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FUN NEW IDEAS FOR TRAVEL WITH KIDS 22

LUCY’S BACK! FIND OUT WHY WE’RE BETTER TOGETHER. 15

TRUE STORY Kiwi couple’s dream Egyptian holiday.

10 PLACES WE’RE LOVING NOW 6 1   I N S P I R E   |   H OUS E O F TRAV E L  

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WHY FIJI MAKES THE PERFECT BREAK 18

B E TTE R TOGE T HER .

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EAT LIKE A LOCAL 27


WE SEARCH FOR FAMILIAR FLAVOUR S, TO MAKE YOU FEEL AT HOME. A warm welcome. It ’s that special feeling of sipping your favourite tea, ser ved just the way you like it. It comes from the thought that goes into ever y thing you taste and touch. Because we understand that there’s nothing as comfor ting as enjoying the things you love, without having to ask. It ’s just one of the lengths we go to, to make you feel at home.

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Contents IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS

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D R E A M S P O T. Soak in the luxury of a high-end safari.

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T H E H O T L I S T. The 10 destinations our consultants can’t stop talking about right now.

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USA ROAD TRIPS. Four classic destinations in a country made for driving.

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DRINKS O’CLOCK. Four iconic places for a very memorable cocktail.

PA R A D I S E AT H A N D. Why Fiji is the perfect place to visit again and again.

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LUCY’S BACK! A familiar face is back at House of Travel.

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T R U E S T O R Y. A trip of a lifetime.

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HOUSE OF TRAVEL CONTRIBUTORS Africa Shelley Adkins

P I C K S F O R F A M I LY. Get the kids off their phones and plugged into the trip.

Australia Julia Bozich South Pacific Natalie Von Dincklage North America Gabrielle Brown Hawai‘i Paula Watson

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Asia Jon Gwin Uk & Europe Angela Webber South America John Shillibeer

E G Y P T M A D E E A S Y. We suggest an itinerary for this bucket-list must.

Touring John Crouch Cruise Jeff Leckey Designer Beth Allison Contributors Erica Banks, Caitlin Brookland, Angela Delany, Brent Haines, Jacqui Harvey, Tony Laker, Tania Matselskaya, Nick Mai, Amber McNulty, Annie Mellor, Many Partleton, Amanda Radovanovich, Lauren Renney, Anna Sarjeant, Carol Sutton, Dominic Sutton Printer Webstar

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E V E RY T H I N G C R U I S E . Hawai‘i, Christmas cruising, Antarctica & more.

INS P I R E is a House of Travel publication that showcases the latest travel news, tips and inspiration from our travel consultants.

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AROUND THE WORLD / ASIA EDITION

Update your travel-dar. *

* T R AV E L - DA R . \ t r a v ( ė ) l d a \ noun. 1. Travel radar. The world’s travel trends every globe-strutter should know about.

Underwater dining in the Maldives. Dine at the largest allglass undersea restaurant in the world. Eat 5.8 metres below the surface; mesmerised by the vast array of marine life as you become the centre of attention for once! With only 10 tables you must book in advance. Read more about the incredible Maldives on page 9.

Stay in a Thai treehouse. Coax out your inner child at Tree House Villas, a luxury adults-only hideout on Thailand’s stunning Koh Yao Noi island. After crossing a suspension bridge to get to your two-tiered luxury treehouse, you’ll be met by elevated views across stunning Phang Nga bay. You’ll get your very own personal bar, plunge pool and a bath in the shape of a hammock. And yes, of course there’s a swing!

Recommended by

VANESSA NORONHA HOUSE OF TRAVEL NEW LYNN

Looking for more unique places to catch some Zs? Jump to page 28 for a snoozefest.

WOW- FACTO R DAY CLUBS IN BALI

Where opulence meets adventure. For a completely off the grid experience in Cambodia, Shinta Mani Wild is a luxury tented camp hidden within 400 acres of forest. Enjoy safari style tents tittering on the edge (or directly over) roaring rapids, and spend your days jungle trekking, river boating or joining a local chef for a jungle forage. Scour for wild fungi, plants and fruits to be used in your cooking class.

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Long transit? Hong Kong says relax.

Believe the hype, because Bali’s flashiest day club, OMNIA, is in a class all of its own. Upmarket and modern, with million-dollar views across the Indian Ocean, there’s an infinity pool, swim-up bar, cabanas and cliff deck, as well as Sake no Hana, a contemporary Japanese restaurant.

B E TTE R TOGE T HER .

If you have a long wait at Hong Kong International Airport, check out ‘Relaxation Corner’ next to Gate 23 in Terminal 1. A sanctuary of quiet, this secret cove is free, open 24-hours and offers 12 complimentary loungebeds with individual charging facilities and WiFi. Well, hallelujah.


DREAM SPOT ROV I N G B U S H TO P S M O B I L E CA M P S E R E N G E T I , TA N Z A N I A

W H E N T H E R E A R E N O W O R R I E S T O W A S H A W AY. . .

“Why go to the migration when the migration can come to you? Based in the big game rich Central Serengeti, Roving Bushtops is a full-service luxury camp featuring safari tents with their own sunken hot tubs. Here there are no fences, just you, the camp, the guides, the chefs. Oh and a ring side seat to witness one of the greatest wildlife shows on earth. This is the ultimate in remote luxury.” JOHN SHILLIBEER, House of Travel

Ready for a soak? Pop in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz to start planning your trip.

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T H E H OT L I ST | W H E R E T O T R AV E L N OW

TEN PLACES THE INCR EDIBLE

O U R C O N SU LTA N T S C A N ’ T S T O P TA L K I N G A B O U T R I G H T N OW.

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1 | Sri Lanka

Recommended by

SAMANTHA JOHNSTON HOUSE OF TRAVEL TAUPO

Sri Lanka’s warm, crystal clear waters encourage exploration of tropical reefs and sea life, while lush countryside offers rainforests which are home to elephants, leopards, monkeys and other wildlife. The adventurists won’t be able to resist a midnight ascent of Adam’s Peak, arriving at summit by dawn and sitting above the clouds to watch sunrise. My top tip for Sri Lanka would be to combine it with the Maldives. The islands are just a 1.5 hour flight south, so your reward for exertion is a few lazy days on a Maldivian beach. Hot Tip | If you are in Colombo and a crustacean fan, check out the Ministry of Crab. Consistently voted one of Asia’s best restaurants where you can feast on a range of crabs weighing up to 2kgs, plus oysters, clams and prawns, all while taking in the iconic 400 year old Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct.

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2 | Samoa Recommended by

ANGELA DELANY HOUSE OF TRAVEL TAUPO

Samoa is a beautiful country with friendly, smiling faces. It is like stepping back in time a decade or two. While five days is a perfect amount of time to relax on the main Island of Upolu, if you have a little bit longer, I recommend popping over to Samoa’s second island, Savaii, for two or three nights as well. Here you can relax on some gorgeous beaches in some traditional accommodation but also experience a little of what nature has to offer. From the Falealupo Canopy Walk through the treetops to Alofaaga Blowholes or Afu Aau Waterfalls, there is lots to explore. So pack your walking shoes along with your flippers and get exploring.

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Maldives Recommended by

LAUREN RENNEY HOUSE OF TRAVEL TAUPO

Travelling to the Maldives has always been a bucket-list destination for me and I could not have imagined a more pristine, exotic and breath takingly beautiful place. My husband and I stayed at Club Med Kani for seven nights. We spent half of our stay in a beachfront room and the other in an overwater bungalow. It is hard to choose which one I prefer. The beachfront room was quiet and secluded, like my own private beach. And the outdoor shower was glorious. The overwater bungalow was incredible. We could climb down a ladder to swim with baby sharks. My husband and I enjoy diving and the Maldives is a 10 out of 10 destination for this. I have never seen such a concentration of tropical fish in one location. Travel to the Maldives at least once in your life. You will not be disappointed.

4 | Philippines Recommended by

AMBER McNULTY HOUSE OF TRAVEL CROMWELL

As a former Spanish colony, the Philippines stands apart from most other south-east Asian countries because Christianity is the dominant faith and the landscape’s speckled with churches. It’s also different in terms of tourism, which is still, by-and-large, underdeveloped. Getting from A to B requires trundling into the back of a Jeepney, along with the market chickens and a bucket of sardines, while advertised boat tours are more akin to a ride in a bamboo rowboat. The natural beauty of this landscape, from idyllic powdery white sand beaches and dusty road tracks framed by tumbling wooden shacks, is gloriously untouched.

