Travel and Resorts

Travel, Cruises, Resorts, Tourism

Old travel pages from 2007 and Before

Day out at Finkley Down

Day out at Finkley DownConfidence and independence.

Two key qualities that a day out at Finkley Down near Andover gives our children. It’s amazing to see.

Little Henry (3), who when we last visited was literally latched to mummy and had to be carried almost everywhere, is now roaming free. And he loves it. The sense of achievement in his little face is a sight to behold as he says: “I’ve done that myself,” on doing lots of climbing in the indoor play area and going down the big slide all by himself.

By Tim Saunders - Sunday, March 3, 2019 - Full Story

Travel: Cheltenham - a family break

Travel: Cheltenham - Gloucester Old SpotThe Regency and Victorian splendour of Cheltenham is only a couple of hours away from where we live, making it an extremely attractive place to visit.

Composer Gustav Holst was born in the spa town in 1874 and his father, Adolph von Holst was organist at All Saints’ Church, Pittville.

We stay at The Cheltenham Townhouse in Pittville Lawn; home to some of the finest examples of 19th century architecture. It has been owned by Jayne and Adam Lillywhite for the past 16 years. “We bought it when I was expecting my daughter,” recalls Jayne. “It was a nursing home. We have 22 bedrooms and four studios.”

By Tim Saunders - Sunday, February 3, 2019 - Full Story

A Description of Romanian Winter Traditions

Piatra Neamț
The harsh winters of eastern Romanian region of Moldova certainly pack a punch. Particularly in the city of Piatra Neamț, nestled at the eastern edge of the Carpathian Mountains, winter brings with it over two feet of snow from late November and lasting well into February. Alongside that, there are blood-chilling wind gusts arriving from Siberia that crash into the mountains. Icy streets and muddy roads make traveling all the more perilous. However, the season also brings with it a particular beauty. The evergreen trees on the mountains are covered with snow, hiding hibernating bears. The city is covered with bright lights welcoming the arrival of the Christmas season. Most interestingly, the smell of roasting sausage permeates the air.

By Darius Roby - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - Full Story

New Zealand Endangered Penguins Wearing Onesies

New Zealand Endangered Penguins Wearing Onesies

With Penguin Awareness Day coming up on January 20, 2019, I wanted to send you some information on The Wildlife Hospital in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island. They are using baby onesies to aid in the recuperation of endangered penguins.

To prevent the penguin from scratching and plucking, the veterinary staff found an innovative solution in a baby onesie.

By Travel New Zealand - Friday, December 28, 2018 - Full Story

Christmas in the Land of the Long White Cloud

Pohutakawa -- Photo: Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve
Meri Kirihimete! That’s “Merry Christmas” in Māori and just one of the many unique things you’ll notice while celebrating Christmas in New Zealand. A Kiwi-style Christmas is all about summer, outdoor fun and relaxation. This doesn’t mean that age-old traditions are ignored; they just get a different treatment. Here’s how some festive celebrations will play out in various corners of New Zealand this holiday season.

By Travel New Zealand - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - Full Story

Where to Spot Wildlife in New Zealand

Whale Watch Kaikoura  
Photo: Whale Watch Kaikoura

Located at the bottom of the planet, New Zealand has a diverse range of landscapes in a country with a population that is tiny by world standards. With snowy alps, fjord-like sounds, volcanic plateaus, ancient forests and subtropical beaches, it’s no surprise that New Zealand has equally diverse and abundant wildlife.

By Travel New Zealand - Monday, December 10, 2018 - Full Story

Learn the Haka on All Blacks Hallowed Turf

Learn the Haka on All Blacks Hallowed Turf
Watching the All Blacks perform the haka before a match is a goosebumps moment for many sports fans around the world. Now there’s the opportunity for visitors to Auckland’s Eden Park to step onto the field and learn the Haka themselves.

Haka at the Park is a new experience for people keen to learn the famous haka pre-match ritual and to take a close-up look at New Zealand’s most famous sports ground.

