Free Travel Newsletter : September 2014
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Jim Preston, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
We're celebrating the start of spring this month by showcasing just how diverse, beautiful, fun and fascinating life in New Zealand can be for both local and overseas travellers and visitors. We celebrate a love of beer, chocolate, senior citizens, scenery and a love of love and life itself with a look at some of the country's top wedding venues and romantic destinations. Enjoy your travels!
Find out about:
- Rosebank Oktoberfest, Christchurch
- Chocolate Factory Tours, Wellington
- Auckland Zoo Safari Nights, Auckland
- International Day of Older Persons, Wellington
- Go See... Cathedral Caves
- 10 Top Wedding Venues
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Rosebank Oktoberfest, Christchurch
Date: 3 – 5 October
The Rosebank Oktoberfest echoes the famous Bavarian Oktober fest with its halls decorated in beautiful blue and white Bavarian decor imported from Germany.
A live Oompah Band creates a lively atmosphere and a real party. Everyone sings along and dances and of course, the singing of Ein Prosit gives revellers a chance to 'cool down' and relax before the next songs start.
Come dressed in your best Lederhozen and Dirndl, enjoy traditional Bavarian food, bring the kids along to Sunday's Family Day and take part in fun, lighthearted competitions. Oh, and try a German beer or wine. The Weissbeer is a must try.
View more at www.rosebank.co
Chocolate Factory Tours, Wellington
Bring your children along to enjoy a tour of the Chocolate Factory during the October holidays (1, 2, 8 and 9 October). Designed specifically for children, this tour is shorter than the regular tour and aims to encourage children to really taste our chocolate and think about where it comes from.
Children will get walked through the Factory, learn where the beans come from and how the staff at WCF roast, crack, winnow, conch and temper their chocolate in their custom built chocolate factory. The tour finishes with the chance to taste the Factory's delicious chocolate, including chocolate straight from the grinder!
View more at www.wcf.co.nz.
Auckland Zoo Safari Nights, Auckland
Explore Auckland Zoo after dark! A Safari Night evening includes a classic Kiwi barbeque followed by a torch-lit adventure. Discover lions on the prowl, hippos looking for a late-night snack, nocturnal bats waking up, an elephant snacking on bamboo, or rhinos out in the cool of the evening.
Stay at the Old Elephant House and you'll wake with the animals and enjoy breakfast before heading home, to school or work - with all your memories and unique stories to share! For mixed groups and individuals of all ages. Minimum ages is 5 years and children must take their adults.
Find out more at www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/sites/experiences/safari-nights.
International Day of Older Persons, Wellington
Date: 1 October
Visit Wellington's Central Library for a morning of recollections from Wellington's history as photos from the libraries archive collection are shown. You are invited to bring a favourite photo/keepsake for a "show and tell" and there will be musical performance during a light morning tea.
Find out more about the show and ticketing at www.un.org/en/events/olderpersonsday.
Go See... Cathedral Caves
The Cathedral Caves in the South Catlins region of New Zealand's South Island are one of the thirty longest sea caves in the world. The caves are located on Waipati Beach, 15 km south of Papatowai, on the Catlins Coast in SE corner of the South Island, New Zealand.
They are a 'must see' - being one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area, along with the McLean Falls, the highest water falls in the Catlins, located 4900m away. The two main cave systems join together within the cliff and one has a 30 m (100 ft) high ceiling.
The caves are only accessible two hours either side of low tide. Access to the caves from the road crosses private land, with a small user fee being charged to help maintain the road. A nearby eco-tourism holiday park provides a convenient homebase for access to the Cathedral Caves and many other Catlins attractions.
Where to go: Just off the Southern Scenic Route, Catlins, New Zealand at the northern end of Waipati beach, south of Tautuku
How to get there: By road
When to go: Any time of year
Find out more about the South Catlins region.
