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INSIDE OUR PRUE DUNBAR SHARES HER INDIA PHOTOJOURNAL 30

TIPS FOR SOLO TRAVEL 4

| AMAZING EUROPEAN ROADIES 18

+ MYTH BUSTING Six common travel myths exposed.

what’s on your bucket list?

| 24 HOURS IN PARIS 22

| CRUISE THE USA 34


THE PRIDE WE TAKE IN DELIGHTING YOU WITH AWARD-WINNING CUISINES That’s what makes us the world’s most awarded airline

Gold Medal For Best Overall Cellar Business Traveller, Cellars In The Sky (UK ) 2017 Gold Medal For Best Business Class Cellar Business Traveller, Cellars In The Sky (UK ) 2017 Best Premium Economy Catering Sky trax World Airline Awards (UK ) 2017 2   I N S P I R E   |   H OUSE O F TRAV E L  

B E TTE R TOGETHER .


Contents IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS

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T H E B I G B U C K E T L I ST We asked New Zealanders all about their top bucket list destinations.

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M Y T H B U ST I N G Shedding some light on common travel myths.

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TO P E U RO P E ROA D I E S Four of our favourites.

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24 H O U RS I N PA R I S An insider tell us what to see — and where to eat!

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U N E X P E CT E D AU ST R A L I A Five truly incredible ideas.

E U RO P E YO U R WAY Eight gateway cities: Which will you choose?

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A M A Z I N G A RG E N T I N A Twelve days of bliss.

HOUSE OF TRAVEL CONTRIBUTORS Customer Engagement Celeste Ryall Africa Shelley Adkins Australia Julia Bozich South Pacific Natalie Von Dincklage North America Gabrielle Brown Asia Paula Watson Uk & Europe Angela Webber South America John Shillibeer Touring John Crouch Cruise Jeff Leckey Design and words Beth Allison Contributors Prue Dunbar, Camille Wathle, Jessica Rogers

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M Y T R I P TO I N D I A Our Prue Dunbar shares photos from her holiday.

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C RU I S I N G F RO M T H E U SA The perfect quick guide. SOLO TRAVEL. . . . . . . . . . . . .4 DREAMSPOT. . . . . . . . . . . . 5 HOT DRINKS. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4 POSTCARD. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5 C H ATS W I T H F R I E N DS . . . 3 2

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QUICKIE GUIDE. . . . . . . . . 3 3 T R AV E L D I A RY . . . . . . . . . . . 3 6 T RU E STO RY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 8

I NS P I R E is a House of Travel publication that showcases the latest travel news, tips and inspiration from our travel consultants. HOU SE OF TRAV EL   |  

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H OT T I P S / S O LO T R AV E L E D I T I O N

ON A SOLO ADVENTURE. We’re often asked about solo travel and with good reason: It’s a great way to get out there! House of Travel can even match you with a room share. Here are some of our favourite ideas.

The new singles cruising. Some of our top cruise lines offer staterooms designed for just one! Norwegian Cruise Line boasts Single Studios on its resort-style ships, which you’ll find heading to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea. Even better, the ships offer singles lounges and informal meet-ups. Social solos easily meet dining companions or friends for life. Meanwhile, Cunard offers Single Staterooms on all three of its Queens — with prices to match. No surprise these rooms are extremely popular. We recommend booking early. Find more cruise on page 34.

Safari for one, please. One trick for savvy solo travellers is avoiding hefty single supplements. Solitary creature? Join fellow singles for a stay at South Africa’s Makutsi Safari Springs, which charges guests the same price, whether or not they travel in a herd. Sitting on 12,000 acres of pristine wildlife conservation reserve, it offers comfortable stays and fantastic game viewing. For more wild talk of African safaris, jump to page 12.

Solo specific. Take an overnight boat ride in Halong Bay or a heart-pounding motorbike tour through Hue on one of Intrepid’s most popular tours, the Vietnam Express. Here’s the catch: Some departures are specifically for solo travellers. Book a private room for a negligible fee. Either way, everyone will be in the same, er, boat.

Recommended by

JACQUI HARVEY HOUSE OF TRAVEL NEW LYNN

Recommended by

ESTHER RU BAY HOUSE OF TRAVEL MT MAUNGANUI

SWE E T R E TR E AT

One of the best things about travelling alone is the chance to completely recharge. Ask us about a place where you can escape the reach of everyone on your contact list. We’ll connect you with The Retreat on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Its 5-night Revive & Renew experience includes yoga, nature hikes, massage, hyper-healthy meals and more. Too far? Ask us about options in Bali.

Come talk to us about even more solo travel options and set off on your own holiday.

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All the single ladies. Women’s-only small group tours are really taking off. Nearly 80 percent of travellers join these groups alone, so you’re sure to find instant friends. House of Travel can even match you with a roommate before you depart. And just like that, somebody to share the bottle of Rosé!


DREAM SPOT ST R AT H C O N A P ROV I N C I A L PA R K B R I T I S H C O LU M B I A , CA N A DA

Photo by Taylor Burk

POSTCARD-PERFECT WILDERNESS.

“To find paradise smack in the centre of Vancouver Island, head to Strathcona Park. It’s a stunning mix of mountain peaks, glaciers and the highest waterfall in Canada. Lace up your hiking boots for awesome tramping tracks through dense forests and alpine areas. Or bring a picnic and relax next to crystal-clear lakes. So much of this park remains totally undeveloped and all of it is pristine.” WILMA BESWICK, House of Travel On Hunter

Ready to float on by? Pop in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ to start planning your trip.

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D R I V E R O U T E 6 6 | E X P L O R E D I S N E Y L A N D | STAY I N A N OV E RWAT E R B U N G A L OW | TA K E A N A F R I C A N S A FA R I

THE BIG BUCKET LIST.

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| S M E L L T H E C H E R RY B L O S S O M S | C R U I S E A N TA R C T I C A

As part of our new Get a Better Bucket List competition, we asked for your top travel dreams. You gave us heaps of adventurous, offbeat & downright dreamy ideas. Here’s a taste of the top rated experiences.

Explore Santorini while

1 | Cruising the Greek Islands. We asked

KELLY CHARLTON HOUSE OF TRAVEL WESTPORT

“With so many incredible Greek islands to explore, I always suggest cruising: It’s easy to unpack once and leave the rest to the ship’s captain! Many of Greece’s most famous islands, like Santorini, are perfect for a short visit: You can take in those iconic hilltop views and still have plenty of time for the beach and the unbelievably fresh seafood in sunny, whitewashed tavernas. The next morning, a new port awaits. I think it’s the perfect way to experience Greece! My favourite itineraries include Santorini, Mykonos, Crete and Kusadasi in Turkey, where you’ll see the legendary ruins at Ephesus. One-way cruises from Greece to Italy are great options too. There’s a huge range of all-inclusive 3, 4, 7-night and longer cruises with local and international cruise lines. Small ships tend to visit more off-the-beaten-track islands, but larger ships offer more onboard. We’ll find the perfect fit for you: History buffs love Delos, for example, while Corfu offers great shopping and amazing beaches. Let’s chat about where you want to go — and find the ship to take you!”

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T H E B I G B U C K E T L I ST

Hop in a convertible and

2 | Drive Route 66 in the USA. We asked

LISA AYRES HOUSE OF TRAVEL TAKAPUNA

“Route 66 is the stuff of legend — the ultimate American drive! It runs from Chicago to Los Angeles and passes major sights like the Grand Canyon and the Mississippi River (plus some of my favourite gems like historic Blue Swallow Motel in New Mexico and the Old West town of Seligman — where you can grab lunch at Roadkill Café)! Though it really depends on your itinerary — where you want to stop, how long you’re prepared to drive in a day — I suggest at least 16 days to go the whole way. We can also arrange portions of the drive (like the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles in five days). As far as which car to take, that depends on how much of a romantic you are! Some say there’s only one car that captures the spirit of Route 66: A convertible Ford Mustang! For the practical, compact cars and SUVs make for easy and economical driving. I always tell my customers not to miss the Cadillac Ranch in Texas and classic burger spots like Carl’s Drive-In in Missouri.”

