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INSIDE THIS ISSUE...

GEOTHERMAL WONDERLAND

Autumn Edition 2016 NZ 9.90 EUR 7.50 USA 12.50 AUS 9.90 INR 450 www.gotravelnewzealand.com

Take time to relax‌

Trelise Cooper Theatre of Dreams www.gotravelnewzealand.com 1


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Award Winning objet D’art and custom made fine jewellery

From the inspired collection - Landscape series The Waimakariri ring is a one of a kind Crafted using 18ct gold and recycled platinum, it features 44 ceylon sapphire and 124 brilliant cut diamonds. Total Gem weight 2.70 ct $18,500.00. Available tax free to internation travellers

Workshop and gallery - Studio 10, Daytone House, 53 Davis, Newmarket Ph 09 524 8440

www.greghollandjewellery.co.nz 8

Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

©Greg Holland Jewellery 2015


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TASMAN SEA

COOK STRAIT

90 Nelson PG.

TASMAN

Golden Bay Kahurangi National Park

Picton

MARLBOROUGH

Blenheim

Westport

PG.

72

Greymouth

WESTCOAST PG.

Fox Glacier

53 Queenstown PG.

Christchurch PG.68 Akaroa

Tekapo

Aoraki National Park

Milford Sound

Mount Aspiring National Park

Timaru

Pukaki

MACKENZIE

Omarama Wanaka

Oamaru

PG.

40

PG.

64

Moeraki

Te Anau

FIORDLAND

CANTERBURY

Arthurs Pass National Park

Franz Josef Glacier

Mount Cook

PG. Kaikoura

Hamner Springs

Hokitika

78

84

Fiordland National Park

Dunedin PG.48

Invercargill

SOUTHLAND

PACIFIC OCEAN

OTAGO

Bluff Oban

Stewart Island

DESTINATIONS THIS ISSUE:

SOUTH ISLAND

40

FIORDLAND

68

CHRISTCHURCH

48

DUNEDIN

72

KAIKOURA

53

QUEENSTOWN

78

WEST COAST

58

WANAKA

84

MARLBOROUGH

64

MACKENZIE

90

NELSON www.gotravelnewzealand.com 11


Cruise the beautiful bays of Kawau Island Only scheduled ferry service to Kawau Island Water Taxi Service 24/7 Sailings to surrounding islands in the Hauraki Gulf Ferry to Beach House Resort on Kawau Island

Cruise the beautiful bays of Kawau island dropping mail off to the locals as we gain a rare glimpse into life on an island that has no roads. Watch Gannets diving for food and don’t forget to keep a eye out for dolphins and penguins. It combines a 2-hour cruise with optional on board BBQ lunch & 1.5-hour island stop over. Enjoy your island stop where you can visit Mansion House Museum, or take one of many walks to historic sites whilst watching Kawau’s wildlife. This is a great way for locals and travellers alike to combine a cruise and island visit with nature, history and a fun day out for the whole family. *bookings are essential, for return times please call and enquire. Also servicing for Beach House Resort, Weddings, Charters, Anniversaries and Corporate Functions

0800 111 616 www.kawaucruises.co.nz info@kawauwatertaxis.co.nz 12 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016


137

Cape Reinga

NORTH ISLAND

PG.

NORTHLAND

Kaitaia

Bay of Islands

Waipoua Kauri Forest

Whangarei

133

PG. Coromandel

PACIFIC OCEAN

Waiheke Island

Auckland PG.137

119

PG.

BAY OF PLENTY White Island Hicks Bay

Tauranga

Halmiton

Whakatane

WAIKATO

125

EASTLAND

Rotorua

PG.

104

Waitomo

PG. Gisborne Urewera National Park

Taupo New Plymouth

TARANAKI

Egmont National Park

Whanganui National Park

Ruapehu

Kaimanawa Forest

100

Napier

PG.

Ruahine Forest

HAWKE’S BAY

Hastings

Whanganui

Palmerston North

MANAWATU

Wellington

Tararua Forest

Masterton

COOK STRAIT

DESTINATIONS THIS ISSUE: WELLINGTON

119

BAY OF PLENTY

100

TARANAKI

125

WAIKATO

104

EASTLAND

133

COROMANDEL

110

TAUPO

137

AUCKLAND

114

RUAPEHU

141

NORTHLAND

94

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GTNZ1 AUTUMN 2016

PRODUCTION Publisher James Lynch Editor Gerard Campbell gerard@waterfordpress.co.nz Designers Michael Perry Jessica Ann Emma Bone Operations Manager Scott Homer scott@waterfordpress.co.nz

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Administration Helen Bourne, Jill Holland accounts@waterfordpress.co.nz Content Manager Eimear McKeever content@waterfordpress.co.nz New Zealand Head Office 112 Wrights Road, Christchurch +64 (0) 3 983 5500 Queenstown Office 70 Glenda Drive, Queenstown PO Box 2581, Wakatipu

South Island Manager Chris McPhee chris.mcphee@waterfordpress.co.nz +64 (0) 3 983 5507 North Island Manager Alasdair Thomson alasdair@waterfordpress.co.nz +64 (0) 3 983 5530 Published by Waterford Press ISSN 2357-2183 Print ISSN 2357-2191 Online


CONTENTS

Geothermal Wonderland

16

Therapy for your body and mind

Theatre of Dreams NZ’S dame of fashion Trelise Cooper

27

30

Slice of Heaven Jewellery that will impress

Luxury Lodges

34

Time for a romantic getaway

REGIONS

Fiordland

40

Dunedin

48

Queenstown

53

Wanaka

58

Mackenzie

64

Christchurch

68

Kaikoura

72

West Coast

78

Marlborough

84

Nelson

90

Wellington

94

Taranaki

100

Eastland

104

Taupo

110

Ruapehu

114

Bay of Plenty

119

Waikato

125

Rotorua

129

Coromandel

133

Auckland

137

Northland

141

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Geothermal Wonderland

Rotorua spa treatment IMAGE: Chris-McLennan

New Zealand has a reputation as the largest geo-thermal area in the southern hemisphere, so it should come as no surprise that there’s an abundance of geo-thermal activity in the country’s two main islands The word geothermal means “heat from the earth”, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in the North Island’s Central Plateau, recognised as New Zealand’s main geo-thermal area: Heat escaping from the earth. Created through volcanic activity, geothermal heated water has long been recognised for its healing properties and in fact, the Maori, New Zealand’s indigenous people, recognised long ago the therapeutic powers of the geo-thermal pools dotting the Central Plateau – known as waiariki and created by volcanic activity heating the water deep underground. Maori harnessed the geothermal energy for cooking and heating – and would soak in the alkaline pool Whangapipiro and the acidic waters of Te Pupunitanga, on the shores of Lake Rotorua, soothing aches, pains and tired muscles. Today, the region’s geothermal energy is also used for luxury spa treatments where visitors can relax and melt aways life’s stresses. New Zealand’s main geo-thermal region is in the North Island Central Plateau and the most well-known geothermal hot spot in that area is Rotorua, famed for its bubbling mud pools, spouting geysers and the unmistakeable scent of sulphur wafting through the air. Rotorua is also home to well-known geothermal areas such as Hell’s Gate, the Craters of the Moon, Whakarewarewa and

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Waimangu, a geo-thermal area created after the devastating Tarawera eruption of 1886, which buried the then 8th wonder of the world, the Pink and White Terraces. New Zealand’s abundance of geothermal activity is largely due to being inside what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, and while the Central Plateau has plenty of commercial hot pools, such as Rotorua’s worldrenowned Polynesian Spa, there are also an abundance of hidden natural geo-thermal hot pools in the area that are popular with locals and tourists alike. While Rotorua is the most recognised geothermal region in New Zealand, and the highest concentration of geo-thermal activity is found in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand has other geo-thermal areas, both commercial and natural, that are worth a visit if you get the chance. Not only are there well-known geo-thermal complexes in the South Island, such as Hanmer Springs (which is less than two hours drive from Christchurch), our cover shot shows the remote hot pool at the end of the Copland Track, in Fiordland. It’s likely New Zealand’s most remote hot pool but we’re reliably informed it’s well worth the arduous trek to get there. For those wanting to sit back and relax in water that’s been heated by Mother Nature herself and enjoy a luxury spa, then you’re spoiled for choice around New Zealand. Go on, you deserve to treat yourself.


Millbrook

The Essence of Relaxation A retreat within the folds of Millbrook, the signature spa offers a range of restorative treatments to help guests achieve optimum levels of health and ultimate relaxation. With 10 treatment rooms and a team of highly skilled therapists, The Spa has something to suit all ages. Recently named ‘New Zealand’s Leading Spa Resort’ for the fourth consecutive year in the World Travel Awards, The Spa at Millbrook prides itself on service, ambience and innovation in treatments, using the finest Elemis skincare products. A visit to The Spa at Millbrook is definitely one you won’t find elsewhere. Set amidst 500 acres of rolling Central Otago golf courses and fields, Millbrook’s unique setting is the perfect place to unwind and be revitalised. It really is the ultimate spa experience. The Spa at Millbrook is open to members of the public as well as guests to the resort. Brian Howie, Director of Operations, says “We want everyone to feel welcome to experience a taste of Millbrook, whether it’s a coffee at the Hole in One Café, a facial at the Spa, or a special weekend package stay; we are proud that we can offer a unique Central Otago experience.” For more information on The Spa at Millbrook go to http://www.millbrook.co.nz/spa/ www.gotravelnewzealand.com 17


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Hanmer

The Ultimate Indulgence The unofficial spa capital of New Zealand is a rather humble place, a small village with just a thousand residents that attracts more than half a million visitors every year.

The menu is extensive - from luxurious facial and body treatments to beautifying manicures and pedicures. The level of service is world class.

Hanmer Springs sits amid stunning mountains and forests, just a 90-minute drive from Christchurch. Charming boutiques and eateries line its main street with the iconic, award-winning Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa at its heart.

Favourites include the Rainshower Massage where you can drift away (after a full body exfoliation) under the warmth of Vichy rain showers while being massaged and the Couples’ Retreat which includes a sensory experience, cocooned in warm steam, in a hydrostorm capsule.

Best of all, Hanmer Springs has plenty to keep everyone entertained – including a golf course, jetboating and a large network of mountain biking and walking tracks. That makes the ideal getaway for any couple or family. And with plenty of opportunities to sit and soak in the minerals (or hit the waterslides!) at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, you’ll leave feeling renewed and sensational.

The village has a long history in people visiting to recouperate. It is easy to see why. With more than a dozen spa and wellness businesses, Hanmer Springs is the country’s best place to relax and indulge in some well-deserved “you time”. As well as the traditional spa and beauty services, you can find a wide range of holistic treatments including reiki, acupuncture, herbalism and pascha therapy. Next to the pools, The Spa has won numerous awards and is an absolute must-do. This is one of the busiest spas in New Zealand but an oasis of calm, relaxation and pampering. www.gotravelnewzealand.com 19


Christchurch

Luxurious Pampering Famous for luxurious spa therapies and decadent body treatments, Champs Elysées Day Spa is the place to go to experience luxurious pampering, glorious massage, facials, advanced skin treatments, beauty therapy and gloriously restorative body treatments.

If you are interested in visiting ChampsElysées Day Spa with a friend, you have the option of enjoying your spa experience together in one of the luxury double suites.

The award-winning Champs Elysées Day Spa has a reputation for exceptional service and unmatched luxury treatments that are designed to take you on a journey of pure relaxation.

Champs-Elysées Day Spa stock an impressive range of premium skin care products, including Matis, Priori, iDermed and Pure Fiji. A selection of travel size products are available, ideal for travellers to hydrate and nourish the skin before a long trip.

Located in beautiful, private setting in Merivale, less than 15 minutes from Christchurch international airport, bus and train stations, Champs-Elysées Day Spa is the perfect location for travellers to enjoy an experience of relaxation before or after their journey.

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Delicious high tea and French bubbly is also available on request.

You are welcome to visit www.champseysees.co.nz or phone the friendly team on +64 3 365 3630 to make a booking or for further information.


Tairua

Sea Escape Day Spa

Feel relaxed, revitalised & refreshed Step through the doorway and instantly feel your cares melt away – flickering candles, the gentle lapping of the fountain, heavenly aromas and welcoming smiles are just a few of the pleasures you will discover when visiting Sea Escape Day Spa in the picturesque town of Tairua. Sea Escape offers a truly tranquil environment designed to release the tension and stressors of daily life. Whether you need a day of indulgence with one of our spa packages, relaxation with a tension and muscle melting massage, rejuvenation with a professional skincare treatment, or a beauty maintenance treatment, our spa menu is sure to cater to your needs. With over 15 years’ experience, our internationally qualified therapists’ can also create bespoke treatments for that unique spa experience. Tairua and Pauanui offer some stunning locations to tie the knot. We cater to wedding parties big and small and have a range of services available to get you looking and feeling your best before saying, “I do”. See our website for more information. A visit to Sea Escape Day Spa will surely leave you feeling relaxed, revitalised and restored. Ph: 07 864 7455 | info@seaescape.co.nz | www.seaescape.co.nz Online booking available | Find us on Facebook

A haven of calm in the heart of Tairua Tairua’s Full Service Day Spa skin - body - beauty - hair - spirit

Relax, revitalise and restore this autumn! Ask about our specials & combination packages Visit www.seaescape.co.nz to view our full range of treatments

227 Main Road, Tairua | 07 846 7455 | info@seaescape.co.nz

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Hamilton

A new world of health and wellbeing Established in 2001, Waters Day Spa is situated on the banks of the Waikato River with views to relax and unwind any weary traveller. Try our jet lag buster the Aromatouch massage for one or in the Greenstone room for 2 guests. This massage treatment uses 26 essential oils on your body, leaving you calm and relaxed ready for your next Kiwi adventure. A light lunch may be ordered to enjoy on the deck after your treatment if you wish. At Waters Day Spa, our therapist are highly qualified in the oxygen brightening facial, which will leave your skin looking bright, clear and smooth. There is also the option of a travel-size home care pack to help keep your skin plump over your holiday.

Waters Day Spa are stockists of the worldrenowned Jessica Nail manicure and pedicure range and with 14 years experience, we can give you beautiful nails that will last your whole trip. Waters also have sun protection that will protect your skin from the harsh New Zealand sun, keeping your skin healthy and chemical-free. Our sun care products are designed to not only protect your skin but help prevent aging. For more information, check out our webpage or phone or email to book your jet lag recovery treatment. www.watersdayspa.co.nz (07) 8382202 info@watersdayspa.co.nz

Book an appointment now: 07 838 2202 1226A Victoria Street, Hamilton

World-class beauty therapy and day spa in Hamilton Give yourself a moment to relax and be refreshed at Hamilton’s leading day spa. Enjoy spa treatments, massage, facials or beauty therapy with exceptional service from our professional team. Whether you come for half an hour, or half a day, you’ll leave looking and feeling sensational.

Contact Us Ph: 07 838 2202 1226A Victoria Street, Hamilton www.watersdayspa.co.nz Open Hours

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Monday Closed Tuesday 9:00am – 5:00pm Wednesday 9:00am – 5:00pm Thursday 9:00am – 8:00pm Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm Saturday 9:00am – 2:00pm


Coromandel

Escape the world Escape the world and retreat into a pampered island paradise at The Lost Spring, Whitianga. Experience Coromandel’s only luxury thermal pools and day spa resort.

The Lost Spring’s sculpted geo-thermal pools are surrounded by luscious native bush and range in temperature from a comfortable 32degrees to a toasty 41degrees.

Visit the Lost Spring Day Spa and experience relaxation amongst the treetops. A variety of beauty therapies and treatments are available and a range of Pure Fiji products will make you feel as if you have landed in a tropical paradise.

The natural spring waters that fill each pool are sourced from a hot spring 667m below the earth’s surface. A soak at The Lost Spring will leave your skin feeling soft and nourished.

A team of expert therapists will look after your beauty needs in the Day Spa treatment rooms or Spa Lounge. Combine your beauty treatment with a soak in skin-nourishing thermal spring water, in Whitianga’s unique geo-thermal pools.

Settle back and listen to the sounds of nature entwined with soothing Pacifica music. Enjoy delicious cocktails and platters from our menu, served to you poolside by our friendly Café staff.

Once the historic Mercury Bay School house, the Lost Spring Café is surrounded by native forest and offers a tasteful ambience. Enjoy a view of the lagoon from the cafe, or overlook the grounds from the elevated cocktail deck. Ideal for a romantic meal or an afternoon with friends, the café menu incorporates seasonal ingredients that promote the taste of the Coromandel. A selection of local wines, beers and freshly made beverages are available for you to enjoy. To relax, rejuvenate and dine in style, simply visit The Lost Spring, Whitianga.

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Rotorua

Relaxation for body and mind

Swapping the bustling streets of Auckland for the peaceful forest paths and soothing geothermal waters of Rotorua, my best friend Sarah and I head off for a weekend escape of relaxation and rejuvenation. After checking into our accommodation at the lakefront, we walk over to Polynesian Spa to get straight into a blissful escape. We’d done our research and discovered that Polynesian Spa was the place for us. It has been described as a world-leading natural mineral bathing and luxury spa retreat so it was time to put it to the test. As first-timers to Polynesian Spa, we weren’t too sure what therapy we were after. “Ultimate relaxation”, “switch off” and “rejuvenation” were some of the words we mentioned to the therapy manager and she recommended an Aix therapy or an aromatherapy massage.

looking out over the stunning waters of Lake Rotorua’s Sulphur Point. First, we slid into the acidic mineral pool (40deg) that has waters sourced from the geothermal Priest Spring, historically used to relieve tired muscles, aches and pains. The four remaining pools are alkaline pools from the Rachael Spring (36deg to 42deg) which feature the antiseptic action of sodium silicate to nourish the skin. We moved from pool to pool, enjoying the different views and temperatures. Before long, an hour had passed and we robed ourselves and went to meet our therapists. My therapist, Alex, was wearing a black one-piece bathing suit, with a towel wrapped around her waist. I was confused at first but soon realised that the therapist was going to get wet too!

She told us that the Aix therapy was first introduced to Rotorua in 1903, and combines a full body exfoliation, with multiple jets of warm water streaming across the entire body, finishing with an oil relaxation massage. This sounded like perfection, so I decided to give the unique treatment a go while Sarah chose the aromatherapy massage.

The therapy began with me lying face down on an Italian Vichy Aix bed then Alex applied my choice of exfoliating scrub: The Skin Deep Honey Walnut polish. Made with New Zealand UMF 12 Manuka honey and Manuka and Kanuka oils, I was looking forward to the healing and antibacterial properties of honey, which according to Alex, creates a triple action that firms, refines and nourishes. It sounded ideal to me.

