Free Travel Newsletter : December 2012
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to JC Mogavero, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning "Kiwi Country New Zealand DVD".
Summer fun during January is all about getting out and about to experience the best that New Zealand has to offer – and that's all about being outdoors. We've got a few suggestions to help you plan your travels around the country, as well as your New Year celebrations. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
- New Year's Events to Light Up 2013
- 10 Top Camping Spots in New Zealand
- Off the Beaten Track to... Jerusalem
- Plan Your NZ Trip by DVD
- New Zealand Fast Facts
New Year's Eve Events to Light Up 2013
There are numerous New Year's Eve events throughout New Zealand and plenty of festivals planned too for 1st January 2013 including: horse-racing, 'parents' hangover day', yacht regattas, speedway, travellers' fairs, ice-skating and family-fun days.
However, if you love watching fireworks on New Year's Eve, then head to Auckland on the North Island or Queenstown on the South. Auckland offers what is probably the best fireworks display in the country (weather permitting). The fireworks light up the sky over Waitemata Harbour and one of Auckland's most popular urban landmarks, the Sky Tower.
Queenstown is another favourite destination for New Year's fireworks. Its spectacular show starts on the stroke of midnight to mark the arrival of the new year. View more about Queenstown's New Year Countdown 2013.
Other places in which you may like to celebrate the start of 2013 include:
- Mount Maunganui – Join party lovers of all ages on Maunganui's main beach for the region's biggest party extravaganza featuring music, fireworks and endless entertainment (more on New Year at Mount Maunganui).
- Gisborne – Be one of the first to see the rising sun on New Year's Day in this north-eastern town (North Island).
- Whanagmata – This coastal town on the Coromandel Peninsula celebrates the New Year with a summer festival including the 4th of five free night time concerts on New Year's Eve itself. The festival also includes volleyball competitions, skate competitions, a kids' holiday programme and huge craft markets.
- Nelson – This South Island seaside town is popular with holiday makers, especially in the summer due to its wineries, beaches and close proximity to the Abel Tasman National Park (view more about Nelson).
- Takaka – Celebrate the start of 2013 at the Luminate festival at Takaka Hill. Now in its 6th year, this festival is all about dance, workshops, sustainable living and relaxing with new friends, enjoying a massage, drumming around the fire, relaxing with a warm chai or watching an enlightening movie.
- Wanaka – The beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka welcomes in the New Year with live music and a free fireworks display over the lake. Traditionally this event is very popular with young adults and camping spots may get cosy. Book early to avoid disappointment.
10 Top Camping Spots in New Zealand
Whether you prefer holiday parks with a range of facilites or pitching your camp in a rural and basic site, all of these campsites enjoy great views and offer a great tenting experience. If you'd like to recommend any campsites to NZTG readers that can be published in future editions of our newsletter, please email your suggestions to the newsletter editor.
- Akaroa Holiday Park - With stunning views across the majestic Akaroa harbour, this park is nestled in the crater of an extinct volcano - the perfect place to get back to nature and discover one of the most beautiful locations the South Island has to offer.
- Aroha Island - Camp on this secluded, peaceful and tranquil island connected to the mainland by a causeway, at Rangitane, 12 kilometres from Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. Run by a charitable trust offering an unique ecological experience.
- Blumine Island in Queen Charlotte Sound, is run by the Department of Conservation. Only accessible by boat with basic facilities (no fires allowed), this is one of the Marlborough Sound's island sanctuaries.
- Katikati Naturist Park - This holiday park in the Bay of Plenty is for people who like swimming naked and going free of clothes. Five hectares of rural riverside privacy and peacefulness.
- Mangapurua Landing on the Whanganui River, is easiest to reach by boat but you can walk down a track which visits several abandoned farms and the famous Bridge To Nowhere.
- McKee Memorial Reserve on the beach at the northern end of Ruby Bay in Tasman Bay, at the top of the South Island. Great views of the Tasman bay from your tent door.
- Papa Aroha Holiday Park is on the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula, not far below Cape Colville. Right on the beach with great fishing, courses on how to softbait, kayaks, a children's playground and bushwalks.
- Tapotupotu Bay campsite, run by DoC, is just a few kilometres from Cape Reinga, accessible by road and on the Cape Reinga Walkway. You can camp right by the beach.
- Trounson Kauri Park, a campground 40 kilometres north of Dargaville, is also run by DoC and has just 20 campsites.
- Wairata Station in the Waioeka Gorge near Opotiki, is a big hill-country farm which offers a range of accommodation options. Activities including eeling and spotlighting possums to birdwatching and glow-worm walks.
Off the Beaten Track to... Jerusalem
The Whanganui River Road in the North Island follows the majestic Whanganui River from Wanganui to Pipiriki. You can drive along the river road or cycle (as part of the Mountain to the Sea cycle trail) – it is a fascinating journey which reveals the heritage of the local area, including the small settlement of Jerusalem, above which sits the pretty church of St Joseph – one of New Zealand's most photographed churches...(more)
Plan Your NZ Trip by DVD
We give a great DVD away every month to one of our lucky newsletter subscribers. You too can get hold of these New Zealand Travel DVDs through the New Zealand Tourism Guide shop. These DVDs make excellent gifts for travellers, souvenirs of your own experience and easy-to-view travel guides that can help you plan and prepare for your own New Zealand holiday.
There are numerous DVD titles to choose from including: scenic videos of what there is to see and do in New Zealand's top tourist areas, selections of New Zealand's leading tourist attractions and free sights, insight into Maori culture and life in New Zealand, plus a celebration of New Zealand rugby and DVD 'postcard' planners.
Delivery is free to anywhere in the world. View our range of New Zealand travel DVDs.
New Zealand Fast Facts
Follow the star along State Highway 2 in New Zealand's North Island and you will find Bethlehem. Once a small independent town, Bethlehem is now part of Tauranga and includes subdivisions such as Bethlehem Heights, Sterling Gate, La Cumbre, St Andrews and Mayfield.
It is one of the country's prime citrus and kiwifruit growing areas. Bethlehem is also home to Mills Reef Winery and Restaurant (wise men frequently stop for some medal-winning wine) and close to the Waimarino Adventure Park, an educational kayaking facility that has become a delightful adventure theme park. (There are probably shepherds nearby too.)