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 : December 2017

Written by Steph Kendall

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

Lucky Subscriber

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

The skies aren't just lighting up with New Year fireworks, New Plymouth and Hastings also light up with beautiful, light-filled festivals suitable for all the family. And if you can't make it to these festivals, simply look up - over 4,000 square km of the South Island alone is recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve meaning it's 'one of the best stargazing sites on earth.'

Back on solid ground, you may also enjoy the celestial pleasures of wine, sport and sightseeing. We've had a look at all you can do in the wonderful region of Eastland this month - but remember, we've also done the ground work (so you don't have too) on Off the Beaten Track destinations, must-see Go See Places, the Top 10s of Things to Do (themed around specific interests) plus other regional destinations (What There Is to See and Do In...).

Read more about:


TSB Festival of Lights

TSB Festival of Lights

Location: Pukekura Park, Fillis Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki
Date: Pukekura Park, Fillis Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki

Each summer the TSB Festival of Lights transforms Pukekura Park, one of New Zealand's premier botanical gardens, into a magical illuminated night-time wonderland of multi-coloured lights gleaming amongst the trees, attracting more than 100,000 visitors each year.

Be wowed by the live night-time entertainment from national and international performers, stunning lighting features, a fantastic mix of daytime activities for children and families, twilight movies in the park and pop-up performance features.

More Info


The Little Big Markets

The Little Big Markets

Location: Coronation Park, Maunganui Road, Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
Date: 6 January - 31 March

The Little Big Markets were launched in the summer of 2009 with a simple vision, which was to create a place that would bring communities together. A place where people could hang out and enjoy their surroundings, enjoy great music, good food and buy only the best products from a select range of artisans and producers.

More Info


Fiesta of Lights

It! Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival

Location: Hawke's Bay A & P Showgrounds, Kenilworth Rd, Hastings, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne
Date: 16 December - 7 January

Dazzling lights displays scattered along a tree-lined trail are surrounded by thousands of sparkling fairy lights. Started in 1998 this holiday event has grown in size and popularity and offers an interactive and fun experience for young and old. On New Year's Eve Sunday 31st December gates open at the earlier time of 8pm and entertainment includes a delightfully funny mime artist, hula hoop champion Grace Raven and Classic and popular hits band Pulse. There's a free obstacle course, giant slides, bouncies and a spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks display for the kiddies at 9:50pm. Hot food and drinks on sale.

More Info


Pegasus Bay Vine Run

Pegasus Bay Vine Run

Location: Pegasus Bay Winery, 263 Stockgrove Road, Waipara, Hurunui
Date: Sunday 28 January, 10.00am - 4.00pm

Come and run through the Pegasus Bay vineyard then enjoy a picnic lunch on the winery lawns. The Pegasus Bay Vine Run has both 6km and 10km options, which can be either walked or run. This is a fantastic opportunity to get behind the scenes at Pegasus Bay and also help support a very worthy cause - the NZ Brain Research Institute.

More Info


The James Ground Effect Pony Express

The James Ground Effect Pony Express

Location: St James Conservation Area, Tophouse Rd, Hanmer Springs, Hurunui
Date: Saturday 20 January 2018

A 65km adventure race for those looking for the next level of true mountain-biking adventure. Forget what the other's claim, this is true NZ high country and iconic mountain landscapes! All within the stunning, epic New Zealand sub-alpine high country landscapes of St James Station behind Hanmer Springs.

More Info


NZTG Recommendations for Travel Itineraries

NZTG Recommendations for Travel Itineraries

There is one destination you should go to before you finalise your travel itinerary and that's to our library of Traveller Newsletter back issues. We've catalogued travel advice and inspiration into easy-to-read and easy-to-find sections including:


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

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

Eastland on New Zealand's North Island reaches out to the Pacific Ocean and is the first mainland place in the world to see the sun each day. It is a wild, enchanting place full of ancient and mystical stories set in bush-fringed mountain lakes, beaches, farmland and vineyards. There are plenty of opportunities for camping, horse-riding, diving, fishing, hunting, swimming and surfing.

  • Te Urewera National - This is the country's third largest national park and the largest untouched native forest in New Zealand. This is a wonderful area to explore through hiking and trekking.
  • Gisborne - Indulge in gourmet dining and wine tasting. Here you'll discover the Southern Hemisphere's first commercially grown black truffles, the finest cheeses and world-renowned Chardonnay.
  • Kaiti Beach - Followed in the wake of Captain Cook who surfed his ship Endeavour into Kaiti beach in 1769. Gisborne's white sand surf beaches attract surfers from all over the world.
  • Te Poho O Rawiri Marae - Make an appointment to visit this beautiful marae. The interior of the whare rununga (meeting house) is almost completely covered in fine ancestor carvings and geometric tukutuku (woven panels).
  • Whangara - Take a Whale Rider tour and visit the village where the movie was filmed.
  • Eastwoodhill Arboretum - A visit here will delight any keen horticulturist as it has the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees and shrubs in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Mahia Beach - This delightful holiday village offers class Kiwi charms of great fishing, surfing and diving, as well as safe swimming beaches and a nine-hole golf course.
  • Te Waha-o-Rerekohu - Get your camera ready to take a photo of the country's most ancient pohutukawa tree in the coastal settlement of Te Araroa.
  • St Mary's Church - Close to Te Waha-o-Rerekohu, is another treasure, one of the most ornate Maori churches in New Zealand.

What Did You Do and See in Eastland?

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

Not only is the Christmas weather hot and sunny in New Zealand, its traditions may vary to yours too. So, in a nutshell - New Zealand's 'Christmas tree' is the pohutukawa, a coastal tree with brilliant, bright blooms of red; Christmas dinner may be a hangi or a barbie; pavlova (meringue and fruit) is a popular dessert; Santa arrives by jet ski... "Meri Kirihimete me te Hape Nū Ia" (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year).

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Bluebridge Ferry

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Featured

 
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

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for independent travellers.