All spa therapies include a soak in the mineral pools beforehand to warm up the muscles, soften the skin and relax the mind, something we were both looking forward to. Changing into our togs, we stepped out of the dressing room and were struck by the most beautiful setting: Five mineral hot pools surrounded by native bush, rocks, waterfalls and a grotto, all

The polish glided on easily and the texture of the walnut made my skin feel invigorated, fresh and alive, made more intense by the combination of the beautiful honey smell. Then came the fun part: The shower jets were turned on and streams of water covered my entire body. I relished the feeling of enveloping warmth, with the water pressure

a light massage in itself. Once the Honey Walnut polish was cleansed off, it was then time for the coconut oil relaxation massage. This massage was on another level because there was not only the masseuse’s hands applying pressure, but also the water jets. My constantly thinking and moving mind decided to switch off in a way that’s rare for me, and I was on another level of deep relaxation. When the massage finished, it took me a few minutes to pull myself back. “Wow,” I said to Alex, “that felt like heaven. Thank you so much. I really needed it!” I asked her for details on the Skin Deep Honey Walnut polish to buy from the Spa Essentials Shop at Polynesian Spa so I could take it home with me because it felt so incredible. Sarah and I met up in the relaxation room, poured ourselves a cup of herbal tea and sat in loungers overlooking Lake Rotorua. Before we knew it, we had fallen asleep and when we woke, we reluctantly decided to re-enter the real world. Realising that we were quite peckish, we decided to order a salad and a juice each at the café. As we ate, we compared our therapies, both in awe of how great we felt both during and after. Leaving Polynesian Spa and heading for a walk at the Redwoods Forest, we agreed that the full body and mind relaxation we had just felt is so important for our wellbeing and we made a pact to come back to Polynesian Spa every six months as a regular getaway.

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Taupo

Wairakei “a long history of healing” At the turn of the last century, travellers worldwide came by train, by horse or stagecoach to ‘take the waters’ at Wairakei, over the years testifying to its remarkable ‘curative properties’ and ‘healing powers’. Once again visitors can bathe in these mineral-enriched waters in a series of hot pools strategically located below silica terraces and a waterfall, providing a perfect setting for complete rest and relaxation and a ‘feel back in time’ sensation. An extremely appealing experience for a worldwide culture interested in health and wellness, or for the traveller simply wanting to indulge in something unique.

Using traditional balms and oils we also provide traditional Maori massage, mirimiri (natural gift). Steeped in Maori culture and custom, this modality encompasses the physical (tinana), spiritual (wairua) and mental (hinengaro) elements of the whole person, the healing energy (mauri-ora) that links the spiritual to the physical being.

Complimenting this revitalising experience, we provide one of the oldest forms of therapy inspired by the natural world, ‘holistic massage’. Conveyed and expressed through caring and loving hands, we address all aspects of the body. Realigning and balancing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements of the body, allowing its own natural healing ability to play a role in keeping the mind, body and soul in harmony.

E: info@wairakeiterraces.co.nz | Ph: 07-378-0913 671 Wairakei Drive, Wairakei Road, Wairakei, Taupo

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Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa E: info@wairakeiterraces.co.nz | Ph: 07-378-0913 Postal Address: PO Box 1546, Taupao 3351 Physical Address: 617 Wairakei Drive, Wairakei Road, Wairakei, Taupo

www.wairakeiterraces.co.nz


For the past 30 years, New Zealand designer Dame Trelise Cooper has been carving a unique space in the global fashion industry, a space she lovingly describes as a “Theatre of Dreams”.

For Dame Trelise, “Theatre of Dreams” describes the special impact her designs have on women, and not just because they are beautiful clothes: It describes an ideal, a vision, a story, a sense of a woman’s inner and outer beauty, her vulnerability, her sense of herself and her place in the world. It is this quality — Dame Trelise’s ability to truly see a woman in her unique context and understand what is required to highlight a moment — that has made her designs stand out for three decades. “A woman’s femininity is the focal point in designing the dress,” Dame Trelise says, alluding to what has motivated her from the start. “I design for women by relating to them, whoever they are. That’s because designing is an expression of who I am as a woman — all the complications, feelings and emotions. I understand a woman’s vulnerability, just as much as I understand that fashion is an instrument to make her beautiful, confident, happy and content.”

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Dame Trelise is as well known for capturing that sense of connectedness and ethereal beauty in everything she does, as much as she is known for the fashion brand that bears her name and is globally recognised and valued. “My goal has always been to make a difference in women’s lives,” Dame Trelise says. “When I’m designing I think about a woman and how she lives — their empowerment is the most important thing for me. Fashion is all about telling stories. It is where a woman takes it that is the exciting bit.” The Trelise Cooper story has been a lifetime in the telling. It is a story that saw a young New Zealand woman open a single store in 1985, to now, heading a global brand that boasts 10 flagship stores worldwide, as well as more than 200 independent retail stockists across the 28 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

US and Australia. The four Trelise Cooper labels — the bespoke Trelise Cooper range, the more casual Cooper, the youthful COOP, and the elegant Boardroom — are complemented by brand extensions Trelise Cooper Home, Trelise Cooper Eyewear, and Trelise Cooper Jewellery. The Trelise Cooper designs that emerge from that space have always captured the romantic and the feminine with luxurious fabrics, dynamic colours, delicate touches of lace and sparkling embellishments. They are renowned for their attention to detail, and the flourishes of spirituality that linger beyond the moment or the occasion. The style may have become more simplified, more elegant and more subtle as the brand has matured, but each Trelise Cooper garment continues to be synonymous with that Theatre of Dreams.

Beyond this, the Trelise Cooper story has never ceased to celebrate the colourful, the exuberant and the luxuriant in other ways. The Trelise Cooper shows at the annual New Zealand Fashion Week, for example, have become as famous for theatre and big production values as the labels themselves. Some of Hollywood’s most elegant and edgy female stars have been clothed in Trelise Cooper designs, including Liv Tyler, Miley Cyrus, Suri Cruise, Catherine Zeta Jones, Julia Roberts and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks.But again, building and maintaining a high profile that appeals to such well-known names is only part of the story.Success is only partly measured by the longevity and popularity of a brand and its presence in boutiques and department Stores. For Dame Trelise, “success” is mainly gauged by the memories created by women in the


garments she has designed. The ability to achieve this comes down to that indefinable gift of insight that only the best poets, writers, artists and dancers, sculptors and designers have … to see in-between, into that place of mystery and movement, of spirit and grace, hope and life, and out of that space to create something of deep value and significance. It is out of this space that Dame Trelise also fulfils important roles as patron of the Breast Cancer Research Trust and Auckland’s Returned Services Association for War Veterans. Dame Trelise passionately and generously supports several

For Dame Trelise, “success” is mainly gauged by the memories created by women in the garments she has designed.

charities each year, including Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, ‘Shine – making homes Violence free’, and multiple small community charities. Her vital roles have been rewarded by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004, and Knighted as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 for services to fashion and the community. The Trelise Cooper brand has helped women of all ages achieve their dreams because what Dame Trelise achieves on behalf of women of all circumstance, age, culture and body shape, is a sense of harmony — the union of a woman’s individuality with the garment she wears. The task of striving to achieve this sense of connectedness between a woman and her dress, a woman and her story, and between a woman and the moment, is more than a craft, it is a responsibility. A responsibility that Dame Trelise Cooper has happily accepted for 30 years and will do so well into the future. To see some of Trelise Cooper’s wonderful designs, see Fiordland House PAGE 42 www.gotravelnewzealand.com 29


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The Empowerment Pearl Story Roger Beattie, company director of Eyris Pearls has been an avid supporter of Miss World NZ contestants, donating blue pearl jewellery pieces for their charity auctions over the past few years. 2015 contestant, Deborah Lambie’s theme was Empowerment. Roger along with his team at Eyris Pearls and Jacek Pawlowski (Blue Pearl Gallery – Akaroa) have joined forces and created a one off handcrafted blue pearl pendant named the Empowerment Pearl. It was designed around the Kate Sheppard Camellia. During the campaign for women's suffrage, those who supported the 1893 Electoral Bill were presented with a white camellia to wear in their buttonhole. The white camellia has since become an endearing symbol of women's suffrage in New Zealand, and a new variety, named after Kate Sheppard, was created for the 100th anniversary in 1993. Jacek was inspired by a camellia that he hand picked at Roger and Nicki Beattie’s Canterbury property. Jacek watched the flower over a few days and got his inspiration by the way the petals slowly opened up in the sunlight. This pendant has been donated by Miss World - New Zealand for the Children’s Charity Auction in China, Beauty with a Purpose – Helping Children Worldwide. Deborah Lambie graduated from the University of Otago as a medical doctor in November 2015 and is also a co-founder of Learncoach, a free online tutorial service for NCEA students.

“The blue pearl captures your eye and draws you closer”

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Blue Pearl Gallery Main Wharf Akaroa New Zealand 03 304 7262 pearls@nzbluepearls.co.nz www.nzbluepearls.co.nz

Eyris Pearls: info@bluepearls.com

Visit www.bluepearls.com for a full list of our stockists www.gotravelnewzealand.com 33


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Luxury Lodges

of NZ Time for a romantic getaway

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 35


Find Out More

Phone: +64 3 441 0115, Fax: +64 3 442 9441, Email: information@blanketbay.com Postal address: PO box 35, Glenorchy 9350, New Zealand. 36 Go Travel NZ 路 Autumn 2016


Voted as one of the worlds best luxury lodges

Blanket Bay Lodge sits amidst New Zealand's finest scenery at the north end of Lake Wakatipu, one of the greatest alpine wilderness regions in the Southern Hemisphere. Travellers come to the Lodge at Blanket Bay in search of peace and solitude from the outside world. The area has some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery and a vast array of visitor activities, ensuring guests have plenty of enjoyable options to choose from during their stay. In this spectacular corner of New Zealand, discover endless ways to restore your physical and spiritual well-being. There are so many activities so close by – fly-fishing and heli-skiing, the country’s best hiking on the Routeburn or Milford Tracks, jet boating and kayaking, 4WD tours, horse riding, art trails and vineyards, plus flight-seeing over Milford Sound. With the backdrop of snow-capped Mt Earnslaw, the beautiful quiet trout-filled rivers of The Greenstone Valley and the dense pre-historic rainforests of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, Blanket Bay is ideally located and just forty-five minutes from the world famous resort town of Queenstown. Accommodation at Blanket Bay is provided in five intimate Lodge Rooms and three generous Lodge Suites in the main Lodge and four superb Chalet Suites adjacent to the main Lodge, all filled with sumptuous furnishings and elegant rugs. Natural materials are showcased throughout, echoing the Lodge's integration and interaction with the environment. All rooms within the Lodge are placed to take full advantage of the magnificent lake and mountain vistas. The five intimate lakeside Lodge Rooms feature their own balcony or terrace; king-size bed; armoire; and ensuite bathroom with granite-topped double vanities, separate shower and bath. The three magnificent 700 sq. ft. Lodge Suites offer bedroom and sitting areas which have their own stone fireplace, spacious bathroom with steam shower and separate tub. Outside, each suite has a 400 sq. ft. private terrace, with heart-stopping views of the lake and mountains. The Chalet Suites reflect New Zealand colonial architecture and complement the Main Lodge through the use of schist stone and timber beams. Each Chalet Cottage comprises two 700 sq. ft. suites with open stone fireplaces and can be connected by a central living room with gorgeous lake and mountain views. Dining at Blanket Bay is a special occasion every night. Dinner is served on individual tables in the elegant Evening Dining Room with its beamed ceiling and stone fireplace. For a more intimate affair, guests can reserve the Wine Cave – a perfect venue for private dining for up to six people. On warmer evenings, under a clear southern sky, The Terrace is a magnificent setting with the fire behind and the mountain and lake vistas unfolding around you. At Blanket Bay only the finest wines and spirits are stocked and carefully cared for. The Lodge features the best of New Zealand's vineyards and is especially proud to offer award winning Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings grown and bottled nearby in Central Otago. To compliment the wide variety of award winning local wines, Blanket Bay has selected the best of New Zealand wines representing the various wine growing regions of New Zealand such as Martinborough, Hawkes Bay and Marlborough. On the Lodge's lower ground level the Blanket Bay Spa features a therapy suite, steam rooms, gym and a Jacuzzi with magnificent lake and mountain views. Whether you are looking for relaxation, re-invigoration or just some pampering, Blanket Bay’s talented therapist will provide a therapy that is perfect for you. Enjoy he steam rooms and the Jacuzzi or swim in the 18m x 6m outdoor heated lap pool that captures the alpine environment with glorious lake views to the south. The pool is open during the summer months.

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 37


Passionate about providing a memorable stay

38 Go Travel NZ 路 Autumn 2016


www.gotravelnewzealand.com 39


Fiordland

FIORDLAND

Stirling Falls IMAGE: Chris Sisarich

Majestic beauty by Gerard Campbell Fiordland is home to New Zealand’s largest national park and some amazing scenery and wildlife.

40 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016


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t could well be one of the most recognised (and photographed) waterfalls in New Zealand: The freezing water of the majestic Stirling Falls, cascading off the equally impressive slopes of the 1692m Mitre Peak, into the deep, green waters of Milford Sound. It’s a breathtaking sight and indicative of the natural beauty of the simply stunning Fiordland region in New Zealand’s South Island. It’s jaw-dropping beauty will literally take your breath away. Considered one of the southern hemisphere’s most scenic wilderness regions, Fiordland is home to the aforementioned Mitre Peak, the fiords of Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, the Stirling and Bowen waterfalls, the lakeside towns of Te Anau and Manapouri and the Kepler and Routeburn walking tracks. Due to its natural beauty, Fiordland has attained World Heritage status. It is part of the Fiordland National Park, which covers 12,500sqm. The New Zealand Maori attributed the creation of the fiords of Fiordland to the titanic mason Tute Rakiwhanoa, who carved out the steep sided valleys with sharp-edged adzes. The area’s western coast is punctuated by 14 fiords spanning 215 km of coastline. It’s hard not to be impressed by the beauty of Fiordland but believe us when we say you won’t really appreciate how impressive it is until you see it with your own eyes. There’s a reason why Fiordland really is considered one of the must-see places in the world. Of the three main sounds, Milford, Doubtful and Dusky, Milford is the most accessible – and the most well known to tourists. It’s

IMAGE: Nathan Secker accessible by vehicle from Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill, as well as by plane.The drive to Milford is picturesque but windy, so take your time but it will be worth it. Milford Sound is also home to the dramatic Mitre Peak (so named because it’s top resembles a bishop’s head dress), which cuts an imposing figure and is home to the Stirling Falls and the 162m Lady Bowen Falls. The stark beauty of Milford Sound, which is up to 400m deep in some places, even impressed explorer James Hingston, who wrote in 1883: “For thousands of feet upwards, the eye looks upon straight cut rocky frontages, not worn smooth by time, or by wind or water, but as sharply defined and as fresh looking in all respects as if riven asunder but yesterday by the stupendous wedges of titanic masons.” Doubtful and Dusky sounds are more isolated and harder to get to than Milford Sound, which means less people to contend with, making for a more relaxed experience. Doubtful Sound was originally named Doubtful Harbour by Captain James Cook after he wouldn’t sail into the inlet because he believed he’d have trouble navigating his ship in it. It’s the deepest (at 421m)

and second longest (at 40km) sound in Fiordland and while the scenery might not be as dramatic as in Milford, it’s just as jawdroppingly impressive. Dusky Sound is the most complex of all the three sounds in Fiordland. Forty kilometres long and 8km at its widest point, Dusky Sound is only accessible by sea or air. It is an important breeding area for the Fiordland penguin and several large island can be found in the sound, including Anchor Island and Long Island. By now you’ve realised that there’s plenty to do in Fiordland, from scenic flights, lake cruises and jet boating to visiting Te Anau’s glow worm caves, fishing and walking the world-famous Kepler and Routeburn tracks, but if there’s one piece of advice we can offer, it’s this: Take your time, soak in the scenery and breathe in the wonder of one of the world’s most beautiful locations.

Oh, and take a rain poncho: Not only is Fiordland renowned for its heavy rain throughout the year, it’ll also come in handy when that boat you’re on nudges a little too close to the waters of the Stirling Falls. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Population -2, 000 Area - 12,120 km2 Main reason to visit: Fiords and the great walks Top attraction: Milford Sound Fun fact: Fiordland is home to the largest national park in New Zealand

Milford Sound IMAGE: Rob Suisted www.gotravelnewzealand.com 41


Te-Anau

GIFTS FOR SOMEONE SPECIAL Located beside the lake and behind the large Takahe statue on the main street of Te Anau, Fiordland House was opened in 1982. Since then it has only changed ownership twice and is still locally owned and operated. At Fiordland House, we stock a wide variety of New Zealand-made merino, possum and alpaca clothing and accessories, New Zealand-made jewellery and also a variety of quality leisurewear brands for everything you need while travelling.

We also have garments and accessories handmade here in Fiordland. Our staff are always happy to help you find that special something for you or for a gift to take home.

A recent addition to the store is the wool yarns section with a selection of authentic NZ yarns to take home to make your own special project.

We also have a wide knowledge of the local area and love to talk about our special places and as well as conservation initiatives that are happening in the area.

Come and see our quality NZ made merino, possum and alpaca knitwear and our wide selection of special NZ made yarns. Our friendly staff can help you choose the perfect gift for you or someone back home.

Specialty Yarn Products

We mail overseas - All major credit cards and foreign cash accepted

+64 (3) 2497308 www.fiordlandhouse.co.nz info@fiordlandhouse.co.nz Open 7 Days, 8.30am – till dark Lake end Te Anau by the big Takahe

42 Go Travel NZ ¡ Autumn 2016

Quality NZ Made Garments


The real taste of Fiordland Showcasing innovative New Zealand cuisine and local wines in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service, The Redcliff Cafe is a truly special dining experience in the heart of Fiordland’s Te Anau. Using the freshest local produce with meals such as Fiordland venison, hare back strap and Manuka smoked salmon, The Redcliff Cafe’s restaurant has been voted Te Anau’s Number 1 dining experience by Trip Adviser and The Lonely Planet and creates awardwinning food matched with wines produced locally and from Central Otago and around New Zealand.

We take pride in sourcing local meat, which can mean that your venison was running around the very hills you see outside our door! Te Anau still has a strong farming and hunting industry, and we try to showcase the regions produce in our menu, priding ourselves on simple but tantalising food with a definite New Zealand flavour.

food, great wine and great service – and we’ve been a hit with the cast and crew from the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit movies, who frequently visited during filming to experience what Redcliff Cafe has to offer.

