Free Travel Newsletter : October 2009
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
The blue skies and sunshine days of the New Zealand spring see lambs frolicking in the fields, buds and blossoms covering the country and a host of festivals celebrating the season. There's no better time to pack up your hiking boots and for fans of white water rafting, melting spring snow creates exciting, challenging and high river levels...
Find out about:
- Dunedin Rhododendron Festival, 18th - 26th October
- Off the Beaten Track to... Tongariro National Park
- White Water Rafting
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Dunedin Rhododendron Festival, 18th - 26th October
The Dunedin Rhododendron Festival includes garden fetes, garden tours, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, garden parties and other recreational events held in Dunedin and the surrounding area between 18th – 26th October. This horticultural celebration focuses on one of the world’s most significant plantings of rhododendrons, the Botanic Gardens' Rhododendron Dell, which covers over 15 acres of land and has over 3500 rhododendrons, comprising of 178 species and over 200 named hybrids.
Find out more about the Dunedin Rhododendron Festival 2009.
Off the Beaten Track to... Tongariro National Park
Whilst not exactly taking you into the back of beyond, the World Heritage Tongariro National Park is well worth a visit, especially if you enjoy hiking, skiing, mountain biking and kayaking. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a famous one-day hike, described as one of the best in New Zealand, which crosses alpine meadows, lunar landscapes, emerald lakes and active volcanoes... (more).
White Water Rafting
White water rafting is a popular all-year round outdoor sport in New Zealand with rivers and rafting operations throughout the country. In the spring, the snow-melt means that rivers have higher than average water levels and can prove particularly exciting for experienced and expert paddlers /rafters. However, a range of rivers and trips are available to suit families, social groups and novices too.
Rafting is a great way to access often remote and isolated regions of the country, with some rivers requiring helicopter access. It’s important to select an appropriate river (and rafting company) for your group to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time out on the water. A rafting guide is recommended for all trips and whilst safety gear is provided by your tour operator, you should take a towel, swimsuit and extra snacks with you. Rafting can be hungry work!
New Zealand Fast Facts
New Zealand does not have an official plant or flower, although the silver fern appears as the symbol of many New Zealand sports teams such as the All Blacks. The Kowhai is considered by many to be the national flower and is a beautiful golden flower, which produces nectar drunk by the native tui bird. The other contender for the title of New Zealand’s national flower is the Pohutukawa. Although the Pohutukawa is actually a tree, it has gorgeous red flowers, which bloom around Christmas earning it the nickname, ‘The New Zealand Christmas Tree.’