Free Travel Newsletter : September 2016
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Linda Wilkinson, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
New Zealand celebrates its global appeal with an array of multicultural events for both New Zealanders and international visitors to enjoy. This October you can enjoy a Mexican style Day of the Dead at the first ever Mexican festival in New Zealand, raise a stein and sing along to an Oompah band and shake your hips Bollywood-style during Diwali celebrations in Auckland.
But whatever you do, make sure you enjoy all our many Kiwi cultural delights while you are here! We've listed ten of the iconic things about New Zealand that should be on anyone's bucket list (we struggled to stop at just ten!).
Read more about:
- Oktoberfest at Rosebank
- 2016 Auckland Diwali Festival
- New Zealand Tourism Guide on Instagram
- Go See... Frog Rock, Canterbury
- 10 Top Kiwi Cultural Experiences
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Location: The Cloud, Queens Wharf, Auckland
Date: Saturday 29 October, 8.30am – 10.00pm
Enjoy the very first Mexican festival in New Zealand! It includes Mariachi, Aztec dance performance, Mexican folk dance, delicious authentic Mexican food (including famous and traditional drinks), arts & crafts for children, make-up artists, contests, a great Day of the Dead Altar Exhibition and much, much more.
For more details and to book early bird tickets, visit the MexFestival website.
Oktoberfest at Rosebank
Location: Rosebank Estate, 180 Johns Road, Christchurch
Date: Saturday 1 and Saturday 8 October
Rosebank's 6th Annual Oktoberfest takes place this year on two Saturdays in October. Oompah Band, Oktoberfest music, lots of German beer and food and buildings and tents decorated in authentic Oktoberfest colours to create a fantastic atmosphere. It's smaller than the real thing in Bavaria, but just as much fun and atmosphere.
And don't worry if you can't make it to Christchurch, the Oktoberfest vibe extends to Auckland too. There are festivals at the following locations:
- Riverhead Tavern, Cnr Queen and York Streets, West Auckland - Dress up and come join in the festivities at the Oktoberfest held in conjunction with DB Breweries and the Riverhead Tavern.
- Brewtober, Auckland - This short festival (30 September and 1 October) celebrates New Zealand craft beer as well as Beerfest food. The Jordan Luck Trio will be belting out some awesome Kiwi music both nights.
2016 Auckland Diwali Festival
Location: Aotea Square, Queen St, CBD, Auckland
Date: 15-16 October (12.00pm)
Enjoy the flavours, sights and sounds of Indian culture in the heart of Auckland. This family-friendly festival celebrates traditional and contemporary Indian culture in all its forms. Live music, dance, street theatre and puppetry performances, food and craft stalls, the hotly contested Radio Tarana Bollywood dance competition and art workshops for kids.
This year's international performers include Kathak dancer and Assamese film actress Meghranjani Medhi (Tumi Dusokut Kajol Lole, Anuradha); Ahmedabad paper cut artist Parth Kothekar; and Gond art demonstration and workshop with renowned artist Venkat Shyam.
Visit the Diwali Auckland 2016 website for more information!
New Zealand Tourism Guide on Instagram
The New Zealand Tourism Guide Instagram page can be accessed in a number of ways:
- Navigate from our Instagram icon – the one that looks like a camera - at the top of our home page (http://www.tourism.net.nz/)
- Click on the link https://www.instagram.com/newzealandtourismguide/
- Enter "new zealand tourism guide" in the search box on Instagram
You can then see our beautiful New Zealand photographs posted by New Zealand Tourism Guide staff and travellers. Each image attracts its own 'likes' and our contributors have already been asked to give permissions to share their creative work further.
You can share your New Zealand travel pics with us (and other Instagrammers) simply by following our page and using #newzealandtourismguide or tag us for a repost and photo credit. www.tourism.net.nz.
Go See... Frog Rock, Canterbury
Canterbury, a region in New Zealand's South Island is renowned for vast expanses of untouched coastlines, sweeping Canterbury Plains, braided rivers and sky-piercing mountains. It is also known for its impressive limestone rock formations, which include Castle Hill, Cave Stream, the Cathedrals and the much-loved Frog Rock.
