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Summer Edition 2015 NZ 9.90 EUR 7.50 USA 12.50 AUS 9.90 INR 450


Soar with Glide Omarama Precious Treasures: NZ Jewellery

Millbrook... comes with 500 acres of outdoor living




Artists impression

Pioneer Terraces

Mica Ridge

Superbly elevated enclave of 15 splendid home sites

Six sensational homes, four floor plan options plus a spectacular lofted garage on selected sites


Contact the Property Team or visit us on The Avenue Call Austin Bragg 021 340 020 or Julia Blanchard 021 244 7630 or our Property office 03 441 7062

Visit for more information. Millbrook Realty Ltd. MREINZ. Licensed Agent REAA 2008

Stay at New Zealand’s No.1 Hotel this summer 2 nights of luxury at Millbrook Resort in Queenstown – only $648 for two guests. Plus you receive $100 resort credit. This Summer Package includes: • Luxurious accommodation in our Deluxe Studio • Buffet Breakfast in The Clubhouse • $100 credit which you can spend on the resort With four restaurants, an award winning day spa, a 27 hole championship golf course and much more to choose from; it shouldn’t be hard to spend this credit • Access to the Health & Fitness centre • Complimentary shuttle service to Arrowtown and Queenstown • Complimentary wi-fi Terms and conditions apply.

Book your escape today.


Artists impression

The Pioneers Our exciting new eight home hamlet cleverly positioned over four superbly elevated terraces

Contact our Reservations team or go online to check availability:

NZ: 0800 800 689

International: +64 3 441 7000

Australia: 1 800 265 909

DAWN A striking, seductive encounter

The new Dawn has arrived - a Rolls-Royce like no other. A striking true four-seater, it captures the exhilaration of open-top driving with an interior crafted in anticipation of unforgettable moments between friends. Anything is possible. Contact us to start your journey.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Auckland, 11 Great South Road, PO Box 9718, Newmarket, Auckland Contact Neil D’Arcy-Brain +64 21 734 001 | Telephone +64 9 969 3351 | Š Copyright Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited 2013. The Rolls-Royce name and logo are registered trademarks.



grand traverse

experience the flight of a lifetime

Ranked #1 Lake Tekapo Attraction by Trip Advisor * October 2015


102 Nelson PG.



Golden Bay Kahurangi National Park









Hamner Springs


Fox Glacier


Christchurch PG.88 Akaroa

Tekapo Aoraki National Park


Mount Aspiring National Park

Milford Sound




Omarama Wanaka







Te Anau


PG. Kaikoura

Arthurs Pass National Park

Franz Josef Glacier

Mount Cook

70 Queenstown


Fiordland National Park

Dunedin PG.66





Bluff Oban

Stewart Island























Cape Reinga





Bay of Islands

Waipoua Kauri Forest



PG. Coromandel


Waiheke Island

Auckland PG.144



BAY OF PLENTY White Island Hicks Bay











PG. Gisborne Urewera National Park

Taupo New Plymouth


Egmont National Park

Whanganui National Park


Kaimanawa Forest




Ruahine Forest


Palmerston North


Tararua Forest


Wellington PG.108
























IMAGE: Neil Hanna carved mother of pearl pendant, Gallery Pacific

AN YT IM E ! AN YW HE RE ! www.gotrave lnewzealand

COVER IMAGE: Marty Taylor, Terms and Conditions:


Operations Manager Scott Homer +64 (0) 3 983 5519

South Island Manager Chris McPhee +64 (0) 398 35507

Publisher James Lynch

Administration Helen Bourne, Jill Holland

North Island Manager Alasdair Thomson +64 (0) 3 983 5530

PRODUCTION Editor Sarah Bell Sub Editor Patti Brown Designer Michael Parker

New Zealand Head Office 112 Wrights Road, Christchurch, 8024 +64 (0) 3 983 5500 Queenstown Office 70 Glenda Drive, Queenstown PO Box 2581, Wakatipu

ISSN 2357-2183 Print ISSN 2357-2191 Online

CONTENTS FEATURE STORIES WILD IN New zealand 16 The best of NZ wildlife




















PRECIOUS TREASURES 36 NZ’s unique and natural jewellery

SLICE OF HEAVEN 52 Soar over NZ with Glide Omarama Relax at Paihia Beach Resort & Spa




66 70























Nature and the curious wildlife that inhabit New Zealand and the seas around it are never far away in this land - even within the busiest urban centres. Sometimes referred to as ‘the youngest country on earth’, the combination of New Zealand’s relative geological youth and isolation from other great land masses has helped create a living ‘Noah’s Ark’ of amazing and often unique wildlife species. Endangered species - a juvenile Bryde’s whale in the Hauraki Gulf IMAGE: Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari 16 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

the world. New Zealand was one of the first countries to create sea reserves and there are now 44 marine reserves in New Zealand’s territorial waters covering 17,700 km2.

PENGUINS Many different kinds of these little birds – comical and clumsy on land, graceful and elegant in the water – can be found on the cooler fringes of New Zealand including in Akaroa, Stewart Island and the Marlborough Sounds. The South Island’s west coast is home to one of the world’s rarest penguins – the Fiordland Crested, which has a liking for some of the remotest parts of the country.

New Zealanders are lucky enough to share their home with many fascinating creatures. There are plenty of opportunities to see them year round – you might spot a family of dolphins following your boat, and it’s not unusual to see whales and orca within sight of Auckland or little blue penguins on Wellington’s city fringe, but there are also many special places where you can see them up-close. One of the best times to observe any wildlife is during the breeding cycles from spring through to early summer. And - here’s a hint, if you go with a guide, you’ll have the best opportunity to find them because they know the best places and times to spot the locals at home. Some of the first examples of unique wildlife that visitors are bound to notice are the many species of forest birds found only in New Zealand. The parks and backyards of Auckland’s urban sprawl and Wellington’s inner suburbs are filled with the sound of songbirds such as the bossy green black tui - sometimes referred to as ‘the parson bird’ for its tuft of white feathers under the neck - or the perfectly pitched green bellbird high in the trees. If you’re an early bird, you might wake up to a dawn chorus in full swing. That’s likely to happen if you overnight in any one of New Zealand’s many and extensive conservation domains. New Zealand has 14 national parks and one of the highest rates of protected areas in the world with one third of the country protected. Offshore, there’s a rich and complex marine environment that ranges from subtropical to subantarctic habitats providing homes to over 15,000 known species, many unique in

One of the best penguin spots is Oamaru, where you’ll see both the yellow-eyed penguin and the world’s smallest penguin, the little blue penguin. The yellow-eyed penguins are very shy, and are best spotted early morning or late afternoon from one of the public hides near the beaches. They gather in the largest numbers between September and February.


it’s not hard to see why. With the world’s only mainland breeding albatross colony at Taiaroa Head, it’s possible for visitors to see these majestic seabirds with a wingspan of more than three metres soaring at speeds of up to 120 km per hour. Visit between September and November to see the breeding birds arriving at the headland and building nests. Chicks hatch from late January to late February and, aided by a strong gust of wind, take their first flight in September.

KIWI For such a well-known New Zealand icon, the kiwi can be surprisingly elusive. This small, snuffly bird’s shyness and nocturnal habits can make spotting one a challenge. They are also endangered and threatened by predators such as dogs, cats and stoats, so seeing them wild is something only the lucky experience. They can be spotted in their native habitat at night on Stewart Island, off the bottom of the South Island, with the help of experienced guides such as Phillip Smith from Bravo Adventure Cruises.

From the tiny and distinctive Hector’s dolphin (a national treasure) to the compact common dolphin and the sleek grey bottlenose, New Zealand’s coastlines are home to a wide range of dolphins. These playful and inquisitive creatures are often as interested in visitors as the visitors are in them, so it’s lucky that both groups have the chance to meet each other throughout the year. All three species are found in the Marlborough Sounds year round, and in the warmer summer months, there are often orca - the largest of the dolphin species - chasing stingrays around the bays as well.

To up your chances you might visit a sanctuary, such as Kapiti Island. Here, among a kiwi population of 1400, the bird is routinely seen on the island’s night tours and there is accommodation for overnight stays. Some wildlife parks, such as Christchurch’s Willowbank, have created artificial night-time environments, so visitors can walk (silently) through an enclosure within metres of the birds but it is also possible to see them in captivity at Auckland Zoo, Rainbow Springs in Rotorua and Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown. If you want to see cute chicks in the breeding facilities, the best time to visit is September to April.



Whales are giants of the sea but with many qualities that seem to make them human, something recognised in Maori myth and legend. Kaikoura is an iconic destination for those wanting to catch a glimpse of these incredible animals. From here, pods of sperm whales can be seen throughout the year but between June and August, things get really interesting. Other species of whale, such as the humpback, make their yearly migration from the Antarctic up to warmer climes, and the Kaikoura coast provides the perfect stopover for them.

ALBATROSS No less an authority than British naturalist Sir David Attenborough has described the Otago Peninsula as “a very special place” and 17

Escape the everyday and immerse yourself in the unique surrounds of Auckland Zoo. Explore 17 hectares of naturally inspiring and award-winning habitats, home to New Zealand’s largest collection of native and exotic species and just minutes from central Auckland. Auckland Zoo is an active conservation organisation that is helping to build a future for wildlife, which you can learn about at their many conservation stations, encounters or on a behind-the-scenes experience. You also contribute to important conservation projects by visiting, as a portion of your entry goes directly to their conservation fund that helps wildlife in New Zealand and around the world.

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 for more information

Open daily 9:30am - 5pm 99 Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland 18 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

Sprawling metropolises aren’t typically where you look for an immersive wildlife experience. But Auckland has something up its sleeve, or just off shore to be exact. Visitors can experience the astonishingly abundant wildlife of the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Reserve on-board Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari’s 65ft luxury catamaran, the ‘Dolphin Explorer’. Their 4.5 hour marine eco-safari offers guaranteed whale and dolphin viewing year round, departing direct from the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland. With over a third of all the world’s marine-mammal species seen within the area, it’s one of the best places in the world to have a wildlife adventure. The Dolphin Explorer is also a leading marine-mammal scientific research vessel, meaning that guests are also contributing to important conservation efforts, just by coming aboard.

Certificate of Excellence 2015 WINNER

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari

G UA R A N TE E D Mar in e Mammal viewing – or C OM E AGAIN FOR f ree! A world-class wildlife encounter in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Considered one of the most biologically diverse marine parks in the world 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 19

One of Hawke’s Bay’s premier tourist attractions and home to New Zealand’s largest display of aquatic life, the National Aquarium of New Zealand is open every day (except Christmas day).Visitors can experience sharks, stingrays, living coral, a huge range of fish species and native wildlife. Take your time and enjoy the sights and sounds at your leisure and finish with a tasty treat from the Fishbowl Cafe or browse the Treasure Chest Gift shop. Get up close and personal with the residents of the aquarium with a Close Encounter experience (bookings essential). Snorkel in the oceanarium with sharks, stingray and fish of all sizes, colours and

20 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

shapes. Or get hands-on with the fascinating Little Penguins. Experience what happens behind the scenes, hand feed the birds and get a photo taken with one of these cute creatures! Do you know what a Kiwi eats? Find out and help prepare and weigh their food. Can you tell a Pirhana from a Pacu? From tinned peaches to raw meat, help prepare and feed dinner to these two cousins No hands required! You can even meet the aquarium’s two juvenile alligators Fiona and Cheryl. Let them flash their toothy smiles as they are fed their treats.

Walk across the reef at Dive Tatapouri and become immersed in the surroundings, as small fish race across clear water beneath your feet. At the edge of the reef in the clear blue water graceful stingrays and eagle rays, who come in to interact, can clearly be seen. Learn about the whai (stingray) and the other reef dwellers who come to play from the knowledgeable Dive Tatapouri guides and experience feeding them in the wild for yourself. Meet the children of the Maori Sea God, Tangaroa, with this unique and memorable marine ecology experience. Suitable for all ages.

A truly original New Zealand eco-experience! Come to Tatapouri Bay and meet the children of the Maori sea God Tangaroa. Explore the reef environment to interact other reef dwellers.

A memorable, safe family adventure. (Reef waders, snorkel gear supplied.)


FOR BOOKINGS: Dive Tatapouri 06 868 5153 Information Centre 06 868 61 39 Private and Group Tours available on request


The world’s first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary, Zealandia has an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. Zealandia is a ground-breaking conservation project that has reintroduced 17 species of native wildlife back into the area, six of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years. This wildlife safe haven is also a great place for visitors to see rare New Zealand species flourishing in a wild environment among stunning natural scenery.

22 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

Kapiti Island, and the associated Nature Reserve are a unique mix of internationally important nature and conservation activity, carefully and thoroughly managed by the Department of Conservation. Kapiti Island Nature Tours offers a range of experiences on the island, to suit all abilities. Owned and operated by the Barrett family (descendants of the early Maori kaitiaki - guardians of the Island) their knowledge of the history of Maori, whaling, farming and conservation, is clear and well told. The Rangatira landing walk scales the 520m Tutermoana summit. Often seen are Stitchbird, Saddleback, Robin, Whitehead, Kaka, Kakariki, Kereru, and sometimes NZ’s premier song bird, the rare Kokako (Blue Wattle Crow). At Waiorua Bay, where the Barretts operate the Kapiti Nature Lodge, less demanding walks present a similar array of NZ native birds. Overnight guests can join guided Kiwi spotting walks, and enjoy great meals and hospitality in a range cabins, bungalows or luxury tents (glamping).

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: • 0800 547 5263 23

24 Go Travel NZ 路 Summer 2015

Wellington Zoo’s newest experience opened to visitors in October 2015. Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha is Wellington Zoo’s love story to Aotearoa New Zealand. Celebrating native wildlife, introduced locals and our amazing local environment, Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha will house a variety of animals including Kororā Little Blue Penguins, Sheep, Kunekune pigs, Bees, Eels, Grand and Otago Skinks, Maud Island Frogs and Kea. ‘Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha is a journey through New Zealand, going from the coast to the farm then the bush and ending in the mountains,’ said Karen Fifield Wellington Zoo’s Chief Executive, ‘We want to celebrate New Zealand as it is today, and look at how we as a community can make it even better going into the future.’ ‘Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha is the final project of our ten year redevelopment plan, during which time we have refreshed most of the Zoo. We’ve re-opened a large part of the Zoo that visitors haven’t been able to access for some time, and we’re thrilled that we can do it with Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha, which has been a labour of love for our Zoo team.’ Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha is four habitats in one, with the experience starting with the coastal habitat of the Kororā Little Blue Penguins, before heading into Pohutukawa Farm where visitors will encounter Kunekune pigs, Sheep, Eels, Bees, Chickens and Rabbits. There are even vegetable gardens that Zoo visitors can help out with – harvesting and planting (or maybe even tasting)! After the farm, Zoo visitors will head into an area of regenerating native bush, complete with 4,000 native plants and loads of opportunities for nature play. After exiting the bush via a swing bridge, visitors will learn all about our Conservation Champions – both champion species, and how Wellington Zoo champions conservation work around New Zealand. Zoo visitors will get the chance to see some less well known native animal locals including Maud Island Frogs and Grand and Otago Skinks. Lastly, visitors will enjoy getting up close to our native alpine parrots, the cheeky Kea, in a brand new walk-through aviary. ‘Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha is the celebration of our country, our animals and people,’ Karen said. 25

Whale Watch® Kaikoura is New Zealand’s only marine-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the giant Sperm Whale at all times of the year. Their 95% success rate means guests are guaranteed an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale. A typical Whale Watch tour may also encounter New Zealand fur seals, pods of dusky dolphins and the endangered wander-

ing albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating humpback whales, pilot whales, blue whales and southern right whales. Kaikoura often hosts the world’s largest dolphin - the orca - and is home to the world’s smallest and rarest - the Hector’s dolphin. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of albatross, 14 varieties of petrels and seven types of shearwater. Kaikoura truly is a marine mecca. 26 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015 27

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 28 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

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.

Kaikoura is a very special destination for all those with an interest in nature. Encounter Kaikoura operate two different tours, enabling visitors to enjoy the local marine life and bird life found in abundance along Kaikoura’s beautiful and rugged coastline. Their Dolphin Encounter tour is an opportunity to go swimming with the most acrobatic of all dolphin species - the dusky dolphins. Those who would rather stay dry have the option of watching the antics from on board the Dolphin Encounter boat. Bookings are essential as the number of swimmers on each boat is limited, and seats fill quickly.

IMAGE: Fiona Wardel

The Albatross Encounter tour is another sought after experience, with many species seen in the one location. Close to the shore, this seabird hot spot is home to up to 10 different albatross species, as well as many other unique New Zealand seabirds. The on-site café is open throughout the day and where they serve breakfast, lunch and all day snacks. Round off a brilliant day with a coffee in the sun or a browse through the gift shop.

IMAGE: Albatross Encounter

Voted within the top ten animal activities in the world by BootsnAll Travel Guides, Kaikoura Llama Trekking prove to be one of Kaikoura’s best kept secrets. Owner and guide Kevin says: “We are very proud of what we have achieved in just a few years. Llama Trekking is already by far the most popular land-based tour in town, and to be voted top ten in the world is very humbling. What makes our tours so special is our focus on helping guests get to know our llamas thoughts & emotions, and to becoming their best friends”. Llama Treks are offered in two lengths: One-hour Taster and, (the most-popular) Half-Day Kaikoura Bay Five Tours In One package. Bookings essential. Phone: 03 3195033 29

Visit NZ’s only White Heron Nesting site

White Heron Sanctuary Tours Whataroa Seasonal: September to end February

A unique experience White Whit Whi te Herons, He Royal Royal al Spoonbill & an abundance of other birdlife

Endorsed visitor activity

Whataroa is the departure point for White Heron Sanctuary Tours. For over 27 years the Arnold Family have been delighting visitors by sharing this world class attraction with them. The 2.5 hour tour consists of a short minibus ride to connect with a jet-boat for a gentle 20 minute scenic cruise into the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve, a stunning area accessible only by boat. Once in the reserve there is a short walk through ancient Kahikatea rainforest to a purpose built viewing hide to observe the magnificent White Heron (Kotuku) in their natural nesting environment. An exceptional tour with variety, suitable for all age groups.

Freephone 0800-523-456 nz Accommodation 30 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015Available

Abel Tasman Eco Tours provide a unique perspective of New Zealand’s spectacular Abel Tasman National Park, their expert local knowledge finding the best nature experience on the day. The full day ‘Golden Future’ tour takes you by private boat to Adele island, Tonga Island Marine Reserve, Pitt Head, golden sandy beaches, and the open sea in search of wildlife. You’ll encounter all manner of wildlife in their natural environment, from native carnivorous snails to dolphins and seabirds. Or try the ‘Promised Land’ tour, a full day walk taking you into the ancient beech forest of the inland track, one of the most breathtaking New Zealand eco tours available. 31

On the remote south eastern corner of Banks Peninsula local landowners began a conservation program to save penguins on their properties. The program was so successful Pohatu has become the largest little penguin colony on mainland New Zealand, and the conservation program has won a number of awards. Demand to see the penguins began to cause problems for the birds so Pohatu Penguins was formed to allow viewing of the penguins with a minimum of disturbance. It also helps to raise funds for further protection and research in this special area that now includes conservation of other species. Various tours options are available, guests can even spend the night in the on-site accommodation (bookings are essential).