10 places

Hot Tip | While many Philippine beaches are idyllic, the jaw-dropping ones saturating social media right now are almost always found in the cluster of islands known as El Nido Palawan. You’re better off flying here from Manila or Cebu (1 hour and 3 hours respectively) as a ferry takes between 24 and 48 hours!

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10 places

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Cruising the Greek Islands

Discover the gorgeous Greek Islands by small ship, exploring islands such as Crete, Mykonos and Santorini. It’s a relaxing alternative to island hopping by ferry, and you cruise during the night, waking to a different island each morning. You’ll only unpack once, the cabins are spotless and there’s a concierge on hand, with all meals, drinks and excursions included, as well as local guides. Join an escorted tour or wander off and do your own thing. When in Santorini, next to the Agios Charalambos church is Metaxi Mas, a gorgeous Cretan and Santorinian restaurant. It spills out onto the cobbled lane and has the best food, but you must book in advance because it’s popular with locals.

6 CUSTOMER FAVOURITE | CHICAGO

Recommended by

DOMINIC SUTTON HOUSE OF TRAVEL HAMILTON

With direct flights from Auckland, Chicago is a great gateway to more of North America. From Chicago, bucketlist places such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Eastern Canada are all within easy reach. But first, Chicago itself! Dubbed “Mini New York” the city boasts fantastic blues music, hundreds of Magnificent Mile shops, and the world’s first skyscraper. If you are a pizza fan head to Anthony Bourdain’s preferred deep dish pizzeria, Bonci. Find it at 161 N Sangamon Street.

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Recommended by

JACQUI HARVEY HOUSE OF TRAVEL NEW LYNN


BALI

TIP SHEET H OW LON G TO GO.

You’ll want at least 7 nights, but 10 is even better. STAY.

We can arrange anything from private villas to traditional lumbungs hugging the beach. Or head to the lush region of Ubud for wellness escapes and spas. Bali is a year-round goodie, but I like it best between April to October. But then, I like heat!

W H EN TO G O.

T RAN SP ORT.

7 | Bali

We recommend private cars and drivers for about $80 per day. For quick trips, look for BlueBird Taxis, the most reliable.

INDONESIA Recommended by

NICK MAI HOUSE OF TRAVEL PARNELL

FAMILIES.

Fly with Emirates and get reduced fares for children 2-11 years.

In Bali you can live like a king on a tiny budget because your dollar stretches pleasantly far. Enjoy NZ$2 Bintangs (Balinese beer) sipped before a golden sunset and glossy five-star accommodation for an unbelievably low price. Saunter from beanbag-dotted sands to your daily spa appointment and devote an hour every day to pampering. Bali has massages for less than NZ$10; swish restaurant meals starting from as little as NZ$15 and rooftop bars pour 2-for-1 cocktails every night.

MY P ICK .

Secure a spot at the Balinese Cooking Class at The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa and master a handful of Indonesian dishes.

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10 places

9| S  afari in

Botswana Recommended by

CAITLIN BROOKLAND HOUSE OF TRAVEL LAKERS INVERCARGILL

The big drawcard for Botswana is the waterways network in the Okavango Delta. This ever-changing watery landscape offers a massive variety of wildlife. Bird watchers will not be disappointed either. Camps and lodges tend to be smaller and more intimate than other parts of Africa. Venture south and visit the legendary Kalahari Desert.

10 | H  ervey Bay

& Fraser Island AUSTRALIA Recommended by

TANIA MATSELSKAYA

8| T  okyo

HOUSE OF TRAVEL ELLERSLIE

JA PA N

Recommended by

BRENT HAINES HOUSE OF TRAVEL BROADWAY

Tokyo is an amazing city to visit! For a city of this size the cleanliness is unbelievable, no rubbish bins and yet not a drop of litter in sight. Chocolate lovers like me will enjoy heading to the Kit Kat Café in Ginza with over 200 flavours available, including wasabi if you dare. Movie buffs should head to Gonpachi Izakaya for great traditional Japanese food and photo opportunity in the restaurant that featured in the movie Kill Bill starring Uma Thurman. Shibuya crossing is possibly the busiest intersection in the world and my top tip to get the best photo is to head to the Starbucks to capture the organised chaos. Hot Tip | For one of the most exciting days of your life, Go-Karting through the streets of Tokyo dressed up as a Mario Kart character is an absolutely amazing experience and such a unique way of seeing the city.

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Hervey Bay is the only place on earth where Humpback Whales stop during their annual migration to Antarctica. Book onto a full or half-day whale watching tour and get within metres of humpbacks taking a few “rest days” with their calves. The best time to see them is when most tours are operating, which is from the end of August until the end of October. Humpback whales are notoriously curious so they’re likely to come up to the bow and say hello. Whale tours are fully booked months in advance so make sure you ask your consultant to secure your place on the boat as soon as possible. From Hervey Bay it’s just a hop and a skip to Fraser Island. An idyllic speckle of land defined by empty beaches, angel white sand and turquoise water. Head inland for safe, serene swimming in idyllic lakes and creeks. Lake McKenzie boasts crystal-clear water so blue it gives Tahiti a run for her money, while Eli Creek, a perfectly still freshwater brook, is perfect for an afternoon cool off in the shallows. ■


Discover hidden Gems around the world.

There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. With Gem Visa and House of Travel, it’s easy to make your travel plans take flight. *Special Offer: Book any holiday that’s $499 and over at House of Travel and get 12 months interest free with no repayments for 12 months when using your Gem Visa credit card* Wherever you’d like to go, get there sooner and make the most of your experience. Find out more about Gem Visa in store today. *Interest-free and no repayments for 12 months from date of purchase. Minimum purchase amount of S499 on any one way or return travel purchases. Offer available in-store only. A HOT fee of 2.5% applies. For full terms and conditions please visit https://www.houseoftravel.co.nz/financeoffers/gem-visa. Credit and1Lending feesHapply. interest 25.99% p.a.).applies to any outstanding balance on the expiry of theHOU interest provided |   is IN 3   I N Scriteria P I R E and   |  OUS EPrevailing O F TRAV E L   rate B E(currently TTE R TOGETHER SEfree OFperiod. TRAVGem EL  Visa SP IR Eby   13 Latitude Financial Limited.


H O T F IN

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| A bar on a seaside cliff. BA LI, INDONESI A

Perched 14 metres above the Indian Ocean, Rock Bar at Bali’s Ayana Resort is quite simply that: a bar built into breath-taking rock face. So lofty is its position, a cable car is required to drop guests onto the elevated bluff. With alfresco seating and waves thrashing the cliff edge, both the views and the acoustics are dramatic. Visit at dusk and settle in for a beautiful sunset, before an equally impressive encore — the moonlit sky.

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| A walled hideaway. D U B ROV N I K , C ROAT I A

You’ll need the dexterity of a mountain goat to navigate the staircase, and a good nose to hunt out its location, but hidden in the walls of Dubrovnik, on the edge of the city and overlooking the Adriatic Sea, is Buža. The only bar to sit on the sea-facing side of the city’s walls. It’s not mentioned in tourist brochures but ask any local for the “hole-in-the-wall bar” and they’ll nod you towards the cliff edge. If you’re lucky, you’ll find it in time for sunset.

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| An American honky-tonk. NASH V ILLE, USA

Common to America’s Deep South, a honky-tonk is a loud, rowdy good-time bar thumping with live music. For one of the oldest in Nashville, visit Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. Its late proprietor, Hattie Louise “Tootsie” Bess, always encouraged local musicians, often luckless, to perform. These days, there are three floors of music, a rooftop with eye-popping Nashville views, and the overriding feeling that Tootsie is looking on.

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| An Underground stop. S O H O, L O N D O N, U K

Far removed from the bustle of London, Cahoots bar is hidden in an abandoned tube station. Sitting inside a restored carriage metres below Soho, guests are whisked back to the 1940s. Saturdays play host to the bar’s weekly ‘Squiffy Picnic’, serving cocktails and Great British finger food. If you’ve never washed a sarnie down with a glass of Pimms before, now’s your chance. Located in Kingly Court, Carnaby, the closest real tube station is Oxford Circus. ■

Plan a cocktail around your trip or plan a trip around your cocktails. Either way, we make it easy. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz today.