Take my family and

3 | Spend the days exploring Disneyland. We asked

LEAH HERBERT HOUSE OF TRAVEL BARRINGTON

“Whether you’re young or young-at-heart, you’re in for a magical holiday — I’ve sent couples, families with tweens, toddlers, grandparents, everyone. Disney is always adding cutting-edge rides alongside famous kids classics like Peter Pan’s Flight, Alice in Wonderland and Mad Tea Party. Expect unforgettable moments, whether it’s a greeting from Donald Duck or a dance with Goofy on Main Street. Ask about personalised reservations for an unforgettable meal with favourite characters. I really recommend following the locals and heading to the park early to get ahead of the crowds, which leaves afternoons for pool breaks. The free FASTPass lets you skip ride queues to pack in more fun. Don’t forget to download the Disneyland app to pre-order meals, check wait times and find your favourite characters in the park. And don’t miss Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a whole new part of the park, where you can fly the Millennium Falcon in a crazily realistic simulator. Toast your bravery — or your patience in Toontown — with outta this galaxy cocktails at nearby Oga’s Cantina.” The perfect add-on to Disney in California? A cruise from Los Angeles! Jump to page 34 for more.

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T H E B I G B U C K E T L I ST

Wake up in

4 | An overwater bungalow. We asked

SAMANTHA JOHNSTON HOUSE OF TRAVEL TAUPO

“Being able to sit on your overwater deck and watch the sun go down is a truly unforgettable experience. There are overwater bungalows around the world, from the Maldives to Malaysia, but our most popular sit in the islands of Tahiti and Fiji. If staying the entire time in an overwater bungalow blows the budget, I love organising room swapping: Enjoy a few nights in a beach bungalow and one or two overwater. Be sure to ask your consultant for a bungalow with direct access to the lagoon — not all offer this. The further into the lagoon you are, the deeper the water and the better the view. Also, you’ll hear about the ‘sunset’ side: Let us know if seeing sunsets from your bungalow is a priority so we can make it happen!” Wondering which island is right for you? Consult our handy (and supremely simplified) guide on page 33.

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T H E B I G B U C K E T L I ST

Walk the Inca Trail and

5 | See the sun rise over Machu Picchu. “The Inca Trail follows ancient paths high into the Andes. The 4-day, 3-night hike is about 40 kilometres, much of it steep. But anyone who’s done it will tell you the views are worth every step: Incan ruins, cloud forest and majestic valleys are laid out like breadcrumbs en route to Machu Picchu. Local law requires trekkers have a permit and guide, so talk to us about our favourite tours, which sell out up to a year in advance. If you’re keen for the sights but not the trek, take a scenic train ride from nearby Ollantaytambo. You’ll also love Cusco, the beautiful colonial city where your experience begins. It’s worth staying a few days to acclimatise to the altitude before your trek — or just to try Chica, a traditional Andean tipple made from yellow maize!”

Rug up and

6 | Cruise Antarctica. We asked

FERNANDO DE RITO HOUSE OF TRAVEL NEWMARKET

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“This is hands down one of the world’s most stunning destinations — a truly untouched frontier. It’s so hard to describe the unspoiled wild of it or how truly far you’ll feel from the world when you get there. Antarctica is so remote that cruising is the only way to see it. Expeditions run from November to March, when temperatures are highest and the sun barely sets. There are heaps of choices, so talk to a consultant about what you’re looking for. Larger ships keep pricing slightly lower — at least by Antarctic

B E TTE R TOGETHER .

We asked

SARAH CROWE HOUSE OF TRAVEL HIGH STREET LANES

standards — but they don’t always put you on shore, as there are strict rules for tourism here. Smaller boutique and expedition ships come with slightly higher price tags, but you can expect to land for adventures like snow-shoeing, trekking and kayaking, plus get onboard extras like lectures on the region. The most incredible thing about cruising has to be the 3600 views from the deck — peaks rising from the sea, bobbing icebergs, cresting whales. Take it all in while staying cosy inside with a glass of Malbec!”


Soak up the magic of

7 | Christmas in New York. We asked

SUSAN BERNARD HOUSE OF TRAVEL LAKERS GORE

“New York City is an unbelievable place. I’ve heard people say it’s everyplace in the world at once, and I think they’re right. But at Christmastime it’s downright magical. Think snow-dusted streets lit up with decorations, festive restaurants and hotels covered in balsam, carols everywhere. There are unforgettable sights, like the iconic Christmas tree lighting up Rockefeller Center, the ice skaters zipping around Bryant Park and the store windows along Fifth Avenue. I love to recommend the famous Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular at historic Radio City Music Hall or New York City Ballet’s iconic The Nutcracker, complete with falling snow and a Christmas tree that grows on-stage. Explore outdoor Christmas markets throughout the city, then warm up with a pure hot chocolate at Sant Ambroeus or a steaming hot toddy at Rolf’s, where you’ll find hands down the best decor in the city. And if you’re travelling with wee ones, don’t miss Macy’s Santaland — the Macy’s from the movie Miracle on 34th Street.”

Wander beneath the famous

8 | Cherry blossoms blooming in Japan. We asked

NATHAN BARTLETT HOUSE OF TRAVEL ASHBURTON

“The cherry blossom, or sakura, is an integral part of Japanese culture. In Japan, you’ll not only find thousands of cherry trees across the country, but sakura even in ice cream and soda! Blossom festivals are held throughout the country with parties called hanami — “flower viewing.” They’re beautiful at night, with lanterns lighting the trees. On Japan’s southern islands, blossoms can open as early as January; on the northern island of Hokkaido, they bloom as late as May. When we plan your trip, we’ll look at which areas will be in full bloom during your stay. For example, blossoms typically open in Tokyo about a week before they do in Kyoto.” For more on Japan, head to page 37. We’ve chatted to Rob Waddell for his insider tips on Tokyo.

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T H E B I G B U C K E T L I ST

See the sky painted by

9 | The Northern Lights. We asked

ANNA BELL HOUSE OF TRAVEL KERIKERI

“Seeing the Northern Lights means looking for places with a magnetic latitude above 55 and low light pollution…in other words, you’re getting well off the beaten track! I’ve sent customers to Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, and even northern Scotland to chase the Lights. For the best chance of seeing the aurora borealis, you’re after clear, dark skies from the end of September to early March. We can even arrange a truly Bucket List-worthy glass igloo stay, where you can stare up at the Lights from the cosiest of beds. My favourite suggestion for Lights spotting is probably Iceland. Even leaving aside the aurora, it’s an incredible place to visit, with stunning glaciers, massive geysers, huge waterfalls and fascinating Viking history. But in terms of where it sits on the globe, it’s an aurora viewing jackpot. You need the weather to cooperate, but Iceland’s famous coastal drive lets you chase clear skies. On a particularly good night, you can even spy Lights from the capital Reykjavík: Locals watch from the Grotta Lighthouse.”

Spot new friends

10 | On safari anywhere in Africa. We asked

BRENDON MAGUIRE HOUSE OF TRAVEL NELSON

“Safaris can suit all budgets! Many African countries offer private game reserves in addition to national parks, with plenty of ways to visit — even self-drives for complete independence. Small group tours offer bush camping, guesthouses and luxury hotels. With a larger budget, I love to recommend private game lodges, which offer exclusive wildlife viewing only to their guests. They’re incredible with amazing dining, and you can enjoy morning and late afternoon game drives — plus sundowners at sunset. I suggest staying at camps in different areas of a park to maximise the experience. A lesser known option is a rail journey. The Rovos Rail, for example, leaves Cape Town and travels through Botswana into Hwange Game Reserve in Zimbabwe, visiting Victoria Falls and finishing in Tanzania. With choices like these, we can plan a safari that’s just to your interests.” ■

No matter where you want to go, we can help. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ and let’s chat.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” 1 2   I N S P I R E   |   H OUS E O F TRAV E L  

B E TTE R TOGETHER .

American first lady Eleanor Roosevelt


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HOT DRINKS

Have you bean there? Not if you haven’t tried the coffee. Here are nine brews we’re buzzing about. Cà Phê Trung, Vietnam

Cafe de Olla, Mexico

Strong coffee topped with a frothy layer of whipped egg yolk and sugar.

Cloves, anise and cinnamon boiled with coffee, sugar & chocolate, then strained.

HOT PICK | Maison Alnam Café, 12 Lê Thánh Tông, Da Nang, Hanoi

HOT PICK | Café Passmar, Calle, Adolfo Prieto s/n, Del Valle, Mexico City

Türk kahvesi, Turkey

Cafezinho, Brazil

Very finely ground coffee, unfiltered, served with a nugget of Turkish Delight.

Small, electric jolts of java generally brewed straight with the sugar.

