Free Travel Newsletter : August 2013
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Ian Sutherland, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning "Kiwi Country New Zealand DVD".
This month, we invite you to celebrate some of the things that are bright, beautiful and funny about New Zealand through: Father's Day, fashion week, comedy and of course, New Zealand's legendary scenery. Whether you're walking, riding, laughing or flying through our skies, we hope you'll take home some very happy memories.
Find out about:
- Father's Day, Sunday 1st September
- New Zealand Fashion Weekend, Auckland, 6th - 8th September
- Whitianga Scallop Festival, Whitianga, 14th September
- 10 Top Horse Treks
- Scenic Flights of Unparalleled Beauty
- Off the Beaten Track to... Waipu Caves
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Father's Day, Sunday 1st September
Why not treat Dad to something special on the 1st of September? It's a great excuse for him (and the rest of the family) to have a treat, enjoy a meal, spend a day out together, take part in a family-focused event or sporting challenge. Here are a few ideas of how to spend the day:
- Rally car racing, hot laps, all terrain 4WD, archery, knife throwing, extreme golf, claybird shooting and even the chance to fly a chopper (see Boomrock)
- Fun running and sporting events (see Auckland Fun Run, Northshore Marathons, Palmerston North Duathlon and Ashley Forest Fun Run)
- Howick Historical Village – Honour Your Father Day
- Steampunk High Tea, Auckland (view Cog and Cake for details)
- Native tree planting to honour NZ's rugby legends - Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, West Coast (see Living Legends to register attendance)
- Fathers Day At Tui Brewery (see Tui Brewery website for details)
- Farmers' markets, high tea, cooking classes (google 'Father's Day' + your local area for more suggestions)
- Live entertainment and music performances (check your local press for details).
New Zealand Fashion Weekend, Auckland, 6th - 8th September
For 13 years, New Zealand Fashion Week has showcased the creativity and innovation of New Zealand designers. This year's event includes three days consumer access for 'Fashion Weekend' held at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.
New Zealand Fashion Weekend delivers a full fashion experience packed with designer runway shows, expert beauty and style seminars and the chance to hang out with friends in a vibrant venue. Bargain hunters can also shop till they drop at the Designer Garage Sale or pamper themselves with nail and hair treatments on site.
- Designer Garage Sale
- Trelise at NZ Fashion Weekend
- Annah Stretton's ‘Gay Wedding’ ceremony
View more about New Zealand Fashion Weekend.
Whitianga Scallop Festival, Whitianga, 14th September
One of New Zealand's most popular seafood events, the Whitianga Scallop Festival will once again see 60 cuisine stands turning out mouth-watering dishes. Entertainment from iconic New Zealand performers and seafood cooking demonstrations from iconic NZ chefs will round out another exceptional Whitianga Scallop festival celebration.
View more about the Whitianga Scallop Festival.
10 Top Horse Treks
Five and five. We've picked out five horse treks from the North Island and five horse treks from the South, so you can ride in some of the most beautiful terrain and scenery in New Zealand. Most of these stables cater for riders of any ability (aged 3 or 4 years upwards). Experienced riders may prefer to consider multi-day treks such as The Tekapo Main Divide Expedition.
If you want to feel the wind in your face, the sun on your back and listen to happy hoof beats, enjoy a safe, memorable riding experience in New Zealand with any of the following:
- Forest & River Rides, Bay of Plenty – Perfect for riders of all ages. Choose a 30-minute lead rein ride for a rider aged 3 years and upwards or select the 3-hour waterfall trek through the atmospheric forests and rivers of 'Lord of the Rings' country...(more)
- Eastender Horse Treks, Gisborne - For riders of all levels, 2-4 hour horse treks out on the beach, the hills and in the bush of beautiful Rangitukia, only 2 hours drive north of Gisborne. Paddock rides also available for young riders...(more)
- Pakiri Beach Horse Rides, Matakana Coast – This North Island trekking stables offers single day to 7 day rides (and kids' camps too). Simply imagine the wind in your face, sun on your skin and the sound of the surf and hoof beats on white sand...(more)
- Rangihau Ranch Horse Riding, Coromandel Peninsula - Trek up the original packhorse trail known as 'The Gentle Annie' to spectacular scenery on the Coromandel Peninsula. Rugged ranges, native bush and rolling farmland. Riders of all ages and abilities catered for...(more)
- River Valley Stables Horse Trekking – From two hour rides to multi-day treks and ranch style holidays, River Valley Stables offers novice and experienced riders the opportunity to ride in the beautiful Rangitikei Hill Country in the North Island...(more)
- The Tekapo Main Divide Expedition – New Zealand's longest horse trek. This 12-day safari travels through famous high country stations and crosses some of the largest rivers in the South Island of New Zealand. The trip is very popular with guests wanting to ride the longest, most adventurous alpine horse trip available in New Zealand...(more)
- Cape Farewell Horse Treks - Short day horse treks in the amazing scenery of Cape Farewell and Golden Bay at the very top of the South Island. Watch out for baby seals as you ride along golden sands. Suitable for all abilities and family groups...(more)
- Moke Lake / Ben Lomond Horse Treks, Queenstown – Slower paced treks around beautiful Moke Lake, exhilarating treks up the mountains or exploration of the local gold mining area, there are horse treks for beginners (aged 4) to more experienced riders near Queenstown, South Island...(more)
- Punakaiki Horse Treks, West Coast, South Island - Take an invigorating 2.5-hour horse trek along the beach to the foot of the Pancake Rocks and into the spectacular Punakaiki river valley within the Paparoa National Park. Rides available for all levels of riders...(more)
- Middle Earth Horse Treks – Dart Stables near Queenstown offers a choice of treks suited for riders of all abilities inspired by the scenery of 'Middle Earth' and in the actual locations used for filming The Lord of the Rings...(more)
Some horse treks may close for the winter season due to terrain and weather conditions, so please check with each individual operator before setting your heart on a particular experience. View more on horse riding in New Zealand .
Scenic Flights of Unparalleled Beauty
There are numerous operators throughout New Zealand offering scenic flights in helicopters, small aeroplanes or hot air balloons. Any one of these flights offers a bird's eye view of the country's remarkable landscape and forges a truly memorable, magical experience.
In the North, you can see the impressive geothermal and volcanic landscape of Rotorua and the Central North Island region from the air. You can even fly over and land on White Island, an active volcano and spectacular natural attraction. On the South Island, you may choose to float gently over the Canterbury Plains with a champagne breakfast aboard a hot air balloon; or soar over the majestic Southern Alps and view the magnificent vistas, peaks, glaciers and valleys of the Fiordland National Park.
Take a look at some of your scenic flight options.
Off the Beaten Track to... Waipu Caves
If you like 'undeveloped, unguided and absolutely free' the Waipu Caves south of Whangarei (Northland) on the North Island are definitely worth a visit. The Waipu Caves area features a karst/limestone landscape and is characterised by depressions, sinkholes, caves and underground drainage. Karst landscapes are significant in Maori culture and are enshrined in tikanga and kawa (sacred customs and ceremonies). Karst areas are also important sites for geological, geomorphological, palaeontological and climatological studies...(more)
New Zealand Fast Facts
Flight of the Conchords is a comedy duo composed of New Zealanders, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. Their comedy and music became the basis of a BBC radio series and subsequently an American television series (2007). They used to refer to themselves as "New Zealand's 4th most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo".