Free Travel Newsletter : February 2015
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Pamela Jensen, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
It's a great month for cricket and comedy for Kiwis and visitors alike – with cricket matches and Fringe comedy in locations through the country, you can literally laugh and cheer your way around New Zealand! And for a taste of truly iconic festivals, why not stop into two of the world's premier events in shearing and Kapa Haka.
Read more about:
- ICC Cricket World Cup, New Zealand
- Aik 'N' Sides - Fringe to Fringe to Fringe Tour, New Zealand
- The Golden Shears, Masterton
- Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2015, Christchurch
- Go See... Mermaid Pools, Tutukaka Coast
- 10 Top Sailing & Boating Adventures
- New Zealand Fast Facts
ICC Cricket World Cup, New Zealand
Date: 14 February - 24 March
The fourth-largest sporting event in the world is coming to New Zealand in February, so there's no better time for cricket fans to visit. Watched by an estimated quarter of the world's population - an audience of over two billion - the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup is a perfect way to watch the game and tour the country. Travelling spectators can take in all New Zealand has to offer with 27 matches shared among the seven host cities: Auckland, Hamilton, Napier and Wellington in the North Island and Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin. There is plenty to see, do and explore between the big games, with lots of exciting events happening around the host venues.
Aik 'N' Sides - Fringe to Fringe to Fringe Tour, New Zealand
Date: 28 February – 21 March
Fresh from a hugely successful Christchurch Fringe showing, Aiken Hutcheson brings Aik 'n' Sides to various locations throughout New Zealand. Along for the ride once again are two of the rising stars in the flourishing Christchurch comedy scene, Cameron McLeod and Snap. The show has been accepted into the Dunedin and Auckland Fringe Festivals, as well as the New Zealand Fringe Festival held in Wellington.
Not content with just hitting the Fringe Circuit, these ambitious young comics have decided to use their spare time between Auckland and Wellington, touring down the east coast of the North Island. The trio will be hitting Tuaranga, Whakatane, Gisborne, Napier and other locations.
The boys will be filming their antics on tour and releasing an episode each night, so keep an eye out on Youtube for the Fringe to Fringe to Fringe Web-series.
Click here to book tickets.
The Golden Shears, Masterton
Location: Masterton, Wairarapa
Date: 5 - 7 March
Head to the world's premier shearing and wool handling championship in Masterton, 'capital' of New Zealand's Wairarapa region. This three day event encompasses novice, junior, intermediate, senior and open shearing competitions along with junior, senior and open wool handling events and singles wool pressing competitions, as well as the coveted triathlon award.
For participating shearers, the wool handlers and wool pressers, the dreams are still the same as those of the championship's pioneers in 1961 – to strive, compete fairly, win your grade and become supreme champion of Golden Shears.
View more information on the Golden Shears website.
Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2015, Christchurch
Location: North Hagley Park, Christchurch
Date: 4 - 8 March
Every two years, Te Matatini organises the Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, where top kapa haka teams from New Zealand and Australia compete for the honour of being crowned the best of the best. The festival started in 1972 and is now the world's largest celebration of Māori traditional performing arts, attracting over 30,000 performers, supporters and visitors.
The festival is a whanau friendly, smoke, alcohol and drug free event. It is an opportunity for all people, regardless of culture, background or age to come together, to share and celebrate the richness of Māori culture.
Over four days audiences can witness the best kapa haka in the world, taste Māori and local southern delicacies, shop for Māori arts and crafts and experience cultural exhibitions and workshops.
Find out more about Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival.
Go See... Mermaid Pools, Tutukaka Coast
Pack your beach shoes and discover the beautiful Mermaid Pools at Matapouri Bay (a ten minute drive from Tutukaka). The bay and beach is picture postcard material – a spectacular white sandy beach which is popular with holidaying families. The river estuary is restful and provides a safe swimming spot (there is also a store, playground, tennis courts, parking and toilets).
The horseshoe shape of the bay is so perfect that sometimes waves crash along the whole length of its shores at the same time. At the right side of the bay, you can explore the estuary (locals jump off the bridge at high tide). To the left, climb through a tunnel and scramble over rocks to the Mermaid Pools – you will definitely need your shoes for this.