• Guided Sea Kayaking • Evening 4wd penguin safaris • Scenic nature safaris • Pohatu Package Spend a night in the middle of the penguin colony with a 24 or 48hour package including accommodation

When booking online enter: Penguins007 for 10% discount 021 2469 556 ·


32 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

If you’ve ever wanted to see a great white shark up close, Shark Experience in Bluff offer the ultimate shark cage diving trips and sightseeing. The waters around Stewart Island have over 100 great white sharks, so you’re likely to see a few. The abundance of local marine life include seals, penguins, whales, albatross and much more. With over 30 years diving experience and a 100% positive safety record, you could not be in better hands. Don’t miss this unique southern region shark and wildlife experience – you will remember it for a lifetime! 33

Offering one of New Zealand’s best wildlife viewing experiences, Elm Wildlife Tours is a multi-award winning, highly rated wildlife and conservation activity. Guided “Peninsula Encounter” and exclusive “Wild Coast Explorer” wildlife tours offer exciting, fun and memorable wildlife experiences around the Otago peninsula. The tours are absolutely unrivalled in their close viewing of rare wildlife within an exclusive penguin conservation area. Wildlife seen on tours include penguins, albatross, sea-lions, fur seals and many other marine and wading birds. The company is environmentally driven with solid green credentials. Tour options include a Royal Albatross tour or a ‘Monarch’ cruise to provide alternative viewing.

34 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

The royal albatross’ nesting site at Taiaroa Head is just one of the reasons that Dunedin lays claim to being New Zealand’s wildlife capital. Massive and majestic, chances are one will fly right by you on a Monarch Wildlife Cruise & Tour. At sea, you’re likely to see other albatross species, giant petrels and lines of sooty shearwaters. Watch New Zealand fur seal pups playing on the rocks, wonder at the impressive size of a sea-lion bull, and maybe even be entertained by tiny Hector’s dophins. In the harbour you could see a variety of cormorants, royal spoonbills and even godwits just landed from the Arctic! Big waterproof coats are provided, along with wonderful care from the Monarch staff, and excellent commentary from the Skipper. A magic day out. 35

RING IMAGES: Seaside Gems, Picton

Precious Treasures NEW ZEALAND JEWELLERY There is a long and rich history in New Zealand of crafting jewellery from natural resources; from when Maori first harvested pounamu (greenstone) from the riverbeds of the South Island to the gold rush of the 1860’s and in more recent times, we have seen the successful commercial production of blue pearls from paua (abalone).

IMAGE: Arahura Greenstone Tours

36 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

POUNAMU Maori legend tells us of the origins of pounamu ... A taniwha (mythological aquatic creature) became enamoured with a beautiful woman, Waitaki, the wife of a chief. Wanting her for himself the taniwha abducted Waitaki and took her south, only to be relentlessly pursued by the chief. Ultimately, in a bid to keep Waitaki with him forever, the taniwha transformed her into pounamu and laid her down in a riverbed, where she was later found cold and lifeless by her husband. It is said that you can still hear the chief’s tangi (song of grief) echoing through the mountains to this day. Pounamu is a type of Nephrite (greenstone) found only in the South Island and is considered to be a taonga or treasure by Maori. In its natural state, pounamu belongs to the Ngai Tahu, who are considered the Kaitaki (guardians) of this highly valued stone. Depending on the area where it comes from and upon the individual stone itself, a variety of colours, combinations of colour and textures are found, giving New Zealand greenstone it’s unique and appealing characteristics where within a single piece different colours merge. Using ingenuity and skill Maori crafted weapons and tools from pounamu, which were not only hard-wearing and perfectly designed for their purpose, but also beautiful works of art. Items for adornment were also created such as necklaces, earrings and rings. The most recognisable neck pendant is called the Tiki – shaped like a human figure sitting cross-legged with head tilted to one side. Pounamu holds a significant role in Maori culture and artefacts crafted from this stone are regarded as increasing in mana or prestige as they are passed on from generation to generation.


GOLD Gold was the making of the economy in colonial New Zealand - from the 1860’s; gold rush followed upon gold rush with thousands flocking to the fields in the hope of finding their fortune. An increase in investments and shipping in New Zealand soon followed. Gold has been used through the ages worldwide as a form of currency and a gift of gold has long been the symbol of lasting love and devotion. Gold does not corrode or tarnish like other metals; it is virtually eternal. Prized by artisans for its durability and malleability gold can be made into a vast array of jewellery items from the most delicate bracelet to a seemingly endless array of forms and shapes. Adding to the desirability of gold is its rarity – it can take the extraction of several tonnes of ore to yield just one ounce of gold. Jewellery popular during the Victorian and Edwardian periods in NZ included hand-crafted pieces in gold and pounamu such as lockets, pendants and brooches. Today – let your imagination run free and whatever your heart’s desire, a skilled jeweller will be able to bring it to life.

Found in the cool, clear waters that surround the coastline of New Zealand, paua is the name given to abalone by Maori, who gathered the shellfish both for food and its shell which was highly valued both for decoration and jewellery.

Maori legend tells the story of the creation of the paua shell: Tangaroa, the god of the sea, saw that Paua had great difficulties without a shell and resolved to make a unique one for him. Taking the blues of the ocean and the greens of the forest and borrowing the violet of the dawn and the lightest pink of the sunset and blending it all together under a shimmer of mother-of-pearl. Finally, he added a drab grey coat to enable Paua to blend in with his rocky habitat. Naturally formed pearls are a rarity and over time techniques have been perfected for creating “cultured” pearls. Nuclei implanting or “seeding” involves a nucleus being inserted, (along with a piece of mantle tissue to generate nacre deposition) into an area near the apex or whorl of the shell. Nacre or mother-of-pearl is a strong, resilient and iridescent organic-inorganic material that forms the outer coating of the pearl. It takes several years for a pearl to be ready for harvesting and each one is unique; the ideal centrepiece for bespoke eye-catching and vibrant jewellery that reflects the individuality of the wearer. So, join us now and read on as we hear from some of the creators of jewellery crafted from this land’s precious natural resources and reflecting the beautiful, unique nature of the landscape and spirit of Aotearoa. 37


Whangarei Steve Haywood Master Jeweller The saying goes, he who works with his hands is a labourer, he who works with his hands and head is a craftsman but he who works with his hand, head and heart is an artist. At Steve Haywood Master Jeweller, creators with experience and passion for the highest quality hand-crafted jewellery work on-site at the beautiful quayside marina. A sublime range of hand-crafted pieces are showcased and commission pieces, to be treasured for now and future generations, are designed and crafted.

Made with Hand, Head and Heart +64 9 438 2161

10 Quayside Way, Town Basin, Whangarei 38 Go Travel NZ 路 Summer 2015

Steve Haywood, at his Quayside Marina studio

Blue Pearl ‘Scratchie’ series pendants

Auckland Gallery Pacific Exclusive New Zealand jewellery and art objects: Gallery Pacific presents a unique collection of jewellery adornment and art objects in central Auckland. This family owned and operated gallery has its origins in 1975 as an opal specialist. The gallery has evolved continuously, growing to become a showcase for senior New Zealand artisans sculpting and carving in wood, jade, glass, stone and bone. New Zealand blue pearl, Australian opal and South Sea pearl are incorporated into distinct contemporary jewellery that is beautifully presented. These works, both ornamental and wearable, reflect and embody the unique artistic culture that flourishes in New Zealand today. Neil Hanna pendant


‘Voyager’ sculpture

A SUPERB COLLECTION OF FINELY CRAFTED NEW ZEALAND JEWELLERY & ARTEFACTS Find us in Queens Arcade, 34 Queen St, Auckland, New Zealand, call us on +64 (9) 308 9231 or visit us online at

Taupo Rocks & Diamonds Bill Drew is a sixth generation jeweller in an unbroken family line going back to 1837. Bill’s family have made Jewellery in New Zealand since 1864. Master Craftsmen, Bill and colleague Rhys Atkinson, have 72 years of experience in jewellery and design between them. Both men share a passion for creating the unusual when it comes to jewellery, pushing the limits of design and always aiming for perfection. “Jewellery design is constantly evolving”, says Bill, “and we happily assist our clients with their own ideas and creativity to achieve a lasting result”.

Stirling Silver & Greenstone Hook

Bill painting his sketches for a commission piece 40 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

Jens Hansen


Jens Hansen

Jens Hansen’s hand-forged jewellery designs are easily recognised and crafted to last over generations. Peter Jackson chose him to craft the world’s most famous ring - The One Ring™ in the Lord of the Rings™ and The Hobbit™ movies.

Makers of The One Ring™

Art historians say that Jens - an artist, sculptor, and goldsmith - successfully transformed his European goldsmithing heritage into a distinctive style by drawing inspirations from the New Zealand landscape and environment. His work is highly regarded nationally and internationally; he’s in the Marquis Who’s Who and has designs in the permanent collection of the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. 41

Marlborough Seaside Gems What if the gold miners of the late 1800’s knew that some of the rocks they were tossing aside were far more precious and rare than the gold that many gave their lives to find? The goodletite form of multigem is the only gemstone in the world that can be found in no other place but the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The gem is composed of ruby, sapphire and tourmaline crystals in emerald green fuchsite. The jewellers at Seaside Gems in Picton offer an inspiring and creative collection of hand crafted gold and silver multigem jewellery, as well as one-off custom pieces. You’ll also find some of New Zealand’s finest hand blown glass, fresh water pearl jewellery and other beautifully crafted items.

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Marlborough Brereton Blue Pearls Formerly known as Akaroa Blue Pearls for over 15 years, Brereton Blue Pearls were born from the need for better quality New Zealand Blue Pearls set into premium quality jewellery. To maintain and ensure product integrity, every pearl is grown for a minimum of 3 years when it is then meticulously graded, given its cutting edge RFID identifier and hand-set by the family team in their waterfront Picton workshop. With possibly the largest range of loose and set blue pearls in the world and thousands of happy customers, Breretons in Picton is a must-do experience for travellers and locals alike.

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Natural Gold Nuggets

Dragonfly: gold nuggets & diamonds

94% - 98% pure (23kt) West Coast Gold Nuggets & Flakes as found and crafted into Jewellery

West Coast The Gold Room Westland’s rich gold-mining story is bought to life as beautiful gold nugget jewellery, crafted from locally found natural gold nuggets and flakes. Watch The Gold Room’s in-house jeweller working with rare and highly prized gold nuggets, preserving the unique raw forms from the earth. Hold one of the large, real gold nuggets in your hand and feel the amazing weight of gold, or purchase your own gold pan and try your luck! New Zealand designed gold jewellery, charms and chains make for perfect holiday mementos. The Gold Room studio and gallery is open seven days in Hokitika.

37 Tancred Street Hokitika OPEN 7 DAYS - Ph 03 755 8362 Shop online Natural gold flake pendants

® 45

G re e n s t o n e To u rs

Find & make your own piece of NZ history TOURS AVAILABLE 7 DAYS A WEEK In New Zealand history every tribe has their own traditions for Pounamu and it has become a treasure for all peoples, past and present. There has been many battles for Te Tai o Poutini. Today Kati waewae Hapu (Tribal Authority) are the living descendants of those battles. Pounamu was also made into tools and pendants, and those were traded for food and clothing etc. With the support of the Ahi Ka Kaumatua (residential elders) of Arahura Pa, we are able to share our history and knowledge of Pounamu on the last private river on earth. 46 Go Travel NZ 路 Summer 2015

Book online: or call through the Hokitika i-SITE: 03 755 6166 Visit our website for further information, photo gallery & recommendations

West Coast Arahura Greenstone Tours Arahura Greenstone Tours is a very special Maori cultural experience. Local guides share ancient legends while helping to find New Zealand’s most coveted taonga (treasure) – greenstone. Guests are then shown how to carve the precious stone into a necklace to keep and cherish. The tour begins at Arahura Bridge Heritage Park. From there guests are guided through the Arahura Pa (tribal village), then on a journey along the sacred Arahura River, while learning the history of the Kati Waewae Hapu. For the Kati Waewae tribe pounamu is said to be “a peace stone and a vessel for good things”. The Arahura river is known as one of the richest sources of pounamu in New Zealand. 47

West Coast TP Goldsmith TP Goldsmiths welcomes you to the world of gold and local gems. TP Goldsmiths is a genuinely different jewellery boutique situated on historic Revell Street in the ‘Cool Little Town’ of Hokitika. Established in 2002, it’s run and owned by Tracie Piercy who is a qualified jeweller with vast experience in the jewellery industry.

Incy Wincy Spider, NZ blue pearl, diamond & white gold

TP Goldsmiths operates an ‘open workshop’, where clients can meet the jeweller at work. Manufacturing distinctive jewellery using locally eco sourced gold, the jewellers create collectable pieces with New Zealand’s iconic blue pearl, West Coast jade, and other locally sourced gems. A recent addition to their range is the hand-made, limited edition Luminary Jewellery. Inspired by The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, this is a jeweller’s interpretation of the Mann Booker Prize winning novel. Designers and creators of engagement rings with a distinctive New Zealand flavour. TP will be happy to make something totally unique for you.

NZ greenstone pendant

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Fine jewellery with a Kiwi Flavour

Jade - Blue Pearl - Luminary

jewels of distinction

The home of Phone: 03 755 6588

81 Revell Street, Hokitika, New Zealand 49



Akaroa Eyris Blue Pearls Exclusive to New Zealand, Eyris Blue Pearls® come from New Zealand abalone, also known as paua. It is these creatures which are only found in the cool clear waters close to the New Zealand coastline, that possess the greatest range of colour and iridescence of any abalone shell. The pearls are cultured both locally in Akaroa Harbour, and the Marlborough Sounds. It is in the Blue Pearl Gallery on the Main Wharf in Akaroa that jewellers create their exceptional blue pearl jewellery. The public can watch the entire creation process from start to finish - from sketch, to Eyris pearl setting, to the completed piece. 50 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

IMAGE: Glide Omarama

Each edition, Slice of Heaven is devoted to the best activities and accommodation to be found in New Zealand. From the beautiful Paihia Beach Resort & Spa in the Bay of Islands, to soaring over Mount Cook with Glide Omarama, let us take you away to paradise...

Photos: Marty Taylor &

Approaching Aoraki/Mount Cook

White wisps of cloud surround us, and below the startling blue lakes around Omarama shimmer and sparkle in the summer sun. Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand’s tallest peak and the snow covered Southern Alps stretch majestically to the west. As my glider climbs silently in the rising air we leave courting hawks circling far below, and my student in the front seat delights in the wonder of it all. For thirty years I have been flying gliders into the mountains from Omarama and training pilots in the art of mountain soaring. Omarama has become a mecca for glider pilots, including All Black Captain Richie McCaw. They came from around the world to train, race, set records, or just fly amongst the stupendous scenery. Now with a team of experienced instructors and a fleet of high performance gliders, I am proud to say that my company, Glide Omarama, has become one of the best known Soaring Schools in the world. In spite of a busy life, I have always come back to flying gliders. It’s an undying passion. Why? I love to explore the mountains from above and soar amongst our extraordinary cloud-scapes and I find the challenge of understanding the workings of the Shirish Joshi prepares for takeoff on the Omarama Airfield

atmosphere never ending. Our engineless flying machines, too, are special. They are exquisite sculptures that embody some of man’s greatest aeronautical designs, and when piloting them one is always thrilled to discover the invisible pathways of rising air that carry the glider heavenwards. Omarama’s soaring conditions are extraordinary. A unique combination of mountainous terrain, powerful winds and hot sun has enabled numerous record breaking glider flights. These include a climb over 12000m high, 2,500km in a single flight and an average speed of 237kph over a 500km distance. Our team is passionate about gliding and it shows when we introduce you to the sport through our Trial Flight programme where we offer flights from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours long. Exactly where the flight goes and what it achieves depends on the conditions of the day and the inclinations of both you and your instructor. On a Long Flight, you might even soar along the spectacular summit ridge of Mount Cook.

Gavin Wills and Ed Bishop just landed

In our Learn to Glide programme, you stay at Omarama for a week of intensive training. After 7 days of ground school, simulator training and about 30 flights, you will probably be ready to fly solo. This is the first thrilling step towards becoming a licensed glider pilot. At 20,00 feet over Omarama

A two seat Duo Discus glider


The Omarama Airfield is purpose-built for gliding. There are hangars for about 80 private and club-owned gliders, there is a Terminal building with meeting rooms and offices, 30 comfortable Chalets for accommodation, a camping ground and an excellent restaurant. Accessed through either Christchurch or Queenstown airports, Omarama is in a peaceful rural setting surrounded by mountains and, because it’s on the road to most of the scenic south, it’s a great place for family and non-flying partners to visit and base themselves. The rock and ice covered flanks of Mount Cook slide past our slender wingtip. The west wind, blowing up the mountain’s face, lifts us towards the summit ridge. With a rush the glider crests the ridge and swoops towards the highest peak. My passenger gasps at the stunning view unfolding. This is the experience of a lifetime. All the great glaciers of the Southern Alps stretch away. The Tasman Sea shimmers in the west, its verdant coastline now 4,000m below. To the east, the parched plains and rolling mountains lead homeward across the now distant lakes, to our little town of Omarama. This is our slice of heaven. Come enjoy it with us! Gavin Wills, - Free phone 0508 GLIDING (0508 45 43 46)

Paihia Beach Resort & Spa by Kimberley Gilbert

The Bay of Islands has a hidden gem & its name is Paihia Beach Resort & Spa. Nestled in the ever tropical town of Paihia, the Paihia Beach Resort & Spa is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. I was lucky enough to experience the best that Paihia has to offer during a two night stay at Paihia Beach Resort & Spa recently. Greeted at reception by professional, friendly staff at the front desk, there was such a relaxing feeling to the place, which was felt as soon as you stepped in the front door. I stayed in the Superior Studio, which is the pinnacle of complete luxury. Stepping on its polished French oak timber floors, you feel like you are in one of the top resorts in the world, but with the convenience of it being in our own backyard. Tastefully decorated in a gentle palette of pearls and buttered creams the room is fresh with seaside apartment living at its very best. You can feel all your worries and your concerns slip away when you step outside on your private balcony that looks out over the serene Paihia Beach. Every room at Paihia Beach Resort & Spa has a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. The bathrooms are of a generous size,

featuring a 6ft bath tub that was perfect to soak in after a long day exploring the beautiful Bay of Islands. The super size king bed was ideal for a comfortable and refreshing sleep. Location is a major plus at the Paihia Beach Resort & Spa. It is only a short 5 minute stroll to the main wharf in Paihia, the departure point to explore the Bay of Islands. The main shopping centre is also just a leisurely stroll down the road and everything you need is just a stone’s throw away. No trip to Paihia is complete without visiting Paihia Beach Resort & Spa’s restaurant – Provenir. A local favourite, Provenir serves up 5 star quality food with panoramic ocean views. A must-try on the menu is the twice cooked pork belly. Provenir emphasizes the age old formula of simple quailty ingredients cooked to perfection, freshness with a little zing with a touch of drama that makes you say “wow” when your food arrives. For the ultimate in pampering, I recommend getting a massage or other treatment from, Paihia Beach Resort & Spa’s onsite spa – La Spa Natural. La Spa Naturale offers a full range of treatments; from facials, massages, body exfoliations and wraps, hands and toes, waxing, spray tans and private steam and sauna rooms.

