Category Archives: New Zealand

5 of the Finest Holiday Destinations in New Zealand

Blessed with the best of nature, New Zealand is one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world.

New-Zealand

Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, this popular Oceania country is known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history and culture, and terrific wine! For those of you heading to this island paradise, here is a list of must visit destinations in New Zealand.

Hawke’s Bay

Home to a wide variety of red and white wines, Hawke’s Bay is no less than a paradise for wine lovers. Red Blends, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are among the popular wines available in the city. Guided tours to the nearby farms, wine tasting events and wine festivals are organised both within and outside the town.

Rotorua

Often known as the heartland of Maori culture, Rotorua is a beautiful city and apt place to enjoy the rich history and culture of the country. Visiting the authentic pre-European villages, learning about cave paintings, experiencing the traditional cooking methods, wearing the traditional village costumes and participating in the Maori singing and other cultural shows are the major draws for the tourists here.

Bay of Islands

A popular enclave consisting of more than 140 subtropical islets, Bay of Islands is much loved by the travellers. Featuring some of the most beautiful beaches, attractive corals along with offering stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape, the island is perfect spot for the ones looking for a serene beach holiday in New Zealand. A wide range of adrenalin-pumping adventure activities including snorkelling, deep sea diving and surfing can be enjoyed on the islands.

Queenstown

Located on the shores of South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is easily one of the most popular adventure destinations in New Zealand. The resort town is best known for its unmatched beauty and thrilling adventure opportunities, such as kayaking, bungee jumping, jet boating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. The nearby Milford Sound, part of the Fjordland National Park World Heritage area is a nice spot for the ones who prefer a much quieter holiday adventure.

Kaikoura

A beautiful coastal town in South Island, Kaikoura is a place to enjoy the many wonders of Mother Nature! With different wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, the town is home to rich flora and fauna. In fact, Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world to spot whales and dolphins.

Top places to enjoy marine and wild life in New Zealand

New-Zealand

A country blessed with the many wonders of the Mother Nature, New Zealand is one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the world. This beautiful island country is home to interesting wild and marine life.

Waitaki

A community dedicated entirely to the penguins, Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony is a must visit attraction in Waitaki. Located in Oamaru town, this popular colony is perfect to spot the beautiful blue eyed penguins as they return from a busy day at sea! Watching them arrive on the beach, walk up the rocky ramp and make their way to the burrows could be a charming experience. During the day, penguins are not very active on the land, hence an evening tour of the colony is recommended. Tours to the breeding zone and other restricted areas can be enjoyed from morning 10am to late night for both tourists and locals.

Kaikoura

Whale watching in the beautiful island country is a must do activity. One of the best places to spot these giant gentle sea creatures in New Zealand is Kaikoura. Featuring a perfect marine environment, this tiny town on the South Island is home to the largest population of whales including the Giant Sperm Whales. Day trips and evening walks to the coast of the island allow you to spot these majestic mammals in their natural habitat. The New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross can also be spotted in the waters.

Bay of Islands

Swimming with the beautiful dolphins can be an interesting activity. Head to the Bay of Islands in case you plan to enjoy this activity in New Zealand. Comprising of over 140 subtropical islets, this popular island is perfect to spot dolphins in their natural environment. Jump into the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and enjoy a snorkelling adventure with these intelligent marine creatures. Feeding these giant creatures or watching them dance is truly memorable. Don’t forget to read the safety instructions before venturing deep into the waters.

Rotorua

A face to face with the national icon of New Zealand is an adventure in its own right! A city in the Bay of Plenty, Rotorua is home to the endangered Kiwi. Due to the decreasing number of these nocturnal flightless birds in the country, most of them are kept protected in the national parks of Te Puia and Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Parks. A visit to parks and sanctuaries allow you to spot these tiny creatures in their natural habitat. A visit to the incubation, hatching and nursery rooms at Rainbow Springs is recommended.

Otago Peninsula

Watching the majestic seabird, Albatross soaring high up in the sky could be an unforgettable experience in New Zealand! The Royal Albatross Centre located near Taiaroa Head offers visitors numerous excursions and guided tours to the nearby hatching areas and incubation units. The Unique Taiaroa Tour and Albatross Tours allow you spot these beautiful flying creatures and also understand the history of Northern Albatross in New Zealand.

Some of the Most Popular Towns around Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is one of the most interesting holiday destinations in the world. Located in the southern end of North Island, this popular capital city is known for its arts, heritage and culture.

Wellington

Moreover, some of the city’s neighbouring towns are big tourist draws as well. Each of these towns offers its visitors numerous things to do along with other attractions. For those of you heading to Wellington, here is a list of popular towns around the capital.

Wairarapa

Located in the north of Wellington, Wairarapa is a certainly a popular holiday destination. Featuring a spectacular coastline and wide valleys and nestled in the heart of the classic New Zealand Wine Trail, the town is best loved for wine tasting tours. Moreover, there’s the famous Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, which is home to one of New Zealand’s most rare and endangered species, White Kiwi’s. Don’t forget to enjoy an extensive range of authentic delicacies at the nearby restaurants.