S

Here are four quirky and iconic places to have yourself a memorable cocktail.

D

It’s 5 o’clock someplace.


BEHIND THE SCENES AT HOUSE OF TRAVEL

We’re better together, you & I. Lucy’s back to show why it’s better together. Who is Lucy? Lucy is the warm and welcoming face of House of Travel in our exciting new brand campaign. Some may remember her as “Miss Lucy,” who a decade or so ago took House of Travel (HOT) into the hearts and homes of New Zealand as she sang and danced her way across our TV sets.

Are the ads really based on true stories? Yes! The stories were shared with Creative Director (and brains behind the campaign) Roy Meares, when he met with store Owner Operators throughout the country. Meares explains: “Their stories really sparked with me. The HOT team’s delight in turning their customers wishes and plans into holidays that exceed expectations — it’s in their blood. It’s part of their culture to create things together.”

ABOUT US

100% KIWI

owned and operated. · The largest privately owned retail travel company in Australiasia. · Founded by CH R I S PAU L SEN

in 1987. ·

75 STORES

in New Zealand – Our first store was in Timaru. ·

What myths does the campaign address? The

A team of 2000 people across Australasia committed to providing better holidays.

advertisements combat the myth that asking HOT to help costs you more. They also highlight the depth of care and insider knowledge and insights a House of Travel consultant adds to every kind of holiday imaginable! The travel business has changed dramatically in recent years with the explosion of DIY booking online. “It was time to remind everyone, including ourselves, just how good we are,” says Chris Paulsen, founder and executive chairman. There is a growing trend to return to travel consultants — get rid of the stress of booking and “let downs” and benefit from personal attention and huge knowledge. ■

·

94%

of customers who book with House of Travel rate us 5 out of 5! · New Zealand’s

Chris Paulsen, founder and executive chairman, with Lucy.

MOST AWARDED

travel group.

Check out the true story behind our most recent advertisement on page 20.

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D E PA RT M E N T O F WA N D E R I N G

Gear up for a USA road trip. The USA is the number one destination for an epic road trip. It’s the wrong side of the road but the right side of freedom. Gabrielle Brown, our expert in all things American, picks four of our favourite self-drive routes.

Wild Northwest

Classic Route 66

You better like the outdoors because things are about to get wild! This unforgettable drive delves into thick forest and coastline.

Connecting Chicago to Los Angeles across the heartland of America, hit the gas and head west.

Best time to visit: May through October Typical travel time: 11 days/10 nights

Best time to visit: April through October Typical travel time: 16 days/15 nights

With unique food experiences, wildlife and scenic sights, a Northwest adventure is where beautiful nature meets beautiful cityscapes. Visit Redwood National Park; home to the tallest trees on earth. In Portland, enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and craft breweries around every corner. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, an ATV ride on the Oregon sand dunes will leave you exhilerated. Finish up in stylish Seattle. Full of hip new trends and the best cup of coffee in America.

HIGHLIGHTS Redwood National Park. Walks last as little as one hour and as long as an entire day. Shop at Pikes Place Market in Seattle. A foodie’s haven, and a sanctuary of bakeries, fish mongers, butchers and distilleries.

It goes without saying it’s iconic, it goes without saying the landscape is jaws to the floor, eye-popping, drool worthy fantastic. We’re talking about historic Route 66 of course. Highlights include the Mississippi River and the Petrified Forest National Park, as well as ample roadside quirks such as a home-made sculpture park called ‘the forest of bottles’, rows of garishly painted cars known as Cadillac Ranch, and countless ‘shoe trees’, which you’ll feel compelled to add to.

HIGHLIGHTS Wigwam Motels. Back in the 30s there was an entire chain of these tepee-shaped abodes, but now they’re almost extinct. A Route 66 landmark – keep your eyes peeled. Oklahoma. Experience the nation’s longest drivable stretch of Route 66.

Seattle Mt. St. Helens

Mt. Rainer

Columbia River Gorge Portland Lincoln City

Chicago

Oregon Sand Dunes

Coos Bay Redwood National Park Bragg

Arcata Drive-through tree park

Calico

Holbrook

San Francisco

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Las Vegas Grand Canyon

Los Angeles

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Santa Fe Amarillo

Gallup Albuquerque

Tulsa

St. Louis Springfield

Oklahoma City


TIP SHEET USA ROAD TRIPS By GABRIELLE BROWN, House of Travel

COST. Daily car rental starts from $110 but you’ll also need petrol, accommodation and food. With a campervan or RV, the stove, fridge and water heater will usually require propane gas too. PARK I N G. Get smart about parking. In any major city, return your rental car before exploring. That’s a day you needn’t fork out for!

Many US petrol stations require payment before you pump.

FI LLI N G U P.

BACK ROADS.

Multi-lane interstates get you from A to B the fastest, but concrete views aren’t for everyone. It’s worth taking the scenic route for diversity. Paying in cash is generally an option, but hiring an electric pass can make things simpler.

TO LL ROADS.

Texas Trails

Southern Music Tour

A Texas-sized road trip with a huge dollop of culture and history to boot, welcome to cowboy country.

Buckle up for an adventure of the toetapping kind, this is a musical pilgrimage to the heart of jazz, blues, rock n’ roll.

Best time to visit: October through May Typical travel time: 10 days/9 nights

Best time to visit: October through June Typical travel time: 7 days/6 nights

Explore the best of the ‘Lone Star State’, and tax-free shopping across the state of Texas while you’re at it. Live large and think big in Dallas. Visit Texas’ largest city, Houston and Nasa’s Space Centre. San Antonio is home to the Alamo, an old Spanish fortress, and in Austin, AKA the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’, even your coffee is served with a side dish of rhythm. The city’s other must-sees include the world’s largest urban bat colony: watch them fly from Congress Avenue Bridge.

HIGHLIGHTS The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. With views through the exact window Oswald shot JFK. Fort Worth. Visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Museum.

In New Orleans, even the street performers possess more talent than your average mainstream musician. But then, this is the Deep South and you’re in the realm of legendary greats. Explore the birthplace of jazz then head for Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former home, and Sun Studio, where he recorded his first record. For modern vibes, Beale Street remains the premier hangout for musical prodigies. And in Nashville you’ll find plenty of country music for a last hurrah before home.

HIGHLIGHTS Mississippi Blues Highway. Look out for blue markers where you can read about famous musicians. BB King Blues Museum in Indianola and his very own Blues Club in Memphis.

Nashville Memphis

Fort Worth

Clarksdale

Dallas

Vicksburg Natchez

Austin Baton Rouge Houston

New Orleans

San Antonio

No matter which states are calling, we can make it easy. Come in-store or visit houseoftravel.co.nz today.


DESTINATION SP OTLIGHT / FIJI

Which Fiji is right for you? Fiji is the perfect destination for every kind of holiday-maker. Here’s why. 1 |

It’s family friendly. Kids’ clubs feature everything from crab racing to treasure hunts. Some resorts even have their own inflatable water parks. Ask us about family bures which can accommodate several guests, inter-connecting suites and resorts which sleep up to three kids in one room.

2 | Even teenagers love it. For active teens, sand dune adventures and forest hikes keep the kilojoules burning. And if they need bragging rights for the school yard, there’s shark snorkelling and manta ray swimming. 3 | It’s paradise for couples. With glistening resorts, private beach picnics and fine dining with toes in the sand, couples flock to Fiji. We highly recommend Koro at Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa, an exclusive adults-only area. Koro means village in Fijian, so everyone’s encouraged to eat, swim, mingle and relax.

1 | YA S AWA I S L A N D S Once the domain of the budget conscious, now also boasting several 4-5 star resorts for luxury seekers. Pristine unspoilt beaches offering amazing snorkelling, swimming with manta rays and reef sharks or explore local villages for a glimpse of Fijian life. A three hour ferry ride from the mainland means the Yasawas is more secluded and the perfect antidote “for those wanting to get away from it all.” Hot Tip | Tick something incredible off your bucket list and arrive to your destination by sea-plane.