The Redcliff Cafe has been a recipient of the New Zealand Beef & Lamb Hallmark of excellence award in 2005,2006,2007,200 8,2009,2010,2011,2012 and 2013 – and there’s a reason why we have a reputation for being Te Anau’s best restaurant: Great

GET THE REAL TASTE OF FIORDLAND!

Redcliff Restaurant & Bar Showcasing innovative N.Z cuisine and local wines In a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service. Using the freshest local produce with meals such as Fordland (Fare Game) venison, (Fare Game) Hare Back strap & Manuka Smoked Salmon has our restaurant voted TeAnaus #1 Dining experience by Trip Adviser & The Lonely Planet. Recipients of N.Z Beef & Lamb Hallmark of excellence 2005 - 2015

12 Mokonui st , TeAnau redcliff_cafe@xtra.co.nz www.theredcliff.co.nz

(03) 2497431 7 Days - 4pm Till Late

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 43


Milford Sound- Doubtful Sound

Adventuring with Go Orange

Down in Fiordland is a refreshingly fun and friendly company offering cruise and kayak adventures for the independent traveller seeking that uniquely personal New Zealand experience. Explore Milford or Doubtful Sounds with Go Orange and let them take you to their spectacular ‘backyard’. Their two-hour boat cruise in Milford Sound delivers the best value, least crowded cruise accompanied with free food offers on every cruise. With the capacity set at half, sit back, relax and enjoy a spacious cruise while sampling a delicious snack. Or discover one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, Doubtful Sound. This remote fiord is 44 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

3 times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound and is a full day experience. Visit places that few visitors get to experience with a maximum capacity of just 45 people on a small boat cruise. This is definitely one of New Zealand’s must-do’s. Even your driver can relax for the day with coach connections to both cruises available from Queenstown and Te Anau. Looking for a bit more adventure? Why not sweeten your day by taking a guided kayak tour with this accredited adventure operator. Operating with small groups of kayakers, explore spectacular and iconic Milford Sound.

Highlights include wildlife sightings, and with three options to choose from there’s something to suit everyone’s taste, ability or budget. No previous paddling experience is needed. Or challenge yourself to a more personal adventure and join their guided overnight sea kayaking and camping option in Doubtful Sound or maybe a epic 3 and 5 day expeditions for the more experienced. If time is short, they have just the perfect 1-Day Doubtful Sound Taster for you. With staff as bright and fresh as their name suggests, you’ll enjoy your cruise or kayak adventure on board with Go Orange.


d r o f l i m r doubtful

d n sou o

th ...or bo

or

Power OR Paddle. Sit back and cruise either Milford or Doubtful Sound in comfort on one of our day cruises OR into the wilderness on one of our guided sea kayak adventures. www.Goorange.co.nz

info@Goorange.co.nz

0800 24 66 72

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 45


Fiordland’s Walter Peak IMAGE: Rob Suisted

46 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016


Milford

MILFORD’S magestic mountains I recently made a trip to New Zealand to see an old friend. She lives on the South Island and was a wonderful tour guide. She knew all the special places to go and the things to see (to me, though, everything was special). This had been a dream trip of mine for years. One day, we took off for Milford Sound stopping along the way at every place there was something to see. It is a beautiful drive through Fiordland National Park. We stopped at Mirror Lakes and walked alongside the lake with its beautiful reflections, then at Lake Gunn with the majestic mountains in the background. The Homer Tunnel was the next amazing experience and to think that it was originally

made by men with pick and shovels. We also had a stop at the Chasm. It was a lovely walk in to see the rushing water and how it has carved out the boulders and all this before we arrive at Milford Sound. I grew up in Montana so the mountains are awesome to me and one of my dreams was to go up in a helicopter to see the mountains from a different perspective. I chose Milford Helicopters and was pleasantly surprised. The pilot asked me ifl wanted to go to the falls or the glacier. I have always wanted to see a glacier up close so chose that. The pilot explained everything as we were getting ready to go (safety issues etc).

I had never been in a helicopter before (a bucket list item also), so was a little apprehensive. It was all for nought: It was a beautiful experience and the scenery was amazing. The pilot explained everything I was seeing. As we took off, the first view was of Milford Sound itself. It was absolutely breathtaking. I saw beautiful lakes, mountains so close I felt I could reach out and touch them, a beautiful aqua coloured lake and, of course, the blue icy Mt Tutoko glacier. We even landed on the glacier and got my photo taken. It was an awe inspiring trip everyone should try. I know I will be back.

Experience the wonder of Milford Sound by the air and truly appreciate how the land was formed during ancient times. Treat yourself to one of the most breathtaking scenic flights around - an experience you will never forget! www.gotravelnewzealand.com 47


Dunedin

DUNEDIN

Yellow eyed penguin IMAGES: Elm Wildlife Tours

Going wild over Dunedin Dunedin is a wild city. As you enter the city, you see hills all around – some bearing wild vegetation, some suburbs and some farmland - then you see the glistening harbour, the rugged coastline and the mighty Pacific ocean. As you explore Dunedin you find it contains an incredible range of natural habitats, animals and plants, from mountain-top to sea-side.

48 Go Travel NZ ¡ Autumn 2016


unedin’s human connections to nature are deep and strong. The first Polynesian people to come to New Zealand about 1000 years ago had to adapt from tropical to cool temperate weather. The animals, plants and rocks were very different to what they had known and so they had to learn anew how to live off the bounty of land and sea. Many Maori today still have a strong affinity to nature.

a hilltop observatory to see the massive Northern Royal Albatross on their nests, and you can take a short boat trip to see them and other albatross soaring on the strong winds of the Roaring 40s.

When Europeans arrived about 150 years ago, they carved farmland out of native forest and modified landscape into cityscape The young Dunedin’s first grand buildings, financed by gold, were built of rock hewn from the extinct volcanoes that formed the rugged landscape of hills, harbour, cliffs and coast from 13 to 9 million years ago.

NZ fur-seal colonies abound on the rocks and NZ sea-lions are sometimes seen on the sandy beaches – having started breeding on the mainland again only in the mid-1990s. Two species of dolphins live here including the world’s smallest, the Hector’s Dolphin, which sometimes pop up beside surfers.

D

Dunedin was the world’s first new city to have a green belt incorporated into its design. The botanic gardens were the first in New Zealand, and now are one of only five in NZ to be deemed Gardens of International Significance. There is one other in Dunedin: Larnach Castle’s gardens which have been Margaret Barker’s passion project for 40 years. NZ’s first university opened in Dunedin in 1871, teaching natural philosophy and in 1872 appointing a professor of natural science. Now, Otago University is renowned for researching and teaching the life sciences: Marine science, botany, zoology, geology and others. The eco-tourism industry is one of the economic pillars of Dunedin now, too, with the Otago Peninsula a world-class destination and several operators helping visitors to go wild. Taiaroa Head is the only mainland nesting colony of albatross anywhere in the world: You can walk to

In the scientific reserve of Taiaroa Head, you can also see the rare Stewart Island shag (cormorant) on their chimney-pot nests and Spotted Shags nesting in their cliff niches.

Little Blue Penguins and the very rare Yelloweyed Penguins can be seen in several places. They are very shy and easily scared, so keep your distance and keep still, or even better, go with a guide. An innovative farmer installed trenches and viewing hides on his farm in the 1980s and this has given many visitors a chance to see these unique and endangered birds up close. Dunedin has much more for nature lovers. Orokonui Ecosanctuary is a recent and pioneering nature refuge: A mainland “island” because its predator-proof fence has allowed the reserve to breed rare and endangered NZ species such as charismatic kaka parrots, takahe (birds of the rail family), ancient reptiles called tuatara, the famous flightless kiwi and many others. The suburb of St Clair is a surfing mecca, and just 5 minutes walk from there to Second Beach reveals beautiful columnar basalt formations and cold-water bull kelp fringing the rocks.

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 49


IMAGE: Elm Wildlife Tours

50 Go Travel NZ 路 Autumn 2016


Tunnel Beach, just to the south, is perhaps the city’s best known walking track to sandstone arches and a hidden beach, but Karetai Track just to the north is a hidden jewel with incredible coastal cliff views. Allan’s Beach on Otago Peninsula is the easiest wild beach to access, with a sandy and rocky coast to explore (keep your distance from penguins, fur-seals and sealions, though) and Flagstaff is a beautiful hilltop walk through sub-alpine tussock and

scrub, and at more than 650 metres high, it gives you great views over the city and coast, and inland towards Central Otago. Leith Saddle has tracks into the cloud-forest and Ross Creek has walking and running tracks through city forest. Glow-worms can be seen at night up a side creek of Leith Valley. An hour’s drive away from the Octagon, and near Middlemarch, you are still in Dunedin

(it is the world’s 11th biggest city by area) but surrounded by wild hills . It’s real Hobbit country. The Rock and Pillar Range has fantastical rock tors, sub-alpine vegetation such as totara trees 100 years old but only a few centimetres high, and a few hardy creatures such as lizards, grasshoppers, and big insects called weta which freeze solid over winter and come to life in spring. Sight-seeing done, you can also go surfing, wind-surfing, biking, hiking, yachting, rowing, fishing, hunting, photographing, or many other outdoors activities. As with its lucky citizens, Dunedin will draw you to the wild side. GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 127, 500 Area - 3, 314 km2 Main reason to visit: Art and culture Top attraction: Dunedin is home to New Zealand’s only castle; Larnach Castle Fun fact: 25,000 students make Dunedin New Zealand’s most youthful city!

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 51


“AS WITH ITS LUCKY CITIZENS, DUNEDIN WILL DRAW YOU TO THE WILD SIDE.”

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Queenstown

QUEENSTOWN

ESCAPE to Mt Earnslaw The intense beauty of Queenstown and its surrounds will leave a lasting impression, writes Alasdair Thomson.

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 53


F

lying across the Tasman Sea, over the snow-capped Southern Alps, and neatly down into Queenstown Airport, has to be the most dramatic arrival to a destination I’ve ever experienced.

In fact, Queenstown has topped many of the worlds most stunning airport approaches and we could clearly see why. Our first recommendation is to arrive in Queenstown by air - our second, is to stay up there for as long as possible. That evening, from our superb waterfront location at Eichardt’s, we watched a magnificent sunset stream down the western arm of Lake Wakatipu, directly in front of us. We knew at once that this would be our bearing for the following morning. Upon seeking trusted advice, my partner and I wasted no time - we booked the ‘Earnslaw Exclusive’ helicopter tour with Heliworks, a long-standing and well-respected Queenstown helicopter company. Being quite safety conscious, my wife did inquire about their safety record, and we were delighted to hear that it was immaculate. We also learned they were heavily involved with filming the Lord of the Rings in the area too, and we were excited to hear more about it. The morning in early Autumn was warm, clear and sunny, and we felt very comfortable running through the plans with the pilot. Once we stepped inside and heard the blades beginning to rotate above us, our nervous anticipation reached its highest point - it was our first time in a helicopter! Within moments, the ground began dropping beneath us, and we soared up into the sky. A familiar sense of being airborne greeted our senses, although slightly different this time, and a huge smile from my wife confirmed my thoughts. This was awesome!

Platinum Queenstown offers luxury villa accommodation with: • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, laundry, spacious lounge/dining areas and lock-up garage • private courtyard • stunning views of either lake or surrounding alpine vista • 2 minutes drive from centre of Queenstown • ideal for families, business travellers, couples or groups Relax in pure luxury and experience the best of our alpine and lake wonderland.

Phone: +64 3 746 7700 54 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

or visit our website: platinumqueenstown.co.nz


“THE TRANQUILITY OF THIS BREATHTAKING PARADISE WAS ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL, A SETTING NO PICTURE COULD DO JUSTICE.” Getting close to the huge Remarkables mountain range to our right was an incredible start, before we shot north, aiming for our two ‘exclusive landing sites’. Our experienced pilot informed us of our movements, and the names of the places we were travelling over: We just essentially stared in amazement! Through the Moonlight saddle, we hoped over the Richardson Mountains, and scored our first view of Mt Earnslaw: A dramatic lump of snow-laden rock, with steep, razor-like ridges and multiple, high-jagged peaks. In our excitement, visions of a summit attempt one day initially crossed our mind, but the unrealistic enthusiasm quite quickly passed, and we were very glad to be viewing it from our safe and comfortable distance. We then flew close past an impressive hanging glacier, high up on a cliff, with the deep blue ice glinting majestically in the morning sun. Witnessing this unique and seemingly ‘floating’ ice structure was mesmerizing, and firmly reminded me of the age, and

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 55


timeless nature, of these remote and untouched places. We dropped 1000m to the valley floor (at a controlled speed thankfully) to touch down for a brief stop. The tranquility of this breathtaking paradise was absolutely sensational, a setting no picture could do justice. Once the engine had stopped, the peaceful world we’d entered was a hugely welcome change to our city-style lives. The magnitude and scale of the area blew us away. Mountains erupting above us on all sides, and there was no-one here to enjoy it but us! We simply listened, and took in our exceptional surroundings. All too soon, the engine roared into life and we jumped back in the ‘chopper’, but thankfully, our Heliworks experience was far from over. Looping back across Lake Wakatipu towards the Humboldt Mountains, we continued down the famous Greenstone Valley, before landing at Mt Nicholas station. Stepping outside once again, we were greeted with extensive views towards Glenorchy and into Fiordland, with the mountains and lake combining to create an unparalleled viewpoint. Pictures and momentos were taken, although memories were ensured regardless. The home straight towards Queenstown was even more beautiful than we’d pictured the night before. The whole trip only took a few hours and we’d seen so much. Just moments from the relative hustle of Queenstown lies an untouched world that many are not lucky enough to experience.

DELICIOUS FRESH FARE WITH STUNNING VIEWS

We vowed our next destination would be further into Fiordland, and before even touching down in Queenstown, we had already made preliminary plans with the pilot. The intense beauty of the area left a lasting impression on us, and Heliworks do the job perfectly. GTNZ

OPEN 7 DAYS FOR LUNCH & DINNER

DID YOU KNOW? Nickname - The adventure capital of the world Population - 28, 224 Area - 8, 704 km2 Main reason to visit: Adventure tourism

Bookings essential, please email: skylinequeenstownreservations@skyline.co.nz or phone: +64 3 441 0101 Skyline.co.nz/queenstown 56 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

Top attractions: Bungy Jumping and Gondola Fun fact: Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s longest lake


www.gotravelnewzealand.com 57


Wanaka

WANAKA

WARRIORS OF THE SKY Since its first show in 1986, Warbirds Over Wanaka has thrilled and delighted plane lovers from around the world. This Easter, the four-day event promises some real surprises.

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“It sounds like the Warbirds over Wanaka 2016 WILL BE A WEEKEND NOT TO BE MISSED”

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I

t is difficult even for non-aviators not to be moved watching elegant old warbirds, jets, helicopters and myriad other aircraft carve up blue skies in the beautiful mountain setting of Wanaka. When the scene is further set by wartime music, ground-shaking pyrotechnics and re-enactments of life on the frontlines, it becomes an unforgettable experience. Many visitors find themselves returning again and again to the remarkable event that is Warbirds Over Wanaka and the upcoming 2016 airshow is promising some real surprises. It began 28 years ago as a

picnic outing featuring a handful of warbirds collected by aviation and farming pioneer, Sir Tim Wallis. Today it is considered one of the world’s most unique warbird airshows featuring up to 80 aircraft from all imaginable genres and a wealth of entertainment and displays, over three days. Some of the highlights planned for this Easter airshow include the Battle of Britain re-enactment with the Buchon Me 109 and Supermarine Spitfire in a tail chase and dogfight, short take off and landing competition for sport aircraft, a ‘Rides Day’ for the public and spectacular jet formation flying.

Wanaka Lakefront A number of amphibian aircraft, including the Catalina, will fly over the lakefront in the free, public event at dusk on Friday, March 25. The aim is to illustrate aviation’s amphibian aircraft, with a special commentary, search lights, music and reenactors adding authenticity to the event. Families and individuals from across the region will come and join in, it is exciting to be able to bring the airshow right into town.

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Image: Glen Alderton

Image: Phil Makanna

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 7, 170 Area - 192 km2 Main reason to visit: Outdoor pursuits Top attraction: Mount Aspiring National Park Fun fact: Lake Wanaka sits below sea level

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HELPING DREAMS COME TRUE When I asked my nine year old what he wanted for his 10th birthday I never imagined what the answer might be “I want to learn to fly,” he said. U-Fly in Wanaka is based at the Wanaka Airport and they offer trial flights for a very reasonable price. I knew this, so I called U-Fly Wanaka and spoke to a fantastically experienced pilot, and a new mother herself, if it was possible. “If he can see out the window, the answer is yes,” she said. Yes. A ten year old can take a flying lesson at the Wanaka Airport.

Almost instantaneously I decided that, yes, I would allow him to fly a plane. Seriously, if the kid is brave enough to ask to fly a plane who am I to crush the dream? And statistically, and realistically, he is more likely to get hit by a car on his way to school than crash a plane. So the odds were with him. I made the booking. We turned up - his two best mates in tow. That’s right – he could take friends! Imagine the street cred at school. I’ve never seen three 10-year-old boys so quiet. The excitement had surpassed talkative and

wriggly and had become gob-smacked awe. He didn’t look at all nervous, taking pilot Trevor’s instructions in his stride, and before I knew it the doors were closed and they were taxiing toward the runway. Upon landing - the high fives extreme - so much so you could call them high tens, and the shouted flurry of kid-slang for ‘Cool’ was absolutely worth the worry! I am thrilled to have been able to offer him his dream come true with U-Fly Wanaka in the beautiful Lake Wanaka region, New Zealand.

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 61


Catch a Ride on Monday Rides Day on the Monday, March 28 will give visitors the opportunity to get off the ground in anything from a warbird to a microlight. One of WOW’s goals is to encourage people into aviation careers and warbird flying. There were relatively few new warbird pilots coming into the scene at present. Some operators will offer the opportunity for passengers to take the controls during flight. Bookings are recommended at www. warbirdsoverwanaka.com Power and Grace...the WWII Fighters The main stars of the airshow will always be the WWII fighters and despite the passage of time and the growing expense of keeping these in the sky, their numbers are stronger than ever. This airshow will host one Spitfires, famous for its contribution in WWII, over 22,000 were produced with No.486 (NZ) Squadron being a specific Spitfire squadron of Kiwi pilots. Joining the Spitfire is a Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, many of which were operated by the RNZAF in the Pacific, a Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk and the sleek and beautiful North American P51-D Mustang.

