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 : January 2017

Written by Steph Kendall

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

Lucky Subscriber

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

Lanterns, lights, music, food, adventure and sightseeing – the high season of New Zealand really offers visitors and local a smorgasbord of activities to choose from. We've highlighted some of the many festivals and events happening in major and smaller centres. However, we suggest that you map out your time and your trip in New Zealand carefully, as there is so much to see and experience. Check out some of our suggested itineraries that make sure you pack in as much as possible during your stay!

Read more about:


Luminate 2017

Luminate 2017

Location: Takaka Hill, Canaan Downs Rd, Takaka, Golden Bay, Nelson / Tasman
Date: 1-8 February 2017

This vibrant summer festival of contemporary live and electronic music, visual and performing arts, inspirational knowledge sharing, and pioneering environmental initiatives returns for its 6th year. Luminate aims to wake people up, be awesome and activate positive change.

There's plenty of space for friends and family to camp together and quiet places too. Rolling grassland surrounded by native beech forest and limestone outcrops is an enchanting environment. Bring your bicycles to cruise between the camping and event site. There are lots of other activities for children including workshops, circus arts, entertainers, games, storytelling, arts, crafts and other fun things. (Luminate is a non-alcohol event.)

Full details on the Luminate website.

Wellington Night Market Lantern Festival 2017

Wellington Night Market Lantern Festival 2017

Location: Wellington Night Market, 116 Cuba Street, Lower Cuba Street, Wellington
Date: Saturday 11 February 2017 5:00pm – 11:00pm

Once a year, the Wellington Night Market is transformed into a wonderland lined with lanterns. This year, more than 600 handmade lantern displays will light up the iconic street, including artistic installations of beautifully sculpted life-size lanterns designed in the form of majestic animals, and abstract lantern designs in all shapes, colours, and sizes.

Entertainment will be in the form of talented musicians and performers rocking the main stage as well as various activities, including the famous lantern riddles and draw a love fortune stick.

For more information, visit the Wellington Night Market Lantern Festival 2017 web page.

Royal New Zealand Air Force 2017 Air Tattoo

Royal New Zealand Air Force 2017 Air Tattoo

Location: RNZAF Base Ohakea, Pukenui Rd, Ohakea, Feilding and District
Date: 25 – 26 February 10.00am

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is holding a thrilling military Air Tattoo at RNZAF Base Ohakea. (Note: There will be no sales at the gate or general parking on base.) The RNZAF aircraft will be showing what they can do and the Black Falcons aerobatics team will be putting on an amazing display.

Plus the Royal Australian Air Force are bringing 3 x F-18 Hornets and a C17 aircraft, the United States are flying in two F-16 Fighting Falcons that will put on a jaw-dropping display, plus a Globemaster C-17 and a KC-135 Stratotanker and the republic of Singapore Air Force are coming with two F-15SG. The Royal Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Canadian Air Force will be there on the day too.

Remember to also either book a free Park and Ride or purchase a $15 car parking pass. Buses running from 6:30am. Car parks open from 6am. Gates open from 7am. Air Display programme will run from 10am - 4pm. Ground displays open from 7am.

Check out all the details on http://www.airtattoo.mil.nz

Lincoln Selwyn Sounds

Lincoln Selwyn Sounds

Location: Lincoln Event Centre, 15 Meijer Dr, Lincoln, Selwyn
Date: Saturday 4 March,11:30am – 8:30pm

Featuring some of New Zealand's all-time favourite bands, the inaugural music concert Live in Lincoln Selwyn Sounds will walk attendees down memory lane for an unforgettable day and night at the Lincoln Domain.

Headlining will be Mi-Sex's only Christchurch show to launch their new album "Not from Here", as well as the reformed Dragon performing again in New Zealand. Also gracing the stage will be an epic mix of artists includes acclaimed songstresses Sharon O'Neill, Annie Crummer, Margaret Urlich and Debbie Harwood, local icon Jordan Luck and multi-award winning singer-songwriter, Jason Kerrison.

Only a 25-minute drive from Christchurch, the concert will take place at the community reserve Lincoln Domain in the bankside town Lincoln. This will be the largest musical concert the picturesque town has ever hosted in its rich history.

For more information visit the Lincoln Selwyn Sounds website.

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Location: Cass Square, Weld Street, Hokitika, Westland
Date: Cass Square, Weld Street, Hokitika, Westland

This unique festival celebrates all things wild from the West Coast with something for everyone. Festival-goers can enjoy all the usual wild treats with some exciting gourmet options now in the mix. For the foodies, there is marinated tuna, whitebait patties, gourmet sausages, smoked salmon, an assortment of game meats, a traditional Maori hangi and various international cuisines. Look for huhu grubs on the menu along with mountain oysters, duck heads, crocodile bites, fish eyes, scorpions, pork blood casserole, baby octopus, worms, deep fried pigs' ears, snails and much more!