HOT PICK | Şark Kahvesi Istanbul Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

HOT PICK | Café Floresta, Edifício Copan, Centro, Avenida Ipiranga 200, São Paulo

Yuenyeung, Singapore Served hot or cold, it’s parts black coffee and parts Hong-Kong style milk tea. HOT PICK | Dapper Coffee, 73 Amoy Street, Second Floor, Singapore

Café con leche, Argentina

Espresso, Italy

Velvety milk and high voltage espresso spun into one delicious cuppa.

One very strong shot. Drink it standing at the bar like the locals.

HOT PICK | La Biela, Avenida Presidente, Manuel Quintana 596, Recoleta, Buenos Aires

HOT PICK | Caffe Tazza D’Oro, Via degli Orfani, Rome

Kaffeost, Scandinavia

Caife Gaelach, Ireland

Firm, mild cheese turns to exquisite cream when topped with hot coffee.

Hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, topped with freshly whipped cream.

HOT PICK | Cafe Porotupa, Inari, Finland

HOT PICK | The Brazen Head, 20 Lower Bridge St, The Liberties, Dublin

Keen bean? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ and let’s chat.

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JENNY NILSSON HOUSE OF TRAVEL HAWKES BAY

“What I loved most about Chicago was the architecture, the incredible mix of art deco and modern styles. An easy walk around this hip city inspired and captivated me. I’m an art nut, so of course I’m going to mention that street art and sculptures were amazing. There’s plenty to see and do — riverboat rides and tours like the gangster history of the 1920s. I loved hearing the wild stories about the days of Al Capone. A night out with locals listening to jazz at Buddy Guy’s Legends is a definite must-do. Chicago is an incredible gateway city for Kiwis — You can easily explore the northeastern states and it’s the start point for the famous Route 66 drive!” ■

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HOW WE TRAVEL NOW

Busting the myths we hear about travel agents. W E ’ R E H E A D I N G toward an ‘instant’ era,

when nearly anything can be arranged online with a few clicks. This has led some to wonder whether travel agents are relics of a bygone era. At House of Travel, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, thanks to new technology, we’re doing more than ever! Here’s how we add value, expertise, experience and great Kiwi service to your holiday planning.

MYTH 1

MYTH 2

MYTH 3

A travel agent will cost me more than booking online.

Travel consultants really just book flights and hotels.

Travel agents are out of touch with technology.

At House of Travel, it’s the exact opposite! We have industry resources and strong, long-standing relationships with travel suppliers that mean we get you the best rate possible. “Just last week I had a customer give us a go after seeing our advertisements and she was pleasantly surprised that our prices were lower than what they’d found online,” says House of Travel Milford’s Kirstin Curling. “But as we often say, ‘It isn’t a great price unless it’s a great holiday.’ It’s no good matching the cost for your romantic getaway when the resort we are matching is family-friendly complete with kids club and a hydro slide.”

Although flights and hotels are a priority when planning a trip, it’s everything else that comes together to make a trip truly special. Our consultants create bespoke holidays to your tastes and preferences. And we organise everything you need to make a great holiday — and ensure you have the right travel insurance for you and your budget. “We often end up doing far more than you’d expect to create the perfect holiday,” says House of Travel Christchurch City’s Belinda Fifield. “From liaising with local florists for special occasions to booking hair and spa appointments, it’s those little extras that make a holiday amazing.”

We’re excited about what new technology means for us and our customers: We’ll be able to do more, faster! We’re constantly learning the latest trends and upgrading our offerings. “Customers are often surprised that in one search we check all the same booking sites you would at home — plus more that you can’t access,” says House of Travel Howick’s Alison Kearney. “One customer always brings his laptop to compare rates he finds with what I can get. Last time, it was a month-long trip and we matched or bettered the whole itinerary — and added some new ideas he hadn’t thought of!”

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MYTH 5

Travel consultants will encourage me to buy products where they make more commission. Nobody wants to be hit with sales pitches! We believe a great holiday means an incredible experience at a good value. That means our suggestions should enhance your experience and are never about boosting a commission. “In our business, word of mouth is critical,” says House of Travel High Street Lanes’ Sarah Crowe. “That’s why we follow up with every customer when they get home. We never make recommendations for our own benefit. We genuinely recommend the best thing for our customer. Last week I made a reservation at a local hotspot for a customer travelling to Singapore. I earned no commission doing this, but I know she’s going to love this experience. We are all about going the extra mile to create incredible holiday experiences.”

MYTH 6 MYTH 4

I can easily book my own holiday completely myself.

Part of the fun of planning a holiday is looking at the incredible options available, but it can also get a bit overwhelming. We invest heavily in training across all aspects of travel — and importantly, our people are travellers too. “Our knowledge of destinations, hotels and airlines really makes a difference,” says Judy Harkness at House of Travel Calder and Lawson. “From sharing tips like the name of a great tailor in Hoi An or the best gelato in Florence, to booking the best room in a hotel. Our job is answering questions you didn’t know you needed to ask. I recently had a group of ladies enquire about a particular package. After asking what they wanted to do on their holiday and why they chose this package, I suggested a completely different destination that would give them the holiday they were describing. They ended up booking and had a ball.”

A travel consultant won’t work with my research. Actually, we encourage your research, which we can combine with our expertise to create the best holiday for you — it’s our brand promise. “I really like to chat about what my customers have found. It helps me create their perfect holiday,” says House of Travel Nelson’s Amanda Radovanovich. “Recently a customer asked me to book flights to Europe. They reluctantly told me they’d already organised an itinerary and hotels. Talking through their itinerary enabled us to adjust it so they saved on airport taxes, replaced flights with rail to avoid time in airports and I managed to save them just over $1000. Some of the changes I suggested ended up being the highlights of their trip.” ■

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

THE ROADS BEST TRAVELLED IN EUROPE.

We believe Europe is best discovered along its tiny lanes and scenic coastal roads. House of Travel Cambridge’s Amanda Tunley picks four of her favourite self-drives.

Wild Atlantic Way

Fields of France

Ireland’s most famous drive. Linger over a pint in friendly fishing villages and admire the dramatic moors and ocean cliffs.

From the warm beaches and languid evenings of Nice to the fragrant fields of Provence, delights are endless.

Best time to visit: May through October Typical travel time: 8 days / 7 nights

Best time to visit: May through October Typical travel time: 8 days / 7 nights

Head out of Dublin and into the quiet Irish countryside, where jaw-dropping coastal views meet ancient history. Navigate the rugged landscapes of Connemara National Park before arriving to the famed Cliffs of Moher and lively pubs of Galway City. We love the daily traditional music sessions at the pub Tig Coili. Ramble the city’s medieval streets before heading off to the stunning Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry. Stroll scenic paths and explore villages that catch your eye before returning to Dublin.

Clifden Maam Cross Galway Birr Castle Demesne Cliffs of Moher Kilrush Dingle Peninsula Ring of Kerry

HIGHLIGHTS Inch Beach. A stunning stretch of sand with lovely views of the hills along the Dingle Peninsula. You’ll find a small, friendly café and a surf school. Teeling Whisky Distillery. Stop in for a tasting at this funky distillery in the heart of Dublin.

Dublin

Roussillon L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

Gordes Ménerbes Aix-en-Provence Marseille

Tralee Killarney

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HIGHLIGHTS Abbey de Senanque. Discover this 12th century abbey set deep in a valley outside Gordes. Villefranchesur-Mer. A hidden medieval street unfolds beneath the oldest part of a postcardperfect fishing village.

Avignon

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Limerick

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You’ll easily see why so many famed painters were inspired by this gorgeous region. Set out from Nice and head for the sunny fields of Provence, calling in along the way for a café au lait in Picasso’s home of Mougins. Become blasé about incredible views of the Alps and the Mediterranean from Saint-Paulde-Vence and Aix-en-Provence before turning toward the brilliant colours of the Luberon landscapes. Admire the ancient walls of Avignon before saying, as the locals do, “au revoir” — “until the next time.”

Gourden Grasse

Saint-Paulde-Vence Nice

Mougins

Biot Antibes


DRIVING IN EUROPE TIP SHEET By AMANDA TUNLEY, House of Travel Cambridge

GO S MALL . Compact cars make for much easier driving on the small country lanes.

In a city at the start or end of the trip? Don’t include the car hire during your stay. It’s an easy way to avoid the headache (and cost) of parking.

PL AN N I N G.

Get an international driver’s permit from AA before you go—you may be asked for it.

AD MI N .