By Travel New Zealand - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - Full Story

Scenic Coastal Pacific Train Operating to Kaikoura

Scenic Coastal Pacific Train Operating to Kaikoura
One of New Zealand’s great rail journeys – KiwiRail’s iconic Coastal Pacific scenic journey – will begin rolling again on December 1, 2018, two years after the service was put on hold as the railway line was rebuilt following the devastating November 14, 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

The rail journey between Picton, at the northern end of the South Island, and Christchurch, on the eastern coast, is a spectacular journey. Beginning (or ending) in Picton, in the Marlborough Sounds, the train passes through the Marlborough wine region and follows the dramatic coastline south to Christchurch.

By Travel New Zealand - Thursday, November 22, 2018 - Full Story

Visitors invited to act as guardians of New Zealand

Tiaki – Care for New Zealand, Tiaki Promise
New Zealand’s tourism industry has come together to launch a major initiative inviting visitors to care for its unique land and environment.

Under the banner of Tiaki – Care for New Zealand, the industry has launched the Tiaki Promise, which actively encourages all visitors to experience New Zealand in a way that keeps them safe, protects the natural environment, respects all cultures and preserves the country for future generations.

Tiaki means to care for people and place in New Zealand’s native language Te Reo Māori and the Tiaki Promise is an invitation to visitors to care for New Zealand alongside Kiwis.

By Travel New Zealand - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - Full Story

New Zealand issues ‘new’ world map

New Zealand issues ‘new’ world map
How do you solve being missed off world maps? Take a Prime Minister, a global rock star, a Kiwi comedian and a Hollywood director, create a new map and put yourself at the centre of it.

New Zealand is back with their ongoing investigation into why the country is missed off world maps, launching a follow-up video to check in on conspiracy theorist Rhys Darby and his attempt to solve the mystery.



By Travel New Zealand - Sunday, October 28, 2018 - Full Story

Travel: St Albans, Hertfordshire


Verulamium was a Roman town in the city of St Albans in Hertfordshire.

We discover this during a two-night stay at The Straw House in Spicer Street in the historic cathedral quarter.

“Warner Bros has built studios quite nearby,” reveals owner Pamela, adding that Britain has the best lighting engineers but other talent has to be flown in. “Which means we get lots of stuntmen from Germany and elsewhere staying here.”

By Tim Saunders - Thursday, October 4, 2018 - Full Story

Off-The-Grid New Zealand Accommodations

Peas in a Glass Pod
Drop your phone, ditch the tablet, and enjoy the peace of being tech-free in these out-of-the-way New Zealand destinations. At these spectacular off-the-grid locales, you can surround yourself with nature and the incredible embrace of silence.

Peas in a Glass Pod
The most comfortable way to be fully wrapped up in nature, a PurePod is pretty special – and this is a full-on opportunity to immerse yourself. The “pods” are made entirely from glass, and this includes floors and ceilings. While they don’t have television or Internet coverage, they do feature the most advanced environmentally friendly tech available for the generation of power and disposal of waste. PurePods are integrated into the breathtaking natural environments they inhabit (there are four locations around the Christchurch region) and feature views of the sea, mountains, rivers and the glorious southern night sky.

By Travel New Zealand - Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - Full Story

Affordable New Zealand

Roy’s Peak Track – a hiking trail near Wanaka.
With a little know-how and going into shoulder season (September, October, November, March, April and May), you can be budget-friendly in New Zealand.

Finding your way around New Zealand is easy, people are friendly and helpful, local produce is plentiful and reasonably priced, and it’s possible to enjoy million-dollar scenery for no cost at all. And New Zealand is great for solo female travellers since it’s so welcoming and safe!

There are also many activities that come without a price tag such as: lying on a remote beach, walking tracks and trails through unspoilt wilderness or lush native forest, body surfing, swimming in a clean fresh lake, watching abundant wildlife in natural surroundings, enjoying an outdoor concert or tumbling down a pristine sand dune.