If the sun is out, the alfresco terrace features a large saltwater pool, and if the sun is hiding away the five heated pools more than make up for it, featuring the latest 'Dedon' luxury designed outdoor furniture and day beds. Other room facilities include full kitchen with minibar, entertainment system with large flat screen TV, DVD and HiFi, fluffy bathrobe and slippers and complimentary internet access. DON’T MISS: An indulgent relaxation massage using Paihia Beach Resort & Spa unique range of New Zealand-made & Aromasent massage oils. DINING: There’s no need to venture out with Paihia Beach Resort & Spa’s very own Restaurant – Provenir. IN THE AREA: Check out the nearby bar for evening drinks on the pier. FREE THINGS TO DO: A evening stroll on beautiful Paihia beach. WORTH THE COST: Take a scenic plane ride and see the Bay of Islands by air with Swan Air Scenic Flights. I was lucky enough to experience this on my visit and it is now something I will remember for the rest of my life.

Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel, 130 Marsden Road, Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

0800 870 111



IMAGE: Rob Suisted

Hooked on FIORDLAND by Norm Morgan A few weeks ago I was minding my own business when a mate of mine emailed me with an “are you going?” note. I had no idea what he was talking about, but it turned out that a group of guys had arranged a fishing trip out of Doubtful Sound and decided that I could go too, as long as I behaved. I had to think about this long and hard and 2.5 milliseconds later had my answer - hell yes!

58 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015


he trip had been booked with Jewel Charters Ltd, (now Fiordland Discovery Ltd ) a commercial fishing and charter boat operating in Fiordland.

Milford Sound IMAGE: Nathan Secker

We flew into Queenstown to start our trip. The view flying in must rank amongst the most scenic in the world, plus the drive down Lake Wakatipu towards Manapouri is spectacular. We arrived at the Manapouri Motor Lodge on dusk. The lodge was brilliant. By the time we got there all the electric blankets were on and after settling in we adjourned to the restaurant and had a damn fine meal. The nicest steak I’ve had for a long time. The next morning we were sent off with a full belly of bacon, eggs, hash browns and baked beans! Another great thing about this place is that once you leave Manapouri all cell phone coverage is lost. Wonderful! No bloody phone for days… We arrived about an hour later at the Manapouri power station where our bus was waiting to take us over Wilmot Pass and down into Deep Cove. At 671m Wilmot is one of our most interesting passes. We stopped at the top to take photos before carefully negotiating the 1 in 5 gravel road that descends in a series of switchback curves down the western slope. Finally we got our first look at the Jewel – our home for the next few days. Our boat crew was made up of Rob as skipper and owner; Shamrock, one of the nicest locals you could find with the loudest laugh I have ever heard and Martin our Michelin Star Chef from Switzerland. Yep, you just read that right, we had a Michelin star chef on board to feed us, complete with white chef’s uniform.

Fiordland Adventure

To Doubtful Sound

With the original one day guided kayak tour operators; Lake Manapouri kayak rentals. Other options available

“Our 21st Season in business” 59

See our colour brochure or website for full details - - Phone 03 249 6626 -

Great fishing!

The Jewel is a Marko built in West Australia for cray fishing - around 68 foot long with a single 1100hp engine and a large deck for fish-hungry fishermen. Once we were all aboard and everything stowed away we were off. Rob gave us a couple of options as to what or where we could go due to the next day’s forecast of 50 knots plus and 4 to 6 meter swells... Option one was to stay around Doubtful Sound and, if possible, head out for a fish. Option two was to take some cement pills for those without good sea legs and make a dash down to Dusky Sound with the chance to fish out of there - weather allowing. One of the things which I guess a lot of South Islanders know that we up north don’t, is that fishing inside the sounds is very 60 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

limited compared to out at sea. Also one of the problems, as Rob explained to us, is that whilst Doubtful is New Zealand’s deepest sound , it has a huge percentage of fresh water in it, which means that the likes of paua and kina don’t grow too well or too big. So having taken everything into consideration, we decided to make the run to Dusky where the fish are bigger, the crays are even bigger and the paua and kina are huge. An added bonus is that there are also far less people down that way. At the entrance to Dusky we were welcomed by the sight of bottlenose dolphins. We spent a wonderful thirty minutes or so with this pod who were clearly having a ball. They

seemed to be seeing who could jump the highest and do the most barrel rolls at the same time. Pure magic. Next day we found that the wind had dropped so the skipper made the call to head out and do some fishing. We steamed south to a point about half way between Dusky and Chalky Inlet - a little spot that Rob knew well. Now I guess I should point out that Rob supplied all the fishing gear & tackle. I was going to take my light rod down for some fun but Air New Zealand wouldn’t allow it on board and I was darned if they were going to put it in the hold so I went without, which, as it turned out, was just as well! TO PAGE 64


EXPLORE THIS UNIQUE CORNER OF NZ IN COMFORT AND STYLE GUIDED BY EXPERT CREW WITH YEARS OF LOCAL KNOWLEDGE • Milford overnight cruise February - March • Queenstown / Milford helicopter - day cruise options • Fish, dive, hunt Fiordland charters: 5-7 days, May - October • Scenic Fiordland cruises: 7 days, May - October

Fully catered with all equipment supplied 61

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 2000 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

The Fiordland Jewel

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 Open 7 Days, 8.30am – 9pm Lake end Te Anau by the big Takahe

62 Go Travel NZ ¡ Summer 2015

Quality NZ Made Garments


INTO THE WILD by John Pemberton While visiting New Zealand, I began reading a beautiful new book on the life and death of the Moa in New Zealand, which mentioned the possible last sighting of the three metre bird was in northern Fiordland in 1880. There was an aerial view of the coastline with thick green forest to the shore and a nice wave breaking on a sandy beach. Impelled to have a closer look, I found a unique opportunity to visit the region with Awarua Guides, run by Warrick Mitchell. It sounded like my dream destination, miles of remote wilderness accessed by aircraft, with outstanding scenery, great geology, coastal rainforest flora, beautiful birds, comfortable authentic accommodation, and excellent food. As we met up and loaded supplies into the air craft, including NZ craft beer and Central Otago wine, I knew we were about to embark on an exceptional experience. Soon we were flying between mountains, over valleys and hiking trails and endless mountain - panoramas. We touched down into base camp, the setting framed between ocean and mountains, with only the sound of birds, rustling trees and breaking waves to accompany the surrounding silence.

We hike, explore rock pools, surf, kayak the river, and even spot wild deer. We catch brown trout, and dine on crayfish, green lip mussels, and wild venison, all fresh and natural, and cooked with an interesting twist of local class, culinary skills and interesting marine biology lessons from Warrick. A helicopter flight across the Alpine fault reveals stunning ultramafic rocks which are split by the fault line. We look at rocks, and talk of jade and the fault line before stopping off to say hi to Robert “Beansprout“ Long who has been resident there for 30 years. The flight out was down the coast, through Milford Sound, and over the mountains. The perfect finale to a very special experience. 63

IMAGE: Rob Suisted

All Rob’s gear is 24kg Game rods with TLD 50 or similar on them. Had me stumped. We were fishing for cod weren’t we? You know, those little buggers we get up north, lucky to go over 1kg on a good day? Wrong. We were fishing for cod alright, but unlike anything I have ever seen before. That day I achieved my personal best for a blue cod. On one line, (using two J hooked rigs with lots of bait) I caught the two biggest cod I’d ever seen. We fished for five hours and got our full four days’ quota in that time! Cod, groper, trumpeter…the most fun I’ve ever had on a boat. The final highlight of our trip was the kina. These were easily the biggest I have seen and nothing like the North Island ones. Perhaps it’s the clean water or what they feed on, who knows, but I can tell you they were a taste experience like nothing else, like crayfish on steroids! We reluctantly headed home after an incredible few days – laden with seafood and memories. A great trip with some fantastic people and a great crew. Would I do it again? You bet. PS. I’ve since heard that Rob is finishing up his last season with the Jewel and is launching a new boat next summer – Fiordland Jewel. We’re planning another trip already. GTNZ

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! 64 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015



TH O B R O . . .


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.

0800 24 66 72 65



IMAGE: Summer at Larnach Castle

Larnach Castle & GARDENS by Gillian Crawford Considered the only castle in New Zealand, Larnach Castle is one of the main attractions of Dunedin. Situated high on a hill in the middle of Otago Peninsula, the Castle offers fantastic panoramic views of the Otago Harbour and also has an extensive collection of antiques and a very interesting story.

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e left the City of Dunedin in the late afternoon, preceding our visit to Larnach Castle by spending the morning on the very scenic Taieri Gorge Railway trip. We climbed 1000 feet on one of the most scenic drives I have encountered during my visit to New Zealand. Built in neo-Gothic style and with rich interior details, the famous castle of Dunedin is framed by beautiful gardens of international significance rated by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. Building started in 1871 under the instructions of the banker William Larnach, who affectionately called the site “The Camp.� By local standards, Larnach Castle is a unique and spectacular construction, especially when we consider the time it was built and that most of the materials used in its construction came in a sailing vessel from Europe and other parts of the world. Despite having the Castle name, Larnach Castle is an opulent mansion built in the late nineteenth century when the Dunedin region was the epicentre of the gold rush in the Otago region of southern New Zealand. Ships full of settlers were also arriving, predominantly from Scotland. Featuring various relics and antiques, a visit to the Larnach Castle is a journey that leads you back to Victorian times in the new colony. Although the scenery is idyllic, the premises of the Larnach Castle served as the setting for many stories and family intrigues, some of which were 67

scandalous and tragic involving death, inheritance disputes, adultery, a man, three wives, six children. The Larnach story at the Castle finished with William Larnach’s suicide in 1898 within the walls of Parliament House in Wellington. After all the stories and disputes involving the Larnach family after the death of its patriarch, the Castle changed hands several times until it was bought by the Barker family in 1967 in an advanced state of disrepair. It has since been lovingly restored and maintained. The Ballroom was the first of the Castle’s rooms to undergo restoration and now operates daily as a Café. As much as we enjoyed learning about New Zealand’s colonial history, the memory we will take away from our visit was the time we spent in the Garden at the Castle. The Garden is spectacular with its inspirational plantings and the breath-taking views of the Otago Peninsula. The Castle is like a yellow diamond set in a beautiful garden. We didn’t realise until we arrived at the Castle that there was a range of

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accommodation on offer. Unfortunately, we had made other arrangements and suggest that you check out the options available at the Castle online before your visit, so you do not miss out! 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!

118 High Street | | R20 69



TSS Earnslaw New Zealand IMAGE: Dan Childs

TSS Earnslaw SAILING BACK IN TIME by Sara Litchfield Queenstown is the South Island’s adventure capital, complete with mountain and lake vistas straight from the prettiest of postcards. It is renowned for its wild beauty and easy access to such treasured spots as Milford Sound and Glenorchy as much as for its opportunities for adrenalin-fuelled activities. So when you arrive, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to planning your days. 70 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015


aking a short visit, it was difficult to be discerning, but one option stood out far above the rest and that was a trip on the TSS Earnslaw. Real Journey’s vintage steamship has been carrying passengers over the Wakatipu for a hundred years, and the ship setting course across the lake is an iconic sight. Boarding, I was immediately struck with a sense of history and grandeur, polished wood and gleaming brass on every side, accompanied by a grand piano and its accomplished player. There’s an extensive bar and comfortable booths to sit at, while a visit below allows you to witness the power and sophistication of this feat of engineering firsthand. You can’t get closer to the heart of the experience than on deck, where I was rewarded for braving the elements with a unique perspective of the surrounding countryside. The drive along the Wakatipu from Queenstown towards Glenorchy, which I’d experienced previously, is stunning, but by boat the journey has a quality that just can’t be replicated on land. The cruise ends at Walter Peak Station on the lake’s south-western shore, where the Earnslaw docks in the most picturesque place imaginable. Disembarking, I was able to wander around the working high country farm, admire the lovely lakeside gardens, and marvel at a completely different way of life. As one of the first farms set up in the region, the station at Walter Peak is evidence of the pioneering spirit that infuses the history of this remarkable country. I chose the evening crossing so that I could experience the gourmet BBQ dinner on offer, laid out at the Colonal’s Homestead. In lavish surroundings, I enjoyed delicious, fresh seafood and, upon tearing myself away from the clams, an astonishing array of other culinary delights, culminating in a beautiful choice of meat from the barbeque, cooked to perfection, with a variety of wines matching the meal for quality and a desert spread that took my breath away.





Shotover Valley, Queenstown IMAGE: Fraser Clements

You aint been to Queenstown if you haven't ridden the Cowboys' MECHANICAL BULL!

03 4092978 7 Searle Lane, Opp Joes Garage 71

TSS Earnslaw arrives at the Steamer Wharf in Queenstown IMAGE: Dan Childs

Platinum Queenstown offers luxury villa accommodation with: • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, laundry, spacious lounge/dining areas and lock-up garage

Contentedly full, I joined everyone by the shearing shed for a farming demonstration. The farmer, full of remarkable facts, commanded his dogs to round up the sheep from the paddock before taking us into the shed and shearing one with unexpected speed and agility. It’s certainly an experience for a city girl like me. The freshly-shorn wool is passed around before you’re given the opportunity to take some home with you in one of its many forms once it’s passed through the hands of skilled craftsmen.

• 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 or visit our website: 72 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

Back onboard, it’s a relaxing return cruise through the twilight, like something out of a dream. Your every surrounding seems to have transported you to a long-distant date, so that when you step off the ship back at the wharf in Queenstown, you feel as though you’ve left a bygone era behind. TO PAGE 75

LUXURY LIFESTYLE KNITWEAR Enjoy a unique New Zealand made boutique shopping experience in Queenstown at our luxury store Untouched World Queenstown. Featuring luxury design Men’s and Women’s clothing. 100% New Zealand Made featuring: Possum Merino and Silk Knitwear, Cashmere and Possum Knitwear, Alpaca and Possum Knitwear, Mountain SilkTM Our store also carries a range of Baby Lamb and Nappa Leather Jackets for Men and Women, along with New Zealand made giftwear and accessories.

CANADA GOOSE Featuring Arctic & Hybridge LiteTM Fall/Winter 2015 Ranges, Mens, Womens and Exclusive Black Label Styles Available Now

Eichardts Building, No. 1 The Mall, QUEENSTOWN Ph: 03 442 4992 E: Open 7 days from 9am 73

Almost 55 years ago in 1961, Mr Ian Hamilton had the strength of his convictions to construct a very steep road on which to carry visitors to the top of Bob’s Peak, overlooking Queenstown. A few years later in 1967, the first Gondola was opened and Skyline Queenstown hasn’t looked back. From those very humble beginnings, Skyline has grown into a world class visitor attraction and is one of the must do’s for anyone coming to Queenstown. The leisurely Gondola ride up a steep 450m vertical incline reveals stunning views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains. Once at the top, the views from every location are truly captivating and it’s worth spending some time just taking it all in. If you can tear yourself away from the view, feel the wind in your hair and experience the fun of the downhill luge next! A second chairlift takes visitors to the very top of the mountain from where riders depart in their luge carts and go flying down the track. A thrilling ride of twists and turns that leaves riders with grins from ear to ear.


Bookings essential, please email: or phone: +64 3 441 0101 74 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

If you are looking for a more relaxing way to spend the day, Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar is open for lunch and dinner, offering delicious food accompanied by spectacular views from every table. Indulge in fresh New Zealand produce and delectable desserts, before enjoying a glass of wine as the sun goes down. Guests can also enjoy the entertaining and educational Kiwi Haka show, which offers insight into Maori culture through traditional song and dance, followed by a guided Stargazing Tour. The southern night sky is truly beautiful and this is a unique and special way to spend an evening. Finish a perfect day with a Gondola ride back down to Queenstown’s glittering lights below.

Full steam ahead!

DID YOU KNOW? Nickname - The adventure capital of the world Population - 28, 224 Area - 8,704 km2 Main reason to visit: Adventure tourism Top attractions: Bungy Jumping and Gondola Fun fact: Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s longest lake

I’d suggest that no visit to the region, regardless of the other excitements to be sampled, is complete without this trip back in time, which gives you more to take away than a quick thrill or holiday snap. The sense that I’ve experienced Queenstown below the surface, that I’ve experienced something special that might not be there forever, stays with me as I leave town, intent on spreading the word that there’s magic, a time-machine, as well as an unforgettable meal, to be had over the lake. GTNZ

5 Star Apartments on the shores of Lake Wakatipu Hotel Rooms plus 1,2, & 3 Bedroom Apartments Just a 5 Minute Drive from Queenstown Contemporary Apartments with Stunning Lake Views Apartment

Mantra Marina Apartments +64 (3) 450 9096 875 Frankton Road, Queenstown, New Zealand 930075

ARROWTOWN: where history meets nature Picture perfect, Arrowtown is a living historic settlement. Established in 1862 during the height of the Otago Gold Rush, it still retains much of its original character. Today there are around 70 buildings and features left from the gold rush era and the town has a reputation as one of New Zealand’s most engaging places to visit. Visiting the Lakes District museum is a must, along with the Chinese Miners settlement at the edge of the gold-bearing Arrow River. As the Arrow River is said to be one of the world’s richest sources of alluvial gold, you best try your hand at gold panning too! There’s so much offered by nature’s outdoors around Arrowtown, that it’s almost silly. Walking, cycling, skiing, snowboarding and outstanding golf. Arrowtown is the best departure point for many renowned Queenstown walking trails. There are fifteen listed walks past mountains, rivers, forests, and lakes. Easy one hour strolls, and treks of several days in Lord of the Rings country where you can breathe the clear air and marvel at the surrounds. One of Arrowtown’s hidden secrets is that in the 250m of Buckingham Street are some of the best shopping outlets in New Zealand. Nearly every aspect is covered with speciality stores like the Jade and Opal Shop, The Gold Shop, exclusive design stores such as Cavitt & Co and Te Huia along with retail icons The Woolpress and Wallace & Gibbs where you will find some of New Zealand’s finest knitwear and apparel brands.

Arrowtown’s historic St Paul’s Anglican Church

The cafés and restaurants are second to none and you really are spoilt for choice with culinary delights! Head to Chop Shop Food Merchants for breakfast where you will find groovy decor an upbeat atmosphere, along with an outstanding menu. For lunch there’s the sunny courtyard at Slow Cuts - try the famous coconut fried chicken burger, or perhaps the slow roasted meat of the day. Try a famous pie from the Arrowtown Bakery and quench your thirst with a pint in the beer garden at the Fork & Tap. Finish your day with a cocktail at La Rumbla or perhaps a glass of Central Otago pinot noir at The Blue Door. The town is spectacular in any season, and it is easy to get to with regular bus services running from Queenstown, only 20minutes away. GTNZ

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The WoolPress stocks a range of exclusive knitwear designs by MerinoMinkTM, with Men’s and Women’s styles in possum/merino and alpaca mixes. Cold feet? Light, warm and luxurious UGGTM Australia ranges of lambskin boots, slippers and scuffs will take care of the problem. Luxurious Classic lambskin rugs and throws for decor furnishing, New Zealand made in a great range of sizes and colours. Icebreaker, New Zealand’s iconic Merino Brand, has produced a range of new innovations for this summer - ICEBREAKER Cool-LiteTM, Merino Corespun. Call in and feel the difference.