HANDMADE IN NEW ZEALAND world renowned blown glass and glass jewellery by glass artists Ola Höglund & Marie Simberg-Höglund creators of New Zealand art glass since 1982 visitors welcome – open daily Höglund Glassblowing Studio & Gallery 52 Lansdowne Road, Richmond 7081, Nelson (20 minutes from Nelson) Höglund Art Glass Gallery 1767 Luggate-Cromwell Rd 9383, Central Otago (25 minutes from WANAKA) Ph. 027 804 7454

62 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

www.hoglundartglass.com


Jim Hickey leads the Bose commentary team

The lovely restored twin-engine Avro Anson Mk1 will also form part of the line up and will drop bombs. The pilots who fly these aircraft are among the countries most experienced aviators, many being commercial airline pilots with many thousands of hours in their log books. Four of the regions airforces will also be present, along with graceful gliders, wine, food and a wealth of entertainment and aviation displays on the ground make this a significant event, easily worthy of more than one day’s visit. Jet Formation Flying Visitors to Warbirds Over Wanaka are being treated to a new 5-ship Jet formation display. The display will feature two Vampire and two Strikemaster Jets. Both of these types are very familiar to New Zealanders as they were part of the Royal New Zealand Airforce over many years. The fifth aircraft to feature in the display is a Viper-powered L29 Jet which is now based at Wanaka after arriving from the United States last year. This display will show off all the attributes of these fast and furious aircraft plus the high skill-level of their pilots. Bose Commentary Team Warbird pilot and former TVNZ weatherman, Jim Hickey, will lead the Bose Commentary Team 2016 alongside Grant Stewart and Craig “Ferg” Ferguson at this year’s Warbirds Over Wanaka. “I’m very excited about being involved with Warbirds Over Wanaka, one of the great Warbirds airshows in the world,” says Jim. It sounds like Warbirds Over Wanaka 2016 will be a weekend not to be missed. You may book tickets at 0800 224 224 or www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com GTNZ

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 63


Mackenzie

MACKENZIE

Tekapo’s Mt John Research Observatory

EARTH, SEA & SKY Take time to discover Tekapo, a small village at the end of a turquoise-blue lake, writes Christine Negus.

64 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016


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owhere else on our planet is there the same combination of a rain shadow in a high rainfall area, in a highly glaciated landscape right on a plate boundary. That combination of geological and climatic influences over a very short span of distance is the reason there are so many activities in and around Lake Tekapo. I have been coming here since I was a student, heading into new territory to waitress at The Hermitage Mount Cook, then a government-owned hotel. Over the years I’ve stayed at the camping ground when learning to water ski, picnicked under the lakeside pine trees to break the drive from Christchurch to Queenstown, and as a journalist, told many a story about the mythical Mackenzie, and later still, as a community representative I watched the rabbit plague peak until the introduction of rabbit calicivirus disease in the 1990s. Truth is, I’m still a little in love with this land. I have seen Tekapo in its many moods, from the white silence of winter queen majesty and the incredible fragility of a hoar frost to summer heat in the 30s, when cones pop open and the air is scented with pine resin. But this trip was one of sheer relaxation and indulgence, a reminder that the best things can be close to home, and to rediscover that sense of awe crossing Burkes Pass into the million hectare expanse of the hummocky, tawny and tussocky Mackenzie Basin. It’s always interesting to stop at little Burkes Pass cemetery, a tree lined paddock of memories that cherishes the names of local people, the many Scots who lived in the area, and mountaineers who perished. There is Gary Ball, the New Zealand climber who (with Rob Hall) pioneered guided ascents of the world’s highest peaks but died of mountain sickness, aged 40, at 6500m on

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 26, 020 Area - 14, 491km2 Main reason to visit: Hiking and cycling Top attraction: Aoraki Mount Cook Fun fact: Aoraki Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand

The night sky view from Tekapo

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 65


Dhaulagiri in the Himalayas. Rob Hall lowered his body into a crevasse forever but his headstone is at Burkes Pass, a glimpse of the powerful pull this area has for elite climbers. In the mountains beyond the lake is an area of great upthrust, steeply plunging folds of rock, dozens of glaciers, small hanging lakes, huge snow fields and steep icefalls, a glacial lake studded with icebergs, scree slopes, alluvial fans, braided rivers, and 23 peaks above 3000m. The best way to see it all is from the comfort of a small aircraft. The 200km Grand Traverse of the Southern Alps, operated by Air Safaris, takes just one hour and is simply one the most visually beautiful experiences of a lifetime. We took off into a light easterly wind from the country’s highest registered aerodrome in a Cessna 208 Grand Caravan, past Mt John, an ice-eroded greywacke nob, then over sheep stations, and up to where the Godley River’s braided streams carry melt water down from Godley Glacier. We fly into the heart of Aoraki Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini World Heritage National Park where 50m of snow falls a year, forcing its way down into ice to create dozens of glaciers. The longest, at 29km, is Tasman Glacier. The steepest is Franz Josef: It descends from the main divide to 300m above sea level in just 12 km, and ends 19km from the Tasman Sea. My fellow passengers are simply spellbound and in awe at the proximity and sheer scale of this snowy silent world.

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They can only repeat the inadequate words: Wow, awesome, stunning, unforgettable. We fly around Aoraki Mount Cook, seemingly so close but in reality 1.5km away, with its long distinctive three-peaked ridge. It is rich in Ngai Tahu legend. Aoraki is the sacred mountain, an early ancestor turned to stone, near his brothers Rakiro (Mt Dampier), Rakirua (Teichelmann) and Rarakiro (Tasman). When we land perhaps few of the passengers realize the man with the kind face who gently helps people disembark, and who takes their photographs, is Richard Rayward, co-founder of Alpine Safaris. We worked together when he was a freelance television cameraman, and his schoolboy son Tim was often the sound man, a poppet kneeling on the ground, holding up the large woolly microphone. Today, Tim is one of the pilots; he arrives in a helicopter with his son Isaac. “There are just so many reasons for people to stop over longer at Tekapo now,” Richard said. “People are discovering we are not a small version of a Queenstown, that we have kept our own charm, and as well as the stunning natural surroundings people can kayak, horse trek, fish, ski, skate. We’ve seen an enormous growth in the popularity of walking and cycling in the area.” Tekapo is also the closest most of us will ever get to Saturn — clearly seen across 1.6 billion km as an embryonic-perfect dark red planet with its seven flat rings through a telescope at University of Canterbury’s Mt

John research observatory. It is the most accessible observatory in the world, 300 metres above the village. Earth and Sky Tours offer several tours which use several telescopes to reveal star nurseries, dying galaxies, planets, stars and other elements of space. Stargazing is attracting a new group of visitors. The guides, graduates in astrophysics and biochemistry and armed with strong laser pointers, share youth with an academic passion for stars, a geeky enthusiasm that makes effortless a succession of facts about 100 billion galaxies. Tekapo Springs is the creation of Karl Burtscher, a local man, who in late 2005 took up the challenge of turning an ice rink into a resort with skating rinks, tube rides, hot pools and a day spa. He climbed up onto a digger and knocked up 3000 hours shifting rocks and soil to create his vision. “I love hot pools and I thought they would be unique here if we positioned them to look out over the lake. Tekapo really needed a yearround activity -and I haven’t finished yet.” In the Day Spa, Nicole gave me the blissful experience of a paraffin pedicure. “We get a lot of international visitors booking online for the couples retreat and other treatments, because they want to spoil themselves a bit more on holiday. We’re also getting more hen parties and generally people seem to be making at least one spa treatment part of their holiday experience.” Peppers Bluewater Resort opened in 2008 and quickly enhanced


EARTH & SKY LAKE TEKAPO OBSERVATORY TOURS

local tourism by providing quality and quirky accommodation on the golden route between Christchurch and Queenstown. General Manager Alistair Munro claims double digit growth and an increase in the average stay. “It looks a bit like an old barn and has a feeling of rustic remoteness with the tussocks and pond,” Alistair said. “It already feels part of the landscape. The cedar will silver with age to reflect the Two Thumb Range, and we’ve got splashes of turquoise throughout.” There isn’t really a destination restaurant in Tekapo but Kohan Japanese Restaurant comes

close, with many customers wanting its salmon sashimi.

One of the Best Stargazing sites on Earth!

The Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1935, has a sturdy profile in perfect proportion to its setting on a small peninsula. A bronze memorial to the hardworking collie dogs is a short walk away, amongst the matagouri, part of the myth that hardy men and loyal dogs developed the Mackenzie country. Book at least two nights so you can allow this little village to cast her spell so that you will return to see her in another season. GTNZ

Book a tour: www.earthandsky.co.nz email: info@earthandsky.co.nz

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 67


Christchurch

CHRISTCHURCH

IMAGE: Pegasus Bay Winery

The taste of Waipara Heading north out of Christchurch, quickly leaving the city outskirts and into small farm holdings, I was anticipating the various tastes of the renowned cool climate wines produced in the Waipara Valley.

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eing a lover of pinot noir, I was particularly interested in getting to savour these as well as the wide variety of riesling produced in this area. A relatively young wine producing area, the first vines were planted in the 70s and into 80s and there are now 31 wineries in the region that sits in the lee of the Teviotdale hills and looks out towards the Southern Alps. We soon started to see the long, straight rows of vines and signs off the main road to the left and right to wineries and olive growing estates. Twelve of the wineries have cellar door sales and tastings available and we had chosen to visit three of these so we did not need to rush and could also enjoy a leisurely lunch at the award-winning Pegasus Bay Winery restaurant. Before we pulled into Greystone, we had learned that this area has plenty of microclimates, allowing for different varieties and blends to be created by the same vineyard by the talented winemakers who have made this area home and dedicated their lives to getting the very best from the soil and climate here. From its 37 hectares, the winemakers at Greystone produce pinot gris, riesling, rose, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and gewurztraminer. My favourite here was the pinot noir with the sauvignon blanc a close second. With all these tastes on the tips of our tongues and new information about the special nature of the Greystone wines and the team behind them, we drove a short distance down the road to Torlesse to enjoy tasting their unique offerings created by wine maker Kym Rayner. Kym and his team utilise grapes grown around the region allowing them to create distinctive and stylish wines, port and Cassis liqueur. The garden surroundings are very relaxed in which to enjoy some of the different styles on offer. Here my favourite was a chardonnay reserve from their Omihi Road label.

IMAGE: Pegasus Bay Winery www.gotravelnewzealand.com 69


Just 15 minutes drive took us to Pegasus Bay Winery for lunch and more tastings. We had elected to eat indoors surrounded by artworks and rimu furniture but their outdoor dining area also offered great views of the vines and surrounding countryside. Knowing the extensive list of awards the restaurant has gained over the past decade, we knew we were in for a treat with their shared platters of locally grown artisan food including a variety of cheese, olives, cured meats, pickles and bread.

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 539, 436 Area - 45, 346km2 Main reason to visit: Coast and mountain experiences Top attraction: Vibrant new Christchurch Fun fact: Christchurch is New Zealand’s fasted changing city, in the midst of an exciting rebuild following the 2011 earthquake

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“WE WERE DELIGHTED WITH THE SELECTION OF WINERIES AND KNOW THERE ARE MORE WE CAN EXPLORE


Our small party selected from their extensive range of wines to pair with the platter and we were all very impressed with the matching wines recommended. After our hearty lunch, we were ready to launch into our last round of tastings in its cosy tasting room. Knowing they produce four different styles of riesling, I wanted to test out my taste buds to see how much I could differentiate between them. The range of red wines here was also impressive and I particularly enjoyed the merlot cabernet. Pegasus have had very successful bottlings over many years so this was the wine I chose to purchase as my souvenir from a great day out. We were delighted with the selection of wineries and know there are more we can explore both in Waipara and the Selwyn District on our next visit to Christchurch. GTNZ

Travel in luxury with Christchurch Touring Company

Discover The rare beauty of Canterbury

Christchurch Touring Company specialises in private tours for couples, small groups and families in luxury vehicles. We can assist you with Personal Winery Tours to Waipara and the Selwyn District, Cruise ship excursions, exclusive airport transfers , personalised tours of Christchurch city and excursions to Akaroa, Banks Peninsula , Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura. Contact Faith to design your perfect sightseeing plan for your time in Christchurch.

Phone 021 916 929 Email info@christchurchtouringcompany.co.nz www.gotravelnewzealand.com 71


Kaikoura

KAIKOURA

Captivated by the albatross With its impressive wingspan, the albatross impresses during a trip off the Kaikoura coastline, writes Teresa Timmins.

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was feeling very excited as I contemplated the opportunity of seeing an albatross on my visit to Kaikoura. I had long held an interest in seeing these magnificent seabirds first hand and when the opportunity arose to visit Kaikoura, it was the perfect chance to book myself onto an Albatross Encounter tour. On checking in for the tour, I was advised that the sea conditions were described as slight to moderate, with a chance of seasickness. This was no deterrent at all to my excitement as I was feeling confident that I could handle the sea swell. I had purchased a locally manufactured seasickness remedy known as Kaikoura Kracka from the pharmacy so I felt I was ready and prepared for anything!

With anticipation building, we were driven to the South Bay marina to board the boat for the Albatross Encounter tour. What I wasn’t expecting was to climb aboard the boat while it was still on the land. The boat was parked on its trailer near the slipway and then once we were all aboard, the large tractor reversed down the slipway and the Albatross Encounter boat gently floated off into the channel to depart out to sea. The other passengers on board were rather charmed by this too and had not seen a boat launched this way before. My albatross adventure was underway. We headed out to an area only 15 minutes from where we had departed and as we travelled we saw albatross flying, gliding effortlessly toward us and seeming to appear from nowhere. As the boat became stationery, the albatross landed with large

feet outstretched, similar to a large aircraft coming in to land with the landing gear ready for landing. With a swish of water and a grand entrance, more and more species of albatross arrived. Gary, our skipper, and also our guide pointed out that the albatross to the right was a Wandering Albatross, a massive bird with a 3m wingspan and weighing up to 12kg. How does such a massive bird manage to lift itself off the ocean and fly with such grace and ease? It is simply mind-blowing. Then we saw a Salvin’s albatross arrive. Known as the most photogenic of all the birds thanks to their striking good looks and captivating eyes, they have an angry look about them because their eyes are so prominent and piercing. Then a Northern Royal glides in, a magnificent albatross with the purest shade of white on its body. www.gotravelnewzealand.com 73


A picture of exquisite grace and regal elegance and with the intelligence not to tussle over the fishy morsels but to stay on the peripheral of the feeding frenzy and maintain good manners and poise. We see up to 10 different species on the tour, ranging from the largest albatross to the smaller species known as mollymawks, which despite being described as small are still very large birds. Another species which creates a fascination all of its own is the large almost prehistoric looking giant petrels with their greedy, aggressive and dominating behaviour. These “vultures of the sea” also appear to be the bullies of the seabird community and are not at all interested in sharing the feast of fishy bites with any other birds on the scene. The snap and chatter loudly, chasing the other birds with bills wide open, reminding all other species that they hold the position of being top of the pecking order. The Albatross Encounter could actually be described as the best bird show on earth. It is fascinating to watch and the entertainment value is priceless. As different species join the cacophony there is no shortage of spectacular sights to delight and

Kaikoura’s Original Kayak Operator Est 1998

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www.gotravelnewzealand.com 75


Kaikoura is regarded as the best place in the world to see seabirds. Incredible photography opportunities and expert commentary... experience these majestic birds and many other species in their ocean environment.

Swimming with and watching Kaikoura’s Dusky Dolphins! Dive into the world of the dusky dolphin and experience the grace and beauty of the most acrobatic of all dolphin species.

Don’t miss these world-class tours – advance bookings essential.

Cafe Encounter

t ur Gif Visit o allery &G Shop

96 Esplanade, Kaikoura, New Zealand. Phone (03) 319 6777 NZ Freephone 0800 733 365

www.encounterkaikoura.co.nz

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Our café on the beachfront is the perfect setting to enjoy breakfast, lunch, all day snacks and delicious OZONE coffee. There’s Free WiFi and plenty of parking too.


DID YOU KNOW? Population - 3, 860 Area - 2, 046 km2 Main reason to visit: Fishing and sea life Top attraction: Wildife viewing Fun fact: The Hikurangi Trench, which is a food source for whales, sits off the coast of Kaikoura

bring a sense of how special these brilliant bird species are. A highlight was also being able to take so many stunning images on my camera: I have multitudes of photos to reminisce over when the tour is long finished. The boat then headed back to shore via Barney’s Rock, a large rock quite close to the coast which is a popular place for gulls, terns and shags. The black-backed gull chicks were particularly cute, perched high on the rocky crevices looking down on the boat with a sense of intrigue. Once back to shore we were transported back to the Encounter Kaikoura base and given an information pack which included a list of all the bird species we had sighted on the tour. I was thrilled to have seen so many albatross and in particular, the magnificent wandering albatross. The experience was exceptionally special and has left me with a deeper appreciation of these wonderful seabirds, which add a unique dimension to Kaikoura’s diversity of wildlife. GTNZ

Valid for stays 1-Feb-16 to 30-April-17

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 77


West Coast

WEST COAST

IMAGE: Fox Glacier Guiding

THE WONDER of the glaciers Visiting New Zealand’s glaciers is a must-do experience, writes Chris McPhee. hen in the Land of the Long White Cloud, there is one activity that is an essential for all tourists:Getting up close and touching the ice of a retreating glacier.

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The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island boasts two of the most unique and accessible glaciers in the world, which has propelled the townships of Fox and Franz 78 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

Josef to achieving recognition as New Zealand bucket-list destinations. With a wealth of activities available, from glacier guiding for the naturalists to skydives for the adrenaline junkies, there is a reason why hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to this region each year. Franz Josef township is the larger of the two, boasting hot-pools, kayaking,

skydiving, glacier guiding and flights, plus a wealth of accommodation and eating options for all budgets. Fox township is located roughly 20km south of Franz Josef and is my personal favourite. A walk around the iconic Lake Matheson, formed by the retreating glacier, is a must when in Fox. The mirror image of the snow-capped mountains glistening across the lake is truly breathtaking. Although Fox is the


smaller of the two townships, it definitely punches above its size. With glacier guiding and flights, plus my favourite skydive in the country, you are assured to leave this place with aspirations of returning in the near future. The main attractions in both regions are obviously the glacier guiding. To preserve the ice on the retreating glaciers, the Department of Conservation only allows a certain number of people to walk on the glacial ice. In both towns guiding companies have concessions and the correct safety equipment to get you up close and personal with the glaciers without putting yourself in danger. All equipment is provided including crampons, warm clothing, appropriate footwear and poles. Learning about the glaciers and their history is very interesting, but the highlight for most is the iconic photo: Popping your head out of a glacial cave.