TO LL ROADS. Main highways are usually toll roads. Keep some cash/coins to pay these, in case your hire car doesn’t have an automatic pass.

When you pick up a hire car, check that any existing damage is marked on the hire agreement documentation. Ask about GPS hire, which is really helpful if you don’t have access to smartphone data.

PI CK U P.

Stunning Tuscany

The Romantic Road

An immersive drive that offers the best of Italy. Local markets, quiet villages and endless landscapes fill the days.

Meander through striking Bavarian landscapes studded with magnificent castles in a land straight out of a fairy tale.

Best time to visit: March through November Typical travel time: 8 days / 7 nights

Best time to visit: April through October Typical travel time: 8 days / 7 nights

Ideal for anyone with taste buds, this itinerary begins in Florence, home to famous art, the Renaissance Duomo and iconic Ponte Vecchio. Stay in a villa and pass afternoons in villages whose names sound like pasta noodles. Each will be somehow older than the one before, with medieval walls and Roman fortifications. Pause at Pisa for a photo with the Leaning Tower. Live like a local by shopping the markets for fresh produce before returning to your villa pool. Fantasize about a career change before returning to Florence.

HIGHLIGHTS Chianti. Recognise every name as a wine you love. Don’t miss Avignonesi, one of Italy’s oldest wineries. Michelangelo’s hidden drawings. Doodles of a genius line the walls of a secret room under Florence’s Medici Chapels.

Set off from humming Frankfurt and visit the gothic ruins of Heidelburg Castle before walking the cobbled streets and charming ramparts of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Soak up the sights in Augsburg, one of Germany’s oldest cities, before setting off for Munich and its historic buildings and wild beer halls. Bravely sample various bratwurst. Explore the dense evergreen Black Forest and stop near the gin-clear waters of Lake Titisee. Finally, reward yourself with a tipple at the wineries of stunning gothic Freiburg.

Pistoia Darmstadt

Lucca

Florence

Pisa

Greve in Chianti Figline Valdarno

Neuschwanstein Castle. This fairytale castle looks like it was plucked straight out of a storybook. Munich Residenz. In a former palace, find a curious collection of medieval religious relics, including the supposed head of a disciple.

Frankfurt Wurzburg

Heidelberg

Rothenburg ob de Tauber Dinkelsbühl

San Gimignano

Nördlingen

Bragg Colle di Val d’Elsa

HIGHLIGHTS

Siena

Monteriggioni Montalcino

Freiburg Montepulciano

Pienza

Titisee-Neustadt Augsburg

Schaffhausen

Meersburg Lindau

Munich

Füssen Neuschwanstein

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S D IN F T O H

Six spectacular speakeasies. Hidden gems in some of our favourite cities. Getting in is half the fun. S P E A K E A SY. \ ˈ s p i ː k i ː z i \ noun. 1. Originally referred to the illicit drinking houses of the Prohibition-era (1920-1933) USA. Now a hard-to-find establishment modelled after those secretive barrooms.

Featherweight, New York City

Foxglove, Hong Kong

Jungle Boy, Melbourne

Brooklyn packs a punch. The only sign you’ve found the door to this inventive speakeasy is a towering mural of an exhausted boxer hugging his bag. Hiding at the heart of a thoroughly hip neighbourhood, this dimly lit space offers incredibly creative cocktails to those in the know. The vibe is laid-back but exclusive, and the bartenders are far friendlier than their zip code would imply. Ask them about speciality liquors.

An exquisite find behind a bespoke umbrella shop. This spot wins for best backstory: It’s meant to be the work of a globe-trotting British gentleman. Enter by finding the right umbrella at the back of the boutique: Touch it and a door opens to reveal the retro-futuristic speakeasy. House of Travel Remuera’s Cat Parker shares a secret: “Find a small floral painting. Touch it until it glows to open more spaces.” Inside, definitely order like Bond.

Get tiki in the urban jungle. This low-key space is hidden behind a refrigerator door at the back of late-night sandwich factory Boston Sub on Chapel Street, says House of Travel Lower Hutt’s Hayley Bill. Inspired by The Jungle Book, it gives you the sense of walking into the bricked garden of a grown Mowgli. Reggae and funky pop plays over a crowd that feels like old friends. Lean into the Tarzan of it all and order a flaming concoction in a tiki mug.

135 Graham Ave. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC

2/F, 6 Duddell St. Central, Hong Kong

96 Chapel St. Windsor, Melbourne

The Baxter Inn, Sydney

Stagger Lee, Berlin

The Art of Duplicity, Cape Town

Curiously conspicuous on global Best Bars listings. Ironic for a speakeasy, The Baxter Inn boasts a list of international accolades from those who rank bars for a living. With a mammoth whiskey wall, it’s renowned for unusual releases with unpronounceable names. “Some of the city’s best barmen work here, so definitely try a cocktail,” says House of Travel Broadway’s Dermot Ryan. Find it by walking down an unmarked lane off Clarence Street and turning on what looks like a dead end (The doorman is the welcome giveaway).

The Wild West, but with polish. Not entirely hidden but definitely one of the city’s best kept secrets, the whole place evokes America’s Old West. Think stick candles, saloon doors and elegant leather furnishings. Ring the doorbell and step back in time. The cocktail list pours heavy on American whiskey and flaunts house-made syrups and copious fresh fruit. The staff are especially knowledgeable, so though there is an impressive cocktail list, we recommend going off-piste and asking for something bespoke.

Reward for a riddle. This newly opened spot might be the closest you can get to a 1920’s speakeasy without a time machine. But getting in takes some doing. Make a booking on the bar’s website and receive further instructions: You cannot show up without the password. Once inside, toast your patience with unorthodox offers like the Sicilian Neck Tie (olive-oil washed vodka, limoncello and syrups) or the Hillbilly Breakfast Flip (bourbon, smoked maple syrup and free-range quail egg). You read that right.

152-156 Clarence St. Sydney

Nollendorfstrasse 27, Schöneberg, Berlin

1 Coffee Lane, Cape Town

Tempted? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ and let’s get started together. 20   I N S P I R E   |   H OUS E O F TRAV E L  

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There really is only one way to see the best of Europe – self drive. With a modern fleet, competitive rates and exceptional service, you can enjoy everything Europe has to offer from the comfort of a Hertz rental vehicle. To start planning your next adventure, call or visit your local travel agent. HOU SE OF TRAV EL   |  

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PARIS. 24 HOURS IN

Camille Wathle, House of Travel’s own resident Parisian, suggests culinary and cultural gems in the City of Lights.

BREAKFAST Linger over a croissant.

MORNING | Admire the view from Montmartre.

Bonjour! Greet the day with a freshly baked croissant, baguette or pain au chocolat. It’s impossible to go wrong — There are no bad boulangeries in Paris! If I really must choose favourites, I’d say Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain) is iconic and I love the brunch at Les Bonnes Soeurs (8 Rue du Pas de la Mule). We Parisians love people watching from the terrace of a café. It’s a fantastic way to take in our beautiful city.

Try to beat the crowd with an early morning visit to iconic Parisian basilica SacréCoeur. Then create valuable belly space for lunch with the walk up to Montmartre, a hefty hill on the Right Bank and the perfect place to get extraordinary views over the city. (Don’t worry, there’s also a cable car to the top.) A few cobblestone streets away, stroll through historic Place du Tertre, where local artists sell their work.

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LUNCH A classic French bistro.

Head to Poulette (3 Rue Étienne Marcel), a charming traditional bistro with gorgeously tiled Belle Epoque interiors that will take you back in time. Try the plat du jour (daily special) or a croque monsieur (a hearty, melty ham and cheese sandwich).


EARLY AFTERNOON Stroll a park and sample le Louvre. Stroll through one of Paris’ iconic parks: My favourite is the stunning Jardin du Luxembourg, which began as a royal residence in 1612, but of course Les Tuileries, in front of le Louvre (Rue de Rivoli), is equally gorgeous. Afterward, call into the museum to see Paris’ treasured art. A central landmark of the city with its bold glass pyramids, le Louvre houses masterworks like da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

TEA TIME | Éclair heaven. Break for something sweet and find the nearest L’Éclair de Génie (14 Rue Pavée and other locations) for the best handcrafted éclair you’ll ever taste. An absolute must in Paris, they are works of art. Taste a classic like butter salted caramel or fresh strawberry. In fact, it’s maybe better to have more than one.

DINNER | First an ‘apéro.’ Ease into the evening with an ‘apéro,’ usually a kir (delicious crème de cassis topped by white wine) with pâté and a charcuterie board. Then arrive late for the full brasserie experience at Le Bouillon Chartier (7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre), an iconic spot founded in 1896. You’ll find all the French classics like soupe a l’onion and boeuf bourguignon.

LATE AFTERNOON Window shopping in le Marais.

This hip, iconic neighbourhood is the perfect place to admire Parisian style in tiny boutiques, stop into funky independent bars and discover tiny museums like the Musée Victor Hugo (6 Place des Vosges), where the writer lived.

LATE | A stylish nightcap. Treat yourself to a last tipple in one of the city’s bustling bars. I like to end the day at Le China (50 Rue de Charenton) in Bastille. With red walls, dark wood panelling and a classic checkerboard floor, it feels like you’ve landed in “Midnight in Paris.” Bonsoir! ■

You’re éclair-ly ready for a holiday. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 or visit HOT.CO.NZ HOU715 SE OF TRAV EL   |   I N SP IRtoday. E   23


UK & EUROPE YOUR WAY.

Our air experts break down the best options for flying to Europe. DUBAI UAE

SINGAPORE AIRLINE EMIRATES

AIRLINE SINGAPORE

FLIGHT PATH Transfer after a 16-hour flight from Auckland. Total air time about 27 hours.

FLIGHT PATH Transfer after a 12-hour flight from Auckland. Total air time about 26 hours.

IDEAL STOPOVER: 2 NIGHTS

IDEAL STOPOVER: 2 NIGHTS

A place where everything is a superlative: Take in the view from the world’s tallest building, shop the world’s second largest mall, hit the slopes on the world’s largest indoor skifield or take a fourwheeler tour over the sand dunes of the Arabian Desert. Don’t miss: Massive and iconic Dubai Fountain. Travel notes: Transferring requires only a security check. Or New Zealand passport holders can stopover up to 30 days on an instant visa without any fare charges.

Singapore is a fascinating melting pot of cultures: Little India is easily the most atmospheric of the city’s historic quarters, while Chinatown is unmissable for its delicious food. Orchard Road has top brands enough to impress even the most jaded shopaholic. Don’t miss: Boat Quay is alfresco dining at its best. Travel notes: Changi Airport is consistently voted among the best in the world: Transferring is a breeze thanks to efficient staff, short queues, easy terminal transfers and amazing facilities.

LOS ANGELES USA

SHANGHAI CHINA AIRLINE AIR NEW ZEALAND

AIRLINE CHINA EASTERN

FLIGHT PATH Transfer after a 12.5-hour flight from Auckland. Total air time about 25 hours.*

FLIGHT PATH Transfer after a 12.5-hour flight from Auckland. Total air time about 25 hours.

IDEAL STOPOVER: 3 NIGHTS

IDEAL STOPOVER: 1 NIGHT

This sunny, hip city has mass appeal: Fashionistas will love the shopping while culture vultures can trace movie history. Hit Disneyland or explore Santa Monica and the Pacific Coast. Even consider a short cruise to western Mexico — It’s easy as! Don’t miss: Mexican food! Leo’s Tacos trucks especially. Travel notes: Transferring or stopping in the USA requires a pre-approved ESTA, immigration processing, claiming and rechecking bags, a security check and at least one Aspirin.

Shanghai is a fascinatingly futuristic city, but it can be challenging for foreigners. We recommend city tours, which will include highlights like the famous Bund waterfront, the Oriental Pearl Tower and plenty of delicious noodle dishes. Don’t miss: The French Concession, a slice of Paris in city centre. Travel notes: Transferring requires only a security check but dining options are limited. New Zealand passport holders can stopover for up to 72 hours on the Transit Without Visa programme.

We’ll find the best route at the best value. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ. Air New Zealand offers its own service the entire way only to London. To go elsewhere in Europe, you’ll connect to a Star Alliance partners’ flights. Fly Air New Zealand to the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore or Shanghai to meet onward flights to other destinations in Europe with partnered airlines, not Air New Zealand.

*

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PLAN IT SMARTER

Expert tips for booking flights to Europe. 1 | Book flights well ahead of time. Arranging early gives you more options so you can avoid unneccessarily long routes or inconvenient layovers.

DOHA QATAR AIRLINE QATAR FLIGHT PATH Transfer after a 16.5-hour flight from Auckland. Total air time about 27 hours.

IDEAL STOPOVER: 1 NIGHT

Hop on a city tour for insight into highlights like Doha Harbor, Katara Cultural Village, an artificial island called The Pearl and the Souq Waqif Market, where you can buy the sort of stunning, exotic home goods that say, “I’m quite a traveller.” Don’t miss: Machboos, a traditional spicy stew. Travel notes: Transferring requires only a security check. Or New Zealand passport holders can stopover up to 96 hours on a free Transit Visa without any fare charges.

2 | You can book upgrades for individual flights en route. Consider splurging on extra legroom or premium seating for the lengthiest flights on your itinerary. 3 | Consultants can save you heaps. Our experts know which European airports charge higher taxes (hidden bundled in your ticket price) and can select the best routes to avoid them.

4 | Book on quality airlines. Long-haul price quotes can seem a bit scary. However, consider flights as by-the-hour experiences. Suddenly an extra, say, $150 becomes an extra $6 per hour for a more comfortable plane with stellar entertainment and nicer food — That can really be worth it. 5 | Ask your consultant about alternative transfer points. You needn’t transfer in the same airport departing as you do returning. Emirates, for example, offers transfers in Bali as well as their hub in Dubai — sneak in some cheeky sunshine on the way home! ■

HONG KONG AIRLINE CATHAY PACIFIC FLIGHT PATH Transfer after a 12-hour flight from Auckland. Total air time about 27 hours.

IDEAL STOPOVER: 2 NIGHTS

There’s enough here to keep you busy for weeks: Do a city tour of highlights like the towering Tian Tan Buddha, visit the iconic Chungking Mansions and grab a meal at Jumbo Kingdom, a floating restaurant built to look like an ancient imperial palace. Don’t miss: Dragon’s Beard, a confection of wispy sugar strands. Travel notes: Transferring in this top-rated airport only requires a security check. If you’ve got enough time between flights, the airport rather unbelievably offers an IMAX theatre in Terminal 2. ■

EUROPE AIRFARE PRICES DEPEND ON WHEN YOU TRAVEL. HIGH

FARE PRICE LOW

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC M O N T H O F T R AV E L

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P OPULAR ITINERARY

INCREDIBLE ARGENTINA.

House of Travel Calder and Lawson’s Loris Sowman offers up an ideal itinerary that samples the best of South America — mountains, salt flats, waterfalls, culture and wine — all easily found in one stunning country. ARGENTINA

1 2 D AYS

SIGHTSEEING IN BUENOS AIRES.

DAY S

1,2 &3

Begin in Recoleta, one of the city’s most elegant historic neighbourhoods. Visit classic eatery Fervor (Posadas 1519, CABA) for a drool-inducing introduction to Argentine dining. On a tour of this thoroughly European-feeling city, you’ll find stunning parks, Parisian buildings and Recoleta Cemetery, where fresh flowers surround Evita’s mausoleum. Then step back in time with a tango show. The following day, explore hip ’hood Palermo and taste the local beers at Dársena. Later, take a seat at Fogón Asado (Uriarte 1423, Palermo) for a night that’s one part traditional grilling demo and three parts feast. It’s single-sitting, so your consultant should book early.

EXPLORE SALTA CITY.

THE WINERIES OF CAFAYATE.

DAY S

4&5

Time to head for the hills (and the wineries)! After a short flight, find yourself in a landscape of sweeping red and wind-sculpted hills. It deserves a leisurely drive, but with wineries waiting, you won’t want to linger. The small town of Cafayate boasts an exceptional wine museum. You’ll learn why the region’s unique climate produces such celebrated grapes. Just outside of town are incredible luxury resorts, but no matter where you base, you’re perfectly situated for wine tastings. A day tour allows you to visit a few vineyards. Buy a few extra bottles for the coming days!

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Bid “hasta la proxima” to the vineyards and head for historic Salta City. The city centre is home to funky museums as well as immaculately maintained churches like the candy-coloured Iglesia de la Viña. For dinner, visit a traditional Peña, a restaurant where singing at the table is encouraged. Many say Salta is home to the best empanadas (meat-filled pockets of heaven): Follow the locals to Doña Salta (46 Córdoba, Salta).


