Free Travel Newsletter : June 2013
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Andre Finn, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning "Kiwi Country New Zealand DVD".
After enjoying the wonderful scenery, sights and attractions of New Zealand in under bright, fresh wintry skies, what better way is there to relax than with a glass of red wine and a slab of yummy chocolate? We're hard pressed to suggest anything better, unless it's a mug of hot chocolate and a slab of cake... so, perhaps it's fortunate that you'll find it easy to combine your travels with fresh air, fine wines and a few treats along the way this winter!
Find out about:
- Dunedin Chocolate Carnival, 20th - 26th July, Dunedin
- Winter Games NZ, 15th - 26th August, Otago
- Zorb in an Orb
- 10 Top Wineries in New Zealand
- Off the Beaten Track to... Methven
- All Things Weather
- New Zealand Fast Facts
The Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, 20th - 26th July, Dunedin
Calling all chocolate addicts! This winter festival - now in its 13th year - is all about celebrating winter and the joy of all things chocolate.
Activities include: chocolate tours, chocolate decorating, chocolate painting and chocolate facials. The carnival culminates with the famous Cadbury Jaffa Race. A Kiwi favourite, jaffas are balls of orange sugar-coated chocolate, and this race involves giant Cadbury jaffas hurtling their way down Baldwin Street - the world's steepest street.
Find out more at Chocolate Carnival Web site.
Winter Games NZ, 15th - 26th August, Otago
The Winter Games NZ 2013 in Lake Wanaka, Queenstown and other Otago locations features the best of the world's elite winter sports athletes in this launch pad to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Winter Games NZ is one of the top 5 events on the international winter sports circuit featuring no less than 6 World Cup events over its 11-day programme.
- See Olympic and Paralympic medallists compete in Snowboard Slopestyle, Snowboard Halfpipe, Freestyle Ski Halfpipe and Freestyle Ski Slopestyle
- Watch the Adaptive Slalom World Cups
- Snow Farm will host the world's top cross-country skiers
- Coronet Peak will see superstars of alpine skiing compete in Slalom and Giant Slalom
- Naseby's Maniototo International Curling Rink will witness the tension and drama of curling as teams fight it out ahead of Sochi 2014.
The Games also includes an off-snow festival bringing the action off the mountain in a series of downtown extravaganzas in both Queenstown and Lake Wanaka including the Adventure Film Festival, medal ceremonies, live music and entertainment.
Find out more about the Winter Games NZ.
Zorb in an Orb
If you try zorbing just once, you won't forget the experience and there are only a few places in New Zealand in which you can try it. Zorbing. Not heard of it? Well, that's not too surprising... zorbing is a sport in which a person is secured inside an inner capsule in a large, transparent ball which is then rolled along the ground or down a hill.
So basically a Zorb is a large inflated plastic ball, with another ball inside it, in which you roll down a hill - reaching speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour! (Zorbing is very safe, as there is a cushion of air between you and the ground.)
Check out zorbing in Rotorua, the home of New Zealand zorbing for seventeen years.
10 Top Wineries in New Zealand
Over the last 20 years, New Zealand has enjoyed growing international acclaim for its wine, in particular its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The country's climate, geography and the skill of its winemakers combine to produce highly distinctive, premium quality wines, which are 'the riches of a clean, green land.'
You can discover and enjoy New Zealand wines as either an independent traveller or as part of a specialised winery tour. Either way, you'll find a warm welcome at cellar doors and many wineries offer excellent dining as well as tasting opportunities. And of course, as you're in New Zealand, the wonderful views will all be part of the experience.
We've compiled a list of ten wineries to get you started on your wine odyssey. It is by no means exhaustive, but it is indicative of some of the fine wines and wineries you can discover.
- Herzog Winery, Marlborough - Located in the largest wine producing region, known for its Sauvignon Blancs, as well as unique Rieslings and Pinot Noirs, is the family owned Herzog estate. Here you can enjoy Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Montepulciano. The restaurant here is considered one of the best in the country.