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 46, 200 Area - 9, 771 km2 Main reason to visit: Arts/Crafts and marine park Top attraction: Abel Tasman National Park Fun fact: Nelson is the second oldest settled city in New Zealand

Bruce’s Bay, around 50km south of Fox Glacier, has a time-warp of inspirational quotes left by tourists. For years, tourists have been writing their messages on white rocks that are scattered all over the beach, hoping to return years down the line and claim a photo next to their memento. With hundreds of white stones placed along the roadside, make sure you add your own message to the collection. Another highlight near the glacier region is the Copland Track. After hiking for hours uphill through the native wild bush, beneath a canopy of glow worms, you reach the hut. Although the views are spectacular, the main attraction of this hike is the warm reward at the end. Within a one minute walk of the hut, you will find a variety of natural hot-springs. Make sure that you test the temperatures before jumping in, as the first one is boiling, but the trail of pools created from the overflow gradually get cooler, so you can find the perfect warmth for you. The glacier region is a personal favourite for tourists, with something for everyone. Although it does not have the world-wide recognition it deserves, don’t be fooled. This is a must when visiting New Zealand, and let’s be honest, it’s not everyday that you get the opportunity to hike on a glacier. Although both blocks of ice are still over 12km long, they are receding at an alarming rate, so make sure you grab the opportunity while you still can! GTNZ

IMAGES: Franz Josef Glacier Guides www.gotravelnewzealand.com 79


A unique, warm and welcoming environment Established in 2004 and moving through several developmental stages, Matheson Cafe, situated at Lake Matheson, has created a unique, warm and welcoming environment where the emphasis is on the best quality food and coffee. Matheson Cafe offers carefully selected wines and the finest produced sourced from local suppliers. Being recipients of the NZ Beef and Lamb Hallmark of Excellence Award is a testament to Metheson Cafe’s commitment to quality. Having lived in Fox Glacier since 1997, we understand the quality produce that this fine part of the country offers. Why would you go elsewhere when you have paradise on your doorstep? In 2008, we developed a larger café and dining facility, which now has seating for over 100 people with its own unique atmosphere and ambience. An expansive deck provides views of the surrounding areas and the perfect place to enjoy the sun and drift the afternoon away. This development also included the establishment of ReflectioNZ Gifts and Gallery store, which which now boasts some of the best souvenirs, giftware, clothing and designer wares available in New Zealand … and all at great prices. We look forward to seeing you soon at Matheson Cafe.

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FOX GLACIER GUIDING:

Chancellor Dome Heli Trek Night Sky Image: Emily Hlavac Green

NATURE AT ITS MOST AWE-INSPIRING Fox Glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers to the general public anywhere in the world, is at your doorstep. The largest of the West Coast glaciers grinds 12km from the Southern Alps to the Fox Valley floor, with vast terrain ranging from the steep and fast-moving upper and lower ice falls to the gentle Victoria Flat sandwiched in-between.

the informative Fox Trail: Terminal Face Valley Walk (no ice time). Then there’s mountain time with the Browne Fox: Chancellor Dome Heli Treks ... With the Hobnail souvenir retail shop and café onsite, you can take away a momento of your time, then relax, linger over coffee and replete with homemade food. Wifi is available with any purchase in the café.

Experience all of nature’s spectacular ever-changing glacial features: blue ice, ogives, crevasses, moulins and pinnacles.

West Coast weather is changeable and dramatic- that’s its beauty, without it there would be no spectacular rainforests - so check the weather forecast before you go and also what others say at:

Fox Glacier Guiding are NZ family owned with a long history of guiding and years of accumulated knowledge and experience means they are able to guide with complete confidence. Safety is at the core of everything they do and to facilitate this, Fox Glacier Guiding’s aim is to provide an intimate and special experience meaning they guide less people on the glacier.

www.tripadvisor.co.nz/Fox_Glacier_Guiding.

Book Now www.foxguides.co.nz Flying Fox: Heli Hike Image: Fox Glacier Guiding

Already with the widest range of guided glacier experiences available, the day-long Extreme Fox: Heli Hike experience has been added for the more adventurous. This combines a scenic flight with the freestyle exploration of the majestic upper icefall. Other experiences include the popular Flying Fox: Heli Hike, offering up to three hours ice time; the tailor-made Fox It Up: Ice Climbing, with up to 5.5 hours ice time; or

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 81


All Equipment Provided The Most Spectacular Terrain Ice Explorer, Eco Walks Heli-Hike, Heli Ice-Climbing

« « « «

FREEPHONE: 0800 GUIDES

immerse yourself in nature

private pools • massage & beauty treatments • hot pools Freephone: 0800 044 044 • www.glacierhotpools.co.nz

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The opportunity to experience one of the most unique activities that New Zealand has to offer with a guided trip onto the majestic Franz Josef Glacier, known as Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere to the Maori, is one not to be missed while travelling New Zealand’s South Island. Franz Josef Glacier Guides works exclusively on the ice and is an internationally recognized guiding operation that prides itself on providing the most incredible glacier experience. It’s easy to see why! Accessing the glacier by helicopter - a highlight in itself - then descending into the very heart of the glacier with one of their knowledgeable guides as they weave their way through the ice is surreal.

Visit a world renowned glacier before it disappears

After the hike there is an opportunity to relax those muscles in the majestic Glacier Hot Pools. Nestled in lush rainforest, lulled by the sound of gently cascading water, the Glacier Hot Pools lets you to leave your day-to-day worries behind as you submerge yourself in deliciously warm water, rejuvenating mind, body and soul. The Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of natural tranquility and the perfect way to relax after exploring the rugged West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

www.gotravelnewzealand.com 83


Marlborough

MARLBOROUGH

Marlborough tastes and sounds by Sara Litchfield The divide between New Zealand’s two islands isn’t a large one.

84 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016


On a plane, you would hardly know you had made the leap but make the journey by land to the coast and sail the Strait,

and you’ll be glad you didn’t blink and miss it from above.

O

n a plane, you would hardly know you had made the leap but make the journey by land to the coast and sail the Strait, and you’ll be glad you didn’t blink and miss it from above. It is so much more than a commute – it is an opportunity to experience some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and an invitation to discover the sights and tastes that abound in the lands to either side. Marlborough is a magic word heard in many places around the globe – from the cream of culinary establishments to the very best bars. The rest of the spell goes something

like: Sauvignon Blanc. Every time I’ve visited the region, it’s been difficult to choose which wineries to visit. There are so many and they all have magic on offer. It’s an adventure discovering new favourites each time, and this trip was a particular triumph, because I discovered Allan Scott. This family winery presents you with delicious local fare and award-winning wines in a stunning setting. I lunched at Twelve Trees, the vineyard restaurant, where an intimate space under the wooden rafters rivaled the al fresco seating under the trailing vines for a glorious spot to dine. The food was divine:

A panko-crumbed goats cheese the perfect prequel to a classic seafood chowder made to Catherine Scott’s own recipe. The entire family is involved in what goes on here, which makes the winery stand out from the crowd. Their values warmly infuse the atmosphere as much as their talents infuse the winery, bringing it to life. I’m an enthusiast when it comes to hops as well as grapes, so it was a delight to discover that craft beer Moa not only has its brewery around the corner, but that it was the hand of Scott’s son Joshua that gave it breath. The chief winemaker’s beer graces taps far www.gotravelnewzealand.com 85


Brereton Blue Pearls The original home of Blue Pearls Buy direct from the source

Unique to New Zealand and grown locally in the Tory Channel, the rare and exclusive Brereton Pearls are handset to the highest standard on site by professional Jewellers in 18ct Gold and Sterling Silver.

Our website and store in Picton are currently the only places in the world you can buy our premium quality pearls grown and selected exclusively for you.

Come visit our manufacturing workshop on the Picton foreshore today. 2 London Quay, Picton

Ph/Fax: (03) 5737 351

www.pearls.kiwi

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beyond Marlborough while the family’s wine is enjoyed around the world, and it’s easy to taste why. The entrance to the cellar door lies between sculpted lawns bordered with shapely hedges. You can see the vines stretching into the distance while your senses are steeped in lavender. Tasting the wines while my food was prepared was the perfect way to pass the time, and Deb the perfect guide through an incredible breadth of wines, highlights for me being the crisp Cecilia Brut and 2013 Vigonier. But it was the 2013 Hounds Pinot Noir and the 2009 Scott Base Emperor, actually from Central Otago, where the family has only just opened a cellar door, that compelled me to take them away with me. It was hard to tear myself away from the vines, but the Sounds awaited me. And, from start to finish, sailing with Bluebridge was a treat. I embarked the Strait Feronia in the knowledge I would be in safe hands, and from the efficient loading process to the elegant seating, it quickly evident that it would be smooth sailing. The longest vessel on the Cook Strait, the Strait Feronia joined the fleet mid 2015 after undergoing full refurbishment. Looking around, the ship had something for everyone: Complimentary Wi-Fi, a comfortable café, a canteen serving restaurant-quality food, a quiet lounge and a family lounge, alongside a free movie lounge showing recent releases.


Even Allan Scott is on board – you can find their wines at the bar, opposite the endless views from the panoramic windows, which framed, the day of my voyage, azure waters and a bluebird sky. The Cook Strait keeps its secrets from those who fly. Secrets only revealed if you make the crossing as the old explorers would have done and venture on deck. During my passage, I found it’s not only the wind that takes your breath away. Every moment presented a fresh vista, the landscape beyond the waves revealing hidden islands, dramatic peninsulas, sandy coves, and pristine beaches, amidst sea-swept valleys in a moving picture that could rival any film laden with special effects. If I have one tip, it would be to dress for the deck, whatever the weather. Soak in as many stunning views in as much invigorating sea spray as you can. Taking the ferry taught me that it really is better not to be in such a rush all the time. Sip your wine, savour your food, and when the chance presents itself, take the scenic route, especially between the islands. Sail through the Sounds with the sea breeze in your hair – you won’t regret it. GTNZ

E x p e r i e nce t he b e au t y of t he

QUEEN CHARLO T T E SO U ND in Br il liant Marlborough

E s c ape t o an all-s eas ons locat ion amid t he b eau t y an d t ra n q u i l i t y o f t he Ou t e r M a rl b o rough Sounds and en j oy t he hosp it alit y of Pung a Cove a n d F u r n e a x L o d g e . Both res or ts of fer a ran ge of accommod at ion o p t i o n s t o s u i t a l l bu d ge t s a nd a re on the route of the icon ic Qu een Charlot t e Tra c k . H i ke , m o u n t a i n b i ke , sw i m wi t h dolphins , dive su n ken ship s, or j u st kick b a ck a n d re l a x wi t h u s . C o n t a ct us today to enquire a bo ut o ur spe cia ls a nd p a ck a g e s

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“SAIL THROUGH THE SOUNDS WITH THE SEA BREEZE IN YOUR HAIR – YOU WON’T REGRET IT”

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DID YOU KNOW? Population - 45, 600 Area - 12, 484km2 Main reason to visit: The many excellent wineries Top attraction: Marlborough Sounds Fun fact: 75% of New Zealand wine is produced in the Marlborough region

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Nelson

NELSON

THE MAGIC OF HOGLUND ART GLASS From sand to art Hoglund Art Glass has forged a reputation for its stunning glass work.

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he King of Sweden has one. So does the King of Tonga. The Clinton’s have a few and so does Mohammed Ali and Elton John. So what do they have? Pieces of art glass from Höglund Art Glass, that’s what. Höglund Art Glass have a reputation that extends beyond the shores of New Zealand. Created by glass artists Ola Höglund and Marie Simberg-Höglund and their family, their stunning glass is sought after worldwide by avid collectors and people who appreciate the beauty and skill evident in each blown piece. Celebrating 34 years in New Zealand, the Höglund family have created a legacy of intricate art glass. There is something mesmerising about the art of glass blowing and it is a rare privilege to see accomplished artists at work in this field. Pieces from Höglund Art Glass can be found in private and public collections around the world, including the Lichtenstein Royal Family collections, the Auckland Museum in New Zealand, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Tasmania Museum & Gallery, Ebeltoft Glass Museum in Denmark and the State Art Gallery of Western Australia. Originally from Sweden, internationally renowned glass artists Ola Höglund and Marie Simberg-Höglund settled in New Zealand in 1982, and their stunning Höglund glassblowing studio, not far from Nelson, in the midst of pretty Richmond countryside has become one of Nelson’s most popular visitor attractions.

Marie Simberg-Höglund paints a completed piece

This is a true family business. Ola and Marie’s two sons Ossie and Oliver have joined the family business as glassblowers, following a tradition that began with Ola’s father Erik back at KostaBoda in Sweden. Taking enormous pride in their work and making their own glass by melting sand in the glass furnace, the family work together, creating glass magic. Höglund Glassblowing studio is not just home and workplace to the Höglund family but a place where glass collectors gather to pay homage to the “grail”. Not the legendary Holy Grail, of course, but a selection of amazingly beautiful glass vases and bowls made in the rare Graal technique.

Ola Höglund works on a piece with son Ossie

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The Graal technique is a complicated art – so complex, in fact, that the technique is used by only a few glass artists in the world. Fortunately for Nelson-Tasman visitors, it is a technique mastered by glass artists Marie Simberg-Höglund and Ola Höglund. Among the array of works in their Lansdowne Road glassblowing studio and gallery, the Höglund Graal pieces stand out. Combining the craftsmanship of their Swedish heritage with vibrant, Pacificinspired flair, each piece is unique, signed by the artists and engraved with its own identifying title and code. First, Marie creates the graal’s vivid and elaborate designs, which she paints on an egg-sized bubble of glass. Ola then reheats the bubble and overlays it with numerous layers of crystal clear glass before blowing the vessel into its final shape, stretching and enlarging the painted image as he works. It involves numerous heating and cooling cycles and the whole process can take more than 60 hours to complete. The finished pieces can weigh 14kg or more and are keenly sought after by glass collectors and connoisseurs for private and public collections around the world. At their studio, there is strong competition from Marie and Ola’s diverse art glass range

Examples of the complex and rare Graal technique.

HANDMADE IN NEW ZEALAND world renowned blown glass and glass jewellery by glass artists Ola Höglund & Marie Simberg-Höglund creators of New Zealand art glass since 1982 visitors welcome – open daily Höglund Glassblowing Studio & Gallery 52 Lansdowne Road, Richmond 7081, Nelson (20 minutes from Nelson) Höglund Art Glass Gallery 1767 Luggate-Cromwell Rd 9383, Central Otago (25 minutes from WANAKA) Ph. 027 804 7454

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www.hoglundartglass.com


Three Eclipse vases as the gorgeous vases, bowls, wine goblets, platters, perfume bottles and paperweights on display are quite simply dazzling. All are singular works of art, which exploit the fluid brilliance of the crystal clear glass and capture the inspirational beauty of the natural environment the artists work in. Complementing the art glass selection is a striking range of glass jewellery, again made exclusively by hand. The glass museum area holds permanent, educational and historical displays about glass, the history of glass and how it is made, what it is made of and the tools used by the glass blowers, recipes for the mix of soda glass and lead crystal glass, information about glass colours and glassblowing, polishing and grinding techniques. Also on display are Höglund Art Glass official America’s Cup Collections 2000 and 2003 and Höglund Art Glass Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Collection as well as their 2002 New Zealand and Swedish stamps from the Art from Craft Limited Edition Collectors Pack. Visitors are welcome to visit the glassblowing studio and marvel at the wondrous, and extraordinarily deceptive ease with which Höglund Art Glass is created by the glass artists in the studio. Being a small team, though, the glassblowing schedule varies daily so it pays for visitors who want to watch the glassblowers in action to phone on the morning of their visit. There is no charge for viewing. GTNZ

Abel Tasman National Park Scenic Cruises and Water Taxis Enjoy the best...

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 46, 200 Area - 9, 771 km2 Main reason to visit: Arts/Crafts and marine park Top attraction: Abel Tasman National Park Fun fact: Nelson is the second oldest settled city in New Zealand

Join us for a a scenic cruise, sea kayaking, walk or overnight excursion in the stunning Abel Tasman National Park

P: 03 527 8688 NZ Free Call: 0800 732 748 E: cruise@abeltasmanseashuttles.co.nz

www.abeltasmanseashuttles.co.nz www.gotravelnewzealand.com 93


Wellington

WELLINGTON

IMAGES: Kapiti Island Nature Tours

KAPITI ISLAND New Zealand Nature at its Finest by Sara Litchfield Season after season, year after year, New Zealand reveals a piece of herself that I’ve previously managed to miss and now can’t imagine not knowing. This summer, that place was Kapiti Island.