Purmamarca

a

Iguazù Falls

arge nt in

Salta Cafayate

Buenos Aires

IGUAZÚ FALLS.

HILLS & SALT.

DAY S

7& 8

The road to the salt flats of Jujuy Province climbs steadily through watercolour hills before levelling off at a cool 3450m. In every direction, spot cheerful weathered gauchos on horseback. The air is thin but a blue sky sparkles nearly every day. Expanses of salt stretch endlessly, the perfect spot for a picnic. Stay the night in tiny Purmamarca, untouched by time but replete with creature comforts. Then return to Salta City for your flight to Iguazú Falls.

DAY

6

DAY S

9 &10

From the dry northwest of Salta, arrive to tropical Iguazú Falls. No waterfall on earth matches it. With over 275 individual falls cascading together, we recommend visiting both the Argentine and Brazilian sides for the full experience. The Argentine side offers a change to stand over the falls, while the Brazil side sets you in the heart of the falls to peer up through millions of rainbows. Don’t miss the Great Adventure Boat Tour under some of the falls — yes, you’ll get wet! Then head back to Buenos Aires on a quick flight.

BUENOS AIRES.

DAY S

11 &12

Once back in the bustle of Buenos Aires, options are endless. You might take in a performance at the famed Teatro Colón or head for a short drive out of the city to dine with real gauchos at one of the nearby working estancias. Call in for a creamy café con leche at historic Café Tortoni (Av. de Mayo 825), the city’s oldest, and stroll by the aptly named Casa Rosada and wild bright colours of the iconic La Boca neighbourhood. Perhaps there’s time for one last empanada? ■

The sights and tastes of Argentina await. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ today and we’ll have you heading to South America.

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TO DO LIST

EXPLORE FURTHER IN EXCEPTIONAL AUSTRALIA.

You need not go far to find the extraordinary. House of Travel Ponsonby’s Catherine Kjellberg picks five one-of-a-kind experiences — all just across the Tasman.

1

ESCAPE TO THE TOTALLY UNSPOILED WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS.

The Whitsundays can feel like your own private slice of paradise, especially when you’re a guest at a property as incredible as the newly reopened Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort. Arrive easily by private boat transfer to discover yearround warmth, pristine white sand beaches and sparkling coral seas awaiting. Get stunning aerial views of the Great Barrier Reef with a helicopter tour or indulge in an unforgettable floating massage in the coral sea. Take day trips to sunlit neighbouring islands or don’t leave the lounger — we wouldn’t blame you.

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4

2

EMBARK ON A SMALL SHIP CRUISE THROUGH THE KIMBERLEYS.

See those spectacular mountains and gorges up close on an adventure-cruise ship, which is perfectly sized for the shallow rivers. These ships blend luxury and comfort with expedition-style outings like helicopter rides and guided hiking to ancient Aboriginal rock art.

TAKE A LUXURY GUIDED WALK THROUGH QUEENSLAND’S SPECTACULAR SPICERS RIM.

Set off on a scenic walk through the state’s only addition to the Great Walks of Australia. An all-inclusive experience with two nights glamping, excellent dining and world-class wine, it’s the perfect way to explore a World Heritage listed national park and Gondwana Rainforest — without the horror of instant coffee and dehydrated food.

5 STEP INTO

OUTBACK LIFE AT AN INTIMATE ECO-LODGE.

Far North Queensland is home to a brand new luxury lodge — an all-inclusive, ecofriendly indulgence set within a working cattle station in magnificent rugged outback. With just 12 suites and a focus on locally sourced cuisine, it offers a chance switch off the technology and totally recharge. Spend a few days soaking in the outback, doing a spot of Barramundi fishing — or simply relaxing by an infinity pool beneath those iconic rock formations.

3

GET INTO THE HEART OF AUSTRALIA ABOARD THE GHAN EXPEDITION.

Explore the wonders of the Red Centre — iconic Uluru, Alice Springs, historic outback outposts — onboard the Ghan. You’ll see some of the most remote and captivating parts of Australia in style and comfort. Expect remarkable off-train experiences (like dinner under the stars at the famed Telegraph Station) — with excellent local cuisine and wine pairings back onboard.

It’s time to rethink Australia. Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ today. HOU SE OF TRAV EL   |  

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INDIA. PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY

Photos and story by PRUE DUNBAR, House of Travel Christchurch stores

The destination of my dreams, India is something to behold! I would highly recommend doing a tour and having local guides. Amongst the chaos, there are many parts of this colourful country that are incredibly calm and peaceful. I will always remember reading on a wall in Pushkar: “Every day spend time with nature, time in silence and do not judge” — great advice that resonated!

1

1 The Taj Mahal in Agra was truly the highlight of our trip. We were advised to reverse a typical itinerary (most people visit Agra first). We were so glad we did because the impression that it left on us as we departed India will last a lifetime. The colours, light and atmosphere were magical.

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2

4

2 Ajit Bhawan Palace Jodhpur. Take an afternoon to relax and recharge.

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TIP SHEET

By LEE BROADBELT, House of Travel Orewa

6

GE T TI N G T HER E.

One transfer is required from Auckland to Mumbai or New Delhi. Arrive in about 18 hours with Malaysia Airlines or Singapore Airlines. TRAN S P O RT.

7

6 Exploring Udaipur’s hidden treasures. City Palace is a must: Built on top of a hill, it provides the most incredible views of the city and overlooks Lake Pichola. The James Bond movie Octopussy was filmed in Udaipur! 7 When in Jodhpur, visit the incredibly colourful street market, where the locals shop for their daily produce. The smells are magnificent. 8 Take a boat trip on Lake Pichola, Udaipur, a manmade lake built in 1362! It’s surrounded by palace complexes and greenspaces. By the way, if you read one book before you visit, make it “Freedom at Midnight.” It gives great insight into recent Indian history, culture and religion.

5

The train network is extensive and first class is very comfortable. You can also look out for cabs and rickshaws, but we recommend a private driver. VI S I T. India is vast. Visit a region in a week, but to really explore, as many as 3 weeks is ideal.

Visiting with a New Zealand passport requires an e-visa arranged before departure.

VI SAS.

WHE N TO GO.

October to March are the driest and coolest months.

3 Take any opportunity you can to do a walking tour around a local village. This was Narlai Village. The local people love to have a chat and share a joke. We had fun greeting them with “Namaste” and then teaching them our “Kia Ora.” 4 A typical Indian doorway. The colours and architecture are incredible. 5 Food was fresh, flavoursome and delicious. Be sure to try dosas — my new favourite!

8

HE ALTH. Drink bottled water. Pack hand sanitiser and wet wipes. To be extra cautious, eat cooked food that is still steaming and avoid fruit or vegetables that are not peeled.


CHATS WITH FRIENDS

Fiji: Happiness beyond holidays. Tourism Fiji recently unveiled a beautiful, powerful new message with its Bulanaires initiative. We talked to Tourism Fiji’s Regional Manager SONYA L AWSON about the concept, its message of happiness and how it celebrates all we love about Fiji.

Congratulations on a gorgeous and inspiring initiative. We love the focus on living with happiness. It’s bigger than travel. What inspired you to create this? The Bulanaires campaign was born out of the results of a recent Gallup International survey, which identifies the people of Fiji as the happiest in the world, while revealing that happiness is declining in many other places. At the same time, there are more billionaires than ever — as seen through the many annual rich lists in existence. With this in mind, we decided to create a rich list of a different definition; a list which celebrates those rich in happiness and shares a little bit of Fiji’s Bula Spirit with a world that appears to need it.

How does this message speak to what visitors discover in Fiji? From the moment that you arrive in Fiji you are welcomed by the friendly and hospitable nature of the people of Fiji. It is this welcome that visitors to Fiji remember and come back for. We call this the Bula Spirit and, if you’ve been to Fiji, you’ve no doubt experienced it!

It’s impossible not to smile when the Bulanaires are talking. It’s like their happiness is infectious. How did you find these remarkable folks? Everywhere you go in Fiji you will come across a beautiful smile and genuine happiness, so it wasn’t difficult! Many of the Bulanaires featured in our campaign work at resorts around Fiji and so they are people Kiwis could meet when they visit.

You selected a few Bulanaires who are not from Fiji. Can you tell us about that? Inclusivity is a key component of the campaign. We wanted to make it clear that as Bulanaires are people rich in happiness, anyone can be a Bulanaire if they wish to be. It’s a mindset! So we selected people from around the world who embodied qualities of happiness — from being authentic and inclusive to being humourous and adventurous.