2 | MAMANUCA ISLANDS Under an hour from the mainland makes this beautiful area very popular. Options to suit all budgets, great family friendly snorkelling and Cloudbreak, one of the best surf breaks in the world. Families with children will appreciate the popular kids clubs at our resorts.

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Hot Tip | If snorkelling straight off the deck of an overwater bungalow takes your fancy, ask us about the adults-only Likuliku Lagoon Resort.

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vi le

4 | You can get off the beaten track. Getting off the well-worn track could involve getting off the ground altogether — and onto a Captain Cook Fiji discovery cruse. Explore Fiji’s lesser-visited islands such as Vanua Levu and Taveuni, or the Lau and Kadavu Islands which are rarely seen by tourists.

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5 |

It’s budget friendly. You don’t want to worry about the budget while chilling out. Look out for resort deals where kids stay, play and eat for free, usually up to the age of 11. All-inclusive is advantageous because you pay for everything in advance and often includes accommodation, meals, unlimited drinks, nightly entertainment and various water activities. ■

Pop in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz and say “Bula!” to an incredible island escape.

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3 | DENARAU Convenient for quick getaways and young families - from airport to resort in 20 minutes. No “postcard perfect” Fiji beach but high-end resort lagoon style pools have you feeling tropical in no time. Dining options galore on your doorstep or a short Bula bus ride away. Hot Tip | If travelling with kids check out the Big Bula Water Park and finish the day at the Denarau Golf Club for meals your kids will love, without the resort prices.


iti evu

W H E R E T O S TAY 5 | F I J I N O RT H Great for diving, nature and all things aquatic. Popular with repeat travellers to Fiji wanting to explore more of Fiji away from mainstream locations – laid back and a distinct lack of commercialism this feels like the Fiji of yesteryear.

A FEW FAVOURITES

Hot Tip | Families love Jean Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji, a fabulous five-star resort, but if it’s snorkelling off the beach that you’re after, you can’t go past our favourite Vanua Levu resort, Koro Sun Rainforest Retreat.

Great for exploring.

vu

5

ua

Blue Lagoon Cruises.

le

Blue Lagoon Cruises are small and intimate. Frequenting hard to reach places, you’ll anchor in private lagoons and explore uninhibited islands.

n

va

Great for the family.

Plantation Island Resort, Malolo Lailai.

6 | PAC I F I C H A R B O U R Adventure junkies take note – in under an hour’s drive from Suva you can Jet Ski, kayak, fish, white water raft, zip line and shark dive between bouts of relaxation. Check out Terra Treks, which offers dune buggy drives through the rain forest.

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Plantation’s on-site waterpark features an aqua trampoline! While the Coconut Kids Club delights with face painting, dance practice, treasure hunts and more.

Hot Tip | Beqa Lagoon is a hot spot for divers of all abilities. For best visibility go between July and September.

4 | C O R A L C OA S T Drive one hour from the airport to an area offering something for everyone from the active to the sedate. Whilst the beaches may not be as ice white as the outer islands, you’ll get an authentic Fiji experience. Some of our most popular resorts are on the Coral Coast – ask us about some of our amazing all-inclusive packages – no more worries about blowing the budget while away. Hot Tip | So you don’t miss out on an outer island experience, head out on a day trip to Malamala Beach Club — luxuriate on a lounger in your private cabana looking out on crystal clear water.

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Great for luxury.

Vomo Island Resort.

Elope to Vomo Lailai, a tiny island just offshore from the resort. Totally deserted, it’s the Robinson Crusoe experience — with romance.

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TRUE STORY

A trip of a lifetime. Watching House of Travel’s latest advertisement, which was based on their holiday, took Mandy and Colin back to the bustling streets of Giza. By MANDY PARTLETON

O N O U R F I R S T M O R N I N G I N E GY P T, I drew back the curtains of our hotel room to reveal the view we had been too exhausted and too late to admire the night before: the Pyramids, lit by the rising sun, right there in front of my eyes. When we’d seen the hotel in a brochure, I’d just assumed the Pyramids had been photoshopped into the image — I never dreamed that we would be able to stay in that very room with that very view, but this was just one of the incredible, memorable moments that were made possible by Kim, our wonderful travel consultant at House of Travel Ferrymead.

Cruising the Nile The travel bug bit us both hard in Egypt: we met wonderful people, both locals and fellow travellers, and since then we have not stopped travelling. We work hard, save hard and then we’re off again, often visiting friends we’ve met on our travels. The House of Travel team is always on hand to ensure that each trip is as memorable as the last. And now we’ve seen our adventure brought to life in a TV commercial — maybe it will inspire another little girl from Greymouth to fulfil her travel dreams. ■

y and in, Mand ead. ber, Col ym : Mel Hub se of Travel Ferr ft le om Fr ou wick at H Kim Bes

When I was eleven, my family travelled all the way from Greymouth to visit the Wellington Museum and I fell in love with all things Egypt. Seeing the Pyramids that morning came with the realisation that I was finally fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, and the tears I shed as I gazed out at that incredible sight were the first of many during our time in this wonderful country. I think the locals were shocked to see me crying all the time — they were so kind and welcoming everywhere we went — but I was happy to reassure them that they were tears of utter joy and disbelief. From celebrating our eleven-year wedding anniversary at the Temple of Isis — where Cleopatra and Mark Antony were married — to sailing along the Nile in a felucca, Kim ensured that every detail of our ten days in Egypt was unforgettable.

Transport

Want to do your own Egyptian adventure? It’s easier than you think. Pop over to page 24 for our itinerary ideas.


DISCOVER THE RUBY DIFFERENCE The Ruby Apartments, the first tower of The Ruby Collection, offers stylish yet spaciously designed one, two and three-bedroom apartments, villas and sky suites catering perfectly for families, couples and single travellers. Enjoy some time by the pool – cocktail in hand, or treat yourself to delectable dining options as well as an array of entertainment options offering all guests a place to relax and unwind without ever having to leave.

Now Open on the Gold Coast

www.therubycollection.com.au @therubycollectiongc reservations@therubycollection.com.au

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S I M P L E S O L U T I O N S / F A M I LY F U N

If kids were travel consultants.

We’d never suggest allowing the kids to create your family holiday (two solid weeks in McDonald’s sound good?) but we can suggest a handful of activities they’ll go loopy for.

BRILLIANT IDEAS FOR

BRILLIANT IDEAS FOR

Sp o r t s s t a r s

C re a t i ve t y p e s

Test your skills at water biking.

Attend an International Arts Festival.

G O L D C OA S T, AU S T R A L I A

M E L B O U R N E , AU S T R A L I A

Seaway Waterbike Tours aren’t conventional tours, but rather a peddle across Broadwater estuary aboard buoyant water bicycles. Somewhere between a dinghy and a push bike, these aqua-mobiles are easy to master. Join a guided tour and pedal to nearby snorkelling spots, or rent hourly and forge your own route.

Every October, the annual Melbourne International Arts Festival inspires visitors to fuel their imagination with music, dance, theatre and visual arts. Budding creatives love the expressive art styles, while the brightly decorated ‘Melbourne Art Trams’ are dressed to impress — in all manner of thought provoking designs.

Explore Waterbom Water Park.

Try adrenaline water tubing.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Paint on Rainbow Beach.

K U TA , BALI

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N E W YO R K , USA

S U N S H I N E C OA S T, AU S T R A L I A

Asia’s lushest water park is centrally located in the heart of Kuta. Nestled in tropical gardens, 13 water slides range from classic donuts and high-rise speed chutes, to racing slides and half pipes. With nail bars and spa stops, face painting, hair braiding and pizza, there’s something for everyone.

Enveloped in towering rainforest, Navua River is sandwiched between Fiji’s tropical Namosi Highlands. Sitting within an inflatable donut, navigate mild rapids and deep gorges as part of a river tubing adventure. Tube the rapids, take a dip and stop for lunch, waterfalls and village visits.

NYC bound? Keep an eye on The Met event calendar for family-friendly art programs. General admission is free for those 12 years and younger, while “Start with Art” is held on the first Thursday of every month for kids aged between three and six. Activities include stories, sketching and singing.

Rainbow Beach is famed for its multicoloured sands. So vibrant are these sand cliffs (in rich tones of yellow, gold, red and orange) you can break off a nugget, add a little sea water and paint vividly across the beach. Best accessed by 4WD, we recommend a day tour from Noosa.