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speedy ferry ride from Paraparaumu Beach took me to the island, standing proudly in view of the mainland. Embarking the boat on the beach, it was obvious the weather was gong to be as incomparable as the scenery, and the fresh sea breeze was refreshing in the early morning sunshine. Speaking to fellow smiling passengers, we were a mix of locals away for a long weekend and overseas visitors on a longer Aotearoa adventure. Some of us were daytrippers and others over-nighters, and we encompassed a range of ages and cultures indicative of the island’s pull on people of

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different backgrounds, but we had one thing in common: Our love of nature and excitement at discovering what the island had to offer. Kapiti Island is protected and is the oldest nature reserve in the world, becoming a place of conservation in 1897 and cared for to the point where it is completely pest-free. With the reintroduction of native species, this makes it a sanctuary where endangered flora and fauna are given the opportunity to flourish in conditions that can’t be matched in many other places around the country. Birdlife in particular is thriving,

and the island’s kiwi population is in such good health that it is left to its own devices, its youngable to reach adulthood without intervention, exhibiting along with various other species much more natural behaviour than is possible elsewhere. We were greeted warmly when we docked at the North End, Waiorua, and it set the tone for the entire visit. While the island’s beauty spoke for itself, the trip wouldn’t have been the same without the smiling good humour and fascinating commentary of our guide, Manaaki. Our introduction to the island began with a nature talk, www.gotravelnewzealand.com 95


educating us on the startling array of wildlife that we might expect to spot during our time on the island as well as the often turbulent history of the settlement, always recognised as an important, strategic and meaningful part of the land. From a Maori stronghold steeped in conflict, it became a whaling community and then entered a farming era before it was dedicated to conservation. The nature walk that followed gave us our first sighting of a kiwi burrow, as well as drawing some of the locals to say hi: The inquisitive North Island Robin and melodious Tui. Weka stalked the bush and we were warned to be on our guard against the redoubtable bush parrot, the Kaka, mischievous cousin to the alpine Kea, to whom backpack zippers and even Tupperware lids posed no challenge in their quest for a snack. We learned that Kapiti Island Nature Tours itself is part of the settlers’ history – the overnight stays are made possible by the private land retained by one family, who still have homes here. When the land was bought out, only our guide’s great grandmother refused to vacate, and looking around, it wasn’t a stretch to imagine why. The land passed down to her descendants,

and John and Amo began the business, helping DOC preserve the island and showing visitors the best way to experience it. After the nature walk, there was time for a wander before lunch was laid out at the lodge. I made my way to the beach to the chatter of the birds, and though you could see the mainland, you still felt a hundred worlds away. All too soon, I was making my way to the lodge for a beautiful buffet spread. Checking into a cosy and comfortable cabin in the bush, it was brought home to me how lucky we were to be able to stay in this protected place, not something in the usual way of New Zealand’s attractions over the water. With new arrivals who had spent the earlier part of the day at Rangatira, another part of the island, we caught up with drinks on the deck before a delicious steak dinner at the lodge. Then came what had to be the highlight for me: The opportunity to see the Little Spotted Kiwi. Holding our breaths, we followed Manaaki into the night. I’d been kiwi-spotting before without success, so I didn’t want to raise my hopes, but within

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10 minutes we were met with the kiwi’s distinctive call right in front of us. We’d come upon a territory dispute and were granted the perfect view of the vanquished intruder beating his retreat. Delighted, we ventured on for the fun of it, only to find a female foraging in the undergrowth. It was beyond special to see these rare, iconic birds in the wild and to get such an incredible view, something I’ll never forget. Breakfast was the lovely spread we’d been led to expect, with honey from TO PAGE 98

visitzealandia.com A wilderness valley where previously endangered fauna and flora thrive once again

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A FUN DAY FOR ALL

My first port of call when I visit Wellington Zoo is a celebration of all life New Zealand – Meet The Locals He Tuku Aroha, where you can have a close encounter with Kiwi sealife, farmlife, bushlife and birdlife, even a hive of bees, in an interactive, engaging setting. It’s lovely to see rescued wildlife at home here, like the courageous, one-legged Kiwi and the Little Blue Penguins, who were my favourite local characters. They were rescued and cared for by the vets here and wouldn’t survive in the wild, so the zoo is the perfect place for them. As I follow the vibrant pathways, I love learning about the countless initiatives ongoing for the protection and preservation of different species at home and around the world, undertaken in conjunction with other zoos, universities and numerous associations. The onsite animal hospital, The Nest Te Kohanga, is a unique opportunity to see everything that’s going on inside – from life-saving surgeries to rehabilitation of sealife in the salt-water pool so that patients can be released back into the wild. I meet a Fjordland Crested Penguin taking a fitness and waterproof test the day I drop by, following in Happy Feet’s flippers, the lost Emperor Penguin who became a celebrity in 2011. The centre actually treats more native animals than zoo residents or exotic visitors, and is a beacon that DOC and the SPCA can go to with any injured creatures they find. Talking to the keepers, who are happy to chat you through what they’re up to, you can tell how much passion and love they have for the animals and the work they are doing. The amount of care and effort that goes into the enclosures here infuses the zoo with a palpable sense of sanctuary and purpose. Kids and adults alike are excited at the proximity and personality of the wildlife, and you come away with fun local as well as exotic facts. Wellington Zoo is an enduring labour of love. Solo or with a herd of family, I urge you to go and become a part of the story.

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the island’s own hives, the perfect preparation for one last walk. I made my way to the loop track, taking me up to a breathtaking lookout and down past the Okupe Lagoon, accompanied by a soundtrack of humming wings and happy birdsong. Lunching before we left on the return ferry, our group played with the Kaka who’d come to see us off and reflected on how much we didn’t want to leave. Kapiti Island is an exemplar nature reserve and much, much more. It felt like I had been much farther away than a ferry from the mainland and that it had been a much longer break than a couple of days. Everything came together to make my trip to Kapiti Island one of the highlights of my entire time in New Zealand. I’d recommend no one leave the North Island without seeing why for themselves. GTNZ

Day tours or overnight kiwi spotting tours Cabins & luxury tents Inspiring bush & coastal walks Fantastic birdlife Delicious meals & great company HISTORY - CONSERVATION - RECREATION

For info & bookings visit: www.kapitiislandnaturetours.com • 0800 527 484

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“SEASON AFTER SEASON, YEAR AFTER YEAR, NEW ZEALAND REVEALS A PIECE OF HERSELF THAT I’VE PREVIOUSLY MANAGED TO MISS AND NOW CAN’T IMAGINE NOT KNOWING. THIS SUMMER, THAT PLACE WAS KAPITI ISLAND” DID YOU KNOW? Population - 398, 400 Area - 290 km2 Main reason to visit: The arts and culture scene, museums Top attractions: Te Papa Fun fact: Wellington is known as “windy wellington” because of the strong winds that blow from Cook Strait

Visit & Experience Parliament

Parliament Tours run daily, private and art focused tours for groups are run on request and need to be booked in advance

For bookings and tour information: P: 04 817 9503 E: tour.desk@parliament.govt.nz W: www.parliament.co.nz www.gotravelnewzealand.com

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Taranaki

TARANAKI

AN ART EXPERIENCE Mary Chambers started her Taranaki arts experience with trepidation but she needn’t have worried.

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John McLean IMAGE: Rob Tucker

lthough I enjoyed galleries and meeting artists, my knowledge was rather patchy and I was concerned that I would be regarded as an imbecile by others around me. This proved unfounded.

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From the moment I checked into the Nice Hotel until I left, I could not have felt more comfortable and granted those on the tour (and those guiding and talking to us) were very knowledgeable, the pre-trip discussion with the operator Cathy Thurston ensured that all interests and needs were catered for. There were six of us on my tour which

caters for a maximum of 11 to ensure the experience is more personal and intimate. The first evening we met for a cooking demonstration and dinner with our flamboyant and entertaining host Terry Parkes, owner of the Nice Hotel. Over champagne cocktails, Terry showed us how to put together a range of tempting hors d’oeuvres that were not only yummy but would be easy to replicate in our own kitchen. After such a filling starter all we needed then was a light supper before we retired to our rooms for what was a great night’s sleep. After Terry’s healthy breakfast the next morning, Cathy lead us through

the streets of New Plymouth pointing out various landmarks and various great-looking shops that I definitely put on my to-do list on the way to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. What an amazing place it was. From the brilliant exterior of the award-winning Len Lye Centre designed by Andrew Patterson to the tour of the current Len Lye Flora and Fauna and Four Fountains exhibitions and Sister Corita’s Summer of Love, we were more than impressed. We marked a return to the cinema for another day.

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It was then time to cross the road for an exclusive roastery tour of Ozone Coffee Roasters headquarters, where coffee roasting is both an art and a science before getting our fix for the day and our own freshly roasted bag of coffee. A delicious lunch at Monica’s next to the gallery followed, fortifying us for our visits to Kina NZ Design + Art Space and Puke Ariki. I was particularly taken with The Paper Exhibition at Kina with works by a range of artists, including Tiffany Singh, Adam Clarke and Milarky, as well as the variety of art and merchandise for sale. Puke Ariki was an innovative library, museum and i-site where along with viewing some of the significant art in the museum’s collection, we were privileged to hear the story and see the Motunui epa, five wooden panels smuggled out of New Zealand 40 years ago and now returned to Taranaki. Having absorbed so much over the day, I was pleased to hear our dinner that night would be a convivial evening at The Social Kitchen over shared plates. It more than lived up to expectations with the greenmeadows sirloin being my favourite and gave me the opportunity to get to know my fellow tour companions.

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Len Lye’s kinetic sculpture is a well known icon in New Plymouth


The next morning, after another comfortable night’s sleep and breakfast, it was time to board our coach for a day of visits to artist’s studios and galleries. There is not a set itinerary for each tour as Cathy has worked with a range of local artists and compiles an itinerary for each group based on participant’s interests. With Terry as our guide for the day and with a coach driver who knows Terry well, I could tell this was going to be an interesting and entertaining day. The range of artists work we see on this trip go from John McLean, Howard Tuffery, Renate Verbruge, Don Driver, Reuben Paterson, Tom Kreisler, Anna Korver and Steve Molloy at the Korver Molloy Gallery to various work at the Koru Gallery, including photography by the owner well known photographer Fay Looney. Our day will include John McLean and Howard Tuffery’s work, Don Driver, Korver Molloy and Koru Gallery. From the challenging assemblage works by Don Driver, held by his widow Joyce, to the art and stories shared by John McLean from The Farmer’s Wife and the Farmer series through to a range of painting, sculpture and photography at our other destinations, there is something for everyone. Along the way we visit the stunning Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, see

Len Lye’s Windwand and John Reynold’s Big Wave Territory.We drink great coffee at Petit Plage and enjoy a delicious lunch at Okurukuru, a stunning location overlooking the Tasman Sea. That evening we enjoy a lovely a la carte meal at Table, the restaurant at the Nice Hotel and are treated to further stories from our host Terry, as well as hear more about art from the Director of the Govett- Brewster Simon Rees. Both are keen to outdo each other so it is not only an entertaining evening but a late one. The next morning it is time to say goodbye but I will return. I have been impressed by my experience not only for the range and depth of art in New Plymouth but the passion and knowledge of those involved and the personal touch that the tour provided that would be hard to source myself. Cathy also has 4 other tours on offer: Two walks - the Whitecliffs and East Egmont, as well as a garden and farm tour. She also has a range of other options for fishing, golf, a styling and pampering package and helicopter tour. Based on my art experience, I am definitely keen to try more. GTNZ

Anna Korver and Steve Molloy of Korver Molloy Gallery.

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 104, 127 Area - 7, 528 km2 Main reason to visit: Egmont National Park Top attractions: Mount Taranaki & the new Len Lye Centre Fun fact: Mount Taranaki, a near-perfect cone, last erupted in the mid-18th century

Your chance to discover and enjoy

Photo credit: Rob Tucker

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Eastland

EASTLAND

IMAGES: Tourism Eastland

WHERE PEACE & tranquility combine Go the extra mile when visiting Gisborne and you’ll leave impressed, writes Sara Litchfield.

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eace and tranquillity await the traveller willing to go the extra mile to visit Gisborne’s Eastwoodhill. But, as we found out on our recent visit, there’s more to the national arboretum of New Zealand than meets the eye.

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Eastwoodhill is nestled in the heart of the Ngatapa Valley, a natural wonderland 35 kilometres North West of Gisborne. It’s a place of stunning natural beauty and Eastwoodhill is just one of a number of attractions that make a daytrip a must for any visitor. Eastwoodhill boasts 25km of

exquisite walking trails, and the mature collection of over 13,000 exotic and rare trees, shrubs and climbers is legendary in gardening and horticulture circles. But the addition of New Zealand’s latest natural children’s playground had placed it firmly on our family’s bucket list. Thankfully, we also added the neighbouring Rere Falls and Rere Rockslide to our agenda, two places we had heard much about and were excited to explore for ourselves while we were in the neighbourhood. The journey itself was absolutely stunning. We wound our way through vineyards, farmland and rolling

hills, passing the small township of Ngatapa (really just a school and collection of small cottages these days) before heading up the Ngatapa Hill and into adventure. Our first stop was just passed Eastwoodhill: The stunning Rere Falls. Here the crystal clear waters of the Wharekopae River cascade down a fall 20m wide and 10m deep. A picnic area and swimming hole made it a great stop for the family, with the kids excited to find they could walk in behind the waterfall and disrupt its flow with arms, legs and feet gleefully flung into the current. www.gotravelnewzealand.com 105


The water was clean, clear and slow moving, and we felt incredibly safe enjoying this delightful spot. After a dip and some spectacular photos, we decided it was time to travel further upstream to the fabled Rere Rockslide. This is the place for adventure seekers looking for a truly unique experience. The Rere Rock Slide is 60m of sheer exhilaration as the Wharekopae River races down a giant slab of moss-covered sandstone into a naturally-formed freshwater pool. It attracts thousands of locals and visitors each summer and, on the day we were there, was still busy. We enjoyed the entertainment from the comfort of the riverbank and, I have to say, we’ve seen nothing like it. There is a relaxed, good-natured feel as thrill seekers celebrate each other’s acrobatics and laugh at the inevitable and rather inelegant tumbles. No-one in our young family was brave enough to take the plunge, and we soon made our way to Eastwoodhill – the real purpose of our trip. Eastwoodhill Arboretum was established by local farmer Douglas Cook over one hundred years ago. By all accounts Cook was seen by the locals as rather eccentric, coming back from World War One disillusioned and concerned that there wouldn’t be much of our natural world left by the time war concluded. So, he set about transforming his farm into the arboreal haven now known as Eastwoodhill, importing trees from all over the world with the aim of saving Northern Hemisphere tree populations from annihilation. Eastwoodhill is now a globally significant home to around 3500 different species and over 100 endangered plants, with many of 106 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016


the trees now more than 100 years old.   Eastwoodhill is a stunning place to visit in autumn when the leaves are changing colour enmass. We timed our visit just as they were changing and it was spectacular: The softer greens of summer giving way to the russet hues of autumn create a magical depth of colour. While tempted by the open-backed jeep tour, we opted to let the kids run off a bit of steam by experiencing the park on foot. For us it was a great decision. Around each corner there was a new vista to enjoy and hidden botanical gems to discover. We were awestruck with the view out to Mt Hikurangi from the highest ridge, lush green rolling hills sitting peacefully in the foreground with no sign of human activity. Then, on our way back to the visitor centre, we found it - the most awesome natural playground and quite possibly one of the best play spaces in New Zealand. The playground has a designated area for preschool children and large areas for the more adventurous, including some of the biggest swings in the country. Because of its location the playground poses very little disruption to the park and blends beautifully in to its environment. The kids had an absolute blast damming up water, playing in dirt, rolling in leaves, digging in sand, and scaling the playground’s hill. But all good things must come to an end. So it was with real reluctance that we pried the kids from the playground and popped them in the car. A stunning drive back to Gisborne was waiting and the promise of another day and another adventure in this remote and charming coastal town. GTNZ

Discover the first-rate walking tracks and spectacular scenery at New Zealand’s national arboretum. Eastwoodhill offers over 25km of graded and marked walking tracks set amongst 13,000 exotic and rare trees, shrubs and climbers. Immerse yourself in the beauty of our national arboretum and plan to stay. Accommodation, selfcontained campervan sites and catering are available at Eastwoodhill’s Douglas Cook Centre.

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 40, 000 Area - 580 km2 Main reason to visit: Surf beaches Top attraction: Rhythm & Vines festival Fun fact: Gisbourne is the first place in NZ to see the sun

“A nature lover’s paradise” “This place is truly amazing” “A must see in autumn” Eastwoodhill Arboretum – National Arboretum of New Zealand 2392 Wharekopae Road, Gisborne, New Zealand Open daily from 9am to 5pm Phone: +64 6 863 9003 | Email: enquiries@eastwoodhill.org.nz

www.eastwoodhill.org.nz

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BEAUTY THAT’S HARD TO BEAT Opotiki, Gisborne and Wairoa are lucky enough to occupy a beautiful and remote part of New Zealand. The natural beauty of Out East is hard to surpass, and it’s the beaches that make this most evident from the northern gateway to the Eastland region that is Opotiki to southern gateway of Wairoa with its natural native bush. Our isolation perched out on the most easterly edge of the country has shaped the region and its charming coastal character and saved it from over development. The beaches stretch around Poverty Bay and it seems that every bend in the road treats you to yet another stunning beach that provides a safe and convenient place to play and 108 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

soak up the sunshine. In Gisborne, Waikanae and Midway beaches are great family spots both equally accessible and offer great swimming, paddling, opportunities to just stretch out on the sand or for beginners to take surf lessons. Out East is renowned for surfing and out of the 18 protected surf breaks in New Zealand, six of them are in the city of Gisborne. This fact is well known within the surfing fraternity and surfers from across the world visit here to make the most of the legendary waves. Just minute’s from the city are the world class surf beaches, Makorori and Wainui offering a variety of reef, beach and point surf breaks and are both lovely

beaches to walk along or to enjoy a picnic in the sand dunes. There’s a lot to discover in Eastland as this area of New Zealand is known and the region really is magical once you move just outside of the city and town boundaries. We did get up to see the first sunrise in the world, easier at this time of the year, with the sun rising at the more civilised time of 6.45am. The weather was still pretty good. Let’s face it; we are Out East meaning we could still indulge in a journey of discovery with a variety of unique things to see and do around the region. All in all, a great long weekend getaway and a good time had by all.


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Taupo

TAUPO

Boundless beauty Taupo is a beautiful place to visit on your holidays and the inspiration that one gets from living amongst such beauty is boundless.

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ocks & Diamonds, the new concept in manufacturing jewellery, is the baby of Bill Drew, a name synonymous with quality hand-made pieces of jewellery. Bill opened his new store in December of 2014 and it has grown steadily ever since.

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So what happens at Rocks & Diamonds? Here’s the journey through the eyes of clients, Dave and Janine. “So exciting!! Dave and I have been married for 25 years and to mark this occasion, Dave wants to get a beautiful new ring hand-made for me at

Rocks & Diamonds!! I have always loved jewellery. I am really looking forward to what we get made. “On arriving at the store, we were warmly greeted by Tania, who quickly put us at ease with her lovely smile and warm demeanour. After a brief chat, we told Tania that we are celebrating a wonderful milestone in our lives and wanted to have a special ring made. We really didn’t have a lot of ideas about what we wanted other than the stones I liked, but that was OK as these people had lots of ideas for us. “Bill and

Rhys came out from the workshop and after congratulating us we started talking about what we were looking for. Bill bought out his collection of stones for us to look at. Wow!! Were we impressed, so many lovely stones to choose from. “After Rhys and Bill explained to us the differences between the various metal choices available, we chose platinum. Bill and Rhys went to great lengths to explain to us the benefit of having rings hand-made. We didn’t know that handmade pieces had a higher tensile strength than items that www.gotravelnewzealand.com 111


had been cast. So we were going to get a stronger ring that would last us a lot longer and from what we had seen instore the quality is of a very high standard. “It was also reassuring that we could select our own stones knowing exactly what we were getting. We decided to go with the diamond 3 stone. The designs that the jewellers drew for us were so life like and really did show us exactly what we had been talking about. The detail was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Rocks & Diamonds.” At Rocks & Diamonds, after you have selected your design, Bill and Rhys get to work melting metals then bend and shape them, soldering and filing them to perfection before setting the stones you have selected. Your jewellery is also given a final clean and polish, and plated in rhodium if you’ve picked white gold. Your item is then beautifully packaged, ready for viewing and collection. Rock & Diamond’s team consists of Bill, who comes from an unbroken line of family jewellers dating back to 1864. He started his career in Wellington at the age of 16 as an apprentice and he has worked internationally as a jeweller before coming to Taupo 26 years ago .

