Glaciers in New Zealand
Maori children
Northland, New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Sound
Routeburn Track
Boating in Taupo
Tongariro, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

Free Travel Newsletter : January 2015

Written by Steph Kendall

Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.

Lucky Subscriber

Congratulations to Rick Ehlert, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.

Make some great travels resolutions this year such as... visiting all of the places we've mentioned in Off the Beaten Track or trying out 10 Top places in New Zealand offering your favourite activity be it horse-riding, camping or wine tasting.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun doing it! We've highlighted some great – and very different - events to inspire you... Find out about:


Luminate Festival, Golden Bay

Luminate Festival, Golden Bay

Location: Canaan Downs, Takaka Hill
Date: 28 January – 4 February

Luminate is an earth friendly festival of music, art, dance, creativity and sustainability. You can join like-minded festival goers to celebrate the ancient summer harvest festival of Lughnasadgh, midway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox.

Returning for an epic sixth year, Luminate 2015 is a place to re-energise on the dancefloor, participate in workshops, be inspired about living sustainably, receive a massage, join in drumming around the fire, relax with a warm chai, watch an enlightening movie, be in harmony with nature, and celebrate a sense of conscious community.

Find out more at the Luminate Festival website.

Takapuna Summer Days, Auckland

Takapuna Summer Days, Auckland

Location: Auckland
Date: 31 January - 6 February

The Takapuna Beach Summer Days festival captures the spirit of the Kiwi summer and brings families together to celebrate, educate and compete on one of the most beautiful coasts in the world!

You can enjoy 7 days of music, food and family fun staring off with Sound Beach Event (for the over 18s), followed by the Family Beach Day. This free event features a flying fox, massive slide and Ferris wheel plus great music, food, classic American cars show, beach dig and sand art contest. Look out for the Waitangi Day celebration on February 6th when "Waitangi" fishing rods will be out in the Hauraki Gulf for the Snapper Festival - the country's first social media driven fishing contest.

More information at Takapuna Summer Days.

Kai Iwi Lakes Open Day, Waipoua

Kai Iwi Lakes Open Day, Waipoua

Location: Kai Iwi Lakes, Waipoua
Date: 1 February (11am – 4pm)

This community open and free day gives people a chance to appreciate what the Kai Iwi Lakes have to offer.

The Kai Iwi Lakes Water Ski Club will help people wanting to learn water skiing, while the Whitebait Connection will offer people the chance to go on a guided snorkel trail in Lake Taharoa, the biggest of the Kai Iwi Lakes. Hikuwai O Kaipara Waka Ama Club will be offering waka ama experiences and Sport Northland will be offering a Water Jogging activity. There'll also be guided walks, a dune lakes movie screening, fun games and an in water experience aimed at pre-schoolers. There really is something for everyone!

Visit the Whitebait Connection for more information.

Waitangi Day International Kai Festival, Nelson

Waitangi Day International Kai Festival, Nelson

Location: Nelson
Date: 6 February

Whakatū Marae celebrate Tiriti ō Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) through kai (food), opening our doors to the wider community, embracing the full meaning of working and living together, building stronger relationships and enriching our Māoritanga.

  • Welcoming ceremonies onto the Marae for new visitors
  • Pōwhiri: 11.00am (Gold Coin koha)
  • Entertainment: Kapa Haka and other cultural groups
  • Art Exhibition: Toi Whakairo- Maori Art & Crafts
  • Traditional foods to sell to the public in tasting portions of $3 or $6.

Find out more about this Waitangi Festival celebration or use Google to find a Waitangi celebration near you.

Waihi Bush Music Festival, Geraldine

Waihi Bush Music Festival, Geraldine

Location: Waihi Bush Organic Farm, 83 Burdon Rd, Woodbury, Geraldine
Date: 5 – 9 February

Turn up and camp out at one of the most laid back music festivals in New Zealand - a family orientated festival with lots of things for children to do. Featuring the best of local and international singer/songwriters and plenty of opportunities to perform in Blackboard Concerts. Entertainers include Julia Deans and acrobatic clown, Olli Ricken.

  • Thurs 5 Feb: Arrive anytime - evening welcome concert and bonfire late evening.
  • Friday 6 Feb: Workshops (acapella, tango, musical improvisation) in the morning, concerts in the afternoon, barn dance in the evening and bonfire late evening.
  • Sat 7 Feb: Workshops in the morning, concerts in the afternoon, Final concert followed by Tango Milonga and bonfire late evening.
  • Sun 8 Feb: Workshops and pack up (ends noon).
  • There is ample opportunity for everyone to perform, be it at the Blackboard concerts or late at night around the camp fire.

Food Onsite - Mamma's Kitchen - handmade authentic Inner Mongolian dumplings and more made to old family recipes. General admission $80 – you can buy tickets online.

Go See... Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson, 5km from the Fox Glacier in South Westland, New Zealand, is famous for its mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Settled in ancient forest, Matheson was formed about 14,000 years ago when the glacier retreated from the sea. Its excellent mirror-like reflecting properties are due to the dark brown colour of the waters (the result of organic matter leached from the forest floor).

When the lake is calm, the view from the Jetty Viewpoint as well as further round, is of the magnificent mountains which surround it. Usually, dawn and dusk are the best times of day to see the reflections. You can choose from two walks both from the carpark – to the jetty return or around the lake return. The first of these is suitable for assisted wheelchairs. A beautiful break during your journey along the West Coast (and a highly popular one for amateur and professional photographers).

Where to go: Lake Matheson, near Fox Glacier
How to get there: Turn onto Cook Flat Road in the middle of Fox Glacier Weheka township (this is well signposted). Travel 5 km along this road then turn right onto the side road to Lake Matheson..
When to go: Any time of year (dawn and dusk are the best viewing times)

New Zealand in Your Face!

Follow the New Zealand Tourism Guide on facebook and find out about things to do and see during your travels in New Zealand; enter competitions to win holiday and travel prizes and be inspired by some of the most beautiful photographs ever taken of New Zealand scenery.

New Zealand Fast Facts

Waitangi Day is a public holiday held on 6 February every year to commemorate the signing of New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Although New Zealand's national day, the commemoration has been the focus of protest by Māori activists and is often marred by controversy. However, communities throughout New Zealand celebrate with public concerts, festivals and marae open days.

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Featured

 
New Zealand Coach Tours

New Zealand Coach Tours

The largest range of escorted & small group tours

Boutique touring itineraries designed for you

Specialist NZ Tours

Boutique touring itineraries - designed for you

New Zealand self-drive tours

NZ Self-Drive Tours

Explore NZ on a custom self-drive package holiday

Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for independent travellers.