This highlight is a great excuse to stop the car as you travel along State Highway 7 between the towns of Waipara and Waikari. As its name suggests this distinctive limestone formation located in the Weka Pass gorge has taken a surprisingly life-like frog shape! Not far away is its sister rock, The Seal.
Stop at Waikari too for a bite to eat and to check out the Weka Pass Historic Reserve Walkway. And if you are there on the first or last Sunday of the month, you can take a trip on the historic Weka Pass Railway. This volunteer-run, rural railway uses both vintage steam and diesel-electric locomotives on 12.8 km of scenic line through the unique limestone beauty of the Weka Pass.
- Where to go: State Highway 7 (Weka Pass), Canterbury
- When to go: All year (1st and 3rd Sundays for the Weka Pass Railway)
Find out more about the Canterbury region.
10 Top Kiwi Cultural Experiences
The wonderful thing about exploring any destination is discovering those cultural experiences which make a country unique – they may range from the big events (the A&P shows, wine festivals, the Matariki (Maori New Year) celebrations) to the smallest flavour (tiny whitebait for example), but each cultural experience should be treasured.
- Maori hangi - Experience a hangi, a cooking method used by Maori for over 2,000 years by which food is cooked over hot stones buried in a pit. It is now a method used mainly for special occasions, but in centres like Rotorua, visitors can experience a hangi at Maori cultural experiences.
- Abel Tasman National Park - Opened in 1942, Abel Tasman National Park is the smallest of the country's national parks, but renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and its world-famous coast track. Kayaking and hiking are popular activities that help visitors take in the most of its picture-postcard scenery.
- Fly fishing - Snatch a few hours, days or weeks for fly fishing in New Zealand and you still won't run out of rivers, streams and lakes. Known as some of the best fly fishing grounds in the world, the North Island offers abundant rainbow trout territory, the South Island brown trout.
- Fish and chips - If you aren't much of a dab hand with a rod and reel, then why not enjoy a much easier, traditional favourite, a fish and chips supper. Enjoy snapper, hoki and terakihi with hot, fresh chips – and lashings of vinegar – perfect for balmy, evenings at the beach.
- Hiking - New Zealand is one of the best destinations in the world for hikers, climbers and walkers. Our famous Great Walks (including one river journey) will take you through some of the country's most awe-inspiring landscapes, through native forests, lakes and rivers to rugged mountain peaks, deep gorges and vast valleys.
- Pineapple lumps - These sweets are an acquired taste – soft, chewy pineapple flavoured-centres covered in chocolate. First made in Oamaru in the early 1950s and now identified as 'kiwiana.' Cheap, easy souvenirs to bring home for anyone with a sweet tooth. Other 'famous' Kiwi confectionary includes: chocolate-covered mallow fish, peanut slabs and jaffas (tiny orange chocolates which even have their own festival!).
- Bluff oysters - Another foodstuff which has its own festival. In May, oyster lovers descend on the small coastal town of Bluff in the far south of the South Island to savour the biggest, juiciest and tastiest oysters in the world.
- Bungy jumping - Perhaps not to be experienced directly after eating oysters, bungy jumping is one of the high-adrenalin activities for which New Zealand is famous. The first commercial bungy jump - a jump from the Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown - was set up in the 1980s (by AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch). Now you can leap from bridges, climbs, rail viaducts, specially made platforms perched on the edge of cliffs and stadium roofs all over the country (if you feel the need too!).
- Waitomo glowworms - Marvel at the little glowworms that light up the subterranean world of Waitomo. The glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. In Waitomo, a world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms has become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history.
- Hokey-pokey ice cream - We're back to food again, but there doesn't seem to be an ice cream quite like this anywhere else in the world. Sweet, gooey and gorgeous – it's... as sweet as.
Share Your Experience
If you have had a particular experience during your stay in New Zealand unlike anything else, why not let us know. We've picked out a few to give you some ideas!
New Zealand Fast Facts
The use of tobacco for smoking in New Zealand has been subjected to government regulation for a number of decades. On 10 December 2004, New Zealand became the third country in the world to make all indoor workplaces including bars and restaurants smoke-free. The smoking rates have dropped from roughly 28% of the population in 1990 to 21% at the current time.