Glaciers in New Zealand
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Northland, New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Sound
Routeburn Track
Boating in Taupo
Tongariro, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

Free Travel Newsletter : January 2018

Written by Steph Kendall

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

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Festival season is well and truly on during February and March as New Zealand celebrates summer in unique style. With festivals celebrating Maori culture, sports including mountain biking, golf and sailing, arts and crafts, food and drink, music and performance, you've got the pick of the bunch.

If you're a follower of fashion, then note that tickets for the ever-popular World of Wearable Art festival go on sale at the beginning of February. Don't miss out! Finally, for every pet parent who wants to travel with a furry or feathered friend, we've got some great tips on ensuring you can travel together safely, comfortably and enjoy a pet-friendly destination at the end of the journey.

Read more about:


Kawhia Kai Festival

Kawhia Kai Festival

Location: Kawhia
Date: 3 February 2018

The iconic Kawhia Kai Festival brings together performers, artists, musicians and traditional Maori Kai (food). The festival is held on the beautiful Kawhia foreshore and showcases a feast of traditional Maori Kai (food), Maori art and craft including rāranga (flax weaving), wood carving and more.

As the spiritual and ancestral home for the region's Maori tribe Tainui, Kawhia is a significant place to celebrate Maori culture. The Tainui waka (canoe) made its final landfall at Kawhia harbour in the 13th century, and this became the first settlement for the Tainui people.

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International Kai Festival 2018

International Kai Festival 2018

Location: Whakatu Marae and Founders Park, Nelson
Date: Tuesday 6 February 2018, 10.30am - 3.30pm

Celebrate Waitangi Celebrations with the locals. This festival allows visitors to sample flavours from around the world end enjoy the diverse cultures which make up the Nelson community. Local families and groups run stalls selling kai and traditional crafts whilst visitors enjoy entertainment from a range of cultural performers.

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ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

It! Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival

Location: Queenstown and the Southern Lakes Region
Date: 1 - 4 March 2018

The ISPS Handa New Zealand Open, held in Queenstown New Zealand is an iconic event on the New Zealand sporting calendar. Hosted at two spectacular golf courses, Millbrook Resort and The Hills, the tournament incorporates a unique Pro-Am format that brings together a prestigious blend of professional and amateur golfers. The tournament includes a minimum field of 140 amateurs and 140 professionals playing alongside one another.

Not a player? Why not volunteer? - Volunteers are required to bring this event to life and roles are suitable for golfers and non-golfers.

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New Zealand Festival 2018

New Zealand Festival 2018

Location: Various in Wellington
Date: 23 February - 18 March 2018

As dusk falls on 23 February, head along to the waterfront for a night of culture as a Waka Odyssey kicks off the 2018 New Zealand Festival. This theatrical spectacle will see a mass assembly of waka hourua (twin-hulled canoes) descend on the harbour, ending a lengthy journey from as far away as Samoa. The waka and their crews will be welcomed with cultural performances, a mass choir, a 1,000-strong haka and a musical score flooding the city with sounds of the Pacific.

Held every two years across February and March, the New Zealand Festival is New Zealand's largest celebration of cutting-edge culture. Over the past 30 years, the Festival has brought some of the world's greatest cultural performers to the city and provided a platform to showcase local artists.

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Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race

Location: Auckland
Date: 24 February - 18 March 2018

Auckland welcomes the world's toughest yachties when they stop in the 'City of Sails' on the gruelling round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race.Every three years, yachties from around the world stop off in Auckland as part of the race, bringing exciting sailing and a big party to the City of Sails.

New Zealand's America's Cup winning sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will be among the Volvo Ocean Race crews due to sail into the Waitemata Harbour in February 2018. Crews are due to stop over for three weeks and their boats will be on display at the Viaduct Harbour Race Village where there will be entertainment 12 hours a day.

