Free Travel Newsletter : January 2012
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to G Brooks of Australia, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning "The Ultimate New Zealand DVD".
Summer in New Zealand is just the coolest as well as the hottest season. With the Big Day Out in Auckland featuring some of the best bands and musicians around and beach fun beckoning from over 15,000 kilometres of coastline, you have a perfect summer cocktail. In fact, as no location in New Zealand is more than 130 kilometres from the sea, you're bound to run into it at some point (wetsuits are advised). We've picked out a few summer highlights – in the sun and in the shade – for you to choose from.
- Big Day Out, 20th January, Auckland
- World Buskers Festival, Christchurch, 19th - 29th January
- Haka!, National Library Auckland - until April 2012
- The Great Kiwi Beer Festival, 25th February, Christchurch
- Qualmark – The Mark of Quality Tourism
- Off the Beaten Track to... Himatangi Beach
- New Zealand Fast Facts
A Big Day Out, 20th January, Auckland
It's the 20th year of the Down Under music phenomena, the Big Day Out and the rumour is that this will be the last chance to enjoy the Big Day Out experience in New Zealand. So join in with fun-loving, music-loving Kiwi crowds as they celebrate and enjoy the music and talents of local and international bands and artists, plus the hottest skaters on the planet.
Musical Highlights include: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Nero (live), the Vaccines, Bassnectar, Cavalera Conspiracy, Regurgitator, Kimbra, Parkway Drive, Midnight Youth, Das Racist, Six60, Mt Eden, the Adults, I Am Giant, Cairo Knife Fight, Jakob, Bulletproof, Junica, @peace, DJ Sir-vere, Nick D, Soundgarden, Kasabian, My Chemical Romance, the Living End, Battles, Girl Talk, Parkway Drive, Röyksopp, Foster the People, Gin Wigmore, Mariachi El Bronx, Cage the Elephant, Best Coast, Beastwars, Ghostwave, Cut Off Your Hands, David Dallas, Unknown Mortal Orchestra & Mayavanya.
View the Big Day Out website for more information.
World Buskers Festival, Christchurch, 19th - 29th January
Providing much-needed laughs for Christchurch residents and visitors from around the world are the many entertainers from New Zealand and overseas who create the World Buskers Festival. "No Quake's Going to Stop 'Em" - this year's festival features 55 of the world's best street and stage performers.
So now in its 19th year, Hagley Park becomes Busker Park and features some of the biggest and best comedians, acrobats, jugglers, daredevils, burlesque artists, aerialists and showmen (and women). Festival shows outside the park include:
- CPIT Music Pitch in the City Mall
- Ryan Security Buskers at Brighton
- Christchurch Casino Comedy Hour & Carnivale (R20)
For more information, view the World Buskers Festival website.
Haka!, National Library Auckland - until April 2012
Visit the National Library in Auckland to view Haka! This exhibition helps New Zealanders and visitors find out more about haka and Maori culture. Haka is much more than a hair-raising start to a rugby or sports fixture. Haka brings visitors on to a marae; celebrates a wedding; marks death at a tangi; delivers a message to the authorities; recalls an important event; challenges an opponent. When something important is to be said, haka helps say it.
The exhibition includes photographs, film footage and audio including images of the Maori Battalion haka for the King of Greece in Egypt and the 1905 "The Originals" All Blacks performing before a test against England. The exhibition is free to enter.
The Great Kiwi Beer Festival, 25th February
Head over to Hagley Park in Christchurch between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm to enjoy some great amber nectar. The Great Kiwi Beer Festival is a celebration of the brewing industry in New Zealand. It will be hosted by industry experts and feature a range of more than 100 local, national and international brews.
- Sample beers and brews
- Meet the brewmasters in person
- Live performances
- Cooking demonstrations and seminars
- Brand experience areas
- Beer and food matching
Website coming soon to http://greatkiwibeerfestival.co.nz/
Qualmark – The Mark of Quality Tourism
If you are looking for quality-assessed accommodation, activity, tour or transport in New Zealand during your travels, then look for the Qualmark sign. This is New Zealand tourism's official mark of quality and the world's first integrated quality assurance system. It means that each Qualmark business currently licensed to carry the signage has been independently assessed as professional and trustworthy.
Each accommodation provider registered with Qualmark in New Zealand has gone through a rigorous testing and licensing process which involves meeting certain standards of cleanliness, safety, security and comfort.
You will often see a Qualmark star rating or grading advertised by New Zealand businesses. These stars give you an indication of what services and facilities to expect.
1 Star = Acceptable. Meets customers' minimum requirements.
2 Star = Good. Exceeds the minimum quality requirements.
3 Star = Very good. Good to very good quality facilities and services.
4 Star = Excellent. Consistently achieves high quality levels.
5 Star = Exceptional. Among the best available in New Zealand.
Plus = Star grading can also be awarded in half grades.
Endorsed = Meets or exceeds tourism quality standards (applies to activity, transport and service businesses)
Exclusive = The very best available in New Zealand.
Applied for = The property is undergoing assessment.
For more information, view the Qualmark website.
Off the Beaten Track to... Himatangi Beach
If summer means sunshine, sands and sunsets to you, then take a trip to the peaceful, quiet and sandy expanses of Himatangi Beach. Located in the Manawatu district in the North Island – about 30 minutes drive west from the city of Palmerston North – this west coast beach is home to New Zealand's largest sand dunes...(more)
New Zealand Fast Facts
Summer in New Zealand needs hokey pokey ice-cream. Delicious, sweet and gooey - hokey pokey is a favourite Kiwi sweet that's great fun to make.
- Simply bring 5 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of golden syrup to the boil slowly in a heavy-based saucepan stirring all the time.
- When it foams up, simmer gently over a very low heat for 4 minutes – stirring occasionally and making sure it doesn't burn.
- Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) quickly until it foams up.
- Pour it into a greased pan straightaway. Break into bits when cold and add to vanilla ice-cream. Sweet as.
- Try it at home before or after your New Zealand trip.