Free Travel Newsletter : March 2015
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Michelle Frost, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
With Easter holidays fast approaching, we've picked out some great events and days out for travellers and local families that the kids will love. The fairs, festivals and outdoor challenges epitomise the great variety of activities to be enjoyed across the country whether on holiday, on school holidays or simply on the weekend!
Read more about:
- CubaDupa - Street Festival of Cuba St
- EcoWest and EcoNorth Festivals
- Absolute Wilderness Adventure Race
- Wakefield Apple Fair
- Go See... Kakamatua Inlet, Manukau Harbour
- 10 Top Family Days Out
- New Zealand Fast Facts
CubaDupa - Street Festival of Cuba St
Location: Cuba Street, Wellington
Date: 28 – 29 March
CubaDupa is Wellington's new, vibrant street festival reviving the epic creative spirit of Cuba Street and the Wellington community. The city's most iconic street will be transformed to a magical interactive playground of delight, sound and taste.
In true Street Festival-style the premise of CubaDupa is that the audience help create the show. CubaDupa will kick off at 12pm Saturday with a mass choir involving six different choirs starting from different areas of the festival site and processioning through the streets converging to come together to sing a piece especially created for CubaDupa.
Stages will be dotted around the site and throughout the day and evening performers will appear at various times on stages and on the street forming many small processions and vignettes. With over 60 different food experiences, Cuba St will turn into a large outdoor café! Join the celebration and do the CubaDupa!
EcoWest and EcoNorth Festivals
Location: North Shore and West Auckland, Auckland
Date: 28 - 29 March
EcoWest Festival is a month-long series of events celebrating West Auckland's commitment to sustainability and its unrivalled natural landscape. From Saturday March 14 - Sunday April 12 there are over 40 innovative and creative events to take part in - discover, learn, make, and regenerate all across the West.
EcoWest Festival rounds up with EcoDay on Sunday April 12 from 11am to 4pm in Olympic Place, New Lynn. It's a day of fun, food, learning and entertainment.
During the month, the Ecofest North Festival presents:
- home-spun and expert tips, talks and workshops that inspire better living
- community-building races, challenges and fun-days promoting neighbourhood care
- a showcase of volunteer-led environmental actions that are transforming wild and urban nature-spaces
For information visit the EcoFest website.
Absolute Wilderness Adventure Race
Location: Recreation Centre, Hampden Street, Murchison
Date: Friday 3 April
This is an authentic achievable adventure race for teams of 3-people, either male or mixed teams. As a team, you'll navigate your way through the course visiting a series of checkpoints (CP) using just a map and a compass (no GPS). Once you reach all the checkpoints, teams go to the finish line. The race is made up of a number of stages of rafting, mountain biking and hiking. At the end of each discipline there is a transition area (TA), this is where your team will meet your support crew, who have driven ahead and prepared your gear for the next stage, they may even have boiled the billy to make you a coffee.
If you're a first time adventure racer, the 3-hour event is a good kick off. Keep in mind this is the projected winning time, teams on the 3-hour event tend to take 3-6 hours to finish the tasks. The 6-hour event an intermediate adventure race and is a step up with teams on course typically for 6-10-hours. The 12-hour event, well, that pretty speaks for itself.
Sound like your sort of challenge? Visit www.springchallenge.co.nz to find out more!
Wakefield Apple Fair
Location: Willow Bank 79 Wakefield-Kohatu Highway, Wakefield
Date: Sunday 12 April
It's a local celebration of apples! Be a part of this emerging and unique annual event - the Wakefield Apple Fair is a family-friendly joyful afternoon in the style of yesteryear fairs. Willow Bank Heritage Village, just South of Wakefield on the highway toward Christchurch comes alive for this free community event. Celebrate our rich apple harvest by turning apples into juice. The Wakefield Apple Fair encourages people to bring along their own apples or use those provided, lend a hand to volunteer and, using both vintage and modern equipment, create pure apple juice to take home. Don't forget to bring containers to transport your juice. Starts 12.30pm (free admission).
The exciting apple presses and delicious juice are joined by:
- Market stalls, arts, crafts, plants
- Variety of food featuring traditional apple recipes
- Children's games and activities
- Live music
Go See... Kakamatua Inlet, Manukau Harbour
A great place to escape the city, enjoy a bite to eat and watch the waves. The Kakamatua Inlet has been described as one of the hidden treasures of Auckland's West Coast. Located between Cornwallis and Huia, the Kakamatua Inlet in the Manukau Harbour looks towards Manukau Heads, Wattle Bay and Orua Bay.
