Free Travel Newsletter : February 2010
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
For adventurous romantics, February is a perfect time to celebrate not only Valentine's Day on the 14th with fine cuisine and dining, but to plan a wedding and honeymoon in New Zealand. You'll also find events throughout the country this month commerating New Zealand's national day, Waitangi Day on February 6th, as well as teddy bears' picnics, summer festivals, concerts and even a Highland games and tattoo. We've picked out a few of the main events below:
Find out about:
- Waitangi Day, New Zealand, 6th February
- Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Wellington, 26th Feb - 21st March
- Chinese New Year Festivals, Auckland 26 - 28th Feb, Christchurch 6 - 7th March
- Off the Beaten Track to... Te Urewera National Park
- Getting Married in New Zealand
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Waitangi Day, New Zealand, 6th February
Waitangi Day on the 6th February has been an annual public holiday since 1974 and commerates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document in 1840. Official celebrations are held at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands in Northland (North Island), but there are many other events throughout the country. Over 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the celebrations at Waitangi, which this year include:
- Maori cultural performances
- Speeches from Maori and Pakeha (European) dignitaries
- A re-launch of the world's largest Maori ceremonial waka (war canoe)
- Free three-day family festival of music, dance, sport, food and traditional Maori customs, including Ki-o-rahi, a Maori game that may be even older than rugby.
Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Wellington, 26th Feb - 21st March
The shapeshifter outdoor sculpture exhibition is a key visual arts feature of the New Zealand International Arts Festival and is on display daily at the TheNewDowse and Civic Gardens in Lower Hutt (10am – 5pm, Thursdays 10am – 8pm).
This exciting exhibition features over 80 works of contemporary indoor and outdoor sculpture by leading and emerging New Zealand artists. Bring a picnic, enjoy the gardens, listen to live music and view sculptures hanging from the trees, mounted in the streams and displayed in flowers beds and the orchid house. All proceeds go to charity ($5 entry, children free).
For more information and tickets, visit www.shapeshifter.org.nz.
Chinese New Year Festivals, Auckland 26 - 28th Feb, Christchurch 6 - 7th March
Join in the celebrations of the first full moon and the Year of the Tiger at beautifully atmospheric lantern festivals in Auckland and Christchurch. These free festivals feature lanterns and lantern-making demonstrations, traditional and contemporary Chinese music, Mongolian throat-singing and an 800 year-old rolling lantern folk dance... (more)
Off the Beaten Track to... Te Urewera National Park
Remote, rugged and immense, Te Urewera National Park lies between the Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay in the North Island of New Zealand. The park is famous for its lakes and forests, as well as its stormy history and is home to Lake Waikaremoana and one of New Zealand's Great Walks...(more)
Getting Married in New Zealand
Celebrate your wedding day, followed by a fantastic fun-filled and activity-packed honeymoon in New Zealand. The options for your wedding day itself are almost endless. You can take your vows in a beach, mountain-top, garden, lakeside or rainforest setting and have a formal or informal ceremony, depending on your own individual tastes and preferences.
Wedding planners, familiar with New Zealand wedding venues and wedding services, can help you create your dream wedding, choose the perfect location and help you plan a beautiful and romantic honeymoon. Find out more about wedding planning in New Zealand and say 'I do' to unforgettable memories and a very special day.
Couples residing outside of, but marrying within New Zealand, are required by law to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage. To apply for a marriage certificate in New Zealand see the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages Web site.
Find out more about getting married and weddings in New Zealand.
New Zealand Fast Facts
If you're looking for the sunniest spot in New Zealand head to Nelson in the north of the South Island. In 2009, Nelson officially recorded the most sunshine hours ahead of nearby Blenheim and Bay of Plenty hotspots in the North Island, Tauranga and Whakatane (and Te Puke, 'the kiwifruit capital' of New Zealand).
Make sure you sample both the wine produced in the lovely sunny Nelson region and some of the mouth-watering, delicious fruit grown throughout the country. By the way, the country's famous 'national' fruit, the kiwifruit, was first grown in New Zealand in the early 20th century from a Chinese vine. Hence, they were first marketed in the 1960s as Chinese gooseberries. They were renamed kiwifruits (after New Zealand's national kiwi bird) as exports increased.
Find out more about sunny weather in New Zealand.