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40 Buckingham Street, ARROWTOWN Ph: 03 442 1355 Email: Tax Free overseas shipping service available. Open 7 days from 8.30am 77




DEEP CANYON A journey unlike any other by Dave Vass My customer Liz looks nervous. Funny that – I can’t understand why lying in the flow at the top of a ten-metre waterfall, with nothing between you and the deep pool at the bottom, would make anyone nervous. I have instructed her in everything she needs to know; keep your arms tucked in Liz and just let go...

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iz is the first to go down in a group of four, and all her friends are cheering her on and yet for some reason she just does not want to let go. I reassure her once again and ask if perhaps she would like a little push? Her eyes widen at the prospect (I never would - highly unprofessional) and she promptly lets go, whizzing quickly down the chute, letting out a loud scream terminating in a splash. There is a moment of quiet before we hear what is the normal response: a loud “wahoo!” and I look down to see Liz emerge from the pool, fist pumping the air. Another satisfied customer and the beginning of another great day in the canyon. This slide is near the beginning of our Niger Stream trip – a trip we do every day during the summer. It’s a great way to get the juices flowing early in the day. The rest of the group follow enthusiastically (always easier having watched someone!) and we are off again down the canyon. For most people, these trips are full of surprises and one of the biggest surprises of the day are the canyons themselves, specifically how beautiful they are. The canyons are hidden gems. Some 20,000 years ago these canyons were carved out of the schist bedrock by the meltwater of retreating glacier, into shapely and dramatic features. Clear emerald green pools are linked by spectacular waterfalls and the water-sculpted rock walls are overhung with native forest. Tucked away out of sight, the trips have a special ‘lost world’ feel. A range of techniques are required to descend the canyons, from jumping and sliding down chutes to scrambling over rocks and swimming through pools. The steeper sections of the canyons require the use of abseiling and all of these techniques are practised thoroughly before the descent commences. Today we will use them all. After the slide, we continue descending through a range of water-worn features, the first of which is another small slide into a tunnel. A narrow beam of sunlight reflects off the water and onto the darkened wall providing a mesmerising light show as we wade past. Soon after this there is the first of several abseils, which after some more nervous joking and fumbling, the group descend in fine style. The abseil finishes on a dry rock ledge from which it is possible to clamber around behind a waterfall. By the time I arrive, the group have already discovered the joys of diving off the ledge through the waterfall into the swirling green pool beneath. It seems that they are a bunch of water babies, and we spend some time mucking around in this beautiful spot. 79

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

The next abseil is the highest (about 30 metres), and the descent takes us through the full force of the waterfall and into another deep green pool, which requires a swim to exit. All fired up now, the group relish this extra bit of excitement and by the time I join them at the bottom they are jumping off the bank again. We spend about 20 minutes refining our bombs, cannonballs, staples and somersaults. This is one of the joys of canyoning – everyone becomes a 10-year-old! All this jumping has flushed our wetsuits with cold water, so we enjoy a cup of hot tea and chocolate before continuing down the next section, which to everyone’s delight is a series of invigorating zip lines that speed us over the top of some spectacular rapids. A competition develops – who can conjure up the silliest zip line style! Another slide, another small abseil and we are nearing the end of the trip, where everybody in the group decides to do the (optional) head first slide (!) and the last jump (seven metres). None of them can get enough of this, and each of them jumps several times more before I manage to drag them away. Oh - and then they all made animal noises across the final big zip line! We emerge back into the brightness of the day, and the group are surprised when I tell them what the time is – we’ve been in there for four hours, so it is no wonder we look so bedraggled! After de-robing, we give the wetsuits a quick wash before settling into a picnic lunch under our tarpaulin camp. As usual the debrief is hilarious, and the laughs and stories seem to continue most of the way home in the van (apart from the nameless ones who fell sleep – Eh Liz!). It’s been another day of high entertainment in one of Nature’s most beautiful playgrounds and another day where I feel I’ve just got the best job ever! GTNZ 80 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

world renowned blown glass and glass jewellery made by New Zealand glass artists Ola & Marie Höglund creators of New Zealand art glass since 1982 visitors welcome to Höglund Art Glass Gallery 9am - 5pm daily 1767 Luggate-Cromwell Road, Central Otago (between Wanaka and Cromwell) Ph. 03 442 7210 · mobile. 027 804 7454 shop online 81

Established in 1968, Wilkin River Jets along with Backcountry Helicopters are pioneers of shallow water jet boating and wilderness discovery in New Zealand Specialising in unique Kiwi experiences that are customised for you! A few of our favourites... Wilderness jet boating - two exciting rivers to explore - ADVENTURE! Exclusive helicopter tours/charters, you choose your adventure style - EXPERIENCE NZ! Milford and Fiordland - x3 landings - EXPLORE! World Heritage helicopter flight - stunning Mt Aspiring and glaciers - DISCOVERY! Exclusive mounting HUNTING and river FISHING FLY - WALK - JETBOAT! the internationally reknown Siberia and Jumboland Valley's Riverside Billy Tea Safari - Jetboat and wilderness picnic for families and small groups - FUN!

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PUZZLING WORLD The team at Wanaka’s Puzzling World have had a busy time not only with record visitor numbers but also with additions and improvements to welcome the summer crowds this year!

h t i w g n i s s Me your head since 1973

Hot on the heels of their award-winning illusion room extension, the entire façade of their famous ‘Tumbling Towers’ was replaced and the installation of another folly, aptly named, ‘The Impossible Steps’ ensures even more photo opportunities await! The ‘Leaning Tower of Wanaka’, along with the entire exterior and interior of all buildings has been refreshed with a new colour scheme and the ‘Great Maze’ has undergone a complete resurfacing, repainting and board replacement project. The business founder, Stuart Landsborough has had some of his prized puzzle collection re-housed in a brand new display and the History Wall addition celebrates the decades of change this iconic business has gone through. Information apps have been added allowing visitors to delve deeper into the fascinating stories and facts and a new exhibition based on how illusions are used in advertising is due to launch in December. “We’re conscious of the fact that our repeat customers genuinely want to see new things with each visit so we work hard to achieve this” says Operations Manager Duncan Spear. One thing is for sure, the bumper crowds due into Puzzling World this summer will easily see the efforts made on new developments and initiatives, ensuring the business that prides itself on continually evolving certainly won’t disappoint!

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Air Safaris Nomad alongside Mount Cook

A grand TRAVERSE by Anneka De Luca Sitting just outside the ever popular alpine village of Lake Tekapo in the Mackenzie region of New Zealand’s South Island is the country’s highest registered airport sitting 760metres above sea level. Owned and operated by the Rayward family, Air Safaris have been operating scenic flights from this very spot since 1974.

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owever, this is not the beginning of Air Safaris. The company was initially established four years prior in the Rangitata River headwaters at Mesopotamia Station, operating flights for hunting, fishing, photography and outdoor experience trips in remote locations using airstrips and outback huts. Four men with a passion for the high country and sharing their back yard, a single Cessna 180 aircraft and the right charter and scenic licenses meant Air Safaris were able to fly local hunters, and overseas visitors to remote locations on Mesopotamia, as well as provide transfers between Mt Cook and other aerodromes around New Zealand. Soon after, scenic flights into the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks to showcase New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers, as well as trips as far as Milford Sound, were frequently operated from Mesopotamia. With tourism in New Zealand on the rise, the company began expanding their scenic flying operation with an upgrade in aircraft to a new and larger Cessna 185, and 1974 established what is now their current base at Lake Tekapo, along the main tourist route between Christchurch and Queenstown. Thus, the Grand Traverse took off; 50 minutes of pure New Zealand, exploring an

otherwise inaccessible area and home to our highest mountains and largest glaciers. The development at Lake Tekapo began with the construction of the company’s airport close to Lake Tekapo Township, and a small reception booking office located in the township. Over the next few years into the late 70’s the operation expanded rapidly and a call for more aircraft was made; two new five-passenger Cessna 206 aircraft were quickly added to the Cessna 185. A major step forward, and the beginning of the company’s philosophy of using larger, quieter turbine powered aircraft, was the introduction of a ten-passenger Swiss made Pilatus Turbo Porter. For several years after the addition of the Porter both this aircraft and the 185 were equipped with retractable skis during the winter months to provide the ability to land skiers at the local Round Hill Tekapo ski field and further afield to previously inaccessible alpine spots. By the early 80’s another aircraft upgrade was needed, and the smaller Cessna 185 and 206s were slowly replaced with larger Cessna 207s carrying up to 6 or 7 passengers at a time. The mid-80s was also the start of Air Safaris building a collection of what would become iconic aircraft with the addition of

the first Nomad. With 15 passengers all with their own window seat in a larger twin turbo prop powered high wing aircraft, the N24A Nomad brought a new standard to scenic flights in the area. The company began steadily building the Nomad fleet from 1982 until they were operating five throughout the 1990’s, two of which were regularly used for scheduled services along local routes for Air Nelson, Mt Cook Airlines, and the Air NZ Link network. Through a busy decade in the 90’s Air Safaris also decided to expand their operation to include a base in the west coast town of Franz Josef. When invited to purchase a small aviation operation at Franz Josef, Air Safaris seized the opportunity by upgrading the small shingle airstrip to a sealed runway with terminal facilities, and began operating their Grand Traverse from there with a new, larger aircraft. The new millennium was the next turning point and the most recent change in aircraft for Air Safaris. In 2002, the company was able to assess a newly available Australian aircraft, the Gippsaero GA8 Airvan - an aircraft with seven passenger seats, high wings and each seat sporting its own large window making it ideal for scenic opera-

Franz Airport 85

Tekapo Aerodrome

tions. Seeing this as a far superior scenic aircraft to the now aging Cessna 207’s, Air Safaris purchased their first Airvan and at the same time replaced one of the Nomads with the highly regarded, large single turbo prop 13 passenger Cessna 208B Grand Caravan. Through the early 2000’s, as the contract scheduled services phased out, Air Safaris began downsizing the Nomad fleet while also replacing all the smaller Cessna’s with the new larger Airvans to establish the fleet as it is today. With two 15-passenger Nomads, the Grand Caravan and four Gippsland Airvans, along with a small helicopter offering variation and enhancement to the operation, together with excellent airport facilities at Lake Tekapo and Franz Josef, Air Safaris has capacity and capability to be proud of.

Tekapo Ski Field circa 1970

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So in 2015, as they leave behind their 45th year in operation (their 41st from Lake Tekapo) and in a few months mark their 20th year in Franz Josef, Air Safaris have a lot to celebrate – come and join them to see it all for yourself. GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 26, 020 Area - 14, 491 km2 Main reason to visit: Hiking and cycling Top attraction: Aoraki Mount Cook Fun fact: Aoraki Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand 87

CHRISTCHURCH IMAGES: Christchurch Casino

PREMIER entertainment by Benjamin Soloman At the tail-end of a week-long business trip in Christchurch my business partner Joel and I were both of the mind of having a night out on the town. Our stay at Peppers Clearwater had been faultless, the rooms were beautifully appointed and everything we needed was at our fingertips so it was no surprise when the helpful concierge told us that a shuttle is available to transport guests to the Christchurch Casino for a hassle-free evening’s entertainment.

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t has been several years since either of us had set foot in the Christchurch Casino and it was great to see its welcoming well-lit frontage on Victoria Street which is a blend of the new and the old as a result of a property-wide refurbishment since my last visit. We were warmly greeted at reception where I promptly checked my coat so as to better spend my night unencumbered. Undecided as to where to dine, the receptionist suggested we have a wander around and get a feel for what was on offer, and so we did. It was interesting to see the changes that had taken place over the years with exciting additions such as the Baccarat Lounge. The décor is a lush red and gold and the tables are imprinted with numbers and Chinese characters to be deciphered by the players. It was early in the evening, however several gentlemen were at the tables and wholly intent upon their strategizing. My business partner Joel’s stomach was rumbling and he was keen to check out

our dining options, so we moved on to the Chi Kitchen with its stunning Chinese themed décor and warm intimate lighting. The aroma permeating the restaurant was mouth-watering. Unfortunately for us the word is out about how good the chef is here, and the tables were full of a mixture of couples and groups, clearly enjoying their night out. Joel was now looking faint with hunger so we moved quickly on upstairs to the Gallery where we found the Monza Sports Bar and the best classic margherita pizza I have tasted in a long time. Although spacious with many leaners and tables, the bar also included cosy leather booths, just perfect for kicking back for a couple of hours and having a few drinks over a meal. In our case, we had the craft beers Monza cleverly matches according to the type of pizza chosen. The bar filled up as the evening progressed and all were in good spirits. The Christchurch Casino is well-known for having a dress-code and priding itself upon

its strong sense of host responsibility. Honestly, it just feels safe to let your hair down and enjoy a night out here – no one imposes on any one else’s good time – everyone is intent on having fun. Feeling revived, Joel was keen to pop back downstairs to the Valley Bar to check out the live band and maybe have a flutter on one of the 500 gaming machines sported by Christchurch Casino. The machines are positively futuristic-looking - definitely not the antiquated “pokies” I have seen in pubs on occasion. Brightly lit, the machines are enticing – some with huge interactive screens. While Joel had his fun, I moved through to the main gaming room and soon spied what I was looking for, so off to the cashier to exchange money for chips and then on to the tutorial table for a lesson in Blackjack. I have never played and always had a romantic notion of how cool it looked from movies. It was a relief to be shown the basics so as not to feel like a fool in front of more experienced

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players. The tutor, Sam, was brilliant – very engaging and patient and I soon felt more confident and able to move on to the real deal. I cannot say I walked away richer for the experience, but I did have a little more in my pocket after cashing my chips in than I started with!

Christchurch Casino’s Chi Kitchen

I joined Joel in the Valley Bar where we deliberated over whether to finish our night off with a decadent dessert in the Grand Cafe or with a cocktail in the Valley Bar. Cocktails won as we were both still feeling too satisfied after our dinner to do justice to the tempting desserts on offer. It was a great way to wind up the night; listening to some live music, shaking off the week’s work and trying a delicious cocktail or two. At the end of the night we rendezvoused with our reliable shuttle and headed contentedly back to Peppers. The Christchurch Casino has been a familiar sight in Christchurch for the past 21 years and over time has formed strong ties and partnerships with various charities and sports through sponsorship and fund raising. In 2015 for the third consecutive year, the Christchurch Casino was the recipient of an award for Host Responsibility and it is very clear from the moment you walk through the doors that the staff are happy to be there and their priority is to make sure patrons enjoy themselves in a safe and fun environment. So whatever your reason is to celebrate, go ahead and do it at the Christchurch Casino, Christchurch’s premier entertainment venue. GTNZ 91



ESCAPE into the wilderness by Johanna MacDaniel Ever felt you wanted to have a complete break, leave the world behind and wander in the mountains for a few days, without leaving all creature comforts behind? A privately-owned wilderness walk in the Seaward Kaikoura mountain range offers their guests this unique getaway-from-it-all experience.

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aikoura Wilderness Walks has to be one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. Accompanied by your guide, you will venture through the internationally renowned Puhi Peaks Nature Reserve, with the knowledge that you are the only people in 8,000 acres of magnificent landscape. At the end of the day we will have learned some of the secrets of this spectacular area. Our walk begins at the historic Puhi Peaks Station, here we are greeted by our guides Sam and Matt along with owner Nicky McArthur. A warm welcome is followed by a briefing in the old woolshed giving us not only a sense of what might lie ahead, but also touching on the relevant history of the area, Puhi Peaks Station and the McArthur family involvement here. This three-day walk promises to be varied and full of surprises and my instinct tells me I am not going to be disappointed. Our trail today will finish at Shearwater Lodge, but our walk will have taken us high into the alpine terrain by the time we finish our adventure in the Seaward Kaikoura mountains. We depart the Woolshed with our guides Matt and Sam to start our walk through the nature reserve. Knowing that Puhi Peaks Station embraces the highest privately owned land in New Zealand, and that Shearwater Lodge lies at 1000m on the upper bush edge, I am pleased to see our bags departing with Nicky on the 4WD side by side! Carrying only a light day pack and my camera at the ready we set off into bush to discover what lies ahead. We walk through local bush of mountain and black beech, manuka and kanuka,

ferns, rimu and lancewood. As we climb higher the bush becomes denser and emerald green mosses and blue grey lichens surround us. By the time we reach Totara Saddle we are ready for a break and are delighted to find a lunch shelter with an elaborate picnic awaiting us. Whilst we enjoy the sunshine and the majestic view of Te ao Whekere, the local mountain, Sam chats to us about the Hutton’s shearwaters, Kaikoura’s very own bird. This extraordinary seabird is the only one in New Zealand to nest in the mountains, where it breeds in two wild colonies at 1800m. As we look at the nearly vertical rocky slopes above us it is hard to imagine this as the ideal nesting ground! Sam explains that pigs have wiped out eight of the ten last known colonies over the past 40 years and this one only remains because of its inaccessibility to the pigs. As we are to later learn, conservation, preservation and education are paramount for Nicky and her family who are committed to environmentally sound practices in all areas of the business. “Amongst other initiatives we generate almost no landfill from our operation and are very proud of this,” says Nicky. The Qualmark Enviro Gold endorsement is testament to her whole approach to tourism and she believes balance is the key to the way forward; “...we are only ever lent this land, and we have a huge responsibility to act as caretakers and guardians.” Replete and all the better informed, our afternoon walk winds upward along the true right bank of Shearwater Stream. Beech and Totara surround us as the valley

narrows and we climb towards Shearwater Lodge. Later, as we cross Happy Valley stream Sam offers us all a swim in one of the dramatic pools below Beverley Falls. One of our fellows is tempted and I decide to be a spectator to their brief and clearly refreshing swim; there is still snow on the surrounding hills and its presence must be affecting the water temperature. Arrival at Shearwater Lodge is without doubt a surprise to all. Sam tells us many a guest has asked how on earth it got here. Over the sumptuous afternoon tea awaiting us on the balcony table, Sam gives us some background to the construction of Shearwater lodge. He had worked on it himself with his older brother during their Easter holidays in 2004 alongside local builders. “The logistics were quite something and it was great to see timber from the farm being used in parts of the building over the year until we finally opened for New Year in 2005.” The lodge is larger than I expected but it is has a wonderful homely feel with all the stunning local timber, sumptuous and inviting leather couches, pure luxury in an alpine environment. After a welcome hot shower I join the other guests around the fire now roaring in the stone fireplace, to share stories of the day. Wine in hand accompanied by delicious pre-dinner canapés prepared by Nicky (who is also a cordon bleu chef) I can only say I feel extraordinarily relaxed and somewhat spoilt; this is definitely “sophisticated wilderness”. At dinner, seating is assigned at one long table and new-found friends share fine food and wine as plans are made for the following day. It is a leisurely start to the day over a continental or a cooked breakfast for those

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 3, 860 Area - 2, 046 km2 Main reason to visit: Fishing and sea life Top attraction: Marine mammals Fun fact: In Maori legend, Maui placed his foot on Kaikoura to steady himself while he “fished-up” the North Island. 93

requiring more sustenance. Matt gives us only a few clues to what the day might hold. Whilst we were putting on our boots I noticed a slight chill to the air and the guide offered words of questionable comfort – “don’t worry, you’ll soon warm up, its uphill straight away!” However, the second day turns out to be a relaxed day of walking. We head up into Happy Valley, arriving at an alpine meadow completely covered in yellow mountain star lilies and daisies and here we visit the “wedding tree”. Sam shares that “this is one of mum’s favourite spots and we had our first wedding here last year.” As we climb higher and higher tiny edelweiss and white gentians appear. Sam points out groups of red deer and a couple of goats, saying that if we are lucky we might just sight a Chamois. Matt shares “we have a robust culling programme for goats, and manage our deer population too to try and find a balance that allows for some good regeneration of our native bush.” Hunting is permitted during the off-season for walking (starting in March and ending in October) to give the hinds a chance to fawn. Our lunchtime goal, the 1535 m summit of Surveyor’s Peak is gratefully achieved and we are not disappointed with the outstanding views from Bank’s Peninsula to the North Island. The day is a perfect blue dome day and I feel blessed to be here “in the World of the Gods” which Sam explains is one of the meanings of the name of the mountains nearby. It has been an incredible three days – we have moved up and down through several ecosystems and witnessed amazing alpine vistas. We have seen unique flora and fauna, scrambled around waterfalls, crossed streams, leaped down a scree slope, enjoyed great company and been cared for at a level that would not disgrace a five-star hotel. What a very civilized way to enjoy this remote and unique wilderness area. GTNZ

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INDULGENT Marlborough by Kate Asplet Whether you’re a wine lover with a passion for matching cuisine with great quality wine or just love to eat and drink, then Marlborough will surprise and delight you and your taste buds.