The Festival is all about exposing your palate to something new, so bring an open mind and come sink your teeth into #ATasteOfTheWild on Saturday 11 March 2017.

The Wildfoods Markets will be setting up shop from Friday 11 March – Sunday 13 March on Weld Street in Hokitika. The markets will bring stallholders from near and far to show off their wares, food vendors to serve up some grub while you shop and a range of local acts on stage that will keep you entertained!

For more information visit the Hokitika Wildfood Festival website.

Map Out Your Visit to New Zealand

Map Out Your Visit to New Zealand

New Zealand is a cartographer's dream destination although before Europeans arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Polynesian ancestors of Māori had sailed the Pacific extensively without using printed maps. Māori had no need for print maps – theirs was an oral cartography. The known drawn map of Aotearoa New Zealand appeared in 1793.

Nowadays buying a map of New Zealand is as easy as 1-2-3 click on the New Zealand Tourism Guide website. Cartographers and visitors can happily pore over our total land area is 270,000 square kilometres and coastline of over 15,130 km.

Visit our New Zealand Maps page to purchase your road map or atlas (free worldwide delivery) – perfect for planning your trip.

Go See... Ahuriri Valley, Canterbury

Ahuriri Valley, Canterbury

This beautiful park offers visitors many activities to enjoy including: climbing, fishing, sightseeing, four-wheel driving and horse-riding. Travel Insider says of the valley, "the scenery…. isn't quite Lord of the Rings scenery, but it comes close." The valley itself is mainly flat with wetlands, but surrounded by alpine fellfield, snowfields and the peaks of Mt Stafford, Peterson and Maitland (all of which are straightforward in the summer) and Mt Barth, Mt Heim, Mt Rigel and Mt Huxley which offer more serious climbers a challenge.

The Ahuriri River is internationally renowned for fishing. The season for the upper Ahuriri River runs from the first Saturday in December until the 30th April. Rainbow and brown trout are both present in the river. Check fishing permits before you go.

And the variety and number of habitats make the Ahuriri Valley wetlands extremely valuable to wildlife for feeding and reeding - both native fish and birds.

Click for more detailed information about the Ahuriri Valley.

  • Where to go: Go to the Omarama township and access the park via Birchwood Road (for 21 km up to the park boundary, after which it is 4WD only for a further 10 km to the road end)
  • When to go: All year round, but note heavy snowfall in winter and freeze/thaw cycles in late winter/early spring can make the Upper (4WD section) Ahuriri Valley road impassable.

What There Is to See and Do In... Fiordland

What There Is to See and Do In... Auckland

Fiordland is one of the southern hemisphere's greatest wilderness regions. It has World Heritage Status because of its spectacular natural features, remarkable beauty and role in demonstrating the earth's evolutionary history. Home to Mitre Peak, the stunning fiords of Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound, the beautiful lake towns of Te Anau and Manapouri and the Kepler, Milford and Routeburn Tracks, Fiordland is one of the sightseeing capitals of the world.

  1. Take a trip to Doubtful Sound for a wilderness experience that brings you up close to dolphins and a wealth of marine life
  2. Drive the Milford Round, one of the country's most famous alpine journeys – travel alongside clear-blue lakes, over cascading rivers, through rainforest and around majestic cliffs.
  3. Photograph the iconic Mitre Peak during a Milford Sound cruise – stunning in any weather - and at any time of day.
  4. Relax and enjoy Lake Manapouri, a great base from which to explore Fiordland and discover Doubtful Sound – the lake is perfect for all year-round fishing.
  5. Start at Te Anau, the "walking capital of the world" and enjoy some of the finest hikes in New Zealand including the Milford Track, Routeburn Track and Kepler Track.
  6. Take a spectacular scenic flight over Fiordland National Park-either fixed wing or floatplane. View crystal clear lakes, glacier carved fiords and endless snow clad mountains.
  7. Cruise around Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound or Breaksea Sound. The pristine forest, sheer rock walls and tumbling waterfalls are a breathtaking sight. Local inhabitants include bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins.
  8. Visit the 'Milford Deep' underwater observatory in the middle of Piopiotahi (Milford) Marine Reserve. You can view a completely natural and unaffected marine community without getting wet!
  9. Book a kayaking trip to the Te Anau Caves and glowworm grotto on the edge of Lake Te Anau. These caves are geologically active - quite unique in the Southern Hemisphere.
  10. Get your skins on and take a diving trip from Te Anau, the visibility is great…and the water warmer than you think!

What Did You Do and See in Fiordland?

If you enjoyed an activity during your stay in Fiordland, 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 Fiordland 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

The North Island and South Island of New Zealand are known for their excellent stream fishing and opportunities to catch both brown and rainbow trout. The quality and diversity of New Zealand's fresh water species is perfect for the fly fishing purist.

  • The average size of the trout is 3 to 4 pounds, exceeding most anglers' wildest imaginations
  • Each year, trout in excess of ten pounds are landed.

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New Zealand Coach Tours

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.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for independent travellers.