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FIND US

Ferry Road, Boat Wharf, Taupo


Bill is a qualified gemologist and valuer, the only one in Taupo. Bill was commissioned several years ago to design and make a piece of jewellery for the late Cilla Black and is extremely well known in the jewellery world, having won many awards for his outstanding designs. Rhys Atkinson has joined the team at Rocks & Diamonds after being the head jeweller in his last two roles in Hastings and Auckland. Rhys has 22 years of experience in manufacturing, and designs some stunning pieces, including designing and making the jewellery to commemorate the Horse of the Year in 2014 and 2015. Rhys also has the distinction of being a family jeweller following in the footsteps of his uncle, Elliot Davis. Retail manager Tania Sterrenburg has worked in retail for most of her career, from the shop floor through to senior management roles. Most of those roles have been in the North Island. Rocks & Diamonds has a simple mission statement: “To strive to provide a unique customer service experience for every one of our discerning clients, delivering the highest standard in workmanship, creativity and originality in design styles” and it’s a philosophy we live by. GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 34, 100 Area - 2, 615 km2 Main reason to visit: The lake and outdoor pursuits Top attractions: Did we mention the lake? Fun fact: You’ll find hidden hot pools on the lakeside

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Ruapehu

RUAPEHU

Last minute instructions before heading off IMAGE: Forgotten World Adventures

AN UNFORGETTABLE journey A journey with Forgotten World Adventures is truly memorable, writes Sara Litchfield.

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Golf carts have been converted to ride the railway IMAGE: Forgotten World Adventures

y Forgotten World adventure begins the evening before the tour, when I arrive in Taumarunui and check into the Forgotten World Motel. I’m greeted warmly by Chris on the front desk, who takes me to my comfortable room and gives me tips on what to do and eat during my evening in Taumarunui, as well as a meet time and information for the trip the next day.

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“ON ANY ONE OF THEIR TRIPS, FORGOTTEN WORLD ADVENTURES GIVES YOU THE CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE SOMETHING TRULY SPECIAL”

The evening is sultry and my fingers are crossed for pleasant weather the next day. I’m not disappointed. Our group enjoys a shuttle ride with Terry in the early morning, watching the mist moving over the rolling hills, soon to burn off into a bluebird sky. As we make our way to Whangamomona, a self-proclaimed republic where you can get your passport stamped, the mist gives a lost-in-time feel to the forests and farmland, with majestic Mt Ruapehu rising in the distance, We’re on the 20 Tunnel one-day tour, so we’re being transported out in order to make our way back to Okahukura by rail before being returned to Taumarunui. We hardly notice the time the journey takes as Terry regals us with his vast knowledge of the area. He used to be a local farmer and joined the Forgotten World venture in 2012 when it first began, the brainchild of Ian Balme. We muster at the Whangamomona Hotel for www.gotravelnewzealand.com 115


a cup of tea in its historic setting before being led to our transport for the day. The self-drive golf carts are an inspired idea. They have been re-purposed and there are comfortable options to cater for differentsize groups. The crowning feature of the carts is the 360-degree, open-air view of the beautiful countryside. They are the perfect vehicle for the experience, allowing you to soak in the surroundings and pause for pictures. During the trip, the convey stops to learn about the rail line we’re traveling on.

The Forgotten World Adventure weaves its way through lush farmland IMAGE: Forgotten World Adventures

It is a hot day so the cool air of the tunnels is welcome. The longest of the tunnels on the line is 1.5km. We learn their history and marvel at the feat of engineering, made without GPS or complicated machinery: Just men with mirrors, sunlight and shovels, making something iconic. As you travel from Taranaki into the King Country, you are reminded of what life must have been like in the past, working in remote and challenging conditions. Being able to access countryside you just wouldn’t usually witness is a privilege, and a real highlight is the nature that awaits you, from the trees to the birds and the bees.

Mention this ad on booking to receive a FREE bottle of wine Cedar Wood Hot Tub • Petanque Court • BBQ • Expansive Gardens • Guest Lounge • Sky TV • Fitness Suite • Golf

+64 6 385 9594

enquiries@ruapehucountrylodge.co.nz Ruapehu Country Lodge 630 Raetihi - Ohakune Road, 116 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

Ohakune, New Zealand


Tui perch on the branches often lining the tracks, while hawks wheel above the farmland appearing to either side of you as you journey onward. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the rare karearea (falcon) and kakariki (parakeet). On my trip, the manuka trees are in flower, which is good news for the bees. When we stop for tea at Tangarakau, we’re met by a local and have the opportunity to take his honey away with us, and with it the tastes of manuka and native bush unique to the area. It is wonderful to reach these remote outposts by rail, leaving them as you find them, and there are no gimmicks, just breathtaking scenery that speaks for itself, alongside the illuminating commentary of our good-natured guide Griff, who gives you a sense of the significance this line had for the land and people it connected. Known as ‘the most difficult and expensive rail line in New Zealand’s history’, construction began in 1902 and wasn’t finished until 1932, despite the original 10-year completion plan. The First World War and

the Great Depression took workers from the area, and the weather always had a say, with floods and washouts sometimes taking out great chunks of track. Work started at each end - it was a momentous occasion when the railway met in the middle at Heao. We stop for lunch at Tokirima, once home to New Zealand’s smallest post office, where we enjoy a delicious, hearty spread on one side of the railway. Thoroughly refreshed, we got back on track, ready to see more of the isolated country, to the soundtrack of birdcall and Griff’s endless supply of fascinating stories about the people and places once thriving en route. The day was an unforgettable experience, and I now hanker to return and spend longer on the rails before returning along the Whanganui River by jet boat –an epic four-day expedition available as one of the variety of tours. On any one of their trips, Forgotten World Adventures give you the chance to experience something truly special, as well as being a beautiful and unusual way to spend a visit and explore a country in good company. GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 11, 844 Area - 6, 730 km2 Main reason to visit: Tongariro National Park Top attraction: Mt Ruapehu Fun fact: The Ruapehu region is a haven for trampers and trekkers

• Self-driven carts let you enjoy 142km of railway, 24 tunnels & 98 bridges. • Unique adventures lasting from 1 – 4 days.

Book your adventure now: www.fwa.co.nz 0800 RAIL CART (7245 2278)

EXPLORE RAW NEW ZEALAND BEAUTY LIKE NEVER BEFORE!

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Jet Boat Tours | BTN Lodge | Canoeing | Mountain Biking | Tramping

Freephone 0800 480 308 or 06 385 4622

Bookings are essential | Tours depart from Pipiriki | Email info@bridgetonowhere.co.nz | Web www.bridgetonowhere.co.nz

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Bay of Plenty

BAY OF PLENTY

A helicopter ride is the quickest way to get to White Island IMAGE: Frontier Helicopters

BEAUTY ALL YEAR ROUND The Bay of Plenty is synonymous with summer but Jo-Marie Baker discovers this region’s beauty shines through all year round.

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he Bay of Plenty has been a holiday paradise for generations of New Zealanders. Most come for the sunshine, the golden sand, the surf, and the chance to completely unwind in a laidback atmosphere.

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In fact, fond holiday memories have convinced many people to permanently move here – and now Tauranga is New Zealand’s fifth largest city, mixing cosmopolitan convenience with an enviable lifestyle. At this time of year the humidity has died down but the temperature remains warm compared to many parts of New Zealand. Autumn heralds some spectacular sights, none more so than at McLaren Falls Park on the outskirts of Tauranga. Driving through the park’s entrance in the lower Kaimai Ranges, you’re greeted by a blaze of gold and yellow. This 190ha park is home to more than 500 different species of exotic and indigenous trees which look simply beautiful in March and April. The view from the park’s Cherry Bay is gorgeous – this is a dream spot for photographers and many people have their family portraits or wedding photos taken here. If you’re keen for a walk, explore the popular waterfall loop track which runs 120 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

along both sides of a small stream that feeds into the park’s main lake. This waterfall is different from the falls you pass at the park’s entrance, and at night glowworms will light up the bush around you. The Bay of Plenty is a great place to get outdoors and the most well-trodden path of all is around Mauao’s base track. This iconic mountain towers over Mount Maunganui and marks the entrance to Tauranga Harbour. Ambling around the 3km track makes you truly appreciate life in Godzone. The ocean waves crash onto rocks beside you and the inner harbour views give way to the vast Pacific Ocean and the mount’s famous Main Beach as you complete the full circuit. If you feel fit enough, you can also hike 232m to the very top. You’ll be rewarded

White Island Tours offers a more relaxed trip to the island IMAGE: White Island Tours

with breathtaking views right down the coast and across Tauranga. I also like to sneak another treat in there when I reach the bottom again an epic ice-cream from Copenhagen Cones opposite the Mount Hot Salt Water Pools. You can now drive east along the Bay’s entire coastline to reach Whakatane and Ohope thanks to a new highway which opened in 2015. There are plenty of quiet beaches to stop and enjoy along the way, and the blue sky and ocean seems to melt into one another on the horizon. It’s worth a small detour inland though to check out Experience Comvita’s visitor centre, just outside Te Puke. This is where the healing power of Manuka Honey is harnessed into a range of health and beauty products. TO PAGE 124


The beST 2 hours iN NZ! Come with Frontier Helicopters on an unforgettable and breathtaking journey to New Zealand’s only active marine volcano.

BOOK ONLINE AT

whiteislandvolcano.co.nz

0800 804 354 Operated by Frontier Helicopters

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The view from the top of Mt Maunganui IMAGES: Chris McLennan

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Experience Comvita A unique NZ story. Share Nature - Share Life.

The Comvita Experience is all about the benefits of honey IMAGE: Experience Comvita

Comvita is a NZ based global natural health company committed to the development of innovative products, backed by ongoing investment in scientific research. We are the world leaders in Manuka honey and freshpicked Olive Leaf Extract, which are at the core of the Comvita product range. Experience Comvita is our tourist attraction which runs daily guided tours where guests will discover the amazing world of the honey bee and the healing power of nature. Share the inspiring story of Comvita’s founding partners: Claude Stratford founded the company championing the benefits of

health and wellbeing. He began making natural health products in his basement at age 63 and passed away just before his 103rd birthday.

products they create are simply amazing. We are an all-age, all-weather attraction.

Explore the healing power of nature through New Zealand’s native plants, including nature’s first aid kit, Manuka. See the world through the eyes of a honey bee and learn how they share the gifts of nature with us.

Guests can complement their visit to Experience Comvita in the retail store offering a full range of Comvita natural health products, to taste, sample and purchase. All of Comvita’s products are completely natural and meet the highest standards.

While most people do have a general idea of what bees do, the specifics of how they source nectar, pollen and propolis and the many roles of all within the hive are fascinating. The health benefits of the

Treat yourself at Cafe Restore. We offer a taste of the best free-range and organic produce from the Bay Of Plenty, including fair-trade organic coffees and local craft beers and wines.

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Everything they make is on display in their modern store so it’s a great chance to stock up on winter wellness products containing olive leaf extract and other immune-boosting goodies before coughs and colds set in. My kids also love Comvita’s guided tour where you can step inside a virtual beehive and learn about one of nature’s hardest workers, the honeybee. There’s also a delicious café on site to refuel yourself and your family. Whakatane is the gateway to one of the Bay of Plenty’s most popular attractions – White Island. Sitting 49km offshore, this is the most active volcano in New Zealand and regularly sends plumes of white sulphurous steam up into the sky which, on a clear day, can be seen right along the coast. While there’s plenty of geological action going on, it’s still considered safe to visit and several tourism operators offer guided tours around the crater which sits above the waterline. Frontier Helicopters is certainly the quickest way to get there. Jump aboard for a two hour round trip to this alien landscape. Or if you prefer to make a day of it, White Island Tours offers a six hour adventure on their luxury cruiser where you can spot dolphins and other marine life along the way.

Arriving on White Island feels almost apocalyptic. There’s no trace of plant life – just towering crater walls with rocks and sand underfoot. The sulphur has stained the ground different shades of white and yellow and the steaming crater lake is a fascinating, if somewhat ominous, sight. It’s a good idea to take bottled water with you as there’s no facilities on White Island itself. Everyone’s required to wear gas masks and hard hats for safety and covered walking shoes are essential.

Plenty has to offer. This region was named by Captain James Cook for its abundant resources, and local restaurants and cafes make full use of the fresh seafood and produce that’s right on our doorstep. Large-scale events are also held throughout the year – and one of the biggest is on this autumn. Tauranga plays host to the National Jazz Festival every Easter, where the streets come alive with music, dance and crowds of revelers. This year’s event is from April 2 – April 5, so if you love live music, this is the place to be. GTNZ

Once you’re back on dry land, make sure you explore all the other delights the Bay of

DID YOU KNOW? Nickname - BOP Maori name - Te Moana-a-Toi Population - 277, 100 Area - 12, 231 km2 Main reason to visit: 259km of open coastline Top attraction: White Island Fun fact: White Island has been in a near continuous stage of smoking since it was discovered by James Tourism Bay of Plenty Cook in 1769

IMAGE: Lake McLaren

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Waikato

WAIKATO

A playground like no other Glow worms and underground caves make for an exciting adventure, writes Melissa Johnson.

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n hour south of Hamilton City, you will find the world renowned Waitomo Caves, offering an adventure playground unlike any other.

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Millions of years in the making, Waitomo’s (wai meaning water and tomo meaning hole into the ground in Maori) awe-inspiring cave network draws people looking for adventure and those looking for a sense of wonder. There are multiple caves in the Waitomo area that provide an opportunity to see glowworms as well as the amazing stalactite and stalagmite displays. Visitors can choose from a range of different tours with various companies, including the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave, the Spellbound Glowworm Cave, as well as adrenalin-fuelled black water rafting options that also provide opportunity for glowworm spotting along the way. Offering tours for over 125 years and known globally for the spectacular boat ride under a galaxy of glowworms, the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves was one of the first tourism operations in New Zealand. Guided tours will allow you to not only get up close and personal with the magical creatures, but also hear all about the rich history of the area and how the caves formed over millions of years.

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Those looking for a more adventurous activity can opt for a black water rafting, abseiling, or ziplining trips through the cave networks. There are thrilling black water rafting tours with names such as the Black Labyrinth and Black Abyss offered by The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company or to push the limits even more, the Black Odyssey will see you scaling the upper reaches of the Ruakuri cave as you spider climb along the walls. Companies such as Waitomo Adventures also offer a range of wet and dry trips - from the St Benedicts Caverns tour which will have you ziplining through the darkness to the Lost World trip, which includes a stunning 100m free-hanging abseil down into the cave system. Other companies such as Kiwi Cave Rafting and Cave World also offer great adventure caving trips with varying lengths to choose from. While these trips sound extreme, on many all that is needed is a sense of adventure as the well-trained guides will have you floating, crawling and climbing through the caves in no time. There is also plenty on offer above ground in the Waitomo Caves area. Great cafes, agricultural shows and top walks are just some of the highlights. Take a short stroll to the beautiful Mangapohue natural bridge, the remains of an ancient cave system, or visit the Marokopa Falls which is often described as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in New Zealand. For something a little different, grab a torch and stroll along the Ruakuri Walk in the evening for a glowworm display in the surrounding native bush. A variety of accommodation options are available to suit all budgets, including backpackers, a holiday park and an array of bed & breakfasts, while dining options such as Roselands Waitomo and Huhu CafÊ are a great choice. The Waitomo area also stretches to the wild and windswept west coast near the seaside town of Kawhia, where the region’s first Maori people landed and the great voyaging Tainui canoe found a final resting place. With fresh seafood, friendly locals and even a natural hot water beach, Kawhia is a real hidden gem of the region. Head down to ocean beach at low tide and look for the bubbles coming up through the sand to find the perfect spot to dig your own natural hot www.gotravelnewzealand.com 127


spring spa, with stunning views to match. Nearby the towns of Otorohanga and Te Kuiti also have plenty to offer, from all day viewing of our native icon, the Kiwi, and all things kiwiana to riding the Timber Trail cycleway in the Pureora forest or taking in some middle-earth at one of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey filming locations near Pio Pio. GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 430, 800 Area - 25, 000 km2 Main reason to visit: Surfing and glow worms Top attractions: Raglan’s surf spots and Waitamo Caves Fun fact: The wave at Raglan is the longest left hand break in the world

5

SPECTACULAR CAVING ADVENTURES

For the price of one!

KIWI CAVE RAFTING

ABSEILING + CAVING + BLACK WATER RAFTING + GLOW WORMS + ROCK CLIMBING

0800 228 372 www.caveraft.com

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Rotorua

ROTORUA

A DAY OF ADVENTURE A day of thrills and action awaits a visit to Rotorua, writes Jessica Watson.

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tanding at the base of Rotorua’s Mount Ngongotaha, my partner Jack and I cast our eyes skyward. Nine-hundred meters up the side of the mountain is Skyline Rotorua, and the only way to get there is inside the Gondola.

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We step inside the busy ground terminal, take our seat inside a gondola, turn for a cheeky pose for the camera-girl and we’re off. The adventure is about to begin. Gliding out of the terminal at a swift pace, breathtaking views of Lake Rotorua and the surrounding city come into view. Looking down we see twists, curves and daring jumps carved into the dirt of the Mountain Bike Gravity Park and a little higher up, the winding paths of the luge. My anticipation rises for what’s in store for the day. First up, we try our hand at the famous Skyline Luge, a classic Rotorua favourite, I’m told, invented here and now in three other countries, too. Settling into the part go-cart, part toboggan, we receive a quick lesson in the unique steering and breaking system and then race off down the Scenic Track. Aptly named for it’s forgiving turns and sweeping bends through the forest, the track is an exciting first taste and after a chairlift ride back to the top, we’re weaving our way through the intermediate and advanced tracks. You can get some serious speed on these things and Jack and I get pretty competitive as we get the hang of leaning into the corners and going for it. With our adrenaline pumping, we make the hasty decision to jump on the Skyswing. Buckled in side-by-side on the three-seater swing, we’re slowly hoisted 50m above Skyline’s attractions. Some may be totally mesmerised by the view, but I’m freaking out at how high we are. One of us has to pull the rip cord. “Just pull it, just pull it!” I shriek, wanting the suspense to be over. “What you want me to tug this?” Jack asks calmly. “Just pull iiiiiiit,” I scream, as we suddenly plunge towards earth and then swing back up in the air again. Two swings later I’m still screaming but I manage to take a breath, laughing at how fun it actually was and enjoying the view as we finish with a full 360-degree spin. Hungry from the morning’s action, we head to the Market Kitchen Café where the delicious smell of pizza, roast meat, curry and freshly baked goodies send our stomachs rumbling. We finish off our lunch with a stroll, stopping to grab a selfie in front of the “Welcome to fabulous Rotovegas” sign and to check out the Jelly 130 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

Belly store, which has over 100 flavours and an entire wall of pick-and-mix. Agreeing that we need to get amongst all the gravity attractions on offer, we decide to fly through the air like superheroes next on the Zoom Zipline. First we’re asked what position we want to be in: Sitting or lying flat head-first. Considering how excited we are about being Batman and Robin, we both pick the latter and slip into a full body harness. Clipped onto parallel lines, we’re sent zooming at 80kmh between Redwood trees, Lake Rotorua in the distance. Coming to a stop 383 thrilling metres later, we’re harnessed for more action and take a 10metre free-fall to the ground – the ultimate way to send the heart racing! Before we head to dinner, we take a little time to unwind, and what better way to do so than by sipping on wine. At the base of Skyline is Volcanic Hills Winery. Sourcing its grapes from some of New Zealand’s best growing regions, Volcanic Hills’ awardwinning drop is hand-crafted in Rotorua, and we take a quick tour of the winery to see where the magic happens. We then head to to the tasting room at the top of the gondola, settle into our seats with 180-degree views of Rotorua and sample some of its finest with the winemakers themselves Sean and Brent. They figure out our palates quickly with a quick Q&A and then describe the wines in a way that helps bring them to life. I can now officially say I can taste the difference between a masculine and a feminine pinot noir!