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“Set in the heart of one of Marlborough’s oldest vineyards, Brancott Estate,


divine local cuisine, relax in the sun and listen to some of New Zealand’s leading musicians


arlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region, producing 75% of New Zealand’s wine and specialising in Sauvignon Blanc. Superb Pinot Noir, methode traditionelle, Chardonnay and aromatics round off Marlborough’s brilliant palate.

the heart of one of Marlborough’s oldest vineyards, Brancott Estate, you will get the opportunity to sample world-class wines, divine local cuisine, relax in the sun and listen to some of New Zealand’s leading musicians. 2016’s acts include New Zealand artists Ladi6 and Tahuna Breaks.

What better place to sample a unique selection of these than at the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival on February 13th 2016. The Marlborough Wine & Food Festival just so happens to be New Zealand’s original and longest running wine festival. Set in

Budding wine connoisseurs won’t want to miss one of the wine tutorials, run by some of the region’s leading winemakers, and discerning foodies will want to catch the celebrity chef cooking demonstrations over in the culinary pavilion to pick up a few tips.

The Marlborough Wine and Food Festival is certainly a brilliant day out, and 2016 will be a festival you won’t want to miss. After spending a day in the sun at the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival, head out and explore the Marlborough Sounds, home to one-fifth of New Zealand’s coastline. When you arrive in Picton, visit the Picton i-SITE or head down to the foreshore and jump in a kayak, water taxi, yacht, launch or mail boat, and explore the vast waterways of the Marlborough Sounds. There are endless cruising options, and boating is brilliant in summer. 97

IMAGE: Mike Heydon

E x p e r i e n c e t h e be a ut y o f t h e

QUEEN CHARLOTTE SOUND in M arlborough Ne w Zeal and

E s cap e to th e nat ural beauty and tranquillity of the M a rlborough Sounds and e nj oy the ho s pit al it y o f P unga Cove and Fur neax Lodg e. B oth re sor ts of fe r a ra n ge of acco mmodat i o n options to suit all budgets and are on th e route of th e i c o n ic Qu e en Ch a rlot t e Track. Hike, m ountain bike, swi m with dolph ins, dive s u n ke n shi ps , or jus t k i ck back and relax with us. C ont a c t u s today to enquire about our specials and p ackag es

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FEATURING THE MAGIC MAIL RUN Scheduled Sightseeing Cruises Queen Charlotte Track Transfers Out on the water, there’s the chance for a quiet fish, or simply pick up a book and read out on a secluded beach.

One Day and Multi Day Cruise & Walk Packages

There’s nothing like exploring the Sounds close up so grab a kayak and paddle around the bays and beaches – make sure you keep your eyes open for pods of dolphins, diving gannets and occasionally even Orca. If you feel like going a bit further afield opt for a guided kayak; you definitely won’t get lost, and your guide will have plenty of stories about the area to keep you entertained.

Private Boat Charters

If you are more a land lover, and walking or biking is more your thing, then Picton and the Marlborough Sounds have plenty of short walks and bike tracks on offer. You could even treat yourself to a short walk or bike along the renowned Queen Charlotte Track. If you would rather stick to sampling Marlborough’s fine wine and delicious cuisine but with a different view, jump on board a water taxi from Picton and head out to one of the many lodges. Enjoy a delicious lunch in a breath-taking setting while soaking up the sun and amazing sea views. Nothing beats relaxing on the beach after lunch so make sure you take along a hat and a good book.

Queen Charlotte Sound Lodge & Holiday Home Transfers On-Demand Water Taxi Service



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Later on in the afternoon, catch a ride back to Picton with one of the many water taxis, or better yet, treat yourself to a night at one of the resorts. Waking up to stunning sunrise while listening to the morning chorus is a must-do while you are in Marlborough. That’s quite a mouthful, but just a selection of what is on offer this summer in Marlborough and it’s all here waiting for you to enjoy. Plan your summer holiday today: visit and discover that Marlborough certainly lives up to its regional slogan - it is Brilliant Every Day! GTNZ

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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IMAGE: Camilla Rutherford




(EST. 1997)

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Famous New Zealand Green Lip Mussels Located in the hear� of Havelock

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Opening hours: Lunch from 10:30am & Dinner from 5:30pm w w w . t h e


NELSON Abel Tasman National Park IMAGE: Gareth Eyres

THE PERFECT escape by Mark Merriman Perhaps like many office-bound New Zealanders, I indulge in daydream fantasies of the places I would rather be, paradisaical locations that beckon from the glossy photos of the smoko room calendar or screen saver. Luckily for us Kiwis, many of these places are within a couple of hours’ flight of wherever you happen to be. For me, the destination that I have longed for the most, with its promise of golden sand beaches and pristine turquoise waters is the Abel Tasman National Park.

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inally, the dream becomes reality. A weekend escape to Nelson finds me bedding down at The Resurgence, a beautiful native forest valley eco-lodge, named for the nearby Riwaka River source, and just a few minutes from Kaiteriteri Beach, surely one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and the best way to access the Abel Tasman. I am being massaged through my fantasy by the friendly crew at Kaiteriteri Kayaks and Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle. I have chosen a ‘Heart Of The Park’ trip, which involves an

exciting combination of Sea Shuttle boat cruise, a forest and beach walk and a guided sea kayak journey. Perfect!

both entertaining and factual, and we visit a formation known as Split Apple Rock and a Fur Seal colony along the way.

Kaiteriteri is such a beautiful spot, it’s almost a shame to leave the bay on the 9:00 am Sea Shuttle, but I am soon looking forward as we head north into the park; a panorama of pretty islands and shimmering, idyllic beaches unfolding before us.

As I travel deeper into the park, I realise that the Abel Tasman is one of those places that is better than the photos, a paradise more beautiful than I had expected. I wonder if there is another country in the world with the compact diversity and variety that New Zealand enjoys.

The Sea Shuttle crew are professional yet not too formal and seem to be enjoying themselves as much as I am. The commentary is

Right in the middle of the Tonga Island Marine Reserve, we arrive at Onetahuti Beach


Abel Tasman National Park 104 Go Travel NZ 路 Summer 2015

and using a rather ingenious unfolding ramp system the boat places my fellow adventurers and me gently onto the sand. Apparently, the ramp is an invention of the company’s founder, a local chap whose family builds and maintains the boats themselves. The boat glides away leaving us in peace on this long and deserted beach. I take a moment to absorb it all and tell myself that finally, “I’ve arrived”, here I am, after years of wishing, barefoot on the sand under the sun and azure skies of a perfect spring day in the Abel Tasman National Park. There are a few others on the same trip, and it’s about 90 minutes’ walk to Bark Bay, where we will meet our kayak guide. A lovely section of track with great views takes us to historic Tonga Quarry Beach, where the stone was once quarried for the parliament buildings in Wellington and the steps leading to Nelson’s Cathedral.

Abel Tasman National Park Scenic Cruises and Water Taxis Enjoy the best... 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: 105

world renowned blown glass and glass jewellery made by New Zealand glass artists Ola & Marie H枚glund creators of New Zealand art glass since 1982 visitors welcome to H枚glund Glassblowing Studio 10am - 5pm daily 52 Lansdowne Road, Richmond 7081, Nelson Ph. 03 544 6500 路 mobile. 027 804 7454 shop online

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From here we appreciate the cool shade of the Beech forest while climbing then descending into delightful Bark Bay, where Richard our kayak guide, all smiles and relaxed humour is waiting with our double seated kayaks, and lunch! Following a yummy lunch and coffee, and a reassuring safety briefing we hit the water. Somehow I have ended up in the front seat of the kayak, which makes for an unobstructed view, and I don’t have to worry about steering. The paddling pace is casual and relaxed, with Richard entertaining us with anecdotes and natural history. There is something deeply pleasing about drifting silently through the shallows close to shore, with the sea whispering onto the sand and the textures and colours of the sea floor easily visible through the clear, sparkling water. Luckily, the tide is high, so we can explore several sheltered lagoons, with the highlight being the jungle-like Falls River with its large Rimu trees and mossy forest. We even spotted a rare Blue Duck. We arrive at Anchorage, a large and popular beach where the Sea Shuttle arrives to see us safely back to Kaiteriteri. Reflecting on the day from within the bubbly embrace of the spa pool back at the Resurgence, I feel wholly satisfied, as if I have added something to myself somehow, and formed a new and intimate relationship with a part of my country that I only wish I had met earlier. Go there‌ GTNZ

Free Ph: 0800 157 300 Local: 03 545 0304 107



IMAGES: The NZ Fringe Festival

GRASS-ROOTS arts and culture by Gerard Campbell New Zealand’s largest fringe arts festival, which celebrated 25 years at this year’s edition of the festival, will take place again in the capital during February and March next year. Wellington’s New Zealand Fringe Festival was first held in 1990 and 25 years on, touts itself as Wellington’s biggest little arts festival, held for three weeks every year between February and March. It was founded by the then manager of the BATS Theatre Company and was originally called The BATS Fringe Fest. Well-known Fringe acts include Flight of the Conchords, Rhys Darby, Dai Henwood and Footnote Dance. 108 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015


un by the Creative Capital Arts Trust in Wellington, which was set up in 2011 to help grow the event, the 22-day festival showcases grass-roots arts and entertainment and next year’s festival, which runs from Friday, February 12 to Saturday, March 5, will feature music, cabaret, street theatre, visual arts, digital arts, poetry and comedy. In January, 2014, the festival was named one of National Geographic magazine’s “10 Must Do in February” festivals. The magazine described the festival as a “grassroots event” that serves as a launch pad for new talent by accepting anyone who has the audacity to perform in front of an audience. “Take the plunge yourself, if you dare, or simply discover the next big thing,” National Geographic said. In November the same year, it won the Wellington Airport Regional Community Award for Arts and Culture. Since 2011, the festival has grown hugely, gaining in popularity and support. The NZ Fringe Festival is an open-platform event, which means artists pay a one-off registration fee then the festival’s team provides marketing, practical information, and one-on-one advice. Artists create, produce and present their own works, and performances can range from audio, busking, cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, improvisation, music, online, physical theatre, poetry, puppetry, spoken word/story telling, theatre, visual and digital art. TO PAGE 111

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: W:


A successful career in banking may not be the usual route to becoming a tour guide, but for John Barry of Capital Personalised Tours, that’s how it worked out. An enjoyable part of his banking role included touring visiting bankers through the North Island for a few days before their meetings, paving the way to a satisfying new career. Captial Personalised Tours cater to those looking for the personal touch, taking visitors to the Wellington region out in smaller groups. John describes his guiding style as “professional and relaxed”, with clients becoming more like friends by the end of the day. A typical day involves collecting clients from their hotel or cruise ship in a luxury 4WD, and spending the rest of the day showing off the city and its sights. Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop is very popular, and you can avoid lengthy queues with a pre-booked tour. Hiring a guide is particularly beneficial for visitors on a tight time frame, such as cruise ship passengers. A guide can take them to all the best places in a day, plus impart useful information about the city and its people. A personalised guide is on hand to attend to any requirements guests might have, and answer any questions. A good tour guide enjoys what they do, and is skilled at picking up on the interests and needs of his customers to ensure they get the most out of their visit. “The best part of my job is interacting with my guests during the day. It’s amazing where a good conversation can lead, and the knowledge that can be shared”, says John. For bookings, contact John Barry at Capital Personalised Tours · 021 280 2406

Showcasing Wellington and beyond with the personal touch. Travelling in a dedicated luxury 4WD for your group, we offer a range of personalised tours to help you get the most out of your visit to Wellington

For Pricing, Information & bookings visit: or call / email: +64 21 280 2406 ·

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The festival’s director Hannah Clarke described the festival as a “150 independently produced productions over 22 days in Wellington with over 1000 presentations in work.” Artists come from New Zealand and around the world, taking over cafes, parks, street corners and bars with their performances and there are no limits: Performers are encouraged to take risks and be creative and there are no constraints on their work. This year’s festival featured puppets, ghosts, cups of tea, radio shows, a nest, Shakespeare, mind-reading hotdogs, hillbillies, fan-fiction, divas and a paintball fight. “We’re very different [from other arts festivals] because the productions are independent. All the artists can try something new and we have artists coming who travel the world working at fringe festivals. We sit at the fringe of mainstream art, with cutting-edge performances, not traditional stuff”, Hannah said. Hannah said performances at next year’s festival to keep an eye out for included an audio tour of a central city New World supermarket - “It’s like a museum audio tour but for a supermarket” - a one-man puppet show and a father-daughter production. Twenty percent of the festival’s performances will be held at the BATS Theatre’s renovated premises, Hannah said, with ticket prices range from $15 to $18 and shows that are less than an hour long. “We’ve worked as hard as we can to make the festival accessible so we can get artists to Wellington,” Hannah said, “Experience is what it is all about: Both for audiences and artists. I love it so much. It’s a vital part of the cultural landscape of Wellington”. GTNZ

The 2016 NZ Fringe Festival runs from February 12 to March 5. More info:


Hawkes Bay


Picture PERFECT by Betsie Pie Less than 24 hours after arriving on New Zealand soil, I am trekking through pine needles on a brisk Hawke’s Bay morning. I eagerly follow my trusted guide, as he waves an antenna towards the ground. Soon there is digging and the downward shining of torchlight. Next, I am cuddling a real live kiwi - the cutest and the calmest little bird I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Welcome to The Farm at Cape Kidnappers.

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“We woke in our hillside bungalow to the most incredible of views; green pastures and rolling hills dotted with sheep, STRETCHED AS FAR AS THE EYE COULD SEE TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN BEYOND


t was dusk as we arrived at The Farm the evening before, fresh off a long-haul flight. Driving through the nondescript wooden gates and up the winding drive to the lodge, I could be forgiven for thinking I was still in California; the Redwood Forests came to mind. Stunning scenery gave way to darkness just as we approached the main lodge, a series of impressive farm buildings glimmering on the hilltop. Experiencing just how exhilaratingly beautiful New Zealand is would have to wait until daylight.

We woke in our hillside bungalow to the most incredible of views; green pastures and rolling hills dotted with sheep, stretched as far as the eye could see to the Pacific Ocean beyond. Absolutely worth travelling half-way around the world to see the killer views Hawke’s Bay puts on. One of the dilemmas (read “first-world problems”) for guests at the Relais & Châteaux luxury lodge, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is choosing from amongst the many unique activities on offer at the 6000-acre working farm. The Tom Doak designed Cape Kidnap-

pers Golf Course is ranked among the best in the world, so should we make tracks to this famed course and see what all the fuss is about? We know that the Hawke’s Bay wine region produces some of New Zealand’s finest drops; I’ve been told by friends that local outfit Bay Heliwork offer a fabulous way to take in a number of top vineyard cellar doors while enjoying aerial views of the stunning landscape. Perhaps a heli-tour after a round of golf? We added these to our list of activities for the next few days. And who knew that this luxury lodge shares its backyard with 20,000 gannets, the largest


The dramatic coastline


Designed by Commander John Harris in 1969, this wildlife-rich course set on 142 acres, boasts magnificent views and wide, tree-lined fairways, New players welcome. - 06 879 8890 - 06 879 8892

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such colony in the Southern Hemisphere? A visit to the gannet colony with local tour company Gannet Safaris sounds “Nat Geo” fascinating, and alone would be worth the journey. We are beginning to think we should have stayed here a week. Meanwhile, a lesser-known activity aroused my interest. The Farm’s Kiwi Discovery Walk gives lodge guests the rare chance to do something few New Zealanders ever do – get up close and personal with the country’s national bird – the kiwi. I am fascinated and immediately want to know more. I soon learnt that The Farm at Cape Kidnappers owner, New York financier and philanthropist Julian Robertson has a lot to be proud of. After all, he and his family are the owners of not one but three of New Zealand’s very best lodges – The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri Lodge. However, Robertson has really done something positive for his adopted country with the Cape Reserve project at Cape Kidnappers. It’s no wonder the New Zealand government made him an honorary knight. Fundamental to the Cape Reserve’s success was the erection of the predator-proof fence. Robertson partnered with the owner of a neighbouring farm to build a predator-proof fence around the property, allowing Cape Kidnappers to become a safe-haven for not just the national bird, but all manner of birdlife. We toast this far-sighted endeavour most afternoons with a glass of the local Gimblett Gravels Syrah as we relax on our hillside suite deck, revelling in the birdsong. The Kiwi Discovery Walk, the brainchild of kiwi conservationist Dr.John McLennan, is one of the star attractions for Lodge guests. After a hearty breakfast on our first day, we meet John and his wife Sue to head out in search of kiwi. Dr. John waves his trusted tracking device/antenna in the air as we listen closely for beeps. Presto! Soon, with Sue’s help we are brushing pine needles and soil aside and looking down at a small creature. The three-month-old kiwi is lifted from its cozy cocoon and handed to me for my promised cuddle of the national treasure. I feed him a huhu grub and watch as he savours the delicacy. It’s an Instagram moment from heaven. Meanwhile, we learn from John and Sue just how important the Reserve is to the future of the kiwi. By funding the 10.5-kilometre predator-proof fence that secures around 2500ha, and employing rangers to set traps and patrol the property, Robertson has regenerated the vibrancy of the wildlife for all to enjoy. John and Sue tell us that in the wild, around 95 percent of kiwi die from predator attacks. Kiwi can thrive in many locations, as long as they are protected from attack. Not only has Cape Kidnappers become a home for a rotating tribe of protected


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

kiwis, but colonies of seabirds that inhabited this coastline before humans arrived have returned. We also learn about other conservation projects such as the “Rough Block”, an area on the Cape Kidnappers farm set aside to regenerate into native bush. Many indigenous plants including Manuka and Kanuka trees thrive here, along with rare and near-extinct birds and reptiles. We hear tales of sightings of kiwi feathers on the lawns and tiny kiwi footprints in the golf bunkers, so relaxed are these nocturnal creatures in their now protected home. Clearly the national bird feels safe and happy on the farm, much as we do. They say travel expands your mind and enriches your life with new experiences. The Kiwi Discovery Walk at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is a truly unique and quintessentially New Zealand experience. If Instagram “likes” are a test of popularity, the “holding a kiwi” moment may well be the stand-out activity from an extraordinary North Island New Zealand holiday. GTNZ

Hawke's Bay's ultimate luxury boutique hotel Twelve magnificent suites, landscaped gardens, spa retreat and renowned restaurant Open 7 days for breakfast and dinner (and weekend lunches)


466 Napier Road, Havelock North P. 06 8783234 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

Mohaka Rafting R Mohaka Get out into the backcountry of Hawke’s Bay to experience some of the best whitewater rafting New Zealand has on offer. The stunning Mohaka River gorge, home to Mohaka Rafting, offers everything from scenic half-day grade 2 raft and duckie (inflatable kayak) trips, to the best grade 4/5 rafting in the county. ‘Whitewater Plunge’, a full day grade 3 adventure starts with easier grade 2 rapids, and builds to great grade 3 rapids. This is their “fun run” where those that wish to can, swim rapids, cliff jump and walk into a gold mine. The grade 3 is a great scenic trip where rafters can either chose to relax and watch others, or indulge in the challenge-by-choice activities. Known as ‘The Big One’, the grade 4/5 section of the Mohaka is a challenging, beautiful and less travelled part of the river. More difficult than the other sections, it requires paddlers to be attentive and active in the rafts. During higher flows, the majority of the rocks are covered with water creating waves and hydraulics all around, taking you through some of the most spectacular gorges in the North Island. Regardless of your experience on the water, Mohaka Rafting guide you through the process, and offer trips for all ages and abilities.

