Free Travel Newsletter : February 2017
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Julie Phillips, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
We know there is a huge variety of activities and events happening in New Zealand throughout the year, but sometimes even we are surprised at the diversity of what's on. In the next few weeks, you can plan your trip around events celebrating traditional skills such as sheep shearing, or enjoy the beauty of balloons lifting off into the sunrise, or savour fine wines and fritters, or chase imaginary fairies through some of the best urban, public gardens in the country or watch world-champion athletes redefine their sport.
What's more - you have the rest of the country to explore too!
Read more about:
- Golden Shears 2017 Masterton
- Magical Parks - Parks Week Wellington
- Whangarei Fritter Festival
- Balloons Over Waikato
- Crankworx Rotorua 2017
- Visitor Information - Extensive Library Online at NZTG
- What There Is to See and Do In... Wairarapa
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Golden Shears 2017 Masterton
Location: Masterton War Memorial Stadium, 2 Dixon St, Masterton, Wairarapa
Date: 2 - 4 March 2017
New Zealand's and possibly the world's premier shearing and wool-handling championship which includes a three-day event of wool handling events and wool pressing competitions, as well as the coveted triathlon award. Up to 400 competitors, national and international, will converge on Masterton for the three days of competition.
The major events, finals and live entertainment are held on Friday and Saturday night. Great entertainment for all the family with its unique atmosphere, action and excitement.
Visit the Golden Shears website for more details.
Magical Parks - Parks Week Wellington
Location: Waitangi Park, 107 Cable Street, Wellington
Date: 4 - 12 March 2017
It's Parks Week in Wellington and the digital world is heading outdoors! Download the app Magical Parks and head out to Waitangi Park during the week to chase dinosaurs or walk through a fantasy land of fairies and kittens! Your kids can run free collecting dino eggs or finding the kittens.
Magical Park turns a normal urban city park into a digital fantasy land. It has geo-fenced boundaries so the app stops working beyond the edge of the park, so it's completely safe to let your kids run around.
View more information about Parks Week and Summer City online.
Whangarei Fritter Festival
Location: Northland Events Centre, Okara Park, Okara Dr, Whangarei
Date: 25 March 2017
Go and fritter the day away at this wonderful relaxing celebration of fine wines and gourmet fritters. Now in its fifth year, this day includes music from The Feelers, The Black Seeds, dDub, Less the Harp, Cake and Eat it, Rangitane Riot and Farandicus. Mc'd by Luke Bird, as well as a feast of fine wines and gourmet fritters from our region's finest local restaurants and wineries.
Whilst you relax, the competition will heat up for the Best Fritter Trophy between the top restaurants and cafes. Luckily everyone can cool off on the giant waterslide!
View more details on the Whangarei Fritter Festival web page
Balloons Over Waikato
Location: Innes Common, Hamilton Lake and the University of Waikato, Waikato
Date: 22 - 26 March 2017
Balloons over Waikato is New Zealand's premier hot air balloon festival. Held annually, in Hamilton, this five-day icon event is arguably the most popular event in the city. It attracts balloonists from all over New Zealand and around the world, who come to experience the fun, friendship and warmth this balloon-friendly city provides and to demonstrate their skills in a range of competitive activities.
Over 130,000 spectators over five days will enjoy the amazing site of balloons ascending through the Waikato sunrise at 7.30am every morning and Hamilton's biggest night out at the Zuru Nightglow, where the balloons glow to orchestrated music finishing with the best fireworks display in town!
Visit the Balloons Over Waikato website for more information.
Crankworx Rotorua 2017
Location: Skyline, 178 Fairy Springs Rd, Rotorua
Date: 25 March - 2 April
Mountain biking's defining celebration descends on the mountain bike mecca that is Rotorua. When the world's elite mountain bikers compete to become the King or Queen of the Crankworx World Tour. The first of four stops kicks off in Rotorua New Zealand for the third year in a row.