Access to the Kakamatua Inlet is via a small car park and a ten minute walk to the beach. The Inlet can be sighted as you come out of the bush and go around the corner by the stream. At the beach you will see the rocky shoreline and most interesting formations that have been formed by thousands of years' exposure to the elements.
If you enjoy a hike, the 30 minute walk from Cornwallis Road along the Kakamatua Inlet Track (a steep, clay track) leads down to the Kakamatua Inlet. The track is suitable for people of reasonable fitness and experience.
Where to go: Kakamatua Inlet, Cornwallis Regional Park, Waitakere Ranges
How to get there: Take the north-western motorway to the Great North Road exit. Follow Great North Road onto Ash Street which leads onto Rata Street. Take Titirangi Road right through Titirangi Village to the roundabout; take Huia Road and Cornwallis is signposted off it to the left.
When to go: Any time of year
View more about the Waitakere region in Auckland.
10 Top Family Days Out
Perfect for families visiting New Zealand with their children or for locals wanting to find an educational day out during the school holidays or at the weekend. Our ten top fun family days out cater for almost every interest from vintage cars to chocolate, from archaeology to aviation.
- Agrodome - Head to the best sheep show in New Zealand at Agrodome in Rotorua. All the sheep breeds, shearing and sheepdog demonstrations. Guided tours of Agrodome farm. Woollenmill, carding and spinning. Authentic shearing shed/museum. And there's more too with fast, crazy and major fun in jetboats, bungy, freefall and zorbing!
- Buried Village - Experience New Zealand's most visited archaeological site in Rotorua where stories of the 1886 Tarawera Eruption come to life. Encounter the world-class Museum of Te Wairoa which exhibits excavated objects from the ruins; explore the site which once housed the people of Te Wairoa; hear unique stories from the tour guides and take the Waterfall Trail which showcases the stunning Wairere Falls.
- Crystal Mountain - World-class crystal and mineral museum set in the foothills of the Waitakere ranges, just a 20-minute drive from Auckland City. Amazing fossils, the biggest and most unusual selection of crystals and minerals in New Zealand, café, farm animals, dinosaur gully and children's playgrounds.
- Howick Historical Village - Relax in the tranquil and rustic surroundings of a 1850s settlement. This living museum is on a five-acre site and includes 30 buildings set up to show life as it was in early Auckland. Wander at your own pace, chat to our costumed staff and savour the home cooked food at the Homestead Cafe. Open seven days.
- Kauri Museum - The Kauri Museum in Matakohe tells the fascinating story of pioneering settlers through the theme of kauri. Experience the awesome history of the mighty kauri, its beautiful timber and kauri gum. One of Northland's best heritage attractions and a great day out for the whole family.
- Arrion Farm Education Park, Christchurch - See, touch, and feed a variety of farm animals and learn about their history and contribution to the New Zealand economy. Bring out the children to hand feed and learn about the animals. Pony rides and children's parties are also options, as well as picnics or barbeques.
- Omaka Classic Cars - Omaka Classic Cars in Blenheim showcases vehicles from the 1950s to the 1980s – a time of carefree, wild, individual design oozing with charisma, chrome and large grilles. The nostalgia envelops you as you revisit this era through the cars on display. Austins, Zodiacs, Fords, Holdens, Jaguars and much more.
- Chocolate Factory - Ignite the senses with a tour of Cadbury World in Dunedin, where you can see it, smell it, try it and buy chocolate. Learn about the chocolate making process, the history of chocolate and Cadbury in New Zealand and experience a unique Chocolate Fall. Tours run at different times concluding in the retail store.
- Shanty Town - One of New Zealand's premier heritage attractions on the West Coast of the South Island. A faithfully restored 1900s pioneer town, born out of and stimulated by the West Coast gold rushes of the 1860s. Ride the steam train through beautiful native bush to a gold claim and pan for gold!
- Wanaka Transport and Toy Museum - This fascinating collection houses one of the largest private collections in the world. A nostalgic selection of toys has something to fascinate everyone, such as clockwork and battery powered toys, porcelain dolls, teddy bears, pedal cars and money boxes. There are also indoor and outdoor playing areas with pedal tractors and trucks for the kids.
North Island Family Days Out
South Island Family Days Out
New Zealand Fast Facts
120 million chocolate bars are sold in New Zealand every year, 60 million of these are made by Cadbury and on average each New Zealander consumes 4 kg of chocolate annually. The Easter egg market is worth $30 million. Chocolate... available all over New Zealand!