Mohaka Rafting offers an unparalleled North Island rafting experience. The stunning Mohaka River gorge has everything from scenic half-day grade 2 raft trips, full day grade 3 adventures to the best grade 4/5 rafting New Zealand has to offer.

More info & booking, visit: Tel: 06 839 1808 3408 State Highway 5, Napier 4182




Aerial view of New Plymouth & Mount Taranaki IMAGE: Rob Tucker

Summer of FUN by Gillian Crawford I’m lucky enough to have a job that lets me travel this glorious country for months at a time. I always make sure I’m in Taranaki over the summer months, because there is so much to see and do! For starters, there is the annual TSB Bank Festival of the Lights, which kicks off mid-December and runs through to the end of January. The iconic Pukekura Park becomes a wonderland of light, colour and intrigue as the lights come on and the evening entertainment programme starts - bands, shows, markets and plenty of stuff for the kids. 118 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015


rtistic light installations grace the two main lakes and a marked circular trail wends its way over the historic Poets Bridge taking in such sights as the waterwheel, fountain, waterfall and on past the Hatchery Lawn, boatshed, fernery and the Tea House. Little rowboats, lit with fairy lights slowly circumnavigate the main lake, and squeals of delight escape from the families within. Kids just love this festival – not only for the chance to stay up a little bit late but possibly because there is a rather rude snoring giant hidden amongst the trees! In early February, the NZ TropFest short-film finals screen at the Bowl of Brooklands. If you haven’t been to a concert or event here, then you are seriously missing out! Rated one of New Zealand’s most iconic entertainment venues, you really need to make the effort to attend at least one event here in your lifetime! TropFest is a good one, as it is free and super entertaining. New Zealand filmmakers, film buffs and plain old lovers of a free night’s entertainment all get together to watch the best New Zealand short films. A picnic is de rigueur, and a cosy blanket for snuggling under is a must once the sun goes down. The Bowl also plays host to my all time favourite music festival – WOMAD. The World of Music, Art and Dance in mid-March has been hosted here for more years than I can remember, and once you’ve been to one, you will become a regular. This 3-day event is amazing and attracts big names from around the world; Sinead O’Connor, Arrested Development, Soweto Gospel Choir, Buena Vista Social Club, Xavier Rudd, Rufus Wainwright, Kora, and many more. Yes - there are many artists you may not have heard of, but I can almost guarantee they will quickly grace your favourites playlist afterwards!

WOMAD also has the most amazing arts performances and workshops – I learnt to play the steel drum one year and to tango another. There is great fun to be had if you can pull yourself away from the Global Food Village or Wellness Village!

New Zealand’s premier example of destination architecture linked to contemporary art.

42 Queen Street New Plymouth Aotearoa New Zealand T +64 6 759 6060

Open six days: Sun, Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 10 am – 6 pm Thu 10 am – 9 pm Closed Tuesdays and Christmas day

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/ Len Lye Centre. Photo: Patrick Reynolds


Traders and Whalers at Tawhiti Museum

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/ Len Lye Centre


Fitzroy Beach

Have a Classic Kiwi Holiday. Experience all there is to see and do in Taranaki this Summer Photos: Patrick Reynolds/Glenn Jeffrey & Rob Tucker

Each year Pukekura Park transforms into a beautiful illuminated night-time wonderland for the annual TSB Bank Festival of Lights.

Enjoy the variety of free daytime events for children and families, live night-time entertainment from a mix of local and national performers, exciting new lighting features, magical roving performers and movies under the stars.


We’d like you to share the magic of the festival with friends and family this season. Find out how to enter at T&C’S APPLY.

13 DECEMBER 2015 – 31 JANUARY 2016 – 120 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015


DID YOU KNOW? Population - 104, 127 Area - 7528 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

And if you aren’t into the arts then you should check out the ITU Sprint Triathlon World Cup. My boyfriend has joined me in New Plymouth on occasion to spectate. A keen sports nut, he likes to watch the world’s best triathletes do their thing. And best of all the run is along the amazing coastal walkway – totally accessible with many vantage points and the views out to sea and along the coast are spectacular. On my last trip, I was also lucky enough to visit the brand new Len Lye Centre at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. A-MA-ZING! Imagine (if you can) a 14-metre wall of mirrors, all curved and elegant and reflecting light and shadow and the shapes of the surrounding buildings and sky. It is impressive and well worth a trip to New Plymouth. If you have travelled and seen the Guggenheim, or Centre Pompidou or Tate Modern, then you need to add this to your list. Len Lye was an avant-garde filmmaker, kinetic sculptor and artist – and this facility plays homage to all his talents. The new state-of-the-art cinema (with gorgeous red leather seats) has an impressive film programme, and the two large gallery spaces that showcase the artist’s works are sure to delight and inspire awe. I’m no art expert, but Len Lye had some amazing ideas, and they’ve been respected and presented beautifully within this impressive building. Whether you love art, music, film, sport or family fun – there is always something happening in Taranaki over summer from beach festivals, sporting events, concerts (usually someone totally legendary), to markets and arts trails. Sometimes I find it hard to get any work done! GTNZ




Rhythm And Vines Festival IMAGES: Tourism Eastland

GOOD TIMES out east by Tourism Eastland The East Coast of New Zealand is the place to be this summer - bountiful with attractions and activities ranging from family fun, surf, beaches, swimming, cycle ways, bush walks, tramping, hunting and fishing to abundant local produce, seafood, craft beer, cider, fine wine and the country’s largest New Year’s Eve festival.

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H35 around the East Coast of the North Island is one of New Zealand’s most scenic drives. Opotiki, a pretty little town, is the northern gateway to the East Cape. The jewel in Opotiki’s crown is The Motu Trails, heaven for cycle enthusiasts. The Pakihi Track, a stunningly beautiful mountain bike trail is really exciting and not for the faint-hearted. The Dunes Trail starts at the centre of Opotiki and is a gentle ride along the coast line, great fun to do with the kids. The contrast between each side of the coast is quite amazing. The drive up the north side from Opotiki to the East Cape hugs the coastline most of the way passing beaches and coves that are starkly beautiful with their black, almost volcanic looking rocky inlets and native bush growing with wild abandon. When you reach the most eastern point of New Zealand and start heading south towards Gisborne, the road takes you inland and the landscape transforms into lush, rolling high country farms. Perched above a sharp hairpin bend in Tikitiki, just north of Ruatoria, is the cherished jewel - the St Mary’s Tikitiki Church. This is most definitely one of the icons of the entire East Cape journey. Built in 1924 as a tribute

29-31 December 2015

to those who fell in WWI, it is a stunning example of what happens when two cultures are married together in harmony. From the stained glass windows to the carved altar and pulpit, you will struggle to find a more beautiful and true work of art anywhere. From Tikitiki the highway follows the Waiapu River towards Ruatoria, the gateway to Mount Hikurangi. The sacred mountain of Ngati Porou is special as it demands reverence and will hold an unassailable place in your memory once it’s been experienced. It is said that the final resting place for Maui’s waka is on Mt Hikurangi. Guided tours are available with Ngati Porou Tourism - no one can give you the local history like those who live and breathe it. A highlight of a journey around the coast is the Eco Marine Tour at Dive Tatapouri, where the stars of the show are the gentle and graceful stingrays that you can touch, feed and also snorkel with if you wish. Dive Tatapouri is the only place in New Zealand that you can feed stingrays in the wild. As you travel south from Tatapouri the road once again hugs the coastline and as you get closer to Gisborne it seems that every bend in the road treats you to yet another


Waiohika Estate, Gisborne

Angus & Julia Stone ✈ Mac Miller đ&#x;‘† Nero  Pendulum  Sub Focus  RL Grime đ&#x;‘ť Peking Duk đ&#x;?— Zeds Dead ✈ Sticky Fingers ✈ đ&#x;˜ś Golden Features đ&#x;˜Ľ Yung Lean Cut Snake đ&#x;?? Slumberjack đ&#x;?ƒ Dimension  Kove đ&#x;˜Ž Wuki đ&#x;Ž¸ Dave Dobbyn đ&#x;“? Scribe đ&#x;’° P-Money đ&#x;‘&#x; David Dallas ☀ Concord Dawn đ&#x;˜„ State of Mind đ&#x;’Ľ Diskord  Jupiter Project đ&#x;˜„ Diaz Grimm â–ś Dodge & Fuski đ&#x;š€Astronaut đ&#x;˜˛ Barely Alive đ&#x;˜ą Dubloadz đ&#x;Ž¤ Hollie Smith đ&#x;Ž§ PNC đ&#x;’€ Virtual Riot â­? Eastern Bloc đ&#x;‘Ś Kamandi đ&#x;’Ľ Sachi đ&#x;‘™ The Black Club w Mac Mylo đ&#x;?Ś Tim Phin đ&#x;Ž§ Terace ☀ Ha The Unclear đ&#x;˜ą Brendon Thomas & The Vibes đ&#x;˜Š Racing đ&#x;? Race Banyon đ&#x;š€ DJ Sir-Vere đ&#x;Ž§ Dan Aux đ&#x;‘ž Sniffers đ&#x;‘ƒ ☀ Summer Thieves

Tickets onsale now


Rere Falls, Gisborne

stunning beach. Gisborne is renowned for its six surf breaks and surfers come from across the world to make the most of the legendary waves. If you’re a newcomer there are surf lessons available to get your knowledge and confidence up to par before you hit the waves. Gisborne has a reputation as a producer of fine wines and heading south on SH2, you have the opportunity to experience this at any of the local wineries. If you love wild places, turn off towards the ocean down Browns Beach road for stunning views of Young Nick’s Head, the first land sighted by the crew of HMS Endeavour when the British first arrived in Aotearoa in 1769. It is also known as Te Kurī-a-Pāoa (the dog of Pāoa, Pāoa was the captain of the Horouta waka (canoe) which carried Maori here many centuries before). Summer in the Eastland region is not to be missed from watching the sunrise in the first city to see the sun at the world class surf beach in Wainui to the iconic threeday event that is Rhythm and Vines. With early-bird tickets being sold out within minutes earlier on in the year, it’s in its13th year running from the 29th December to 1st January. Held at one of Gisborne’s premier venues, Waiohika Estate it’s a safe and fun environment for all to be had, with the addition of an afternoon comedy component called ‘giggle and vines’, a craft beer garden and many more exciting onsite activities. The eclectic line-up is sure to have a wide range of festival goers welcoming the New Year right here Out East. GTNZ 124 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

Good Times – Out East: Gisborne International Music Competition – 30th November to 5th December Kaiaua Beach Horse Races – 28th December Rhythm and Vines Festival – 29th December to 1st January Sunsplash Summer Festival – 1st January to 28th February Fire in the Sky – 1st January East Coast Vibes – 4th January Gospel Roots – 15th January to 17th January For a full list of events and to plan your summer tiki tour Out East, head to




IMAGES: Formula Challenge

WINNING kiwi formula by Brian Crisp You can be a complete novice, but still find the formula for motor racing. When it comes to motor sports, the closest most of us get to the real thing is Playstation’s F1 racing game; racing real cars is expensive. Not only do the cars cost a fortune, but these days most of us can’t afford the fuel. Although I do not consider myself a petrolhead, I am interested in motorsport.

126 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015


watch the occasional Formula One Grand Prix and V8 car race, I went to the Indy one year, and for a time I ghost-wrote former world motorcycle champion Wayne Gardner’s column for a Wollongong newspaper. My driving record is pretty good (only two speeding fines in 30 years), so when the chance came to jump behind the wheel of a V8 racing car and a Fomula challenge open-wheeler I was keen to test my skills and discover if I’d be like Flying Finn Kimi Raikkonen or just be lucky to finish. Formula Challenge is based at Taupo Motorsport Park in New Zealand, a haven for adventure seekers who like to go fast on land and water. Company director Craig Greenwood put me through a 30 minute safety briefing before asking me if I was a Ford or Holden man and sizing me up for my royal blue racing gear. “I’ve become pretty good at sizing people up,” Craig said handing me boots, gloves, and a helmet and escorting me to his V8 for a familiarisation lap around track two, which has nine corners. It is probably a silly thing to say, but the inside of a V8 racing car looks like the inside of an average Holden Commodore. The big difference was that the helmet that I was wearing meant I couldn’t hear the radio.

Looking for the Ultimate Driving Experience? Why not join Formula Challenge who are based at Taupo, plus we have specific days at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park - Take on the challenge of driving a Ford or Holden V8 or a Formula Challenge Single Seater Racecar. Never been on track before - don’t worry, you just need to be able to drive a manual car and you’ll receive a detailed briefing on how to drive our racecars. Then you will be fitted out in a racesuit, helmet and boots ensuring that you are ready for a safe and exciting day at the racetrack.

Check our website for available dates as pre booking is essential. So why not give us a call to feel the power and thrill of driving a pure racecar on track!!

See you at the track soon!!!! Mention this ad when booking and receive a 10% discount. 0800 327 2669


DID YOU KNOW? Nickname - The Great Lake Population - 34,100 Area - 6,970 km2 Main reason to visit: The Lake and outdoor pursuits Top attraction: Did we mention the Lake? Fun fact: There are hidden thermal pools on the lakeside

I sat in the passenger seat while Craig did a couple of laps pointing out the best lines to take. We then reversed roles. The way the track was set up meant that I really only had to negotiate between third and fourth gear once we’d reached race speed. Craig had told me because of the cold conditions of the day, I’d struggle to match Boyd Norwood’s record of 1:24.00 set in September of last year. My best lap time was nowhere near that. The best I could muster was 1:40.19, but my report card did say I was good on my lines and handling. Mum would be pleased. Craig then said I was ready to go it alone in a Formula Challenge car. These cars look and sound like F1 cars. Once you’ve squeezed behing the wheel , you feel like you’re lying down. You can’t see the nose of the car and the harness system really straps you in tight. It’s not at all comforting to know that your backside is less than 10cm above the ground. The baby steering wheel has buttons for changing gears. You use the clutch only when changing down gears and it’s suggested that you get the engine up to 7000rpm before changing up. It takes time to adjust. My first lap of the 2.6km track took 2:28.52 minutes. My low speed was 22km/h and high speed was 89km/h. By lap seven, I was clocking my fastest time. But felt I was out of my depth and was pleased to see the checkered flag. The last lap took 1:45.40 with a low speed of 57km/h and a top of 123km/h. Again, nowhere near the Formula Challenge record of 1:10.90 set by Peter Grimmer, but good enough for me. GTNZ

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Ferry Road, Boat Wharf, Taupo


Bay of Plenty


IMAGES: White Island Tours

VOLCANIC encounter by Tanya McKay

Volcanoes are not an unfamiliar sight amidst the New Zealand landscape – one however significantly stands out from the rest - White Island. Despite constant volcanic activity (closely monitored by scientists), the island is accessible to visit and explore. An encounter with an active volcano had been on my bucket list for a while now, and a recent opportunity to visit was just too good to pass up.

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hite Island is New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, sitting 49km off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty. The volcanic structure itself is one of the largest in New Zealand however the majority of the structure remains hidden under the sparkling water of the Pacific, leaving just the top of the volcanic cone jutting out of the ocean. It may look smallish in volcanic terms but like an iceberg you have to use your imagination to envisage the enormous structure unseen in the briny that has evolved over the last 200,000 years.


I was to visit the Island by boat with White Island Tours; a slick operation that has been taking adventurers to visit this steaming beauty for the last 25 years. The owners, Peter and Jenny Tait, were named official guardians of this privately-owned volcano back in 1997. Access onto the island is very restricted, and you can only set foot on it accompanied by permit holders, not only for safety reasons but also for its preservation. I awoke well-rested from a stay at White Island Rendezvous’ micro-village in Whakatane, which totally turns traditional motel accommodation on its head. My comfortable stand-alone cabin was littered with


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luxury, and my own private deck (complete with breakfast delivered to my door from the onsite café) was what I considered a perfect start to the day. Not to mention that the weather gods had answered my prayers and had turned on the sunshine. Check-in for the tour was at the motel’s reception area, and with the boat departing from just across the road, I couldn’t have asked for a more convenient situation. After reading through the safety instructions, I set off to catch my ride with a sense of anticipation and excitement. Today I was going to actually walk within the crater walls of an active volcano – not peer over the edge and take a look or fly over it and take a picture but actually walk and explore the inner workings of a volcano.

The crew and skipper give us all plenty of time to view and get photos of these awesome oceanic creatures before we set off at speed again to our volcanic destination. On approach to White Island the rocky outcrops that looked like small dots in the horizon an hour ago suddenly take on an enormous appearance and the dried up water causeways snaking down the side of the island look like a giant had run its long fingernails down the side. The steam cloud escaping from the top of the volcano is a reminder of the active force of nature that we are about to visit. The crew are busy handing out our safety gear that we all need before we set foot on this formidable powerhouse of an island. I don my bright yellow hard hat and adjust my gas mask to fit in case I should need it.

