.
Find out more about the Auckland region.
Share Your Experience
If you have had a particular experience during your stay in New Zealand unlike anything else, why not let us know. We've picked out a few to give you some ideas!
New Zealand Fast Facts
New Zealand's population at the time of writing is 4,727,030. The country's population is estimated to increase by one person every 5 minutes and 2 seconds. This is based on the estimated resident population at 30 June 2016 and the following forecasts: one birth every 9 minutes, one death every 15 minutes and a net migration gain of one New Zealand resident every 6 minutes and 29 seconds.