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Crankworx World Tour

Crankworx World Tour

Location: Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park, Rotorua
Date: 17 - 25 March 2018

The Crankworx World Tour will see the world's elite mountain bikers return to the famously flowing trails in Rotorua. Around 800 mostly international riders and more than 10,000 spectators will converge in this steamy mountain biking mecca for a nine-day festival of fast and furious fun, spliced with pumping musical events and rousing, authentic Māori cultural performances.

Gravity Park is transformed into a two-wheeled party zone as crowds cheer on their favourite riders shredding their way down crazy 'dirt gold' courses cut by some of the world's best track builders. Plus Kidsworx events, concerts and creative showcase of the sport.

More Info


World of WearableArt

World of WearableArt

Location: TSB Arena, Wellington
Date: 27 September - 14 October 2018

Tickets go on sale 1 February 2018. The World of WearableArt, known as WOW, is a renowned international design competition that attracts hundreds of entries from all over the world.

More Info


Tips for Travelling with Pets

Tips for Travelling with Pets

For pet parents and families, a holiday is no fun if the four-legged family member can't come. To travel safely, comfortably and to enjoy your destination, prior planning and preparation is important - it's shouldn't be a case of bundling everything up and hoping for the best.

We've compiled a few tips to help you on your way.

Before you go

  • Book a 'pet friendly' accommodation and ensure you know exactly what that means and that you have communicated with the owner about anything left unclear. Some accommodations may have restrictions on pet size. Some accommodations are suitable for pets, some 'welcome' pets - investigate the differences!
  • A pet friendly accommodation is one that is suitable for pets - most usually dogs, cats and sometimes caged birds or small animals. Always check with the owner before you book and check any conditions.
  • A pet friendly accommodation is one that is suitable for pets - most usually dogs, cats and sometimes caged birds or small animals. Always check with the owner before you book and check any conditions.
    • Pets allowed in your room
    • Dog fenced exercise and play areas
    • Dog treats
    • Dog walking and dog minding services
    • Towels for cleaning off muddy or wet pets
    • Bedding and food (you may prefer to take your own regardless).
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped for identification and wears a collar and tag imprinted with your name, phone number and any relevant contact information.
  • Include a temporary travel tag on your pet's collar with your mobile phone and destination phone number for the duration of your trip.
  • If travelling by air, book a direct flight to minimise time on the tarmac and handling.
  • Make an appointment with the vet to ensure your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date and obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of your departure if required.
  • Purchase an approved shipping carrier with space and lining to absorb accidents. Pack with dried food outside the crate (for stopovers) and freeze a dish of water the night before travel to include in the crate. Make sure you can securely close the crate (without locking it, so airline staff can access it if necessary).
  • If travelling by road, prepare your pet for long road trip by going on short drives first.
  • Keep pets safe in a well-ventilated carrier - if you don't use a carrier, don't let your pet ride with his head outside the window and keep him in the back attached to a seat buckle.
  • Prep a pet-friendly travel kit including food, a bowl, leash, a poop scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid and any travel documents.
  • Pack a favourite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
  • Be sure to pack plenty of water and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle.
  • Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three or four hour before departure. Always opt for bottled water (ask your vet for specific advice prior to travelling).

During the journey

  • Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle.
  • Stop for regular rest breaks, but keep your pet leashed or secure.

At your destination

  • Let your pet explore the property but never unleashed, unattended or unsupervised.
  • Check with the owners where the boundaries are for letting your pet run and exercise at the accommodation and nearby.
  • Ask your hosts for recommendations for local cafes and restaurants that are pet friendly too.

New Zealand Fast Facts

You can bring your cat or dog to New Zealand from overseas, but they must meet specific health standards. (These change depending on the country your pet is coming from.) Get advice from a professional pet exporter, who can help you bring your pet here safely and make sure you've met the rules. You can also bring: horses, ornamental fish UK only chinchillas, guinea pigs and rabbits (Australia only). You're not allowed to import: birds, ferrets, mice and rats, reptiles, snakes and certain types of dogs.

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New Zealand Coach Tours

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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.