The boat trip from Whakatane to White Island takes about 90 minutes and is made comfortable by the purpose built PeeJay V and the friendly and knowledgeable crew. Landmarks and local information are shared along the way. We pass Moutohora or Whale Island (also a volcano, albeit a dormant one) home to some of New Zealand’s most endangered birds and reptiles and lush native bush. The crew inform us that they also run trips to explore this island sanctuary, and I make a note-to-self that I need to make time to visit – even from afar the place looks like paradise.

Setting foot onto White Island I am smacked in the face by the sulphurous smell that is being expelled from the vents in the crater. The landscape is what I imagine the moon would look like, huge boulders and crunchy scoria litter the ground. We can’t yet see the vents from this point, but we sure can hear the roaring. Our group assembles by the surreal ruins of the old sulphur mining venture from 1923. It is astonishing to think that miners lived here, and I couldn’t imagine the harsh conditions they had to endure while working and residing on an active volcano.

Midway through our journey I feel the boat start to slow and look around to see what is going on. I see Australasian gannets circling then plummeting down into the ocean in a streamlined dive. And dolphins! Watching their sleek bodies gliding through the water feeding and playing is surely one of the most stunning sights you can see in the ocean.

During the walk and our exploration of the crater, I get the feeling that Mother Nature is really using the island to show off her power from the fury in the hissing and roaring of the vents, the dazzling sight of sulphur chimneys to the pure white of the gypsum crystals covering the ground. Even the acidic streams take on a personality of their own as

they bubble away, letting off their gases and forming paths. The emerald green lake in the main crater has to be seen to be believed. It is from here that the most recent eruptions have occurred and standing on the edge and staring into the abyss on one side and looking back where I have walked to get here on the other side, all in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the appreciation for this unique place really set in. Be ready to absorb a sensory punch when you visit White Island, from the smell of the gases, the vibrant colours, the heat, the tingling of your taste buds (if you dare try a drop of water from the stream), to the sound of the roaring vents. To say White Island is worthy of inclusion in any New Zealand itinerary is an understatement – it is truly an out of this world experience. The memories of visiting mighty White Island will not be forgotten in a hurry and I can put pen to paper and scribe a large tick off my bucket list – explore the inner crater of an active volcano – check. GTNZ

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 Cook in 1769.




BALLOOMIN’ amazing by Jenni Muhlmann - Classic Events In March every year, at Innes Common, on the edge of Hamilton’s central city lake and at the grounds of the University of Waikato, more than 130,000 spectators will attend the annual Balloons over Waikato Festival. Tens of thousands more have the opportunity to become involved at other sites throughout the Waikato region, and it’s all free.

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olourful hot air balloons from New Zealand and around the world, come to participate in the five-day event providing a spectacle not to be missed. The skies of Hamilton are filled with colour and the City is abuzz with the excitement they bring. The programme of events includes the Mass Ascension, competitive flying tasks, activities involving the community such as the School Hop, City Burn, Breakfast at Dawn and the Nightglow, with its music, orchestrated “glowing” of balloons and spectacular fireworks display. It is New Zealand’s premier hot air ballooning event and one of the biggest and best in Australasia. Balloons over Waikato 2016 is themed ‘Balloomin Amazing’ and will be floating through the Waikato from Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th March. The festival opens on Wednesday morning from 7am, with the Hamilton Mass Ascension at Innes Common, where you can watch the spectacle of the balloons rising together en masse, and get your first view of the stunning balloons from around the world. Thursday sees the return of the WEL Energy Trust Breakfast at Dawn, where the first 2000 receive free breakfast and the balloons fly from 7am. The First Credit Union School Hop follows at lunchtime, with students around the region getting a close look at the balloons as they visit the schools from midday.

Saturday morning is hot competition amongst the balloonists at Innes Common with the Smartrak Cash Grab. Watch the determination and skill of all the pilots as they try and grab the cash from a pole at Innes Common with the winner taking home $1000 cash! Next up is Hamilton’s big night out featuring the fantastic ZURU Nightglow at the University of Waikato from 4pm with a stunning display of illuminated balloons followed by a fireworks extravaganza. The five-day festival culminates on Sunday, with the Lion Foundation Final Finale; your last chance to see the balloons lift off and fly through the Waikato sky.



Enjoy the balloons on Friday morning, with the Grassroot Trusts lift off from Innes Common at the Lake, then that evening get involved in community fun with Balloons visiting the South Waikato and Waitomo regions. Garden Place in Hamilton is hosting the hot and fiery ‘City Burn and Markets’ thanks to the Hamilton Central Business Association; bring your family for dinner at the Hamilton Night Markets, there will be loads of fun and entertainment for the kids, and don’t miss the action on the Skycity Hamilton main stage from 6pm. The evening culminates in a hot and fiery basket burn orchestrated to music once the sun goes down at 8pm.

...leave your earthly cares behind you and soar towards the heavens...

You’re flying We rise gently into the sky. It’s like being on top of a cloud. The hot air balloon flies only as fast as the wind blows, so it’s comfortably calm in the basket. Enjoy the beautiful green fields below, Blue Mountains in the distance and various lakes of the Waikato region. Sometimes you can even see the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Tongariro National Park to the south. Gently back to earth After about an hour, the pilot will choose a suitable place to land. The hot air balloon cannot be steered as such, so we do not know where we will land until part way into the flight. A chase crew follows beneath to pick us up. Once landed, the balloon is deflated and packed up with everyone’s help. We will then return to a local cafe for bubbly and snacks. A perfect way to start the day. Bookings

“Expect five days of ballooning good fun”, says General Manager, Michele Connell, “Balloons over Waikato 2016 will be ‘Balloomin Amazing’, with 3 special shapes, pilots from Belgium, Australia, Taiwan, USA and NZ, and with all the improvements we’ve made to the programme, we anticipate an amazing week with stunning balloons magically filling our Waikato skies with colour”.

You can book direct at Kiwi Balloon Company or through Information Centres in Hamilton, Cambridge, Tirau, Te Awamutu and Matamata. Phone: 021 912 679 135

Special Shapes The stars of the show are undoubtedly, the Shaped Hot Air Balloons known as ‘Special Shapes‘. Over the years Balloons over Waikato have hosted everything from an Ark full of animals to a Rocketman, a peglegged pirate parrot to Darth Vader, a three-tiered birthday cake to a Nightmare House. This year’s first released special shape is Pea-Nut a gorgeous elephant from Pennsylvania in the USA, piloted by Tony Saxton, and proudly sponsored by Resene. Michele Connell says, ” We are very excited about our special shapes for 2016, joining the gorgeous Resene Pea-nut we have two other shapes, which have never been seen in NZ before, and we know they will look spectacular flying around the Waikato”.

The ZURU Nightglow A Symphony of Coordination The jewel in the Balloons over Waikato crown is undoubtedly the ZURU Nightglow. A nightglow is the dramatic climax for hot air balloon festivals all over the world, from the Philippines to Albuquerque to the Snowmass Balloon Festival in Aspen. Carnival rides, food, a great family atmosphere and five hours of entertainment on the main stage, including four live acts, with Brendon Thomas and the Vibes headlining the 2016 event, makes the ZURU Nightglow 136 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

one of the most loved dates in the calendar. It is Hamilton’s biggest night out! The Nightglow is a full production, right through to the fireworks at the finale, and the choreography is not a simple task. It requires a lot of ballooning knowledge, so they don’t burn flat out, but still remain upright, and musical knowledge to have the ability to synchronize the glow with the music, and to co-ordinate with the stunning basket burn flames. It is a true spectacle and a hugely epic show loved by all.

Balloons over Waikato is Award winning: The Festival has won ‘Best Waikato Event’ as voted by the public of Hamilton SIX times in the seven years this initiative has run. BOW won the prestigious Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards in 2008 in the not-for-profit sector. And most recently, BOW has won the ‘Best Established Community Event’ at the prestigious NZAEP Event Awards in Wellington. Up against tough competition with 26 finalists across nine categories, the Judges, of which included CEO of Tourism New Zealand, Kevin Bowler said, “Balloons over Waikato is an amazing event, it looks to have a good growth strategy, with good scale, branding and engagement and it has a massive crowd engagement”.

“The calibre of the other finalists was incredibly high, so for Balloons over Waikato to win makes us all feel very proud and is a huge achievement,” says Michele Connell. “It speaks of the quality of everyone involved in this wonderful magical event, the pilots and crew, event staff, our partners and the hundreds of wonderful volunteers who we could not do it without. We are so thrilled to have the Waikato highlighted as having the Best Established Community Event in New Zealand.” GTNZ

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

WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS The Waikato River Trails are a proud member of the New Zealand Cycle Trail Network. In the heart of the South Waikato, the 103km of trails connect with our longest river, the might Waikato. It’s popular with both cyclists and walkers taking in the delightful villages of Whakamaru, Mangakino and Arapuni. Full of the unexpected, each turn on the trail and corner of the river provides something new. The team at Waikato River Trails Trust promise you won’t get bored and you will learn something new. An increasingly popular way to enjoy a holiday, cycling has hit a sweet spot in this space due largely to the accessibility and social nature of a pursuit that started almost 200 years ago. In terms of the global tourism context, cycling is a clear winner for the leisure time and competitive energies of a growing number of tourists. The rewards from cycling are unique. The slow pace is the perfect way to take in the sights and sounds, and comradery grows as challenges are knocked off. Bragging rights often accompany a cuppa at the end of a good ride. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, to an extent that is true and the nice thing about cycling is that once the very basics are mastered, fitness and technical ability come to most pretty quickly. Buying a bike or reacquainting with two wheels is often the start of some interesting behaviours. There is the need for functional and comfortable clothing, particularly on the lower half. Searching out new routes and rides is inevitable. Distance measuring devices become meaningful. You will know when you are truly hooked the day you find yourself trying to convert a friend to come over to the side where the rubber meets the trail. Here in beautiful Aotearoa New Zealand we are quickly becoming a place where cycling is not just accessible but in many places simply stunning. We have an increasing number of urban cycle trails, mountain bike parks and a new network of iconic New Zealand cycle trails. The New Zealand Trail network has 23 “Great Rides” located across the Country.


GET CLOSER TO THE ACTION in Hamilton & Waikato

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Make the most of the summer weather with the wealth of outdoors activities, free attractions, and popular hot spots in the Hamilton & Waikato region. No matter if you are planning a long stay or only have a few days, the Hamilton & Waikato region is a hub of outdoor activity boasting the longest river in the country, west coast beaches and a number of native forests to explore. Top walking & cycling trails abound, while a relaxing beachside escape or some inner city comforts are never far away. Explore the region by bike with top cycle trails, and three of the ‘NZ Great Rides’ located in the Hamilton & Waikato region, plus a variety of supporting trails and mountain bike tracks. Enjoy a family ride along the Te Awa – The Great NZ River Ride, or add a little more adventure on the varying graded sections of the 100km long Waikato River Trails, both of which provide great views of the mighty Waikato River. Take in some gold mining history along the Hauraki Rail Trail, with the added option of a relaxing hot soda mineral spa in Te Aroha to soothe those aching muscles, or follow the bush tramway of the Timber Trail as you ride through ancient native forest south of Waitomo Caves. 138 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

A large number of walking trails are also on offer throughout the area, featuring peaceful picnic spots, stunning waterfall finds and mountaintop views. Take an easy stroll to the spectacular 55m high Bridal Veil Falls near Raglan, or opt for a more challenging hike to the Wairere Falls near Matamata. The Blue Spring at the Te Waihou walkway near Putaruru provides around 70% of NZ’s bottled water and is a beautiful walk, while those looking for some bird watching can check out Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. A significant conversation project and a haven for

Indian Char Bagh Garden, Hamilton Gardens

native wildlife, the southern enclose includes a canopy tower and various walking trails, providing ample bird watching opportunities. There are also plenty of great attractions to fit in between outdoor pursuits. Meander through the 2014 International Garden of the Year, Hamilton Gardens, with over 22 stunningly themed gardens that explore the context, history and meaning of gardens through time. Head just north of Hamilton and enjoy high tea or a tasting experience at NZ’s only tea plantation, Zealong

Cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail

rafting through the underground passageways with Waitomo Adventures and for an equally enjoyable walking tour, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves provides a spectacular sight as you take a boat ride under thousands of twinkling glowworms, and hear all about the history and geology of the caves in the area. The region’s main city of Hamilton provides the perfect hub from which to base yourself while exploring the region and wider central North Island. A variety of accommodation from top hotels such as Novotel Tainui Hamilton or Sudima Hamilton, to motels such as Bella Vista Hamilton and backpackers offer something to suit all budgets. Top dining and entertainment options such as those found at the southern end of the CBD, including SKYCITY Hamilton’s new dining precinct City Co-Op, provide the ideal way to end an eventful day in the great outdoors.

Tea Estate or discover some Middle-earth movie magic at Hobbiton Movie Set. A two hour guided tour will take your past welcoming-looking Hobbit holes including the famous Bag-end, across the party field, past The Mill and over the bridge to The Green Dragon Inn for a refreshing southfarthing beverage. Those looking for a classic summer getaway should head to the west coast town of Raglan.

Known for its long stretching left hand surf breaks, the summer hotspot is a mecca for watersports such as surfing, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, kiteboarding and more. Great local cafes and regular gigs will keep you nourished and entertained or just relax on the beach. For a more adrenalin-fuelled adventure the Waitomo Caves has plenty to offer. Abseil 100m down into the Lost World cave or try black water

A vibrant summer events calendar will also keep you entertained. From sporting fixtures including international cricket matches and the UCI Track Cycling World Cup to music and art festivals such as Festival One and Soundsplash Music Festival Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Raglan Arts Weekend plus many more.

Visit for more information.

explore Hamilton & waikato From Middle-earth movie magic in Matamata and world-class surf beaches in Raglan to a vibrant foodie scene in Hamilton and underground wonders in Waitomo, the Hamilton & Waikato Region has it all.

For more information on activities, attractions and accommodation visit




Coromandel’s iconic Cathedral Cove IMAGE: Legend Photography

GOOD FOR the soul by Scott Lee The Coromandel Peninsula was recently voted the favourite holiday destination for New Zealanders. Stunning scenery, sandy beaches and water-based recreational activities pushing it to the top of the survey. So, when we were recently invited to try fishing with Coromandel Fishing Charters, we didn’t take much persuasion.

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he road from Thames to Coromandel Town hugs the coast as it winds its way north through bay after picturesque bay. Huge pohutukawa trees (the New Zealand native Christmas Tree) overhang the road, clinging to the cliffs, their gnarly roots reaching for support in the cracks and crevices of the rock. The water is green-blue and clear, sparkling in the afternoon sun as seabirds swoop and dive in pursuit of the schools of bait fish close to shore. Fishermen perch on the many rocky points, their surfcasting rods jammed into the rocks, eyes watching the tip of their rod – waiting for ‘the bite’. We stop and talk to one old fisherman. Sitting on a weathered stump, cup of tea in his hand, he looks a picture of contentment. On enquiry about his success, he shows me a chilly-bin full of Kahawai. “The wife loves them for sushi,” he says, “but I prefer them smoked.” The rod dances and he wanders over to pull in another struggling fish. We leave the fisherman to his pleasure and head further north, over the Kereta Hill with its spectacular views and across the Firth of Thames to Auckland, past the Te Kouma Harbour (a favourite of boaties) and on to the Hannaford Wharf from where the Auckland ferry departs. As we arrive at the wharf our boat ‘Joint Venture’ is just tying up. An ex-cray boat from Australia, ‘Joint Venture’ is a 15 metre Westcoaster design that is now set up for fishing so twenty anglers can fish comfortably at one time. Today there are only four of us so there will be no lack of space! After a detailed safety briefing, we cast off and as we head out to the fishing grounds Jordon, the skipper, explains their operation. Coromandel Fishing Charters fish the coastline of the Coromandel, the Firth of Thames, the Hauraki Gulf and even as far as Great Barrier Island for overnight trips. Jordan says he will go wherever his clients want, but as most of the business comprises of groups, they often fish the sheltered waters around the mussel barges close to Coromandel Town, which is our destination today.

Plans are made to be broken and on arrival we find the mussel farmers are not working today so there is little activity to attract the fish. No problem, there’s a whole coastline to explore so we head further north through the Happy Jack Islands to chase schools of Kahawai and Snapper. Seabirds are great fish indicators and the whirling flocks of gulls, Kahawai birds and Gannets give the game away. It’s blowing about 15 knots and there’s a sloppy sea so Jordon positions the boat upwind and we drift back onto the centre of the school. A colourful selection of lures, jigs and baits are dropped over the side as Jordon skilfully keeps the boat in position. One of the party, Jo is testing fishing tackle for an overseas manufacturer, and he hooks up within seconds. Tom, the owner, wedged in the corner with his wheelchair, does just as well on standard bait. Two fish on board, both over ten pounds within five minutes of dropping lines. Looking good!


I’m not having much luck with my soft bait so Jo offers me one of his fancy Slider Kabuna lures. As soon as the line hits the bottom I hook up – another nice snapper. And so it continues for the next two hours. Fish after fish. Lorraine, the deckie and co-owner with Tom, is busy netting, baiting, using an iki spike on the keepers to preserve the flesh, and releasing the smaller fish. She’s capable, unflappable and very busy as she ensures everybody is looked after. The wind is forecast to drop off but it doesn’t so we decide to head back. With fifteen good fish on board, everyone had a few to take home and that is what it’s all about. Fishing stocks are under pressure in New Zealand waters due to over-fishing by the commercial sector so there is a new conservation initiative being promoted amongst recreational fishermen: ‘limit your catch, don’t catch your limit’. It’s good to see charter skippers educating their clients as part of their daily operations. In the shelter of Rabbit Island, Jordon and Lorraine fire up the BBQ and prepare an evening meal of fresh Coromandel mussels, snapper straight from the sea and some of Coromandel Butchery’s famous bacon. I take the opportunity to talk to Tom about their operation. Tom lost his legs in a construction accident several years ago but it hasn’t slowed him down a bit. Always hard working and motivated Tom simply investigated his opportunities, decided on a course of action and worked tirelessly to make it happen. Tom and Lorraine now have a very successful business doing what they really, really enjoy.

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Coromadel Fishing Charters’ ‘Joint Venture’

Recognising the challenges faced by people with limited mobility, Tom set up his boat with wheelchair access and tie-down for the chairs. Lorraine and Jordon are very experienced at looking after wheelchair bound clients and do everything to ensure the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all. It’s only a small part of their business but Tom and Lorraine wish to grow it so Tom can share his passion and enthusiasm with people who otherwise may not have considered a fishing trip. Both Lorraine and Tom say they have never worked harder or enjoyed

life more since starting their new venture. Not only has Tom overcome his disability he is helping others get the most from their situation. As we motor back to base the sun is setting to the west, the purple and orange clouds contrasting against the pink sky and rays of golden light reach across the Firth towards us. When researching another article I came across a motivational quote that seems very appropriate: “Clouds come into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.” GTNZ

DID YOU KNOW? Nickname - The Coro Population - 26, 178 Area - 2, 201 km2 Main reason to visit: Iconic coastline Top attraction: Hot Water Beach / Cathedral Cove Fun fact: Dig your own hot pool on Hot Water Beach at low tide

121A Cook Drive, Whitianga 3510 Phone: 07 866 0456 Fax: 07 866 0457 Email us today: (General enquiries) (Dayspa bookings and enquiries)

Crystal Clear water from 667 meters below the earth’s surface.