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HOT TIP

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By AMANDA RADOVANOVICH, House of Travel Richmond

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“When travelling with kids, keeping them entertained is crucial. Your holiday doesn’t have to be like Christmas, but some new items will keep them amused. For the plane, pack a new game or toy and a few books they haven’t read. But don’t allow them to open anything until they’re on-board. Their attention will be too focused for restlessness.”

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BRILLIANT IDEAS FOR

Gamers

Sm a r t y p a n t s

Be blown away by Holoverse.

Get outta this world at NASA.

G O L D C OA S T, AU S T R A L I A

HOUSTON, TEX A S, USA

Once upon a time, virtual reality was the future. Today, it’s the Gold Coast. At Holoverse, the world’s first holographic entertainment centre, visitors get lost in a world of make believe. With forty hologram rooms, you can swim with sea turtles, explore ancient civilizations and fight wayward robots.

Explore a full-scale space shuttle and rocket flight deck, then take The NASA Tram Tour to astronaut training facilities and the iconic Mission Control. A four-hour ‘Level 9 Tour’ offers the ultimate experience to meet scientists and engineers, or you can lunch with an astronaut every Friday and Saturday for an additional fee.

Pin down onsite entertainment.

Fossil hunt in Thunderbird Park.

Get lost in the upside-down house.

T O K YO, J A PA N

G O L D C OA S T, AU S T R A L I A

P H U K E T, THAILAND

Tokyo is nirvana for gamers. Sega, Nintendo and Pokémon all abound. The legendary Electric Town of Akihabara is bursting with anime, gaming memorabilia, arcades and the unmissable Super Potato retro games centre. You’ll also find Pokémon Centres around the city, packed with merchandise.

As any mini geologist will tell you, thundereggs are other-worldly rocks formed from volcanic ash. At Thunderbird Park, in Tamborine Mountain, keen foragers are invited to go fossicking for hidden ones. Staff will cut the rocks to reveal hidden crystals and anything found can be taken home.

This three-storey upside down house is warped, weird and bizarre. With three kooky attractions in one, there’s the reversed house, the outdoor A-Maze and the Chamber of Secrets, a puzzle which locks guests inside two rooms and requires a lot of riddle resolving to escape.

VA N UA L E V U, FIJI

Namale Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive resort on Vanua Levu island, with the on-site (and much raved about) Kava Bowl Indoor Entertainment Centre. Not only is it the only place in Fiji where you’ll find 10-pin indoor bowling, there’s also a 3D virtual golf simulator, air hockey, darts and ping-pong.

Get buzzing in gamer heaven.

|   aim 23   I N S P I R E   We H OUSE to please O F TRAVtravellers E L   B E TTEof R TOGETHER all ages. .Come

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OUR MOST P OPULAR ITINERARY

Discover Egypt. To experience the best of Egypt, we recommend a minimum of ten days to explore this remarkable country with your own private guide. EGYPT

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SIGHTSEEING IN CAIRO.

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Cairo’s streets are chaotic and navigating a route through dusty cars and donkey carts will leave your nerves in a jitter — but that’s all part of the city’s charm. The Pyramids of Giza of course, have always drawn visitors. In the 2nd Century BC, Philo of Byzantium compiled his list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — the first recorded travel guidebook — which included two sites from Egypt. The only one of these wonders still standing is The Great Pyramid of Giza. Twenty percent taller than Wellington’s tallest building, standing at the foot of The Great Pyramid is an experience you will never forget.

CRUISING THE NILE.

ADMIRING THE RUINS OF LUXOR.

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This morning fly to Luxor (approx. 1.5 hours).

If you thought Cairo was epic, Luxor will leave you speechless. Often described as the world’s greatest open-air museum, the seemingly never-ending terrain is freckled with temples. When the landscape is bathed in golden sunlight you’ll understand why the Pharaohs considered Luxor to be such an extraordinary place. After soaking up Luxor’s wonders, take respite from the Egyptian sun at the house of famed archaeologist Howard Carter. You’ll get a detailed insight into the life of the man who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

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Today, set out on a four-day Nile cruise. Spend your morning at leisure, or sit back and enjoy a strong Egyptian coffee on the sun terrace. This afternoon, visit Karnak Temple. Worked and reworked by approximately 30 different Pharaohs over more than 1000 years, it must be one of the longest running building projects in history. Just one of the halls here is large enough to hold St Peter’s Basilica and the Notre Dame Cathedral.


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Cross the river to the West Bank and find yourself in the Valley of the Kings, where Sir Howard Carter spent years searching for the tomb of the Boy King, Tutankhamun. Many of the tombs are accessible for visitors to explore. This afternoon, sail downriver to Edfu, for the Temple of Horus: the most completely preserved Egyptian temple ever found. With its explorable chambers, massive 36-metre entrance and two huge statues of Horus, the experience is one of Egypt’s most spine tingling.

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Sail to Aswan, the riverside town home to Philae Temple which was dedicated to the goddess, Isis, and the stunning Old Cataract Hotel, where Agatha Christie penned Death on the Nile. After a tipple at the Old Cataract, venture to the ‘Unfinished Obelisk’ lying in Aswan’s granite quarries. An obelisk is a narrow stone pillar set up as a landmark (think Washington Monument) and this one is more than 3500 years old. Never finished, and therefore never hoisted, Aswan’s great monument lies like a sleeping giant in the ground. Later, why not sail in a traditional felucca (sail boat) around the lush islands of Aswan and view the Agha Khan Mausoleum. Get off to explore Aswan’s markets or stop for a cool drink on the banks of the Nile.

ABU SIMBEL.

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Swap your ship for a plane and fly to Abu Simbel in just over one hour. The colossal Temples of Abu Simbel are the most spectacular in Egypt, and so immaculately preserved, it feels like a film set. When the Aswan High Dam was constructed in the early 1960s, the huge lake it created would have drowned the temple, so they dismantled it and moved it above the new waterline, where it was reassembled piece by piece. Whether you’re marvelled by this feat of engineering, or that of the Egyptians centuries earlier, Abu Simbel will leave you in awe.

HOMEWARD!

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Return to Cairo on a 1.5-hour flight, and then onward to New Zealand. ■

Our most recommended Egyptian holiday includes private local guides, transfers and a Nile cruise — and it’s on sale now. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz today.


HOT TIP

MAP THAT / HERITAGE PUBS

Dublin

IRELAND By BETH ALLISON, House of Travel

History, music, a pint of the black. There’s nothing quite like an Irish pub. Here are six well worth a visit. 1 | J O H N K AVA N A U G H Entering this pub is stepping back in time. The whole place belongs in a museum. Workers from nearby historic Glasnevin Cemetery have been drinking here for almost 200 years. Locals call the place Gravediggers’ and many claim it’s got the best Guinness in town. Of course, the easiest way to spark debate in Ireland is make a statement like that.

“Dublin is surrounded by pretty seaside villages that are perfect for afternoon trips. Have a long lunch and a stroll in Howth or Dún Laoghaire.”

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2 | T H E C O B B L E S TO N E Turn up after dinner, grab a pint and wait for the night’s informal group of local musicians to fill the place with fiddling and the beat of a bodhrán. This wee gem is a cosier, friendlier alternative to the multi-story music factories in Temple Bar.

3 | MULLIGAN’S The Irish take their literature seriously enough to give it holidays. This charming little pub has poured grog for such luminaries as James Joyce and Seamus Heaney. Keen? Ask your consultant about a literary or historical tour and retrace the city’s turbulent story.

77 King Street North

8 Poolbeg Street

4 | G RO G A N ’ S A local’s local, this cosy spot is nothing flash. Walls packed with Irish artists’ work compete for space with businessmen telling tales over pints and toasties. Perfect for a night cap after you’ve stuffed yourself around the corner at Jo’Burger, the city’s best burgers.

5 | B L AC K B I R D Less Irish history and more Irish current: A fine selection of local craft beers are on draft at this funky bar in the heart of a charming neighbourhood. Enjoy the complimentary Tayto’s before venturing off for a feed at the nearby EatYard, a food truck Utopia.