By Travel New Zealand - Monday, October 1, 2018 - Full Story

Giant New Zealand Truffle in Special Edition Ale

Giant New Zealand Truffle in Special Edition Ale, Brew Moon Brewing Company
The largest truffle found in New Zealand on record, unearthed in North Canterbury, has found its way into a special edition local ale. The whopper 1.37kg black Périgord truffle was dug up by Jax Lee, general manager of Kings Truffles in Waipara (near Christchurch), after her five-year-old dog, Freddy, sniffed it out beside an oak tree.

The next challenge was to clean it up, extremely carefully, and make sure that it was put to good use. Lee had just the place in mind. The family-owned Brew Moon Brewing Company, started by Kieran McCauley and Belinda Gould, located down the road in Amberley, has now added shavings from the record-setting truffle to a golden ale.

By Travel New Zealand - Friday, August 24, 2018 - Full Story

New Zealand’s First Fully Smart Hotel

New Zealand’s First Fully Smart Hotel
I hope you are having a great day.

High tech and stylish, New Zealand’s first fully “smart” hotel has opened its doors in the heart of Queenstown. A first in New Zealand and in the world, the new mi-pad Queenstown is described as a next generation, energy-conscious hotel experience for the smart traveller – bringing together technology, sustainability, comfort and convenience. The key to mi-pad Queenstown is that there is no key.

By Travel New Zealand - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - Full Story

New Zealand Bungy Pioneer Unveils World-First Catapult Experience

AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand co-founder Henry van Asch revealed a new world-first adventure tourism experience – the Nevis Catapult – in the remote Nevis Valley near Queenstown, New Zealand.

The Catapult sees thrill seekers experience up to 3G of force and speeds of almost 100km per hour in 1.5 seconds, as they are propelled 150m out across a ravine before dropping suddenly towards the valley floor and experiencing a series of jaw-dropping bounces.

By Travel New Zealand - Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - Full Story

New Luxurious Cruising in New Zealand

The Pacific Jemm

For those who love the Queenstown and Fiordland scenery and have a few dollars to spare, you will love the new cruising offerings on the South Island of New Zealand.

By Travel New Zealand - Thursday, July 26, 2018 - Full Story

New Zealand’s Unique New Accommodations

Clifton Glamping


New Zealand has several new unique stays available for guests looking for something in nature and a bit out of the ordinary.

Clifton Glamping


Clifton Glamping is perfect for those who love to camp, but want all of the comforts of home. This luxury glamping site overlooks the picturesque Maraetotara River in Hawke’s Bay and feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern living.

At this fully working farm with 5,000 sheep, gaze across the river or up at the stars from the deck of the beautiful canvas safari tent set on a permanent timber floor; luxuriate in the super king bed with beautiful linen, feather duvets and woollen blankets; enjoy the comfy furniture and perfectly appointed little vintage-style kitchen and the bathroom with its hot running water and steaming shower; and wake up to the sun rising over the river, the sound of birds, and the gentle splash of fish in the river. Enjoy a dip in the swimming hole, a walk or cycle on one of the many tracks in the area, and at the end of the day – stargaze to your heart’s content in a hot steaming outdoor bathtub.

Rates start at $290 NZD per night (approx. $260 Cdn).

By Travel New Zealand - Friday, July 20, 2018 - Full Story

TRAVEL DEAL: National Hammock Day

TRAVEL DEAL: National Hammock Day
July 22 is National Hammock Day and Mahekal Beach Resort in Playa del Carmen is celebrating all month long! To slow things down a bit and keep with the spirit of “hammocking,” Mahekal is offering a “Swing in the Sun” escape - starting at $195/night and providing travelers with 50% savings along with breakfast and lunch or dinner daily, $200 resort credit for 5+ nights and early check-in and late checkout.

By News on the Net - Friday, July 20, 2018 - Full Story

Five Uniquely Kiwi Spa Experiences

Five Uniquely Kiwi Spa Experiences
From geothermal mud to manuka honey, New Zealand’s natural bounty is the inspiration behind a wealth of pampering beauty treatments.

A session at the spa is always a treat, but in New Zealand it’s even more special. Maori massage is a holistic experience for body and soul, and the geothermal mud, native plants and manuka honey will soothe and revitalize your skin.

By Travel New Zealand - Friday, July 6, 2018 - Full Story