Free Travel Newsletter : June 2009
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
The 2009 ski and snowboard season is eagerly anticipated by local and international winter sports fans with the first major South island ski field having opened at the end of May. A real New Zealand winter wonderland is promised not only for skiers, snowboarders and stargazers, but for all holidaymakers, so come and see what all the fuss is about!
Find out about:
- Winter Treats for Food and Wine Lovers
- Olive Winter Harvest, June – mid-July
- Off the Beaten Track to... Stonehenge Aotearoa
- Central Otago Rail Trail
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Winter Treats for Food and Wine Lovers
There's no doubt, that getting out and about during the winter can be invigorating, revitalising and refreshing. However, you may also want to find warm, welcoming places in which to eat and drink, retreats where you can relax and watch the world from the comforts of a cosy, open fire. Whether you want breakfast, brunch, lunch, high tea, dinner or supper, you'll find plenty of New Zealand restaurants, cafés and bars serving up gastronomic treats.
For a small country, New Zealand offers visitors an impressive array of unique food and dining styles complemented by top quality wines. White wines, particularly chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, have achieved an international reputation for excellence and the reds are catching up fast. Don't take our word for it though, as the true test is in the taste!
Olive Winter Harvest, June – mid-July
If you are looking for something a little different to do on a Hanmer Springs winter break this year, why not help out with an olive harvest? After a day of handpicking and raking olives in the sun (or the snow), you can relax in a hot pool or spa knowing it’s been well earned. Olive picking usually starts in early June through to mid-July at the Amuri Estate Retreat and is a great way to get active outdoors, be social and enjoy hearty home-cooked refreshments.
Contact Amuri Estate Retreat for more details.
Off the Beaten Track to... Stonehenge Aotearoa
In the Wairarapa countryside, not far from Wellington on the North Island, lays Stonehenge Aotearoa. This unique open-sky observatory was inspired by, and built on a similar scale to, the famous Stonehenge on Salisbury Plains in England. This full-scale working adaptation of Stonehenge opened in 2005 allowing all visitors to experience the wonders of stone circles for themselves.
Stonehenge Aotearoa combines modern scientific knowledge with ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Celtic, Polynesian and Maori star lore. It is used to teach maramataka (the calendars of time and seasons). Stonehenge Aotearoa is unique in New Zealand and internationally as a place of science and wonder. It's definitely worth a visit off the beaten track and a great place to celebrate the Maori New Year, which occurs in early June. Visitors can also attend the Winter Solstice Ritual being held on Sunday 21st June.
Find out more about Stonehenge Aotearoa.
Central Otago Rail Trail
At the beginning of the 20th century, Central Otago in New Zealand's South Island was well-known for its booming gold mining industry. The Central Otago Railway was built to service the goldfields between Dunedin and Cromwell.
You can now follow this once essential supply line by bike, by foot or on horseback. The Central Otago Rail Trail is open to cyclists, walkers and riders and is free to use (although donations to the managing trust are appreciated). You can enjoy the beauty and isolation of the scenery, as you pass through historic tunnels and over viaducts. Cyclists need between 3-4 days to complete the trail, which includes about 4 hours cycling a day. Walkers should allow 6-7 days. Accommodation, refreshments and supplies are available from local businesses and communities en route.
Find out more about riding or walking the Central Otago Rail Tail.
New Zealand Fast Facts
Keas (Nestor notabilis) are large alpine parrots and found in the South Island of New Zealand. They are known for their intelligence, puzzle solving ability and inquisitive nature. Many travellers have discovered to their cost that keas are to blame for their missing bootlaces and car window rubber.