10 Top Wedding Venues
Spring is here in New Zealand and that means the start of the wedding season. Be inspired by the ten top wedding venues we've selected from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South. Whether you're planning your own big day or just a trip away, these destinations and venues offer scenery and facilities fit for royalty.
There are more wedding venues throughout New Zealand to consider if you're planning to get married here – many of them are simply wonderful honeymoon destinations and accommodations too.
- Pagoda Lodge Weddings - Kerikeri (Northland) - This indie wedding venue offers accommodation ranging from historic lodge, cottages and villa to boutique river-front glamping in romantic gypsy caravans with outdoor baths and deck-mounted, furnished safari tents. Picturesque, expansive river-front with large wedding marquee, customized catering, lush gardens, spacious grounds, majestic trees and plentiful bird-life frame this unique and memorable wedding venue.
- Flaxmill Accommodation - Near Cooks Beach (Coromandel Peninsula) - Flaxmill is a boutique beachside accommodation with park-like grounds that houses quality guest accommodation for up to 38 people. Flaxmill is the perfect venue for small to medium conferences, memorable weddings and family celebrations.
- Matiatia Bay - Waiheke Island (Auckland) - Matiatia Bay offers discerning travellers elegant, romantic and luxurious accommodation with spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf and easy access to the delights of Waiheke Island.
- Woodlands Cottage - Tauranga (Bay of Plenty) - A boutique accommodation set amongst native trees on 1.6 ha in Bethlehem right on the northern outskirts of Tauranga. This private and quiet location is suitable as a family sojourn, a romantic weekend getaway for two, or as a beautiful wedding venue. You and your guests can listen to the sound of tuis and kereru that live here.
- Greenmantle Estate Lodge - Kapiti Coast (Wellington) - The only luxury accommodation lodge on the west coast of the lower North Island - just 40 minutes from Wellington City on the Kapiti Coast - features beautiful heritage decor, open fires in winter, resort-style heated swimming pool, pristine hot-tub in natural bush setting, gym, day-spa facilities, delectable breakfasts and fine table d'hote dinners with New Zealand wines.
- Furneaux Lodge - Marlborough Sounds (Marlborough) - Nestled at the head of Endeavour Inlet in stunning Marlborough Sounds, Furneaux Lodge is the first stop on Queen Charlotte Track. Overlooking calm clear water, embraced by 800 hectares of native forest, unchanged since Captain Cooks visit in 1769. Furneaux Lodge is offered exclusively for weddings.
- Woodland Glen Lodge - Hokitika (West Coast) - Woodland Glen Lodge offers a unique garden setting for small weddings and family gatherings. This Hokitika wedding venue offers you and your guests both formal lodge gardens and 21 acres of wooded parkland to stroll in.
- Chapel by the Lake - Lake Hayes (Queenstown) - Situated amidst five hectares of water gardens and vineyard, Stoneridge Estate offers a choice of romantic settings and an authentic stone wedding chapel. This beautiful wedding venue just 15 minutes from Queenstown is perfect for intimate or large weddings.
- Eliza's Manor Hotel (Christchurch) - Offering superior bed and breakfast accommodation, including reputedly the best breakfast in Christchurch, Eliza's is one of Christchurch's most beautiful heritage buildings. Only 15 minutes' walk from the centre of Christchurch and the beautiful Botanical Gardens.
- The Hermitage (Aoraki/Mount Cook) - Nestled beneath Aoraki Mount Cook, this is the perfect wedding venue for alpine adventurers who love the mountains of the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. A wide choice of rooms and chalets suit many different tastes and budgets.
North Island Wedding Venues
South Island Wedding Venues
Share Your Experience
If you have visited some wonderful New Zealand lakes during your stay, let other NZTG readers know about them. Send details of your experiences to the newsletter editor.
New Zealand Fast Facts
New Zealand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalise same-sex marriage in April 2013. When the gay-marriage bill was read for the third and final time in Parliament, people watching from the gallery and some lawmakers broke into song singing the New Zealand love song Pokarekare Ana in the indigenous Maori language.