Free Travel Newsletter : October 2012
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Selina Wong from of China, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning "Kiwi Country New Zealand DVD".
There's something to suit every taste in these New Zealand highlights: find out about the brand new cycle trail in Queenstown, the garden spectacular in Taranaki, fine wines and flavours in Hawke's Bay, hiking near Kaikoura, the world movie premiere in Wellington and what it takes to become a human hamster (yes, that's hamster).
- Queenstown Cycle Trail Opens This Month
- Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular, 26th October - 4th November
- Food & Wine Classic, Hawke's Bay, 2nd - 11th November
- Calling All Movie Buffs
- Off the Beaten Track to... Mt Fyffe
- Test Your Travel IQ
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Queenstown Cycle Trail Opens This Month
The latest national cycle track, the Queenstown Trail, one of New Zealand's Great Rides opens this month. The route includes 110 kilometres of dedicated cycle tracks over easy to intermediate gradients and links some of the region's most popular tourist destinations. It is possible to cycle the whole trail or fractions of it for shorter rides and day trips.
The trail connects the Wakatipu Basin, Gibbston 'valley of vines', historic Arrowtown, Lake Hayes, Frankton and Queenstown Bay. Following rivers, lakes and old routes to reveal scenery not easily accessible by road, it can be enjoyed during all seasons. It includes 9 bridges, 8 over the Arrow and Kawarau rivers – areas of outstanding natural beauty. There are plenty of reasons to stop en route – great scenery plus wineries, cafes, restaurants and even a bungy jump or two! (There are plans to provide a bike taxi to take cyclists across the lake, up or down the river.)
Find out more about the new Great Ride – The Queenstown Cycle Trail.
Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular, 26th Oct - 4th Nov
One of the country's premium garden events celebrates its 25th anniversary in Taranaki this year. Taranaki is located on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island, midway between Auckland in the north and the capital city of Wellington in the south.
The festival showcases over 50 superb gardens created by local gardeners alongside a stimulating events programe including a Spring fashion show, Secret Dining, demonstrations and talks. One of the highlights includes the Peranakan Lights display which provides a fusion of Peranakan culture through a series of illuminated shapes.
View more about the Taranaki Garden Spectacular.
Food & Wine Classic, Hawke's Bay, 2nd - 11th November
Join fellow food and wine enthusiasts at New Zealand's newest summer highlight - a 10-day food and wine festival set in one of New Zealand's leading wine producing regions, Hawke's Bay on the North Island. Over 50 events cover everything from source to table, exclusive behind-the-scenes and hands-on experiences to grand winemaker dinners.
Events in the festival also include:
- New Zealand Olive Festival, 3rd November
- Maori Kai in the Bay, 10th November
- Hawke's Bay Farmers Market, 4th and 11th November
- Launch of Wineries Cycle Trail, 4th November
Find out more about the Food & Wine Classic.
Calling All Movie Buffs
Warner Bros has confirmed that the world premiere for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be held at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington (North Island) on the 28th November. Book your accommodation as soon as you can as large numbers of visitors to the capital city - named "the world's coolest little capital" by Lonely Planet - are expected.
About 40 different parts of New Zealand were used during location filming, although the exact details of most of them are being kept under wraps. It is known, however, that several public or national parks were used which are easily accessible to visitors. Other known locations include the alpine basins of the Mackenzie Country below New Zealand's highest mountain Aoraki Mt Cook, Nelson (Marlborough) and Waitomo (Central Plateau, North Island).
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be in movie theatres on 14th December 2012.
Book your Wellington accommodation online today.
Off the Beaten Track to... Mt Fyffe
Mt Fyffe is one of the lesser known mountains on the South Island lying just north of the coastal town of Kaikoura (known for its seafest, crayfish and winery). It offers keen hikers the opportunity for a long one-day return hike (or overnight hike). When you reach the summit of Mt Fyffe, you are rewarded with fantastic views of the Kaikoura Peninsula and the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges. Staying overnight to watch the sun set and rise is highly recommended...(more)
Test Your Travel IQ
Waiting for your plane, train or bus to arrive? If you have a few moments of downtime during your travels in New Zealand, test your wits with our online travel games. See if you can accurately pinpoint places on the world map including capital cities, find out how many national flags you recognise and how many of the world's beauty spots you know.
If you've been Down Under for a while, we recommend trying out your new-found knowledge with:
If the Amazing Race ever needs you, our games have all you need to know!
New Zealand Fast Facts
Zorbing was invented in New Zealand in 1994 by Dwane van der Sluis and Andrew Akers. Taking its inspiration from hamster exercise balls, zorbing also known as globe-riding, sphereing or orbing is the sport of rolling downhill inside an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. Speeds of up to 30km/h can be reached. The first zorbing site was established in Rotorua in New Zealand's North Island and this remains the home of zorbing.
Find out if you can become a human hamster and zorb in New Zealand!