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Penguin Info for Awareness Day

Jan 17, 2018 — Travel New Zealand

Penguin Info for Awareness Day
If you aren’t a fan of adorable penguins and their shenanigans, you should stop reading now. But who doesn’t love penguins?

With Penguin Awareness Day happening on January 20, we thought we’d update you on some of the places you can see the cute little fellas in New Zealand – and remind you about one particularly naughty penguin named Timmy.


New activities in New Zealand—The land of the long white cloud

Jan 12, 2018 — Travel New Zealand

Night Tour -- Waimarino Group
Lake Rotoiti Starlight Kayaking Experience
Bay of Plenty tourism operator, Waimarino Group, has developed an exciting five-hour kayaking experience in Rotorua that includes a lake kayak, a visit to a glow-worm cave, and a gourmet barbecue dinner for groups of up to 40 people.

Enjoy an evening adventure, kayaking out over one of New Zealand’s most stunning waterways, Lake Rotoiti. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, abundant birdlife, and learn the myths and legends linked to the area, before kayaking over to the stunning Manupirua Hot Pools. Here, you are provided with a sumptuous gourmet barbeque dinner. Then – as the sun goes behind the hills, you adventure out to the magical glow-worm cave to see the glow worms and learn about their life cycles and legends. On the way back, you can see how the lake is transformed by the moon and the twinkling Southern Sky stars above, giving you the perfect end to a memorable adventure.

The price is $235 NZD (approx. $212 Cdn) per person.


Three Reasons to Visit New Zealand in 2018

Dec 28, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Rotorua is New Zealand’s first bilingual city
With 2018 just around the corner, many travellers are thinking about where to go next. Now is a great time to start planning a trip to New Zealand. Renowned for its cinematic landscapes, kilometres of pristine coastline and welcoming locals, the Land of the Long White Cloud also offers a great deal to do, see and experience. And whether you’re visiting for adventurous pursuits or have more refined pleasures in mind, you’ll find these three reasons to start planning a trip to New Zealand to be more than a little compelling.


Celebrate 150 years of beer on the wild West Coast

Dec 21, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Monteith’s celebrates its 150th anniversary of bringing beer to Kiwis
One of New Zealand’s wildest destinations, the rugged West Coast of the South Island, has traditionally been the haunt of tough mountain men, women and miners. Back in the day, one of the main things that kept the early pioneers happy was beer. Monteith’s Brewing Company has been there from the beginning, refreshing the thirsty throngs who were hardy and adventurous enough to call the West Coast home.

In 2018, Monteith’s celebrates its 150th anniversary of bringing beer to Kiwis. It has quite a few parties planned and will introduce a few new beers, specially brewed to mark the occasion.


Rich & Famous-Style Accommodation in New Zealand

Nov 24, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Lodge at The Hills
Luxury homes in New Zealand’s most idyllic locales offer those with a lot of discretionary income to experience a slice of Kiwi heaven. They attract both famous (from Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga) to more low-profile visitors. What all of the guests have in common is the wish to rest and relax in luxurious comfort on their vacation.

Southern Paradise

Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have both taken time out from their schedules (not together) to soak up the southern splendour of Queenstown at Lodge at The Hills. Located in The Hills golf course – and owned by Kiwi jewellery king Sir Michael Hill – this spot is worthy of such high-profile guests. The six-suite estate includes an art studio, music and media room, and a wine cellar dining room. It boasts a heated infinity pool, spa pool, sauna, private golf course and outdoor fireplace. Sound good? It should – the high-season rate is $32,250 NZD (approx. $28,150 Cdn) per night.


New Zealand Tour Operators Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries

Nov 17, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

TranzAlpine train journey
TranzAlpine Train Celebrates 30th Anniversary

One of New Zealand’s most beloved tourism experiences, the iconic TranzAlpine train journey is celebrating 30 years of operation. Named one of the most scenic train rides in the world by international publications such as National Geographic Traveler magazine, the TranzAlpine is one of New Zealand’s three great rail journeys operated by KiwiRail.


New Short Walks and Day Hikes in New Zealand

Nov 10, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

New Short Walks and Day Hikes in New Zealand
Cape Foulwind Walkway
Get your hiking shoes on. New Zealand’s profile as a walking and hiking destination has been amplified with two new networks of walking tracks known as short walks and day hikes. Alongside New Zealand’s highly popular Great Walks network of nine multi-day trails (soon to become 10), these 14 short walks and 5 day hikes provide a great new (and complementary) offering for walkers looking for shorter, more manageable experiences.