You recently introduced a new “Ever felt so happy you wanted to burst into song?” TV commercial. How can visitors find the experiences they see — like swimming with manta rays, ziplining, rafting and sailing trips? Our aim is to excite New Zealand visitors about the range of experiences in Fiji — in addition to it being the resort and beach destination we love. All of the experiences showcased in this video are readily accessible and are as rewarding as they look. Beyond that, there are great diving and snorkelling sites, waterfalls, hikes, beach clubs, village visits … the list goes on! To find out about the experiences and regions of Fiji, visit www.fiji.travel and www.HOT.co.nz or talk to your House of Travel consultant. ■

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Dreaming about an overwater bungalow in Fiji? Jump back to page 9.


Q U IC K IE G

Which island is right for you?

U ID E

We Kiwis are spoiled! All our Pacific Island neighbours have postcard-perfect beaches and resorts purpose-built for relaxing. Of course, that’s also what makes it really tough to pick a holiday! But if you must choose just one island, use this supremely simplified guide. for

AQ UAT I C A DV E N T U R E S

for

TA K I N G M AT E S & R E L L I E S

for

E A SY A DV E N T U R E

FIJI

RAROTONGA

SAMOA

With paradise beaches on the mainland and in the Yasawas — and incredible diving in Pacific Harbour and Beqa Lagoon — Fiji is fabulous over and underwater. Snorkellers are spoiled for choice throughout the islands. Advanced surfers can tackle the waves at Cloudbreak or Restaurants while newbies can take lessons in calmer waters nearly everywhere. You can even base yourself on the water and see many islands by small ship cruise.

Easy, close-to-home and on the NZ dollar! Find super-sized villas and 2 & 3-bedroom apartments, which are perfect for getting a group together for barbecuing and sun. Kids clubs are available at family-favourite resorts. And diverse groups can have it all: Relaxers can head for sugar-soft sand and island cocktails, while those with energy to burn can paddleboard by night, tramp Pa’s Cross Island Trek or hop on a quad bike through the jungle.

Samoa offers plenty of opportunities for exploring. It’s easy to drive around discovering goodies like To Sua Trench and Falefa Falls. Surprises are everywhere: Take Piula Cave Pool, a freshwater spring that originated as an old lava tube! Trampers will love Lanoto’o National Park, while the brave can fly over the Papase’ea sliding rocks. Cool off at picture-perfect Lalomanu Beach. To take in a bit of culture, don’t miss a Fiafia dinner.

H O T T I P | A few spots looking good? It’s easy

H O T T I P | Raro delivers a feast of flavours

H O T T I P | Samoa is a haven of hidden

to get around. We can tailor a one-of-a-kind island-hopping holiday just for you.

at great value for everyone in the beachside shacks, burger joints and water-view bistros.

treasures. We recommend you hire a car for at least 3 days of your stay and get exploring.

for

H I S TO RY & C U LT U R E

for

L UXU RY R E T R E AT S

for

DELICIOUS DINING

VANUATU

TAHITI

NEW CALEDONIA

Step back in time and experience Tanna’s unchanged culture. It’s like seeing this part of the world as it was 100 years ago. Locals say the most potent kava is grown on Tanna, where belief in black magic, sorcery and cargo cults carries on. The foodie culture is fab: Look for Santo Beef and uberfresh seafood. Lap Lap is a must-try local dish of yams, banana and taro soaked in coconut and fired in an earth oven. And don’t miss the local Tusker Beer.

Incredible 5-star opulence is standard in Tahiti. Just a short flight from home, you’ll find overwater bungalows set above dreamy reefs from top names like the Four Seasons, St. Regis and InterContinental. Many resorts sit on secluded lagoons and offer stunning onsite spas and gourmet restaurants to spoil you. This is where you can book private island picnics, charter fishing boats or simply let the concierge sort a surprise.

Cuisine here is a drool-inducing marriage of island-style tastes and the best of French flavours and flair. And just like in France, food, coffee and wine are taken very, very seriously. Don’t miss dishes like coconut crab and seafood vol au vent, which is a bit like a seafood chowder in a puff pastry. Fearless foodies can try Civet de Rousette (yes, that’s stewed bat): The bat meat is marinated in a red wine sauce before being prepared as a ragout.

H O T T I P | Ask your consultant about a

H O T T I P | Get an overwater bungalow and

H O T T I P | Head to the Supermarche to stock

Black Magic Tour and get an insight into ancient culture and traditions.

watch fish through the glass. And don’t miss a good lie in: Breakfast can be delivered by canoe!

up on goodies like cheeses, pâté and croissants for a delicious seaside picnic.

Still can’t choose? We don’t blame you. Come in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ and let’s chat. HOU SE OF TRAV EL   |  

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MARINE LIFE

The United States of Cruising. 1

2

The United States is easily the world’s cruising epicentre, with routes extending far beyond its shores. Where to begin just depends on where you want to go!

Recommended by

MARALYN WARD HOUSE OF TRAVEL TE AWAMUTU

1 | Seattle

2 | Los Angeles

3 | Houston

T H E G AT E WAY TO A L A S K A .

TO WESTERN MEXICO & MORE.

T H E C A R I B B E A N & B E YO N D.

Cruising season: May to September Average length of cruise: 7 to 14 nights

Cruising season: Yearround Average length of cruise: 3 to 15 nights

Cruising season: Yearround Average length of cruise: 4 to 10 nights

Seattle is an ideal start point for cruises heading north to Vancouver and remote Alaska. You’ll have a perfect vantage point for the awe-inspiring glaciers and coastal scenery. Cruises make stops in historic Gold Rush towns surrounded by snow-capped mountain ranges. Watch for whales, seals and sea otters alongside the ship.

The majority of cruises depart just outside of Los Angeles in the funky seaside port of Long Beach. Board ships bound for sunny western Mexico — stopping at famous beaches Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas — or get onboard for a voyage through the Panama Canal, with stops in Guatemala, Colombia and the Bahamas.

You’ll fly into Houston (direct from Auckland!) but you’re actually cruising out of nearby Galveston. Ships depart from this orderly terminal for ports throughout the Caribbean, Eastern Mexico and Central America. Spend one day soaking up sun on Grand Cayman Island and the next exploring Mayan ruins in Cozumel.

Hot Favourite | Look for the lesser visited ports of Sitka and Prince Rupert for a more in-depth look at Alaska.

Hot Favourite | Short, sunny Mexican Riviera cruises are great value and make the perfect addon to a stopover in Los Angeles.

Hot Favourite | Ask us about itineraries that include a stop in Belize for something a little off-the-beaten-track.

|   Hcruise Ask 3 4   us I N Sabout P I R E   our OUSE O holiday F TRAV Epackages. L   B E TTE R Come TOGETHER in-store, . call 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ and let’s chat.


CUSTOMER FAVOURITE

Alaska, Las Vegas & Waikiki

Recommended by

CHERYL EDWARDS HOUSE OF TRAVEL ALBANY

4

H A N D S D O W N O U R most popular

cruise package, this 14-day gem combines an incredible cruise, the best of western North America and just the right amount of sunshine on the way home. It’s the perfect ready-made holiday for Kiwis keen to experience the icy wonders of Alaska.

5

DAYS 1-7

ALASKA CRUISE

3

4 | New York City

5 | Miami

TO NEW ENGLAND & CANADA .

T H E CA R I B B E A N & B E YO N D.

Fly to Seattle and start your holiday with the jaw-dropping sights of remote Alaska. A 7-night cruise offers the perfect vantage point for comfortably exploring pristine glaciers and ice-carved fjord.

DAYS 8-11

Cruising season: May to September Average length of cruise: 7 to 14 nights

Cruising season: Yearround Average length of cruise: 3 to 7 nights

With three terminals, this is the perfect gateway for cruises to New England and Eastern Canada. Sample the fresh catch in Bar Harbor, Maine, and wander the craggy coastlines and friendly fishing villages of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. September departures are perfectly timed to the stunning autumn leaves along the coast.

The biggest cruise hub in the world, Miami boasts state-ofthe-art terminals that make boarding a breeze. Enjoy the city’s signature Cuban food and street art before setting off on a short cruise to the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, the Caribbean or even Eastern Mexico. Many cruise lines stop at private islands in the Caribbean.