From the bay, you can also walk over the hill to Whale Bay, a small calm bay perfect for a lazy swim and sunbathe. Poor Kings Island, a word-renowned diving spot can also be visited from Tutukaka Harbour, from where daily diving and sightseeing boats depart.
Where to go: Matapouri Bay is on the Tutukaka Coast is located north east of Whangarei City in Northland (North Island)
How to get there: Driving takes approximately 2.5 hours from Auckland when heading north, or 1 hour from the Bay of Islands when heading south. Driving time from Whangarei city is 20 minutes
When to go: Any time of year
View more about the Tutukaka region in Northland.
10 Top Sailing & Boating Adventures
Experience the wind in your hair, the taste of salt on your lips and feel the sun on your skin as you see and experience adventure on the waters around New Zealand. Sailing and boat charters make for some very memorable holiday moments.
- Charterlink - You can enjoy the beautiful waters of New Zealand's cruising playground with a boating holiday - bareboat (sail yourself) or charter a sailboat from CharterLink Auckland and explore the magic of the Hauraki Gulf or sail further to the Bay of Islands.
- Chris Jolly Outdoors - Cruise to Maori rock carvings and around the picturesque bays of Lake Taupo, listen to a commentary on the volcanic history and Maori mythology surrounding Lake Taupo and take in the fabulous views of secluded bays and the spectacular snow-capped mountain peaks of the World Heritage Tongariro National Park.
- Generation Yacht Charters - Find out why Auckland 'City of Sails' is such a great place to experience sailing. Join a Generation Yacht Charter for half-day and full-day sailing trips with a friendly, experienced crew on a Jeanneau Sun Fast 36 yacht, designed in France and built in Australia.
- Gungha Bay of Island Sailing - Enjoy a sailing and scenic tour on a modern, New Zealand built, go-fast ocean sailing yacht - fast, stable and fully equipped with a wide range of modern sailing and navigational gear. If you're keen to sail the boat, just ask. A friendly ocean-trained crew will help... or you can simply relax and enjoy.
- Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures - Experience the joy of sailing while taking in the fantastic sights of the Abel Tasman National Park. Yachts are fun, sail fast and stable. The large, open, flat decks allow you to relax and enjoy the wind in your hair.
- Akaroa Sailing Cruises - Join Captain Ray on a 47 foot beautifully maintained rare classic ocean sailing yacht (original 1946 vintage). This is one of the last 'A-Class' keelers to be built sailing from beautiful Akaroa, known for its Hector's dolphins and little blue penguins.
- Cruise Te Anau - Enjoy a three hour discovery cruise to the beautiful and tranquil South Fiord of Lake Te Anau where you will view spectacular mountains and breathtaking scenery. Experience the Fiordland rainforest on a gentle guided nature walk to discover the Hidden Lakes.
- Elwing Discoveries - Head to the sheltered waters of the many inlets of the Rakiura National Park and the exposed wilderness at Stewart Island on the locally owned 14m yacht Elwing.
- Million Dollar Cruise - Go on a memorable Queenstown Lake Cruise with The Million Dollar Cruise. You will travel across Lake Wakatipu right to the end of the Lake (and it doesn't cost a million dollars).
- Steadfast Traditional Sail - Experience the joys of sailing on Steadfast built on the lines of the Jolie Brise, the famous French pilot cutter from 1913. Explore the remote bays and islands of the outer Marlborough Sound by traditional sail.
North Island Sailing & Boating
South Island Sailing & Boating
New Zealand Fast Facts
Godfrey Bowen MBE was a legendary Kiwi sheep shearer, who transformed shearing through developing the Bowen Technique adopted by shearers all over the world. On January 6, 1953 Godfrey broke the world record for shearing sheep: 456 full-wool sheep in nine hours. In 1960, he was to shear 559 Welsh mountain sheep in nine hours, one of his most famous and remarkable feats.
The UK Guardian wrote of him: "Godfrey Bowen's arms flow with the grace of a Nureyev shaping up to an arabesque, or a Barbirolli bringing in the cellos. Watching him shear is even more remarkable that seeing a finely tuned machine."
To the present day, New Zealand shearers are regarded as the best in the world. In any given year approximately one third of all British sheep are shorn by New Zealanders. The shearers get to see the world; the farmers get the best. This is due to the way shearing is viewed in New Zealand: as a science and an art.