Free Travel Newsletter : October 2014
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Charlotte Hutchison, 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:
- Wairarapa A&P Show, Carterton
- Christmas at the Proms, New Zealand
- TriMaori Festival, Cambridge
- Tattoo & Art Festival, New Plymouth
- Go See... Franz Josef Glacier
- 10 Top History & Heritage Tours
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Wairarapa A&P Show, Carterton
Date: 31 October – 2 November
In its 137th year, this year's show will really appeal to both children with clown Myrtus Star, BJ Bear and his friend Nigel the Magician, Irish dancing, dog obedience displays and much more. Children will love Pets Corner as well as pet lamb and calf competitions plus the more serious business of judging of cattle, sheep, pigs, horses and donkeys.
Food lovers will enjoy cooking demonstrations by Ian Thomas (regularly seen on New Zealand TV). The food court will be brimming with food stalls and there will be live entertainment in the food court and in the stadium. Live competitions in shearing and wood chopping will provide non-stop action all day long.
Visit the website for more details.
Christmas at the Proms, New Zealand
Date: November - December
Both Christmas and the Last Night of the Proms are synonymous with some of the world's best loved songs and more than their share of fun and frivolity. Music from these two great festivals is combined into a gala concert, full of famous Christmas carols and songs, flag waving classics like Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia, the Best of British Ballads, Gilbert and Sullivan, skits and jokes with even an appearance from Santa Claus and his little elves. Music, madness, magic and mayhem makes for a marvellous way to celebrate the Christmas season.
For venues and dates, visit the Operatunity website.
TriMaori Festival, Cambridge
Date: 22 November
There are triathlon events and walk/run events, plus kids events, healthy food stalls, arts and craft stalls, health providers, yoga and Zumba demonstrations, music and entertainment and plenty more. There is something for everyone at the TriMaori Festival - "It's for the Whanau". And just in case you're wondering - the Festival is for everyone!
For more details, visit www.trimaori.co.nz.
Tattoo & Art Festival, New Plymouth
Location: New Plymouth
Date: 29 – 30 November
Over 250 of the world's best tattoo artists and international television stars, models and burlesque performers will be creating a buzz at the 4th New Zealand Tattoo & Art Festival. More than 8,000 visitors are expected to visit and book in for tattoos with tattoo artists from Europe, the United States, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Tattooing live at TSB Stadium, these contemporary and traditional tattoo artists will be in some cases finishing work they started on clients last year, or starting whole new designs.
The Festival also has two full days of entertainment from local and international acts including: Demon Energy Freestyle Motocross Madness shows featuring death-defying aerial moves by professional FMX riders, the titillating Pretty Things Peepshow, a vintage burlesque circus specializing in acts of the beautiful & bizarre and live music from hip hop and rock artists.
Find out more about tickets and times at nztattooart.com.
Go See... Franz Josef Glacier
The Franz Josef is a 12 km long glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.
The Franz Josef Glacier (Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere) offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience a dynamic glacial environment, in a temperate environment. In the last ice age the glacier extended in a huge ice-sheet to beyond the present coastline. Although today's glacier has retreated considerably, echoes of its frozen past are still apparent in the present landscape. The terminal face of the glacier is less than 300 metres above sea level and is just one of three to be this close to the coastline.
There are many short and longer walks within the glacier valley. For the more adventurous, local companies also offer opportunities for heli-hiking, caving, scenic flights, rafting, mountain biking and climbing.
Where to go: Franz Josef Glacier, Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast, 5 kilometres from Franz Josef township.
How to get there: From Franz Josef township drive south over the Waiho River bridge. Turn left after the bridge on to the Franz Josef Glacier Access Road. This road has an unsealed surface but is suitable for cars, campervans and buses.
When to go: Any time of year (please read safety guidelines for the area)
Find out more about the Franz Josef region.
10 Top Heritage Tours
A great way to find out about a new destination is to take a tour with the locals, who will really be able to give you an insider's perspective and a taste of the local heritage. We've selected ten great tours to give you some idea of what's available – you can see more tours running the length and breadth of New Zealand in our history and heritage tour listings.
- Kauri Museum, Matakohe - This award-winning museum tells the story of pioneering settlers though the lens of the kauri industry. The museum specializes in the legacy of kauri forests; specifically the strong durable timber and the highly prized kauri gum.
- Hawke's Bay Express, Napier - The Express invites you to a romantic atmosphere straight out of the opulent Art Deco era. An informative and witty commentary outlines the history of the 1931 earthquake and the city's Art Deco rebuild. You will gain insight into the region, locals' life and culture, achievements of New Zealanders and personal stories from the fifth generation Hawke's Bay family owners.
- Fly DC-3 Auckland - This tour is a firm favourite for aviation buffs, who know only too well that the elegant 30-seat DC-3 provides a nostalgic way to fly. On Sundays, the DC-3 is a familiar sight and sound in Auckland skies, operating scheduled 30-minute scenic flights from Ardmore.
- Tamaka Maori Village Rotorua -
- - Share in the Powhiri; an ancient ceremony of welcome. Enter a living Maori village, as it comes alive with the sights, sounds and activity of days gone by. Witness the lifting of the hangi. Enter the ancestral meeting house, relax as the family entertain you with a powerful cultural performance. Dine on traditional hangi buffet feast, followed by a farewell ceremony.
- Christchurch Double Decker City Tour - This is New Zealand's only open top double decker city tour through one of the most interesting city landscapes in the country. As you ride on a classic 1960s London open top double decker bus, you'll find out about Christchurch's fascinating history from the pioneering days through to modern day times and learn how Christchurch is recovering from the devastating February 22 earthquake.
- Albatross Colony Tour Dunedin - You may already have heard about the famous albatross colony on the Peninsula – the world's only mainland albatross. However, if you wish to witness and understand the fascination social and family life of the colony, then join a 60 minute guided wildlife tour. A proportion of your ticket goes directly towards the fostering and protection of the Northern Royal Albatross.
- Olveston Historic Home Tour Dunedin - Opened as a historic house museum in 1967, Olveston is a time capsule as little has changed inside the house since it was occupied as a family home between 1906 and 1966. Olveston is an authentic and original historic home depicting the life of a wealthy merchant family in the early part of the twentieth century. Olveston is open 364 days of the year, 9am - 5pm and entry is by guided tour only.
- Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Blenheim - Currently presenting the outstanding Knights of the Sky exhibition, which features Sir Peter Jackson's own collection of WW1 aircraft and artifacts. This story of aviation in the Great War is brought to life in sensational sets created by the internationally acclaimed talent of WingNut Films and Weta Workshop. Guided tours on request or self-guided.
- High Country Tour, Molesworth - Explore the stunning landscapes and lifestyle of the Marlborough high country region with a guided tour led by people who are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about Marlborough, Nelson, Canterbury, the West Coast region and Southland.
North Island History & Heritage Tours
South Island History & Heritage Tours
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
The world's largest ceremonial ware canoe, Ngātokimatawhaorua, is housed at the waka house near Hobson Beach at Waitangi. The 35-metre-long canoe needs a minimum of 76 paddlers to handle it safely on the water. It weighs 6 tonnes when dry and 12 tonnes when saturated. The waka was built as part of Ngāpuhi's contribution to mark the centenary of the Treaty of Waitangi's signing.