Hot Favourite | You can’t go wrong! Just make sure you’re on deck for that shot of the Statue of Liberty as you cruise past.

Hot Favourite | Pick Eastern Caribbean for adventure and culture and Western Caribbean for beaches and shopping.

LAS VEGAS & BEYOND

Leave the ship behind and head inland. Take in a show or roll the dice in iconic Las Vegas. Plenty of time to drive out of town, too, and look over the immense Grand Canyon.

DAYS 12-14

WAIKIKI, HAWAI‘I

Stop for some sunshine en route home with a beach break in sunny Waikiki. You’ll have ample time to climb Diamond Head and shop the massive malls — or do perfectly, absolutely nothing at one of the city’s best resorts. ■


TRAVEL DIARY

Sporting chances for travelling. Need a reason for your next holiday? Here are seven great ones.

JAN Tennis at the Australian Open MELBOURNE | 20 JAN-2 FEB 2020

Simon Peterson/Getty Images

The first of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments and certainly the closest to home, this is a chance to see the best of the sport compete on the iconic blue courts. The atmosphere offcourt is half the fun.

FEB The American Super Bowl MIAMI, FLORIDA, USA | 2 FEB 2020

Even if you can’t land a ticket to the game, the buzz surrounding this crown bout between America’s top football teams is like nothing else. A weekend-long megaevent, it means parties and celeb sightings all over host city Miami.

APR Golf at the Masters Tournament GEORGIA, USA | 9-12 APRIL 2020

A who’s who of the best in golf provide a preview of the year’s competition on a stunningly manicured course. As you might remember learning from Happy Gilmore, the tourney holds tight to tradition.

M AY

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games TOKYO, JAPAN | 24 JULY-9 AUG 2020

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be the largest ever, with more than 11,000 athletes from 207 countries competing. Among these are exciting sports new to the Games — surfing, karate, sport climbing and skateboarding. Kiwi athletes are expected to make history in at least 20 disciplines, including some of our bread-and-butter favourites like rugby sevens, sailing, rowing, kayaking and more. And if that’s not enough of a reason to pack your colours and head over, let’s talk about host city Tokyo. One of Asia’s most exciting cities, it mixes the ultra-modern and the traditional, from neon skyscrapers to stunning historic temples. Even if you can’t score a ticket, the atmosphere in the Village and international Hospitality Houses will be buzzing. A Bucket List must for any true sports fan. We’ve got travel packages to the Tokyo 2020 OIympic Games on sale now. House of Travel is the authorised Sub-Distributor for New Zealand Olympic Travel.

JUN

DEC

Ice Hockey Championships

Football at Euro 2020

Cricket’s Boxing Day Test

SWITZERLAND | 8-24 MAY 2020

ACROSS EUROPE | 12 JUNE-12 JULY 2020

MELBOURNE | 26-30 DEC 2020

The Swiss host this annual grudge match of ice hockey’s top national teams. Basically an all-star tournament of hockey’s big names: Spot plenty of NHL big names playing in their country’s colors.

Held every four years, this much anticipated tournament pits Europe’s 24 top teams for one giant clash. The energy inside the stadiums is electric — a preview of World Cup mania to come.

Something of a holiday tradition for many of us. Next year the Men in Blue — otherwise known as India’s national cricket team — will take on the Aussies in this long-standing start to the summer.

Sound like a ball? Come see us in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit HOT.CO.NZ to get started.

3 6   I N S P I R E   |   H OUS E O F TRAV E L  

B E TTE R TOGETHER .


CHATS WITH FRIENDS

NZ Olympic Team’s Rob Waddell talks Tokyo.

TOKYO 2020 O LY M P I C GAMES

Olympic rowing gold medallist ROB WADDELL is Chef de Mission for the New Zealand Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He’s lived in Japan and visited Tokyo many times as he helps the team prepare for the Olympic Games. We asked him all about it.

What about the cuisine? Any must-try foods or favourite restaurants?

What amazes me about Tokyo is all the different parts of the city and their distinct personalities. I’m an electronics fan so Akihabara is fantastic — the massive Yodobashi Camera store is my go-to. Mandarake Complex has the crazy toys and games you think of when you think of Japan. Omotesando and Harajuku are great for the latest in fashion — although finding clothes to fit a 6’7” gaijin (foreigner) is challenging! I really enjoy the mix of old and new in Tokyo with the shrines and temples around this city. The parks seem so tranquil compared to the business of Tokyo. Meiji Jingu is a real favourite but for something more off-the-beaten-track, Nezu Shrine is really worth a visit. It has a walkway of beautiful red torii gateways that many people travel all the way to Kyoto for — but it’s right in the middle of Tokyo!

There are some really interesting restaurants in Tokyo — from traditional eating houses right up to the crazy Robot restaurant in Shinjuku. I love all Japanese food but it’s hard for me to go past chicken katsu if it’s on the menu. You can find a great place to get chicken katsu in Shinbashi, where the famous Japanese “salary men” roam for lunch, or if you are in Akihabara, check out award-winning little restaurant Marugo, which has pork and chicken katsu. Yum!

NZOC/Getty Images

Rob, you really know Tokyo. What are your top recommendations for visitors?

What’s it like at the Games? The Olympic Games are incredible. The atmosphere in Tokyo is really building. What’s stood out for me here is how harmonious a society it is for such a large number of people, how clean the city is — everything seems immaculate — and the fascinating mix of old culture blended with advanced technology.

What’s a must-watch at the Games? Rowing! Just kidding! They are all incredible to watch. There is nothing like seeing athletes compete in a gold/silver final. They’ve worked so hard and the tension is so high. It’s hard to explain unless you’re there on the spot. All I can say is if you get a chance, go. We’d love to see you there! ■

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37


TRUE STORY

We’ll keep it smooth sailing. We go above and beyond to make sure your holiday is the best it can be. Here’s just one of our stories.

By JESSICA ROGERS HOUSE OF TRAVEL NORTHLANDS

W H AT H A P P E N S I F something unexpected

throws a spanner into your holiday plans? That’s exactly when House of Travel consultants step in, keen to use our knowledge and contacts to ensure every holiday goes ahead. For more than a year, the Trouth family had been planning a Caribbean cruise aboard Oasis of the Seas. I had meticulously researched and secured the best staterooms I could get for Debbie, Marty and their sons. Then, just days before the family was meant to depart, a toppled crane resulted in the cancellation of their cruise. With more than 5000 passengers affected, many cruisers were scrambling to secure alternative departures with similar itineraries. As I checked back, cabins on other cruise ships were filling up fast, but I was determined to save the Trouths’ holiday. I quickly rang one of House of Travel’s cruising experts, Tracy Malcolm, and the two of us went through dozens of ships to find a similar departure date and itinerary. Debbie said she will never forget how calming my response was: “Leave it with me and I will come up with something!” Staterooms continued to disappear as Tracy and I worked to place the family in sideby-side balcony cabins. Something I thought would have been impossible, we got them with minutes — maybe seconds — to spare. There was just one catch — the alternative cruise needed to be confirmed that night to avoid missing out! Debbie and Marty were in such shock that they understandably needed

3 8   I N S P I R E   |   H OUS E O F TRAV E L  

r s on thei is all smilenearly wasn’t. h family The Trout uise holiday that n cr Caribbea

“Jess must have spent hours on the phone to the insurance company and contacts at other cruise lines,” remembers Debbie. “She went way beyond the expectations of any travel agent I have ever met.”

B E TTE R TOGETHER .

Sunshine

time to decide. Tracy and I really hoped they would agree. It was a miracle we had this amazing option that would still make their holiday a success and included lots of extra add-ons as well. Tracy and I let the family know we’d both be available to finalise the booking after hours. I was thrilled when Debbie called to confirm. I quickly contacted Tracy, who confirmed the reservation, even using her personal credit card to secure the booking. Within a week, Debbie and family were cruising the Caribbean. It absolutely made my day to know they would finally get to enjoy their holiday they had been saving for and dreaming of for so long. It’s why I love what we do at House of Travel: We get to make Kiwis’ travel dreams a reality. ■


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.

94% of customers who booked with us rated us 5/5 in customer surveys.

We’ve got your back with 24/7 CUSTOMER CARE while you travel.

BE T TER

We take time to UNDERSTAND WHAT’S IMPORTANT to you.

TOG E TH E R

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We use our buying power to get you the BEST VALUE HOLIDAY.


Uluru Camel Tours, Northern Territory

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Inspire Magazine - September 2019