A New Zealand Tree Goes Viral

Nov 2, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
A lone tree that grew from a fence post in the South Island of New Zealand has become an unlikely and incredibly popular social media sensation. The straggly crack willow tree on the shores of Lake Wanaka is thought to be at least 80 years old. Recently, this tree has stepped into a global spotlight and become a social media star – with some staying power. Known as #thatwanakatree, it is attracting both professional and amateur photographers from around the world, looking for that perfect shot of the tree – that often looks like it is growing right out of the lake.


Top Immersive Wine Experiences in New Zealand

Oct 30, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

The Brancott Estate Heritage Centre overlooking Brancott Vineyard -- Photo: John Doogan
What do oysters, bicycles, helicopters and foraging for local ingredients have to do with wine? So much! While visitors and locals alike can expect great wine in New Zealand, the new, experiential offerings below – which range from luxury to affordable – provide an exceptional opportunity for wine lovers, of all budgets.


Bryce Dallas Howard’s Top Five Essential New Zealand Pleasures

Oct 29, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Bryce Dallas Howard’s Top Five Essential New Zealand Pleasures-- Queenstown Ridge
My early memories of New Zealand from when I was quite little are of a magical, kind-of mystical place. I’ve been so fortunate to return, thanks to my career, and every time I come back, the more I discover and my love for this place just grows deeper.

To truly experience New Zealand, you have to get out: first, to meet the people and feel the vibe; then, to get off the beaten track to immerse yourself in the landscape. It’s about the same size as California but there’s this extraordinary variety from one place to another.


The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail

Oct 17, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

In Central Otago, New Zealand’s pinot noir heartland, you can stroll through several exceptional vineyards on a new walking wine tour: The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail. The self-paced, independent tour takes those interested in learning more about the wines of the region to visit four premium wine-tasting rooms. The 8-kilometre loop trail includes Misha’s Vineyard, Aurum Wines, Scott Base and Wooing Tree Vineyard, as well as captures some wonderful scenery through orchards and around Lake Dunstan.

The walking time on the trail is approximately 90 minutes in total (at an average pace) and can be completed in 3.5 hours, including tasting stops. At three of the tasting rooms, there are lunch platters available – or you have the option of bringing your own picnic and finding a scenic spot. As well as tasting Central Otago’s famous pinot noir, wine selections include pinot gris, rosé, Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, riesling, sparkling and dessert-style wines and port. For those who prefer hops over grapes, there is a beer option at one of the tasting rooms.

The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail is free. The only costs that may be incurred are wine-tasting fees, as well as optional food purchases.


New Waterfall Climb in New Zealand

Oct 5, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Wildwire Wanaka’s Lord of the Rungs experience needs to be seen to be believed. It adds a new high to New Zealand’s adventure tourism experiences.

Wild, wet and 450 metres high – Wildwire Wanaka’s Lord of the Rungs is the world’s highest via ferrata waterfall climb and New Zealand’s newest adventure thrill. It opened in September.

Alongside the spectacular Twin Falls shooting down a sheer rocky hillside, near the South Island alpine resort town of Wanaka, the via ferrata system of rungs and cables rises a near perpendicular 450m above the valley floor, taking climbers on a six to seven-hour adventure that ends with a heli flight descent.


Celebs Love to Dine in New Zealand

Aug 16, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

With fresh, farm-to-table produce, innovative chefs and some stunning restaurant settings, it’s no surprise that international celebrities love dining in New Zealand. From pop star Taylor Swift to action man Jason Statham, check out the favourite foodie haunts of visiting celebrities.


Bryce Dallas Howard’s Advice for experiencing New Zealand like a local

Jul 19, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

It’s the warm, laidback nature of Kiwis – above everything else - that made me fall in love with this beautiful place. If you want to truly experience New Zealand, you’ve got to put yourself in their shoes and embrace the Kiwi lifestyle.

Start with a good coffee
Coffee isn’t just a morning pick-me-up in New Zealand; it’s a way of life. Wellington is New Zealand’s coffee capital and my personal coffee heaven.


Wonderful and Wacky Ice Cream Flavours from New Zealand

Jul 12, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

As summer is upon us and with National Ice Cream Day fast approaching on July 16, the young at heart love to beat the heat by eating ice cream. For those with a fascination for unique ice cream flavours, there is no place in the world like Auckland’s Giapo.

