Free Travel Newsletter : May 2009
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Mrs. Christina Vanderstoep of Canada. Christina won April's prize draw, and very soon a copy of "The Ultimate New Zealand DVD" will be winging its way to her in Canada.
New Zealand winters are just as fun-filled and action-packed as the summers, so wrap up warm and get out here for some of the best surfing or hiking in the world! Or simply enjoy some comedy in Auckland and Wellington or party away a few days at the famous Queenstown Winter Festival coming up soon for travellers arriving in late June...
Find out about:
- New Zealand International Comedy Festival, 1st – 24th May
- Queenstown Winter Festival, 26th June – 5th July
- Off the Beaten Track to... Kawhia
- Hiking in New Zealand
- New Zealand Surfing
- New Zealand Fast Facts
New Zealand International Comedy Festival, 1st - 24th May
If you're in Auckland or Wellington this May, why not take a break from sightseeing and touring to spend an evening at one of the comedy shows featuring top international and local comedy performers such as Wayne Brady, Dylan Moran, Ed Byrne and Steve Coogan.
New Zealand's Deaf Awareness Week also starts on the 1st of May and one of the world's best-known deaf entertainers, John Maucere, will be joining the 2009 NZ International Comedy Festival line-up with an Auckland performance.
- View your Auckland accommodation and Wellington accommodation options.
- Find out more about the NZ International Comedy Festival.
Queenstown Winter Festival, 26th June - 5th July
Wrap up warm and join in the fun at the 35th annual Queenstown Winter Festival. This hugely popular event attracts around 60,000 people to Queenstown and the surrounding area. With events for families, skiers, snowboards and just about anyone who enjoys the snow and winter fun, it’s a great time of year to plan a fun-filled and action-packed stay in Queenstown.
Free events include: The opening party and fireworks, arts and crafts market, live music, teddy bears picnic, Mardi Gras festival, retro aerobics, drag races, birdman action, street parades and more. Ticketed events include: Movies, masquerade ball, ice hockey matches, great comedy debate, ladies fashion afternoon, murder mystery, wild about water party, jazz night.
Whether in town or up on the mountain, there is a lot of festival entertainment going on, not to mention the local attractions, activities and tours, such as bungy jumping, kayaking, caving, paragliding, hang gliding, horse riding and mountaineering.
Discover more about the Queenstown, the ‘Adventure Capital of New Zealand.’
Off the Beaten Track to... Kawhia
Think 1950s and go back in time when you visit Kawhia, a sleepy, quiet and isolated coastal town on the North Island’s east coast (about two hours drive from Auckland).
The local population of about 650 increases by up to 10,000 people who come to the annual Kai Fest held in February, but for the most of the year, Kawhia is often overlooked by visitors to New Zealand. Here you can enjoy peaceful activities such as building your own hot water pool on the beach before low tide, fishing, walking or horse trekking.
View more about Kawhia, New Zealand.
Hiking in New Zealand
The hiking opportunities in New Zealand, or ‘tramping’ as it is called by New Zealanders, are some of the best in the world. The North Island features a distinctive central volcanic plateau, whilst the South Island is dominated by the Southern Alps, which run almost the length of the island and include New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook (3,754 metres).
Autumn and spring offer some of the best months for hiking and walking or hiking in the New Zealand winter can be very rewarding. However, you do need to consider the weather and walking conditions more carefully and guided walking tours may be a good option for you. Here are a few tips for planning your New Zealand hiking:
- Choose a trip suitable for your skills, knowledge and experience.
- Always check the latest information before you venture out.
- Remember to leave details of your trip with a responsible person (e.g. your hosts).
- Treat the terrain (mountains and rivers especially with respect).
- Use the right equipment (e.g. for New Zealand’s unique alpine conditions).
- NZ weather conditions are highly changeable and unpredictable, so pack and plan for the worst.
- Wear sturdy boots and carry all necessary survival and first aid equipment.
- Find out more about New Zealand hiking (tramping).
You can also view more useful tips and information about hiking safely in New Zealand from NZ’s Department of Conservation.
New Zealand Surfing
Surfing was a central part of ancient Polynesian culture, so where better to surf than in New Zealand where Maori/ Polynesian is an inherent part of the culture and society. What’s more, if you want to give surfing a go whilst touring New Zealand, you’ll find excellent surfing schools and surf beaches throughout the country.
Surf schools generally offer courses for beginners learning to surf and cater for all levels (beginner, intermediate, experienced/ expert) of international visitors and surfers who want to experience New Zealand waves.
View information about surfing in New Zealand.
Find out about surf-friendly accommodation and surfing tours:
- Surfing and Water Sports in New Zealand
- Baches, Beach Houses & Bungalows
- Backpacker and Budget Accommodation
New Zealand Fast Facts
In New Zealand, there’s an artificial surfing reef at the surf town of Mount Maunganui. There’s also great surfing for beginners and experts alike throughout the country in North Island locations such as: Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wellington; and on the South Island, in Christchurch, Kaikoura and Dunedin.
View more on surfing tours and New Zealand surf schools.