“WE’VE HAD A DAY OF ADVENTURE AND GOURMET DELIGHTS, FINISHING WITH A SENSE OF INCREDIBLE AWE FOR THE NIGHT SKY. WHAT A DAY”

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Dinner is just a few footsteps away at the newly renovated and award-winning Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar which boasts equally magnificent views. Our waitress walks us through the endless “a-la-buffet” options, explaining that all the meat and produce is free-range and locally sourced. As an avid carnivore, my partner devotes his attention to to the cooked to order grill, where he chooses a prime cut of Angus scotch fillet which has been aged in the restaurant. The chef cooks the steak medium rare as requested right in front of Jack and then it joins a plate of gourmet vegetables. I may have a bit of food envy, but I have my own strategy for this type of dining: A little bit of everything … I try salads, seafood, curry, dumplings, pasta, roast chicken, lamb chops – you name it, I tried it. Then we arrive at dessert and feel instant regret: I should have left more room. There are crepes made to order, the crème brûlée is out of this world and the chocolate mousse is a choccy-lovers dream. Satisfied, we head outside and take a stroll to the activity I’m most curious about – stargazing. Our tour guide takes us to a spot that is immersed in complete darkness and we’re told that we’re standing in one of the top stargazing locations in the North

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Island. In front of us stands an impressive looking telescope – one of only two in New Zealand. I look deeply through the lens and I’m escorted to an entirely new world: Stars, galaxies and even planets all seem within my reach. As shooting stars whiz past my gaze, I’m told that our Maori ancestors used these exact stars for navigation at sea and that while sunlight takes eight minutes to reach the earth, moonlight only takes one second! We feel complete. We’ve had a day of adventure and gourmet delights, finishing with a sense of incredible awe for the night sky. What a day! GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 68, 900 Area - 2, 615 km2 Main reason to visit: Geothermal activity and Maori culture Fun fact: The international Mountain Biking Association has awarded Rotorua its prestigious gold-level ride centre status


Coromandel

COROMANDEL

WANDERING in Waihi As we arrived in Waihi, our eyes were drawn to the iconic old Cornish Pumphouse, writes Alana Ĺ rubar - Vernon.

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protected heritage site, this remarkable building is worth a stop in its own right and stands proudly beside the rim of Waihi’s famous open pit gold mine.

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The mine pit is rather large, too: Turn Mt. Maunganui on its head and it would fit inside - with room to spare. We wandered around this historic site taking in its enormity and trying to visualise what it must have been like 100 years ago: Poor miners toiling away beneath our feet, hundreds of metres below us. A short stroll down the hillside and we (my husband, young toddler and myself) arrived at the new Gold Discovery Centre, which is sited right beside the gold mine. The Gold Discovery Centre was opened in October 2014 and is designed to drive tourism in the area, telling the fascinating story of Waihi’s gold and the wider community. It does its job splendidly in a truly entertaining way, with interactive models that light up and lots of buttons to push, which kept my little guy happily entertained. My favourite was the replica drill that gives you a good shake as you “drill” into the rock and is accompanied with a mock explosive device, which has sound to enhance the blast. Another attraction we enjoyed was the 3D hologram cinema that brings to life a story about the miners and their lives around 1912. We felt as if we were really in the old

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time parlour with them. The centre is family friendly and has something for all the ages to enjoy. Going hand-in-hand with the centre is their ‘inside the fence’ mine tour option. We jumped at the chance to experience the working Waihi gold mine, or as it should be properly called Martha Mine, and boarded a mini-bus. Mining began in Waihi in1878, after a quartz boulder was found sticking out of Pukewa hill, and shortly after, the largest underground gold mine in the Southern Hemisphere during the 1900s came into being. The modern mine started back in the 1980s and is a testament to mining environmental and social standards on a global scale. Standing behind the fence looking down on the enormous pit, the guide pointed out tiny black holes which were remnant tunnels from the original mine. It became a fun game trying to spot all the remnant tunnels that litter the modern pit. It was time to move on and the next stop was the processing plant where we listened as the rock was ground up into powder and put through its paces at the plant. The shaded viewing platform was the perfect spot to hear our guide tell us interesting facts about modern gold mining and processing in Waihi. Our final destination was an even shorter, but steeper, ride up a hill that has been literally created by the mine where we took in the view over the tailings storage ponds.


It was a great way to finish off our experience at Waihi’s Gold Discovery Centre. The sight of 100 tonne dump trucks got squeals of delight from our young one as my husband struggled to keep our little guy from running off to them. After an amazing morning, it was naptime for the little guy and lunchtime for us. We toddled down the road to Banana Pepper Cafe where we were spoilt for choice. We were stuffed to the brim with excellent nosh, delivered promptly considering the large crowd, and the cafe’s award-winning caramelised rhubarb and wildberry tart is fantastic and goes very well with their coffee. With full bellies, we wandered back up to some shaded chairs by the Pumphouse to pass the naptime away and enjoying the views over town and the Waihi plains. With a little bit of time left in the day we squeezed in a quick swim at nearby Waihi Beach, completing a remarkable day out in Waihi, New Zealand’s Heart of Gold. GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Maori name - Heretaunga Population - 159, 783 Area - 14, 111 km2 Main reason to visit: The region’s many award winning wineries Fun fact: Hawke’s Bay is world renown for its 1930’s Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical architecture

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Auckland

AUCKLAND

Just one of the sights on an Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari IMAGE: Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari

A WHALE OF A TIME A whale and dolphin safari will leave you with memories to treasure, writes Sara Litchfield.

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started my Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari in a familiar state of tentative anticipation: I’ve been nature-spotting before, and sometimes nature doesn’t get the memo but I needn’t have worried.

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The friendly crew knew exactly what they were doing, and while they couldn’t categorically promise that the whales and dolphins received the invite, they were confident and generous enough to promise that you could come again and again free of charge if you didn’t see what you came to the first time. It’s called a safari for a reason: There’s no set route for the 4.5 hour trip and it’s a relaxing departure from the regimented itinerary you can expect elsewhere. To search out something spectacular to see, the expert crew follow their noses, a tried and tested means of success, and they are more than happy to chat through their past experiences. I checked in for the trip at the New Zealand Maritime Museum, and having some time before we set sail, I took the opportunity to go in and have a look. It is a fascinating exploration into the history, challenges, and triumphs of seafaring through the ages, from the first Polynesian pioneers to the European settlers and today’s America’s Cup

full surprises

new zealand is of hidden

Just like the wildlife of New Zealand, Auckland Zoo is full of hidden surprises. Home to the largest collection of native and exotic animals, from cheeky kea to ancient tuatara, see them all in one place at Auckland Zoo. Visit aucklandzoo.co.nz for more information

Open daily 9:30am - 5pm 99 Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland 138 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016


competitors. There is always an exhibition on at the museum, and ‘At The Beach’ was a wonderful, interactive experience, taking you back in time and away on holiday, on a journey through personal accounts and artefacts of the country’s iconic holiday pastime. The perfect way to start the day.

IMAGE: Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari

Our group chatting excitedly, we embarked the Dolphin Explorer and headed out of the convenient, city-centre harbour into the Hauraki Gulf, home to over 15 species of mammal. The experience was made all the more enjoyable by the regular commentary of our skipper, Andy. As humorous as he was informative, I found out Andy had been in this business for 25 years, a captain with Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari for 15 of them. The first of our treats was a bonus for me: A raft of Little Blue Penguins out for a swim. That was exciting enough – Little Blues are my favourite of the 17species of penguin, 14 of which hail from New Zealand, and you don’t often get as good a view of them. Little did I know that the best was yet to come. As we headed out past Waiheke and towards the Coromandel, our captain explained how they find the marine mammals – and it’s by watching the birds.

“ANY MEMBER OF THE CREW YOU SPOKE TO WAS PASSIONATE ABOUT AND COMMITTED TO THE WORK DONE ON AND OFF-BOARD FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE CREATURES WE WERE PRIVILEGED TO SEE” Certificate of Excellence 2015 WINNER

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari

G UA RA N T E ED M a ri n e M a m m al vi ewi n g – or C OM E AGAI N FOR fr ee ! A world-class wildlife encounter in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Considered one of the most biologically diverse marine parks in the world and right next to New Zealand's biggest city. Tours depart daily at 12:30pm from Auckland's Viaduct Harbour FREEPHONE (NZ): 0508 DOLPHINS (365 744) INTERNATIONAL: +64 9357 6032

www.awads.co.nz

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Spotting an energetic group of Australasian Gannets, we made straight for them, right into a high-octane encounter I would never have expected. The gannets were diving like frenzied arrows into the sea because they could see dolphins were hunting there, and that’s where they’d find a good feed. As we drew closer, we saw myriad Common Dolphins, gracefully darting around their dinner. To top it all, we were thrilled to see a stately Bryde’s Whale, rolling and diving as though he knew we were watching in delight. It was spectacular, and to give you an idea of scale, the boat was about 20m long, while the whale was 12m to 15m long with a 2m to 3m high blow. We stuck close to the enthusiastic diners, who didn’t seem to mind our presence at all. And we weren’t vying for a good view with any other tour boats – these things are strictly controlled for the good of the marine life, who we learned were more than capable of recognising our vessel, and knew we meant no harm. One of my favourite aspects of the whole eco-cruise experience was learning about the safaris’ contribution to active, ongoing conservation in the area. Any member of the crew you spoke to was passionate about and committed to the work done on and

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 1.46 Million Area - 4, 894km2 Main reason to visit: West Coast beaches Top attraction: Waiheke Island Fun fact: Auckland has the highest percentage of boat owners in the world per capita 140 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

off-board for the protection of the creatures we were privileged to see. Sarah, one of the boat’s marine biologists, explained how the safaris support sustainable programmes for the welfare and preservation of the marine life, in conjunction with DOC, and Massey and Auckland universities, among other institutions. The safaris give students the opportunity to come out on the Explorer whenever they can and every trip adds data to ongoing research. Sightings are recorded and contribute to cumulative observations on behaviour and population. We stuck with the dolphins for the majority of our voyage, our whale happy to hang out with us at intervals. The safari had been a raving success as well as a beautiful boat trip out of the city, and I was thrilled to take away high-quality pictures of the day’s events, as well as a ‘best of’ folder where you could see the rarer and more endangered species out to play. My safari didn’t just leave me with brilliant photos to keep – it engendered an increased respect for the incredible inhabitants of our waters, and an awareness of what we can do to preserve them, so that others can enjoy the unparalleled experience of a close encounter. GTNZ


Northland

NORTHLAND

IMAGES: northlandnz.com

NORTHLAND: A road trip of discovery The Twin Coast Discovery Highway is an 800km circular touring route (starting and finishing in Auckland) which navigates you past some of New Zealand’s most well known icons such as Tane Mahuta, Cape Reinga and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Northland is New Zealand’s warmest and only subtropical region, so during autumn it offers fewer crowds and glorious, crisp days – it’s a great season for walking, hiking and cycling. Long and narrow contrasting coastlines make it easy to hop over to the other side if the weather is less than ideal where you are.

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he West Coast of Northland is a hauntingly beautiful stretch of coastline with ancient kauri forests, wild windswept harbours, giant sand dunes, an impressive 153 shipwreck sites, and many stories to tell. The Kauri Museum at Matakohe is a must-stop in this first stage of your journey along the Kauri Coast from Auckland. It tells the story of a pioneering past through the eyes of the Kauri industry. It’s a hands-on experience, and you will marvel at the sheer size and history of these ancient trees. Journey into the Waipoua Forest at night with local Maori guides who will relay their stories, so they become yours. These ancient trees of the rain forest date back to the Bronze Age man. Although many try to capture the sheer size of Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) on camera, you never will – it’s a see-for-yourself experience. Your first view of the Hokianga is unexpected. After driving through a rain forest, 500m high sand dunes are not what you would expect to see. The tumultuous harbour entrance is where Kupe the Polynesian explorer navigated and first landed on New Zealand shores around 2000 years ago, and it still looks very much the same today. It’s a magical getaway for couples, with beach walks and visits to historic Rawene, and Kohukohu. Have a drink at the historic Horeke Hotel which is well placed at the end of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail. The North Coast of Northland is a wild, untouched, remote land with a fabled sand highway and iconic lighthouse. See two seas meet at Cape Reinga where the journey itself is as exciting as the destination. To see Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach, it is recommended you take a tour from Kaitaia or Paihia. A spiritual place for Maori, it’s where the spirits of the departed leap to begin the voyage back to their final resting place in the ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. The exhilaration of driving down Northland’s iconic sand highway and reaching the northern most point of New Zealand is on a bucket list for many.

COME AND EXPERIENCE

NORTHLAND WITH

SAND SAFARIS

NOBODY DOES IT BETTER! • Sand Boarding at the Giant Sand Dunes of Ahipara Reef • Views of Ninety Mile Beach and Mt Camel • Great for all ages

Gumdiggers Park and Ancient Kauri Kingdom are great little stops along the way. See buried kauri forests that are over 100,000 years old, and walk inside the giant ancient Kauri staircase that’s carved from the largest swamp kauri log ever known tohave been extracted. Golden beaches, secluded coves and world-class subtropical diving: Northland’s East Coast is an aquatic paradise. Also steeped in history, Waitangi was the place where Maori chiefs and the British Crown signed New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand’s premier historic site where in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed, is located in the Bay of Islands near Paihia. A new museum opened on the February 7 providing a wet-weather attraction which will provide visitors an insight into the momentous events which shaped our nation. Bring your visit alive with one of the cultural group’s energetic cultural performances, or an evening concert and hangi (food cooked underground).If you get one of the bay’s crisp autumn days, take a trip out to the islands and walk one of the tracks such 142 Go Travel NZ · Autumn 2016

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as Motuarohia (Roberton) and Urupukapuka Islands, which are accessible by boat only. If you’re seeking adventure, you can skydive, parasail, scuba dive, go exploring on a sea kayak or take a trip to the Hole in the Rock. Russell, an elegant town with over 200 years of stories to discover, is full of history, eateries, galleries and colonial architecture. Take a passenger ferry from the end of the Paihia wharf, or car ferry from Opua, and visit Zealand’s oldest licensed pub and oldest existing church, which is still scarred with musket ball holes from the war in 1845, or sail on a tall ship. On the drive to down south from the Bay of Islands, make a pit stop at the world famous Hundertwasser designed public toilets in Kawakawa, and a tour through the Kawiti Caves which is home to thousands of luminous glow worms. Northland’s only city, Whangarei, has many galleries, museums and eateries, with quayside dining at the town basin a highlight. Follow the Hatea Loop walkway - by foot orby bike; it’s all weather and wheel-chair friendly. TO PAGE 146

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MUSEUM EMBRACES DIGITAL AGE The award winning Kauri Museum has embarked on a new digital age.

“We’ve called it ‘Tall tales and short stories’,” says Tolich, “this is our history, told in a local voice”.

Visitors to Matakohe will be able to enjoy the Museum digitally, as they explore the galleries. This move has already proven popular amongst locals, with museum mannequin, Rosemary, amongst the first to embrace the trend.

Undertaken over the last six months, the project has been a labour of love for the local Matakohe community, who have come into the museum for audio recording, video demonstrations and photo shoots. Kae Bond, the daughter of the Kauri Museum founder Mervyn Sterling, dons a pioneer dress to recount the museum’s early days over a cup of tea while her brother, Darcy Sterling rolls up his sleeves with the museum’s Engine Boys to start up the old machines in rarely seen footage. Funny and frightening stories are retold by descendants from the founding families of the area and pioneering times reenacted by volunteers.

Many museums around the world banned selfie sticks in 2015, but the Kauri Museum has declared itself a selfie friendly zone. “The Kauri Museum has always been a hands on experience,” says Lisa Tolich, chief executive. “Now that interaction can be digital, too. We want visitors to climb in our bathtub, try on our hats and get the sweet smell of kauri gum on their hands – then post it on Facebook.” This innovative digital experience also includes a state of the art audio tour produced entirely with local talent. As they move throughout the galleries, the museum’s audio tour encourages new ways of experiencing the museum alongside extra multimedia snippets, such as a behind the scenes video tour, pioneering cooking demonstrations and a hidden art trail.

The museum encourages future visitors to pack their selfie stick, get their duck face ready and save a tree in the process. “And tweet about it with #KauriMuseum,” says Tolich. For more information: visit: www.kaurimuseum.com emaill: admin@kaurimuseum.com, phone: (09) 431 7417

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DID YOU KNOW? Population - 158, 200 Area - 13, 789 km2 Main reason to visit: Weather and people Top attraction: Amazing beaches Fun fact: New Zealand’s largest tree, Tane Mahuta, stands in Northland’s Waipoua Forest

Enjoy the sculpture and heritage trails, and international award winning liftingbridgeTe Matau ā Pohe which is a type of Bascule Bridge that levers open at noon every day. Clapham’s Clock Museum and Kiwi North’s nocturnal kiwi house are popular attractions which are also wet weather options.Only 30 minutes’ drive north east of Whangarei is the Tutukaka Coast, the gateway to the Poor Knights Island. Don’t miss a day out on a boat at the world-renowned Poor Knights Islands, snorkelling, scuba diving, paddle boarding or kayaking. GTNZ

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