Fly DC-3 over the Hauraki Gulf

FLY DC- 3 New Zealand’s classic airliner by Marion Cole Before she had a real chance to introduce herself as a new aircraft to change ‘airline’ aviation in America, this 1940’s commercially manufactured aircraft was quickly absorbed by the military and went to war in full uniform. She returned from WW2 and flew commercially in the western pacific and Australia. In 1987, she was purchased by a group of pilots and New Zealand Warbirds members. 144 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015


he was registered as ZK-DAK and underwent an extensive rebuild, with the intention of creating a living legacy in excellent flying condition, motivated by concern that the aircraft which had been the backbone of military and commercial aviation was becoming extinct from the world’s skies. A new livery revealed in 2007 now represents NZ3546 from No.42 Squadron at the time of its retirement from RNZAF service in 1977. “These are the aircraft that won the war,” declares Jessica Cooper, administrator and one of the cabin crew of FLY DC3 New Zealand. “They were used to tow gliders, they transported troops and nurses and dropped parachutists into occupied Europe.” In peacetime, as commercial passenger airlines developed, the DC-3 was again the mainstay. The technology of the DC-3 completely revolutionised commercial travel worldwide. NAC (National Airways Corporation in NZ) had 29 DC-3s in its fleet. She is still privately owned by a syndicate including all the pilots, and a couple of the cabin crew. This Classic DC-3 airliner is used for scenic and charter flights around Auckland or to anywhere in New Zealand, at airshows, for parachute jumps and lessons, and even aerial burials. The most popular charter is ‘Lunch at Whitianga.’ All the Captains are current or former airline pilots. Annual crew training and checks ensure on-going professional CAA operating standards. “Our DC-3 is one of the very few worldwide that is maintained and operated with an AOC (Airline Operating Certificate). We do this for love,” Captain Geoff Cooper tells the audience of over 20 expectant passengers. “Every cent is put back into the operation and maintenance of the aircraft. Fly DC3 is a fully licensed airline and has to meet Civil Aviation Authority standards. There’s a big advantage in being a registered airline because we get treated accordingly. But at the same time we get charged accordingly,” Geoff says. “Our cabin is kept ‘retro’ in style, however the seats are all Boeing 767 to maintain CAA standards.”

Enjoy the thrill of yesteryear and 'Fly Back in Time' in a fully restored Classic 1940's DC3 airliner! Charter the whole plane for a group event or join us on one of our regularly scheduled Sunday scenic flights over Auckland. Reservations 0800 FLY DC3 (359 323)

All crew are unpaid. It is the sheer joy of the experience, professional passion and pride in keeping this DC-3 flying in excellent condition that keeps the pilots and cabin crew on the roster. Crew work on their days off for scenic flights, or take time off from their paid jobs to operate the charter flights and airshows.



DID YOU KNOW? Nickname - The City of Sails Population - 1.486 million Area - 4,894 km2 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

Fly DC-3: Auckland city scenic flight

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In the cabin wearing their black and white uniforms with retro hats, are experienced current or former cabin crew from NZ commercial airlines. Jessica explains, “Our classic airliner offers a real novelty for people to fly back in time to the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. Passengers used to dress up in hats, coats and gloves to go flying and it was an exciting thing to do. DC-3’s truly are special aircraft. We are passionate about keeping the good old fashioned glamour and pure nostalgia of commercial flying in a DC-3 alive in NZ. We would like to plan on certain days in the year where passengers can fly dressed up in hats and gloves and such. Our dream is to have a 1950’s style check-in area, but all the income goes into keeping the DC-3 maintained. Part of the experience, is the time spent with the crew, and the crew help ‘make’ that happen. Particularly when we go away to airshows or private charters, the atmosphere in the cabin is fun but relaxed and dignified. “We receive a lot of scenic flight bookings from overseas tourists… most countries don’t have commercial DC-3 flights anymore.” explains Jessica. “The timings are perfect if they need to vacate the hotel, and want something to do before they fly home in the afternoon or evening. We can note this on our booking forms, and let the crew know of any special events, plus we can advise on transport, drive times, etc. We are designing “Sunday Trails” – a sort of “free things to do “on the way there and back etc, to make the most of the day.” Once aboard the elegant DC-3, guests are treated to a spectacular half hour tour of the Auckland region. Magnificent views can be had down into the volcanic craters of One Tree Hill and Mt Eden, over Auckland City, the Harbour Bridge and the Viaduct. She circuits the Sky Tower and orbits both sides of Auckland Harbour, before heading over to the North Shore and Rangitoto Island. A final turn south to follow the Eastern Beaches returns her back to land at Ardmore.

Passengers include ex-NAC pilots, engineers and ‘Air Hostesses’ – they just love that old sound they remember. “It truly was a wonderful time in NZ’s history, with commercial aviation opening up the concept of travel to ordinary New Zealanders. Many of our passengers tell us stories about the first time they flew in a DC-3.” All types of people enjoy this experience, couples and groups of friends, young families taking children on their first flight. “We have had both engagements and weddings, but the most touching are the elderly folk who used to fly in the war, or nurses who flew in them from Southern England to Normandy to bring back casualties - people who were a part of DC-3 aviation history.” One thing is for sure, when the Pratt and Whitney engines roar their distinctive sound - the sound that DC-3’s have made for decades - everyone on board knows that they are ‘Flying back in time’. GTNZ


Bay of Islands


Zindabar at sail, Bay of Islands

ZINDABAR doing great things by Chris Farrell Zindabar. How exotic, I thought. Zindabar, as I learned, was the word used to greet Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing when they returned to base camp after successfully summiting Mount Everest in Nepal. It’s also the name of the sailing vessel that was ours for the day in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. The meaning of the word, Zindabar’s Captain, Tony Browne, tells us is ‘doer of great things’. I’d never been on a sailing yacht, although I suppose the four metre sail boat in which I was given a ride across the lake as a teenager does count for sailing. 148 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015


y husband and I’ve been regular visitors to New Zealand for the past fifteen years for extended holidays. We’ve explored both islands, enjoyed the many rainbows with which New Zealand is blessed, and the soft mantle of white on the mountains in winter. But the area we enjoy most, to which we repeatedly return, is the winterless Far North. It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that the Far North has some of New Zealand’s best beaches and fishing! When we’re in the Far North, we stay at Margaret Morrison’s Beach Lodge, overlooking the gentle waves of Coopers Beach on Doubtless Bay. It was Margaret who told us about Tony Browne’s yacht, Zindabar, and set up a date for us to sail with him and his wife, Nicky. Off we went to the Bay of Islands to go sailing, hoping the Zindabar was ready to live up to her name and do great things for us on our all-day cruise. The Bay of Islands is a highly popular New Zealand holiday destination where the mostly delightful climate enables boaties to take to the water year round. It’s renowned as much for its history, such as the Treaty of Waitangi, as for the geologic complexity of the 144 islands that form the area’s enticing watery landscape. Full of anticipation, we arrived at the Kerikeri Cruising Club in the Bay of Islands. The Zindabar, an 18.3m Greg Elliott designed high performance cruiser, TO PAGE 151

DID YOU KNOW? Population - 4, 500 Area - 260 km2 Main reason to visit: The beautiful Islands Top attraction: Waitangi Treaty Grounds Fun fact: Russell was NZ’s first capital city

Cruising the bay


by Hector Fraser

We had been planning to get up to the Bay of Islands for years after all the great things we had heard. Finally, after some surprise time off my wife and I decided now was the time. It was just after the spring school holidays and the weather looked beautiful. We booked a two day tour with Bay of Islands Kayaking after coming across their great reviews online. The tour was just what we were after with small personal groups, relaxed schedule and some real adventure. This was our first time kayaking and we hadn’t done a lot of camping before either. A phone call and a few emails covering what to bring and the plan for the trip quickly set us at ease. On the day of the tour, our guide Sam picked us up and we felt instantly relaxed, like friends out on an adventure together. After a beautiful 40 minute drive around the

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coastline, we arrived at the starting point by the beach. Sam gave us a short talk about the area and what the plan was for the next two days, and we packed the kayaks. It’s quite amazing how much we could fit in them – even enough room for a couple of bottles of wine for camp. The next two days were incredible - the islands were breath-taking and we almost had them to ourselves. The water was crystal clear which made the snorkelling so, so good. Dolphins swam around our kayaks, even jumping out of the water next to us. Sam told us, the week before there was orca near the kayaks (amazing I’m sure but the dolphins looked big enough for me). There was plenty of time to walk the island tracks and take in the spectacular views. We had the campsite to ourselves - hard to believe considering the fantastic weather

and breath-taking location. Sam waded into the water and found a crayfish for dinner, to go with the mussels we gathered during our island hoping. Trust me when I say we dined like kings and queens. I experienced one of the most amazing things I have ever seen on this trip. We went for a short night paddle under a very starry sky, and saw phosphorescence! In the dark, the water glows when you paddle, and any fish swimming away glow too - the effect was phenomenal to see in person! If you want to get away from the crowds this company and location are second to none. They run very personalised trips and everything is of the highest standard. Our guide was exceptional and with 14 years in adventure tourism we felt in great hands the entire time. I highly recommend that you get out and try this for yourself.

is the longest, tallest and sleekest vessel berthed at the club and I knew we were in for a world class experience. I was thrilled to be on a luxury yacht and could hardly wait to get under way so Tony could unfurl the sails! The mainsail, once it was raised, was quite different than I’d imagined. I always thought sails were made of one vast piece of canvas cloth, but looking up, I realized it wasn’t made of one piece, but was more of a jigsaw of strips of different fabrics and textures pieced together in a striking design. Our ride amongst the islands in the Bay was quiet and smooth, mostly due to glassy seas and little wind, so Tony used the engine in addition to the mainsail, which was just one of three sails he could use in a stiff wind. Shortly, we began to pass close to some of the islands. One particular formation, The Black Rocks, Nicky informs me were part of an ancient volcanic lava flow. Some were little more than a tuft of black stone sticking out of the sea, while others were larger than a house.

Luxury performance cruiser based in the Bay Of Islands, New Zealand, available for skippered charters. Day-sailing, overnight or extended cruises with water-sports activities, shore excursions, dolphins, wildlife, great cuisine and atmosphere.

Both Tony and Nicky Browne are native to the Bay of Islands. Although he’d worked his way around the world as Captain of luxury yachts in the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, and the Far East, Tony tells us that he and Nicky are happy to have returned to their hometown, now Captain and first mate on their own luxury cruising yacht, the Zindabar. Their knowledge of the area in which they live and work makes them exceptional hosts, offering information about the area’s history, geography, personalities, and anything else you’d want to learn while sailing. We arrived at our lunch destination on the far side of the Bay of Islands, Paradise Bay on Urapukapuka Island. It was one of the loveliest little bays I’ve ever seen, with its own tiny island nestled at one end; a perfect setting to enjoy a delicious hand-cooked barbeque consisting of local produce and freshly prepared salads. Since we’d been traveling to and about New Zealand for quite a few years, I’d seen the Bay of Islands from ashore many times and have longed to be out there among those charming islands. I thought I’d never have the opportunity to have that desire fulfilled, but here, now, this gorgeous yacht, Zindabar, was anchored in a bay that looked like a postcard from an exotic location. Our return journey to Kerikeri on the afternoon seabreeze was a relaxing and effortless three-sail cruise through the majestic islands, skirting the Black Rocks. It had been a perfect day and I felt completely satisfied and happy to report that Zindabar more than lives up to her name. GTNZ

+64 21 474 516 |


THE NEW ZEALAND STORY BROUGHT TO LIFE: THE TREATY OF WAITANGI EXPERIENCE The newest addition to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the Museum of Waitangi, will open on the 7th February 2016. The existing Waitangi Treaty Grounds experience includes guided tours of the picturesque historical site, memorable cultural performances and a new evening option of delicious hangi with a concert. Nestled beside the Treaty Grounds, the state-ofthe-art Museum of Waitangi will aim to enhance the Treaty experience by telling the ongoing story of New Zealand, from first contact between Europeans and Maori through to present day. Taonga (significant treasures) associated with Waitangi are currently scattered throughout New Zealand and around the world, so this brand new secure, climate-controlled building will ensure a safe haven in one place for their return home. Waitangi National Trust Chief Executive, Greg McManus says “The Trust’s aspiration is for every New Zealander and overseas visitor to visit Waitangi during their lifetime, to learn more about the history of our nation and to leave with a sense of pride or appreciation for our history. We want a visit to the Bay of Islands to be on every Kiwi and overseas visitor’s ‘must do’ list.” The Museum will house a permanent exhibition, Ko Waitangi tenei, with changing exhibitions and an education centre for all ages. The Ko Waitangi tenei: This is Waitangi exhibition will provide an interactive story of the Treaty of Waitangi, its geographical significance and explore the origins of Aotearoa. Taonga includes a Goldie portrait of leading Ngapuhi rangatira, Tamati Waka Nene (1934), and German painter Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s Portrait of Queen Victoria (1843) which Queen Elizabeth II delivered to Waitangi in 1970. The Disenchanted Prophets exhibition will run from 7th February to 2nd October. This 152 Go Travel NZ · Summer 2015

temporary exhibition will feature a collection of rarely seen photographs documenting protest action at Waitangi over the decades and will be delivered in a show which seeks to provide an alternative visual archive to mainstream media coverage at the historic location. Comprising works by some of Aotearoa’s leading practitioners including Mark Adams, Bruce Connew, Gil Hanley and Ans Westra, the striking images will explore issues of leadership, the role of slogans in articulating desire for change and provide a fresh national context to Waitangi demonstrations. Those behind the lens will also share their approach to depicting the scene and the role of photography in portraying social change. If you visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds before the Museum of Waitangi opens – be sure to return to share this exciting new development.

Visit for updates and more information on the Treaty of Waitangi experience.

Welcome to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds New Zealand’s most important historic site where in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed: the Treaty of Waitangi.

Guided Tours Let our guides bring the Treaty to life.

Tours depart hourly

Cultural Performances High energy shows in the carved meeting house.

Several performances per day

Hāngi & Concert An intimate themed evening.

Available Tuesday and Thursday evenings 1 December – 30 March

Museum of Waitangi

The museum tells the story of Ma-ori and European contact and the ongoing development of New Zealand as a nation through a mix of traditional museum displays and interactive technology; including digital labels and large-scale audio-visual displays.

Opens February 2016 Make the most of your Waitangi experience with an

ULTIMATE COMBO: Admission + Guided Tour + Cultural Performance 1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi, Bay of Islands 0800 9248 2644 (Free phone within NZ) +64 9 402 7437




A thrilling ride IMAGE: Ultimate Sand Safaris

The ultimate SAFARI by Patti Brown I am in the Far North of New Zealand being swept away by the pristine beauty of the golden sand coastline and the lush green of the flora. The weather for the duration of my three-day stay has been superb and today is no different; a warm breeze nudging what is left of the morning clouds across a denim blue sky.

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am about to have my own thrilling Northland adventure and experience the landscape on board a UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) courtesy of the lovely folks at Ultimate Sand Safaris. I can barely wait, so breakfast is a quick snack and coffee as I launch myself out the door of the backpackers. Our meeting point is the Ahipara Bay Hotel, a pleasant stroll from my accommodation. When I phoned to book my adventure the previous day the helpful staff told me that they can arrange a convenient shuttle transfer and return for guests staying in Kaitaia for just $10. Arriving a half hour in advance of my guided tour, I present my drivers’ licence, read and sign an agreement and go over driving instructions for the UTVs. Riders are required to wear helmets and these are provided by Ultimate. The tour is to last for two and a half hours – time to put on my helmet and click the seatbelt firmly into place. I am ready to start my thrilling adventure! My guide takes me through some tips about how the UTV handles, followed by encouraging me to take a short drive to familiarize myself with the vehicle. It is easy and fun, and I quickly become competent at manoeuvring my compact two person vehicle.

A small group of us then set off from beautiful Shipwreck Bay with its aquamarine waters (in which a number of wrecks are visible) and make our way off-road towards Tauroa reef. The sand dunes here undulate expansively like a desert-scape – windswept and carved with ripples. The UTVs love this sort of terrain. However, it is a new challenge for me to learn how to steer them through the deeper areas of sand! Along the way, the guide points out historical seaweed pickers huts and the paua shell marine reserve, Rahui. We make our way along the natural highway of coastline to the base of the Tana Tana sand hills. These dunes are vast and a wonderful vantage point from which to gain a panoramic view of the West Coast. Following the instructions of the guide, I put my UTV into low-range 4WD and commence the ascent to the top. The unobstructed view of Ahipara’s 90 Mile Beach, Mt Camel and beyond are stunning; seemingly never-ending stretches of wet sand glistening and reflecting the sky It is time to change things up and participate in sand boarding down the impressive slopes of these dunes. Everyone is having a blast – all the equipment conveniently provided by Ultimate – my only task is to engage my own personal 4WD for the thigh-burning uphill walk that follows my exciting downhill ride. I am laughing out loud and wiping the sand from my face as I set off up the slope for the umpteenth time. The reward is in the total exhilarating rush of flying back down the steep slope. Once at the bottom I take some memorable photos of my new friends’ rapid descents. Feeling pleasantly tired and very satisfied I pause a moment to take in the view of the gorgeous, unspoilt landscape. All too soon the guide is rounding us up to start the return journey. TO PAGE 158


The Ultimate Sand Safari’s UTV

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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




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



PHONE: +64 9 408 1778

FREEPHONE IN NZ: 0800 869 090

Feeling confident of my UTV skills with the now familiar vehicle I am better able to appreciate the views that are breathtaking in all directions, and the journey back seems to be over all too soon: it is time to reluctantly hand over the keys and helmet. The guide is pleased with how the tour has gone and praises the group for throwing ourselves into the activities. I am convinced that Northland is the optimal holiday destination, and there is no better way to explore it than off-road on the back of one of Ultimate Sand Safaris’ stable UTVs. The guided tour was an unbeatable opportunity to take in remote, golden sand beaches, native flora and fauna, see local attractions and experience first-hand some iconic landmarks while being looked after all day by a wonderful guide. “Ultimate” is the word! GTNZ


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Buffet lunch is provided

our Cape Rein nga and 90 Mile Beach Tou Locally owned and operated Dune Rider Kaitaia has a fun filled day tour designed for a memorable experience, exploring the far north. Features include Cape Reinga Lighthouse, 90 Mile Beach, Sand Boarding, Gumdiggers Park, Kauri Kingdom Shop. 158 Go Travel · Summer 2015 SitNZback and enjoy

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Daily Coach Tours from Kaitaia, Ahipara and Mangonui (09) 408 2411 OR 0800 DUNE NZ

Conditions for discount: * To be booked direct (via phone or website) using promo code GTDRUT * Valid for Cape Reinga Tour Only * Subject to availability, weather and minimum numbers * Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer * For tours departing Kaitaia/Ahipara only

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Go Travel New Zealand Summer 2015  
Go Travel New Zealand Summer 2015