15 William Street South

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6 | PA E DA R K E A R N E Y ’ S A pub with strong historic roots. If you’re after music in the tourist centre that is Temple Bar, Paedar Kearney’s is the most authentic spot to find it. Named for the writer of Ireland’s national anthem, you’d expect nothing less. Ask for a taste of the locally made Teeling Whiskey and don’t miss the Beamish stout. 64 Dame Street

We’ll help you find the best of any place you visit. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz.

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You don’t need a lot of dong to dine like a deity in Vietnam. In Hoi An, cross the small lantern-lit bridge and turn left onto Bach Dang Street for cheap street food. Quality still costs cents over this way, but the views looking back across the township are priceless. Just 40 minutes by car from Hoi An there’s also ‘Danang Seafood Trail’. A fully guided night tour, dipping into local hangouts for delicacies, and seafood so fresh it’s barely left the net.

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2 | Try Vietnamese street food.

3 Book a cooking class.

1 | Follow the steak-loving locals in Buenos Aires. Parrilla Peña is a simple eatery in the heart of Recoleta where you’ll dine on fantastic cuts for half the price of anywhere else. Locals flood here for the parrilla completa, a medley of Argentinian grilled meats all on one plate. Then there’s Don Niceto in Palermo. Distinctly no thrills — the TV on the wall is circa 1992, but the steak will melt in your mouth. A genuine family-run establishment, copy the locals and order the house special, cuadril (rump steak).

Eating like a local needn’t be a holiday fling. Once home, swap your weekly spag bol for a bowl of Kokoda, or a spicy Okra Curry. These classic Fijian dishes are taught as part of a half day cooking class at Flavours of Fiji in Denarau. Or perhaps a two-hour barbecue class in Melbourne’s historic Queen Victoria Market might frill your grill better? Learn how to smoke meats, prepare your cuts and whip up a mean marinade. All washed down with a beer.

5 Travel with Trafalgar.

4 | Experience an Italian agriturismo stay. Enjoy a unique, firsthand experience in rural Italy with an agriturismo stay. Bringing together “agriculture” and “tourism” it allows working farms to welcome guests for overnight stays. You’ll also be privy to generations of culinary know-how. The perfect way to experience authentic Italy.

Enjoy authentic local food experiences with Trafalgar. The holiday group has partnered with a food app which digitally consolidates lots of locallyhosted culinary experiences into one easy mobile app. Foodie ventures include meals at a host’s home, market visits and feasts prepared by professional chefs, and those who travel with Trafalgar gain access to it all.

6 | Save money on Michelin fine dining. The French eat well. They also know how to eat well without breaking the bank. There are Michelin starred restaurants in Paris which serve gourmet ‘prix fixe’ lunches for half the price of dinner. One-star establishments such as L’Agapé serve a set four course lunch for €44pp, and even the three-star Astrance (considered one of the world’s best restaurants) dishes out a “surprise lunch menu” for €70 per head. ■

“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn.” 27   I N S P I R E   |   H OUS E O F TRAV E L   B E TTE R TOGETHER . HOU SE OFchef TRAV   |   Anthony IN SP IRBourdain E  27 American and EL traveller


SNOOZEFEST

Six dreamy sleep spots. The world is full of amazing stays. Get inspired with some of our favourites.

2 |  Homestaying in a ger MONGOLIA

Drink in the wide valley views of Terelj National Park while experiencing authentic ger living in the beautiful mountains of Mongolia. Circular felt dwellings offer a unique homestay for the intrepid traveller, while the barren landscape, bathed in 260 ‘blue sky’ days is pure escapism in a non-conventional paradise. Tuck into traditional “horhog” cooked by local chefs; try your hand at traditional ger making or wait for nightfall and sleep beneath a sky streaked with shooting stars. While undoubtedly rustic (there’s a woodfire stove in the centre of your ger) modern comforts are plentiful. Enjoy hot water showers, en-suite bathrooms and WiFi, or simply switch off and bask in your pictureperfect surroundings.

 Hibernating 3 |  in a cave

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 Luxury glamping in British Columbia CANADA

Rooted so deeply in nature you’ll need a boat or a seaplane to reach it, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort offers spectacular glamping in beautiful British Columbia. Nestled between mountain and river, many of the resort’s safari-style tents nudge the waterfront, furnished with antiques and all the glamour of the city, minus the urban chatter. Do whatever you want at whatever pace. Whether that’s fishing excursions and demanding hikes, or bear watching and white-water rafting amidst pristine views and the sounds of wildlife. Come nightfall, venture to the dining lodge for meals doused in gastronomic flare, before jumping into the Jacuzzi with a night cap.

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I TA LY

Not the type of cave you might find Bear Grylls bunkering down for the night, but a plush cave-hotel in one of Europe’s most unusual landscapes. The Italian city of Matera is renowned for its ancient cave dwellings known as sassi. These intriguing stone residences are cut into rock face within a labyrinth of narrow streets and tumbling lodgings chipped into cliffside. Between the stone churches and ancient alleyways, various hotels invite guests to sleep within their restored stone caves. Fear not, with king size beds and en-suite bathrooms, modern sassi offer every comfort.


4 |  Nodding off underwater FIJI & ZANZIBAR

If you’ve ever dreamed of living The Little Mermaid lifestyle, check out Fiji’s Poseidon Undersea Resort, a five-star property off the coast of Poseidon Mystery Island with 24 suites all submerged 12 metres below the water. Surrounded by reef, there’s an external fish feeder to excite your new aquatic neighbours, and a private Jacuzzi to sit and watch them from. Alternatively, The Manta Resort on Pemba Island in Zanzibar also boasts an underwater bedroom. It’s quite simply a beautiful three-storey pontoon plopped into vast azure ocean. The bottom level is submerged and guests can sleep in a bedroom bubble, enveloped by marine life in the middle of living coral reef.

5 |  Bunking with gorillas

6 |  Cozying in an igloo

Well not quite, but Bisate Lodge in Rwanda combines a bucket-list gorilla trek with luxury villa living. Six sumptuous thatched pods cling to the side of a mountain in remote Rwandan mountainside, boasting dramatic views of Volcanoes National Park. The lodge is just a short distance from the park where gorilla treks depart daily and guests are encouraged to engage with local conservation efforts.

Located in Finland’s Lapland region, we all know who the most famous resident here is, and we’d put money on Santa spending most of his downtime at an igloo resort. These snow-tucked hotels boast multiple glass igloos accommodating between two and four guests. Thermal glass and zero WiFi allows you to take a cosy digital detox beneath a fluttering of snow and the best starlit sky in Europe. With a domed glass design, igloos boast the best seats in the house to see Aurora Borealis, AKA the Northern Lights. Marbling the sky from August through to late April, for a once-in-a-lifetime auroras experience, book a stay here. ■

RWANDA

FINLAND

House of Travel offers so much more than hotels. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz.


Cruising Tips and inspiration from our experts.

W H Y YOU M U ST C RU I SE

The Islands of Hawai‘i. Recommended by

ANNIE MELLOR HOUSE OF TRAVEL CRUISING EXPERT

A HAWAIIAN CRUISE is an all-time favourite because it offers so much more than idyllic palm fringed beaches, sunshine and outstanding scenery. Steeped in Polynesian culture and history, you can’t help but fall in love with the people and their traditions. It’s also a foodie’s paradise with beautiful plantations loaded with luscious produce along with all-American diners, trendy Poke outlets, hole in the wall breakfasts and sunset cocktails to die for. Hawai‘i is full of the unexpected, from an active volcano visit to the black sand beaches where turtles roam, while the quirky cowboy towns are a cool contrast to the boho surf villages that hug the coastline. You will never be bored and never be far away from a warm welcome by the locals — and their friendly Shaka sign! (Hang loose Hawaiian style).