Poutine Ice Cream
Giapo Grazioli has long had a soft spot for the famous Quebec comfort dish, poutine. Available now, for a limited time at his shop, at 12 Gore Street in Auckland, Giapo’s sweet and savoury version of poutine has caramel sauce as the gravy and dollops of ice cream as the cheese curds. The fries? They are still fries – organic hand-cut fries. And to introduce a bitter element that the taste buds are crying for, Grazioli has added oolong matcha tea ice cream.


3 Unusual Places to Stay in New Zealand

Jun 5, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Unique accommodation is at its best in New Zealand. Kiwis are known for their creativity and ingenuity, after all. Below is a short roundup of some of the best – and most unusual – hotels in the country.

Locking Up the Charm – Jailhouse, Christchurch
Built in 1874, Jailhouse Accommodation, in Christchurch, has been a men’s prison, a women’s prison and a military camp. Decommissioned in 1999, it sat unused until 2006, when it was sentenced to life as a hostel. Many of the facility’s original features still remain – most of the rooms started life as jail cells. Tucking yourself in, you can just imagine the history of those who did time there. The 80-bed hostel contains numerous accommodation options, from dorms to a family room. Backpacker dorm beds start at $25 NZD (approx. $24 Cdn) per night.


Going Against the Grain – SiloStay, Little River
SiloStay is a striking addition to the landscape: metal silos, traditionally used to store grain, have been repurposed as accommodation and now loom above the hamlet of Little River, on Banks Peninsula, just south of Christchurch. The silos blend cutting-edge design and a commitment to the environment with a high-end accommodation you might not expect from the agricultural look of the complex. Prices start from $180 NZD (approx. $172 Cdn) per night.


Watching Over the Water – The Lighthouse, Wellington
Lighthouses are a beacon of safety and comfort for many. Being able to stay in one – that offers a distant view of New Zealand’s South Island just across the bay – is a shining example of a unique tourism opportunity. Located in the charming seaside neighbourhood of Island Bay (just 15 minutes from downtown Wellington), the Lighthouse prices start from $170 NZD (approx. $163 Cdn) per night.


Move Over Cinco de Mayo…

May 3, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

While traditionally May 5 is celebrated by raising a glass of Mexican beer (or tequila), there is a different option for wine lovers – May 5 is also International Sauvignon Blanc Day.

The French may have given us the term terroir – the wonderful alchemy of influences from soil, aspect and climate that creates the unique character of a wine – but on the other side of the world, New Zealand winemakers have also shared their own kind of “magic” with the world and it has a distinctive New Zealand name.


Turangawaewae (pronounced: too-runguh-why-why) means “my place” in Maori. It describes a uniquely New Zealand approach to winemaking that includes terroir and also embraces the surrounding landscape, the characteristic weather, and the history and spirit of a place and the people who make it their home.


Get Dirty at Mudtopia in Rotorua, New Zealand

Apr 13, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Festival fans are set for an epic new mud and music experience later this year, with the announcement of the southern hemisphere’s first Mudtopia Festival, to be held in Rotorua, from December 1-3.

The three-day, high-energy festival in Arawa Park is designed to create a playful sensory experience that will awaken the world to Rotorua and the wonders of mud, by enabling people to get muddy and unleash their inner child.

Rotorua mud is extremely high in minerals, particularly silica, due to its contact with natural geothermal and mineral waters that come from deep within the earth. This high mineral content ensures that the mud stores heat easily when warmed, making it ideal for wellness treatments, as well as for the activities planned for Mudtopia.


Street Art Transforms New Zealand Resort Town

Mar 7, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Never-before-seen works of street art are about to burst forth at one of New Zealand’s most loved coastal resort cities.

In a first for the Bay of Plenty’s city of Tauranga, a group of leading international street artists have been invited to create and display new artworks during the Paradox Street Art Festival.


New Zealand’s Hot New Vantage Point for Stargazing

Feb 28, 2017 — Travel New Zealand

Beginning on March 3, 2017, at Tekapo Springs, on New Zealand’s central South Island, visitors can soak in a natural hot pool while stargazing into one of the clearest night skies in the world. This stargazing tour incorporates a 40-minute guided night sky tour with trained star guides, followed by a 40-minute soak in the hot pools.