This is your chance to ride alongside the world's best, experience the biggest gathering of mountain bike brands in Australasia in the expo zone and of course, kick back and relax with an ale or two while you take in the action on some of the world's best trails.
There is something for everyone, young and old alike, at Crankworx Rotorua 2017. Crankworx is the defining celebration of world-class mountain biking. Come ride with the best, on phenomenal terrain and watch as the most competitive athletes refine and define the sport.
For more information visit the Crankworx Rotorua 2017 website.
Visitor Information - Extensive Library Online at NZTG
New Zealand Tourism Guide (NZTG) has been in the business of publishing Visitor Information online for its national and international audience of travellers since 1997. And you'll find everything you need on our website including:
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.
And there's lots more besides - take a look at our Visitor Information pages to get you started with planning your trip to New Zealand!
- Don't go home without seeing these places - top picks of things to see and do!
- Itinerary suggestions for a short and long term self-drive holidays
- Must-do experiences in specific regions of New Zealand
- Destination information such as accommodation options, highlights of the region, must-see places and must-do activities
- Suggestions of places to visit that are Off the Beaten Track
- Web cams that offer you a bird's eye view of beauty spots and popular destinations throughout New Zealand.
What There Is to See and Do In... Wairarapa
Just one and a half hours drive north from Wellington you have truly left the city behind and can discover a contemporary country life, that fully savours its fine wine and good food. The centres to visit - especially for wine connoisseurs and foodies - are Martinborough (a wine village famous for its award-winning Pinot Noir), Gladstone and Masterton. It's a delightful journey of discovery with plenty of vineyards and sights en route.
Top 10 Things to Do and See in Wairarapa
- Explore the largest town in Wairarapa, Masterton - home to the Golden Shears shearing competition, international Hot Balloon festival (see events above) and Wairarapa's Art and History museum.
- Visit Carterton in spring and pick some daffodils! This is the daffodil capital of New Zealand where people have flocked to pick daffodils from a large flower-packed field since the 1920s.
- Discover the colonial village charms of Greytown, New Zealand's first inland town and stroll through its streets taking in the town's antiques, crafts, gift shops and galleries.
- Take a tour of the Palliser Bay and the Wairarapa coast including the Putangirua Pinnacles Loop Track, 249 steps up to the Cape Palliser lighthouse plus Putangirua Pinnacles and seal colonies.
- Stop in Featherston and spend some time in not one but three unique museums: The Fell Engine Museum which houses the only remaining fell engine in the world, the Featherston Heritage Museum and the Mainly Military Museum which contains impressive displays of wartime memorabilia.
- The mecca for wine lovers is Martinborough, a unique wine village with over 25 boutique vineyards, most within walking distance of the charming town square.
- Pull your boots on for the Whareama Coastal Walk for a beautiful New Zealand walking experience over private farmland and isolated Wairarapa coastline on the East Coast of the North Island.
- Get acquainted with some of New Zealand's rarest birds at the Mount Bruce National Wildlife centre. Take a walk with a professional conservation officer and find out more about the Department of Conservation's captive breeding programme for threatened bird species.
- Enjoy a windswept walk up to the lighthouse at Castle Point beach and gaze out across the sea towards Antarctica. Hunt for one of the world's rarest daisies, climb Castle Rock or watch the waves for dolphins and fur seals.
- Cycle your way around Wairarapa on the Rimutaka Cycle Trail - an unforgettable ride that takes you through the region's most amazing scenery. The trail runs from Wellington to the Wairarapa through hills, across farmland and around the rugged coastline.
What Did You Do and See in Wairarapa?
If you enjoyed an activity during your stay in Wairarapa, 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 Wairarapa 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
Did you know that New Zealanders are outnumbered by sheep and cattle in their fair isles? It's true - so it shouldn't surprise you to find that when you're out in the hills you'll be bumping into creatures of the four-legged rather than the two-legged persuasion. A long-held belief was that New Zealand had 20 sheep for every person - not so - it's actually much closer to 6 sheep per person (twice as many sheep per person than in Australia).