Ready for warm sun and surf music? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit hotcruises.co.nz today. 3 0  I N S P I R E   |   HOUS E O F TRAV E L  

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HIGHLIGHTS

YO U R HAWAIIAN CRUISE

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1 / K A U A ` I . This is a foodie’s paradise. Beautifully maintained coffee and macadamia plantations spread for miles and you can experience the whole process from tree to table, including tastings! A highlight is the Vodka factory where local spring water and sugar cane create the perfect blend. 2 / O ` A H U . Recently, while staying in Waikiki before my cruise, I discovered a sprawling 15-block Chinatown close to port. A walking tour lead through bustling stores loaded with Chinese wonders, a fresh food market, hip bars and a Buddhist Temple. Dinner was at ‘Lucky Belly’, with compulsory sunset cocktails. Bliss! 3 / L A N A I . A highlight was meeting an ancestor of King Kamehameha 1 in the Kaunolu Village, once a fishing village in the 1800s. Greeted with the Hawai‘ian Honi (Hongi) this young Kahuna took me through his sacred coastal land where they retain the elders’ oral history, crafts, rituals and sustainable lifestyle. 4 / M A U I . I love to head upcountry to the misty mountain cowboy town of Mokowai and wander through the quaint craft stores and out to Ali’i Kula Lavender farm for a scone with luscious lavender jam. I also can’t stay away from Lahaina; a picturesque town with mariner folklore and delicious seafood. 5 / B I G I S L A N D . The combination of dramatic coastline and volcanic activity makes for a spectacular experience. We stood transfixed at the edge of the Kılauea volcano as the National Park Ranger shared her in-depth knowledge of the region. We also swam at a tiny beach and relaxed in nearby seaside towns. ■

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BUCKETLIST MUST

Cruising in a winter wonderland. Last December, Tony and Tracey Laker from House of Travel Lakers Invercargill escorted a river cruise to the Christmas markets of Europe. Here, Tony explains why a winter Christmas is so special.

Where did you go? Our 2018 ‘Magical European Christmas Markets River Cruise Tour’ was escorted by Tracey and myself, and included a stopover in Dubai (quite the contrast to Christmas in Europe!) then three nights in beautiful Prague and a seven-night river cruise from Nuremburg to Budapest, stopping along the way in Regensburg, Passau, an excursion to Salzburg, Melk, the amazing Wachau Valley, and ‘The City of Music,’ Vienna.

Why is a river cruise a great way to see Europe’s Christmas markets? Christmas time in the cities and towns of Europe is truly enchanting, and a river cruise is a fantastic way of experiencing the festive lights and decorations, and the incredible stalls, while leisurely sailing down the river system in five-star luxury.

What are the advantages of cruising? One of the biggest benefits of river cruising is always the close proximity that the ship berths to the centre of the places you stop, meaning you can easily stroll into the historic areas, and it’s an even bigger benefit at Christmas time when the markets are in full swing.

Where are the Christmas markets located? Every city and town we stopped at along the way featured beautiful and very vibrant Christmas markets, always located in the main squares or most historical areas, and all featuring countless traditional wooden huts selling a huge range of Christmas goodies such as handmade gifts and crafts, amazing food, and very tasty mulled wine.

Is it festive on-board? Christmas on-board a river cruise will make you believe in holiday magic all over again. We were

Tony and Tracey Laker of House of Travel Lakers Invercargill are all smiles in front of a group of new and old friends aboard their European Christmas cruise holiday.

Jingle all the way into a magical European river cruise. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit hotcruises.co.nz.


F A M I LY C R U I S I N G / A N TA R T I C A

Cold hands, warm hearts.

We’ve found far-flung travel brings us closer.

My more adventurous relatives joined me for snowshoeing (center), while the less ambitious took in the incredible views from the ship. By BETH ALLISON, House of Travel

sailing aboard a luxurious ship and it was beautifully decorated. From the baubles to the European villages with fairytale houses and a friendly, festive charm, it was all very beguiling.

What will I see and taste? Everyone on the tour commented how there was so much variety of the items on sale at the markets, and the biggest surprise for everyone was the incredible range of food on offer as well: chocolates, pastries, spicy gingerbread, sweet roasted almonds, specialty sausages, and apfelstudels.

Nobody can remember whose idea it was to try our first family cruise, but that person was a genius. (Must not have been my brother.) Family cruising is a no-brainer when you think about it: With tons of on- and off-board options (and, let’s be honest, a couple of bars), everybody can find something. Then it’s time to meet for dinner, trade stories and anticipate the next day’s excursions. This Christmas, my family did our most adventurous itinerary to date — Antarctica. It’s so remote that cruising is the only way to tour. I can say it was constantly breath-taking, but nothing will explain it. Playful penquins, whales passing 100 meters from the ship, mountains rising from the sea, unblemished silence. Even my mother was speechless. Every day we raced each other in kayaks and pummeled each other with snowballs, and that leaves no time to argue over politics or who forgot a birthday. Then, back to your own stateroom! If you’re considering Antarctica, make it happen. It’s worth every penny. And hey, why not invite your family? ■ What to expect onboard Antarctica cruises priced ...

What’s your fondest memory? Happy locals and tourists enjoying the sweet sound of carols, the vibrancy of the markets, the giant Christmas trees, and the specialty food (did I mention the mulled wine!!?) If you love a Christmas atmosphere: the smell of a Christmas tree and the chorus of carol singers, then you’ll love this.

What tips would you give customers for a trip like this? This is a journey that will bring out your inner child and get you excited for Christmas. ■

B E L O W $ 1 0 , 0 0 0p p Larger cruise ships usually visit as part of a longer South American voyage, for a taste of what the destination offers, without putting your feet on the ice. Expect lots of scenic cruising and on-deck opportunities to watch for wildlife. Don’t forget your binoculars!

A B O V E $ 1 0 , 0 0 0p p Luxury Expedition ships complete with their own fleet of zodiacs and destination experts. Get up close and personal with the great white continent and its inhabitants. Despite Antarctica’s remoteness, you won’t compromise on comfort or luxury.

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TYPE CAST

Which cruise ship is right for you? Cruising now has yes-appeal for every type of traveller with ships as diverse as the destinations they visit. Whether you’re a fan of resort-style ships or prefer the intimacy of a small ship; you look for child-friendly adventures or educational sightseeing, your perfect cruise is out there. Have a read over our Cruise Personalities below to work out the best ship to suit you, then look for the corresponding icon on the right.

TYPE 1

The resort cruiser

TYPE 2

The tasteful cruiser

TYPE 3

The luxury cruiser

TYPE 4

The adventure cruiser

TYPE 5

The solo cruiser

You enjoy a range of entertainment and experiences whilst still remaining budget conscious. Cruise on a resort-style ship and you can expect an exciting range of activities and amazing facilities offering great value for money. Tthere is something for everyone, from children’s centres, health spas, bars & restaurants to adults-only areas and Broadway-style shows. You are a traveller who enjoys the finer things. These cruise lines offer the benefits of contemporary ships, but go further with finer amenities and a more upscale environment. They primarily cater to more discerning travellers who are seeking a sophisticated level of service, ship amenities and accommodation. Many offer children’s programmes. You dream of elegant surroundings with well-appointed suites, gourmet cuisine and unusual shore excursions accompanied by exceptional personalised service. Itineraries are typically destination focused, calling at ports and islands that larger ships are unable to access. Ships are typically smaller, specialising in amazing service and will cater to your every wish. You are an intrepid traveller looking for a one-of-a-kind experience. Expedition cruising is a taste of exploration and adventure in off-thebeaten-path places. The ships are able to navigate closer to scenic wonders. Led by an expedition team with lecturers who give presentations on destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and Greenland. There's never been a better time to get onboard solo. Certain lines have hosted parties for the unattached and singles-themed cocktail nights. Providing the perfect foundation to acquire new friends, mix and mingle, meet up at Happy Hour, see a show or watch some comedy. A few cruises also offer single cabins and group social networking prior to departure.

3 4  Still I N S P unsure? I R E   |   HOUS E Owhat F TRAV EL  B E TTE R TOGETHER . That’s we’re here for. Come in-store,

call us on 0800 713 715 or visit hotcruises.co.nz today.


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TRAVEL DIARY

An adventure for appetite. The world’s best food and wine events for this year and next.

Pizzafest in Naples, Italy. 6-15 SEPTEMBER 2019

I F YO U ’ R E B O R D E R L I N E addicted to pizza, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The good folk of Naples invented this globally-loved dish, and they’re so obsessed with it they made a festival in its honour. Pizzafest is a seven day celebration of all things pizza, held every year and attracting over 50 Neapolitan pizzerias and 500,000 visitors. Every night the city’s Lungomare Caracciolo region transforms into Pizza Village complete with pizza stalls, stands and jubilant pizzaioli (pizza chefs) coaxing you in with their dough throwing and smooth Italian personas. Over the course of a week, they will collectively serve over 10,000 pizzas, culminating in the acclaimed World Pizza-Making

Championships where the winner of the world’s best pizza is announced. From classic Napolitana to Margherita and Marinara, the title is anyone’s for the taking. In fact, the winner of the festival’s first competition was a Japanese-inspired creation. If you like the idea of Pizzafest but would prefer the camaraderie of a tour group, why not go with a small group tour? You’re granted daily evening access to Pizza Village for tastings, demonstrations and a good old yarn with the world’s greatest pizza chefs. Daytimes are filled with trips to Pompeii for historical wonders and Sorrento, to learn how Limoncello is made on a traditional Sorrento lemon farm. It really is the best of Italy, all day and well into the night.