- Highfield Estate, Marlborough - This estate high on the Brookby Ridge offers spectacular views over the Wairau plains all the way to the North Island. Visitors can enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rieslings and a sparkling Elstree Cuvée Brut. An indoor-outdoor restaurant offers a blend of Mediterranean and New Zealand cuisine.
- Hunter Wines - Another beautiful Marlborough winery owned by the Hunter family and the 'Queen of New Zealand Wine', Jane Hunter. The oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are considered legendary. Enjoy the wines, the café, the artist in residence and a walk through the beautiful gardens.
- Giesen Wines - A great winery to visit in a tour of Marlborough wineries and a place to savour the wines of three brothers, Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen. Giesen is probably most notable for its reliably consistent Sauvignon Blanc. The Brothers range of wines in its burgundy-coloured bottles are more 'serious'. See what you think.
- Craggy Range Winery, Havelock North - If you don't visit the winery, then at least visit the website for one of the most beautiful shots of a winery ever taken. Against its beautiful backdrop, Craggy Range produces single-varietal Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah. Sample wines at the cellar, tour the winery (by appointment) or enjoy a meal in the restaurant overlooking the lake.
- Mission Estate Winery, Napier - The country's oldest winery is located near Napier in the Taradale hills. Its award-winning wines can be bought or tasted at the cellar door. You can also join a tour, buy local pottery and crafts and enjoy a meal - get a seat on the terrace to enjoy the wonderful view of the winery. It should be added to every wine tour's 'must-see-must-taste' list.
- Waipara Springs Winery, Waipara Valley - One of the valley's oldest wineries in North Canterbury on the South Island is the perfect place to stop for lunch along with a wine tasting. The café, in converted farm buildings, serves tasty dishes made with local foods such as olives, goat cheese, asparagus and bacon.
- Te Mata Estate, Hawke's Bay - This is one of New Zealand's top wineries; its Coleraine, a rich but elegant Cabernet-Merlot blend is considered the archetypal Hawke's Bay red.
- Neudorf Vineyard, Nelson - This tiny winery has established an international reputation for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Owners Tim and Judy Finn will gladly talk at length about local food and wine. Artisan cheeses are served in summer and they also stock olives, cheese and oat crackers in their small deli.
- Ata Rangi Winery, Martinborough - A small New Zealand winery with a big reputation for serious Pinot Noir. Ata Rangi (meaning 'dawning sky') is a world-renowned winery established in 1980. It produces many award-winning wines and the brand is known for its superior Pinot Noir style wines.
The great thing about this top 10 list is that you can have a lot of fun adding another 90 wineries to it to create your own top 100. And remember, if you've enjoyed a great drop of New Zealand wine, along with fine dining and great scenery, you can email the editor to pass on the word to other wine lovers.
Discover New Zealand Wine
Off the Beaten Track to... Methven
It's time to blow the lid on a little town called Methven in the Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand. It may only be a small, but it gives travellers the perfect space and place to escape too whatever their budget may be. It also offers some of the world's best heliskiing country, 6 ski fields, snowsports in winter and hiking all year round...(more)
All Things Weather
We take our weather very seriously in New Zealand as many New Zealanders make their living from the land. As travellers, we appreciate the fact that you will probably take our weather quite seriously too. Simply follow the links to find out everything you need to know about our:
More information about all things weather can be viewed on our weather pages.
New Zealand Fast Facts
If you see the Green Globe logo displayed by tourism operators in New Zealand, you know that these businesses are some of the most responsible, sustainable operators in the industry. Green Globe is the global performance brand for sustainable tourism. Involved in 52 countries worldwide, its participants represent a wide cross-section of tourism businesses, from five star hotels to kayak tours.
If you are looking at going to the next step in helping keep New Zealand clean, green, environmentally friendly and resource sustainable, then here's a few Green Globe questions you could ask tourism businesses.