Free Travel Newsletter : November 2013
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Chris Loh, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning "Kiwi Country New Zealand DVD".
This November is action-packed with events for cyclists and bikies, wine-lovers and foodies – we've highlighted just a few, as well an unique castle in the North Island, waterfalls in some of the country's most beautiful areas and off the beaten track adventure to the lighthouse and islets that lead to the world's edge.
Find out about:
- Toast Martinborough, South Wairarapa - 17th November
- Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, Lake Taupo - 30th November
- Burt Munro Challenge, Dunedin - 28th November - 1st December
- Go See... The Castle Pamela
- 10 Top Waterfalls
- Off the Beaten Track to.... Nugget Point
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Toast Martinborough, South Wairarapa - 17th November
Calling all foodies and wine-lovers! Get ready for Toast Martinborough 2013 - a celebration of outstanding wines, fabulous food and great music set within a charming wine village atmosphere.
There are 11 fantastic boutique vineyards on board for Toast 2013, all partnering with a top restaurant or caterer and some of the country's best live entertainment.
Find out more at the Toast Martinborough Festival website.
Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, Lake Taupo - 30th November
The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is the largest cycling event in New Zealand. Up to 10,000 riders from New Zealand and overseas take part each year. The event is best known for its 160-km Bike Barn Solo, the one-lap circumnavigation of Lake Taupo, Australasia's largest lake. This is just one of 15 categories on offer, with both road cycling and mountain bike options for individuals and teams, catering to all levels of cycling and fitness abilities.
Find out more at the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge website.
Burt Munro Challenge, Dunedin - 28th November - 1st December
Following the success of the 2005 movie about Burt Munro's inspirational life – The World's Fastest Indian, the Southland Motorcycle Club created the Burt Munro Challenge to honour Burt, his ingenuity, determination, and love of speed and motorcycles.
The inaugural event was held in 2006 and it has since forged a name for itself as one of New Zealand's major motorsports events. It has a strong local and national following and rapidly growing international interest. It attracts top New Zealand riders as well as all the weekend warriors, all provided with a variety of exciting races, events, fantastic entertainment and famous southern hospitality.
Find out more at the Burt Munro Challenge website.
Go See... Castle Pamela
Located in the beautiful town of Tirau, the unique Castle Pamela combines the traditional atmosphere of a castle with the marvel of New Zealand's largest doll, toy and train collection. You can relive your childhood and experience the wonder of over one hundred years of childhood delights housed in one amazing building.
The owners, Pam and Kelvin Baker built everything you will see and it was a true labour of love. They drew their own plans, constructed the earthworks and built every inch of the castle from sunrise to well after dark, for over two years.
Situated two hours from Auckland en route to Rotorua or Taupo, The Castle provides tourists with a quiet place to stop and enjoy the splendour of the countryside. Guests can enjoy a bite to eat from the tea rooms and then spend time exploring the museum. It is available for school groups and corporate events.
Visitors to The Castle will enjoy some of the most creative displays ever, as owners Pam and Kelvin Baker show just what 21 years' experience in doll exhibitions and productions can do. Entry to the doll collection is $10 per adult and $5 per child.
Where to go: Bridge St, Tirau, North Island
When to go: The Castle Pamela is open by appointment, school and statutory holidays
View more online about the Castle Pamela.
Top 10 Waterfalls
Due to its relatively high rainfall and mountainous terrain, New Zealand has many waterfalls with over 1,500 marked on topographical maps. Many waterfalls are of course only temporary, especially in Fiordland on the South Island. Many of these waterfalls are situated in highly picturesque locations and are great reasons to make sightseeing journeys. We've picked out ten of the country's waterfalls, five in the North Island and five in the South.
- Bridal Veil Falls, State Highway 23, Te Mata, Waikato - An easy walk from the Bridal Veils Falls carpark following the Pakoka River leads to two viewing platforms (suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs) providing spectacular views of the 55 metre high falls and surrounding countryside.
- Huka Falls, State Highway 1, Taupo, Waikato - Although not the highest falls in the country, the Huka Falls (huka meaning 'foam') are some of the most visited. The Waikato River narrows from 100m to 15m wide forming powerful falls and rapids – around 220,000 litres of water per second pours over the cliff. Enjoy the easy riverside walk to get a great view. A car park is situated just 5 minutes' drive from Lake Taupo.
- Mokau Falls, Te Urewera National Park, Hawkes Bay - Much of this national park is remote and inaccessible, but here are plenty of walking tracks here including the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk. You can view the splendid Mokau Falls from the carpark at Waikaremoana Road (drive with care on the unsealed roads).
- Mount Damper Falls, Waitaanga Conservation Area, Taranaki - At 74 metres high, these falls are one of the highest in the North Island and accessible by a 30 minute walk through farmland from Mt Damper Falls car park, on the Okau Road off State Highway 3, 59 km north of New Plymouth.
- Okere Falls, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty - A 30 minute bushwalk with scenic lookouts follows Okere River and its spectacular waterfalls. From the main lookout platform by Hinemoa's steps you can watch rafters and kayakers sweep over the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. Okere Falls walking track is 21 km from Rotorua on Trout Pool road off SH 33.
- Devil's Punchbowl Falls, Arthur's Pass, Canterbury - A walk to the base of the waterfall in the rugged Arthur's Pass National Park is well worth doing in any weather, although the top of this spectacular 131 metres waterfall can be seen from the road. Walk starts from the carpark just north of Arthur's Chalet.
- Lady Bowen Falls, Milford Sound, Fiordland - Seen by boat or plane, this stunning waterfall is roughly 162 metres high and is surrounded by picturesque, bush-clad mountains. It is the highest and most powerful waterfall in Milford Sound.
- McLean Falls, Tautuku River, Catlins, Southland - A bridal veil-like cascade over dark mossy rocks, the falls plummet more than 20 metres into a deep gorge and is one of Southland's best. You can also visit nearby Cathedral Caves, located on the Southern Scenic Route.
- Purakaunui Falls, Purakaunui, Catlins, Southland - This cascading multi-tiered waterfall is a popular beauty spot and much-photographed. The waterfall is a 10 minute walk from a side road off the main Owaka-Invercargill highway – perfect for all the family.
- Sutherland Falls, Milford Sound, Fiordland - One of the highest falls in Fiordland, this beautiful and powerful waterfall falls in three cascades. Its base is accessible via a 90 minute return walk from Quintin Public Shelter on the Milford Track Great Walk. (You may get wet!)
Share Your Experience
If you enjoyed some great New Zealand water sport locations during your stay, let other NZTG readers know about it. Send details of your experience to the newsletter editor.
Off the Beaten Track to... Nugget Point
Of all the bays, beaches and points along the Catlins Coast (South Island), don't miss Nugget Point, one of New Zealand's special places. South of Kaka Point, is the not-to-missed side track to the lighthouse and islands, which seem to lead off to the very edge of the world... (more)
New Zealand Fast Facts
There are no harmful animals like poisonous snakes, scorpions or venomous insects in New Zealand. It has only one poisonous native spider - the extremely rare katipo, which has been classified as an endangered species. Poisonous red-back and white-tailed spiders from Australia were accidentally introduced to the country. Bites from the red-back spider can be harmful to humans, although an anti-venom available since 1956 has ensured no deaths due to red-back spider bites have been recorded.