JAN

FEB

MAR

Taste of Tasmania

Toronto Tea Festival

AUSTRALIA

CANADA

PERU

The height of summer calls for an ice-cream churned by the scoop-sperts (gelato scooping experts) at Taste of Tasmania. Or a long summer’s lunch perhaps? Fronting Hobart’s sun-soaked waterfront enjoy gourmet demonstrations, food workshops and plenty of eating.

We’ve read your tea leaves and it predicts you’ll be attending the largest festival for tea lovers next February. The Toronto Tea Festival is held annually and brings together brewers and brands for a tea-riffic time.

Coinciding with grape harvest, La Vendimia is celebrated across Peru to celebrate wine and Piscomaking traditions, however it’s most prominent in the south. Head to Ica for grape stomping, folk music, fireworks and feasts.

JUL

AUG

Vendimia Wine & Pisco Festival

SEP

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Maine Lobster Festival

CALIFORNIA, USA

USA

FRANCE

Between the cooking comps and chef demos sits Gourmet Alley. An enormous outdoor kitchen where vendors cook up garlic shrimps, pasta, breads, and even a questionable garlic ice-cream. But the aroma of garlic sizzling on skillets is borderline inebriating.

Five glorious days to enjoy a slap-up lobster dinner, but also the perfect excuse to visit Rockland Harbor, Maine’s busiest fishing port just 90-minutes north of Portland. With a Ferris wheel, races, parades and pageants, the lobsters are almost outshined.

The annual Marathon du Médoc is a 26-mile “race” through Bordeaux’ Médoc vineyards, with 23 wine stops en route. There’s also cheese, musical breaks and oyster tasting to keep your spirits up. Most partakers cross the finish line six hours later — on their knees and giggling.

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Marathon du Médoc


Fusion cooking in Lima. Yearround yum.

Where’s gourmet heaven? Paris? New York? London? Nope, Lima. The capital of Peru is the tastiest town on the map. With multi-cultural influences, restaurants like Maido are pushing boundaries with their JapanesePeruvian fusion food called “Nikkei”. Maido is one of three Lima restaurants which appear on the acclaimed ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list, an accolade it shares only with New York, Mexico City and London. No city has yet to feature four establishments in the top 50, but watch this space — Lima is hungry for it. We recommend booking Maido two months (yes, TWO months) in advance. But it’s worth it for the sashimi alone!

APR

M AY

JUN

Noosa Vegan Festival

Noosa Food & Wine Festival

AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA

SPAIN

Veg events are in. Fact. And Australia, home to the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world, knows how to put on a plant parade. Noosa Vegan Festival debuted in 2018, with stalls, speakers, wine tasting, cooking demos and the latest vegan products.

Noosa’s food festival is always a pleasure because they do such a fine job at keeping taste buds titillated. From food trails and farm tours to breakfast on the beach and over 50 winemakers, the set-up is as inventive as the food. And all this to a stunning, Noosa Beach backdrop.

Every year, Haro, deep in Spain’s Rioja region, hosts a multi-day festival. At night, the cobblestone roads erupt into a huge street party, and at dawn, the ‘wine battle’ starts. A water fight of sorts, vessels of every variety are filled with red wine and thrown at fellow revellers.

OCT

NOV

Haro Wine Festival

DEC

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival

Great November Feast

USA

HONG KONG

York Christmas Festival ENGLAND

Three weekends of gourmet events across multiple exotic islands, Hawaii’s annual food festival attracts 10,000 attendees and 150 chefs. Chow down on tropical tastes on Oahu, Maui and the Island of Hawai‘i.

This one’s a month-long line-up of gourmet food and drink events scattered citywide. From oodles of noodles to wine and whiskey walks, your belly says book now.

Every November through to December, York’s medieval streets transform into a festive playground. With icerinks and Christmas markets, mulled wine flows and justbaked mince pies sit in every tea shop window.

Feeling peckish? Come see us in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz.


TIP SHEET

END NOTES / MY BEST TRAVEL STORY

Bolivia and Peru. Roads less travelled. By CAROL SUTTON GE T TI N G THER E.

LATAM flies Dreamliners direct from Auckland to its hub in Santiago, Chile. From there, grab easy connections to Lima, Cuzco, La Paz and more. To maximise your time there, travel with a small group tour. Or we can create you a personalised itinerary with a private guide.

TRAN S P ORT.

By CAROL SUTTON, House of Travel Matamata

I N D U LG E A L L YO U R S E N S E S with a taste of Bolivia and Peru… First stop La Paz! At around 3,600 metres, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. Visit the “Valley of the Moon” and use the world’s most extensive cable car system, a public transportation system costing just $0.80 per ride! Next up, a short flight to Uyuni to visit the Salar de Uyuni (Bolivan Salt Flats) and 12,000 square kilometres of PURE SALT. We stayed at Palacio del Sal Hotel, a hotel built completely from salt. Take a drive across the salt plains and discover the mysterious island Isla Incahuasi, covered in cacti, fossils and corals. Definitely take some epic pics, the Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest reflecting mirror. I adore Bolivia — put it on your bucket list! Acclimatised fully, it was time to head to Cusco, and prepare for our four Day Inca Trail Trek. Cusco itself is a magical city that straddles two worlds. Ancient Incan ruins with colourful handicrafts markets dotted across Cusco exude a wonderful ornate local flavour. But equally you’ll be impressed by the majestic architecture that gives the city a truly Renaissance feel. Don’t

cut your time short in Cusco, indulge, there is so much to see and do, plus several massages at 30 soles (NZ$12) are compulsory. Another Cusco must-do is Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain. A hidden gem and the alternative trek for Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain. You will not only see one ‘Rainbow Mountain’ but numerous others, and hike for only one hour instead of three. The views are magnificent. Machu Picchu is the highlight of most travel itineraries, receiving over 1.2 million visitors annually (most arrive via train on a day trip from Cusco) but for the adventurous, with a moderate to high level of fitness, I would thoroughly recommend the four Day Classic Inca Trail Trek. Robyn Williams, a friend and travelling companion, wrote “A stunning 43km walk over four days with two amazing friends to Machu Picchu. The destination was the dream, but in reality, the journey was the highlight, filled with stunning scenery and unforgettable memories”. To me, this sums up the experience perfectly. ■

TI ME . If combining both Peru and Bolivia, you really need at least 10 to 15 days. VI SAS. No visas are required when travelling on an NZ passport to Peru or Bolivia. WHE N TO GO.

Awesome yearround! But if you want to hike the Inca Trail, June to September is driest. For altitude sickness, consume lots of water and sugar! The local coca tea helps and is readily available at hotels.

HE ALTH.

Ready to go? Come in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz.

WHY TRAVEL / REASON NO. 1296

“I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on Earth — Then I ask myself the same question.” Turkish author Harun Yahya

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EKK0441

Flying daily to over

40 DESTINATIONS in Europe

39   I N S P I R E   |   HOUSE O F TRAV E L   B E TTE R TOGETHER . Flying twice daily ex Auckland and once daily ex Christchurch.

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ALL OUR HOUSE OF TRAVEL CONSULTANTS LOVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIT DOWN WITH YOU AND HELP PLAN YOUR NEXT GREAT HOLIDAY. We’ll take your ideas then add our own tips and suggestions on how to make your time away very special.

But just as important we’ll help you avoid the various pitfalls when booking flights, tours and accommodation along with lengthy flight connections, sudden cancellations, forgotten visas, lost luggage and missing passports to name a few. It’s what we’ve been doing every single day for the last 30 years now. Making Kiwi holidays even better by working together.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP.

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TOG E TH E R

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Profile for House of Travel

Inspire Magazine - February/March 2019