Levin

Nestled between the Tasman Coast and Tararua ranges, Levin is a secondary urban centre in New Zealand. Featuring a long beautiful coastline and the giant mountain range, the town is perfect for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. Visitors here can indulge in numerous water sports and other adventure activities including mountain climbing.

Kapiti Island

Located 50 kilometres north of Wellington, Kapiti Island, off the coast of the city, is home to a number of native birds and numerous endangered species including takahe, brown teal, stitchbird, tomtit, fantail, morepork and weka. Visitors can also spot a brown kiwi and little spotted kiwi on the island.

Martinborough

Located in the South, Martinborough is a famous wine town in New Zealand. Known for its 20 odd vineyards, the city is popular among wine lovers from across the world. The popular town features numerous vineyards producing world class wines including Pinot Noir. On your next trip to the city, don’t forget to pair up your meal with world class wine for a perfect holiday experience.

Paraparaumu

A small town in the north, Paraparaumu is a major commercial and residential centre of New Zealand. Known for its urban culture and metropolitian character, it is among the most visited towns in the country. Paraparaumu beach is the most popular holiday attraction in the town, where visitors can enjoy swimming and water sports.

Greytown

Located just an hour from Wellington, Greytown is one of the most beautiful towns in New Zealand. Featuring some of the restored Victorian buildings and ancient shops, the town is popular among historians and archaeologists. Established in 1854 by early settlers of Wellington, the town is perfect to take a walk back in time and experience the rich history of the country.

Cape Palliser

Situated on the southern coast, Cape Palliser is a coastal city much loved by the tourists. Popularly referred to as a seaside village, the settlement features some of the most beautiful beaches and ancient structures. Cape Palliser Lighthouse is extremely popular with travellers.

Paekakariki

Located in the north western end, Paekakariki is another popular town in New Zealand. Featuring black sand and a beautiful coastline, the town has numerous bars and restaurants spread across the beach, serving authentic delicacies to the guests.

Amazing Places to Check Out in New Zealand in 2017

The dream destination of many, New Zealand reflects rare, untouched natural beauty, which can be experienced by way of different outdoor activities. The country is full of wild and gorgeous natural wonders and exploring them all on one visit is impossible. If you are making a list of destinations to visit in 2017, you should definitely include New Zealand. Read on to know about some of must-visit destinations in New Zealand in 2017.

Rotorua

Rotorua

Visit the steaming geysers and learn about the exotic Maori culture at Rotorua in New Zealand. The sulphur-rich region’s thermal area houses spraying geysers, hot springs, and exploding mud pools. One of the other big attractions of the region is the cultural performances and lifestyle of the local Maori populations. Already a popular attraction, visiting this amazing destination next year is a must.

Milford Sound

Explore the stunning surroundings of the Fiordland – the Milford Sound, located in the South East corner of New Zealand in 2017 to discover the new meaning of virginal ‘natural beauty’.

Milford-Sound

A nature lover’s paradise, this place will exhilarate you with nature’s stunning creations as you explore its jagged cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and spy upon sunbathing seals. Cruise through The Sound for a mesmerising experience close to nature.

Bay of Islands

Outdoor enthusiasts should include the ‘Bay of Islands’ as one of the must-visit places in New Zealand in 2017. The destination offers plenty of water sports. Bay of Islands is also one of the best places to go fishing, sailing, and scuba diving. Get underwater to explore the vibrant sea world and enjoy close encounters with the marine life here.

Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

For some extreme fun, head up straight to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers at Westland Tai Poutini National Park in South Island, New Zealand. The place is counted among one of the world’s most accessible glaciers. Explore the Franz Josef glacier on foot by going on guided trekking expeditions. You will be amazed by the sight of frozen landscapes, including ice caves and pinnacles.

Waitakere Beaches

This offbeat place is a must-visit destination for a New Zealand tour in 2017. The three stunning beaches here, namely Muriwai Beach, Anawhata Beach, and the Karekare Beach are blessed with pristine natural beauty. The Muriwai Beach is also a great place for bird watching as it hosts countless migratory birds called Ganets.

Cathedral Cove

Talking of beaches, the Cathedral Cove is a popular beach and a marine reserve, which is located on the Coromandel peninsula. Enjoy a short hike up to the beach, which runs through native bush and cliffs. A hike, some sunbathing, swimming in cool waters, and relaxing by the soft sand beach – isn’t it one of the things that you want for a holiday in 2017?

Here’s How to Celebrate New Year in New Zealand

December is fast approaching and New Year 2017 follows soon! If you haven’t made any concrete plans, frame one now. It is better late than never! New Zealand, home to tourist attractions such as Coromandel Peninsula, Fiordland National Park, Sky Tower, Milford Sound, and Lake Taupo, offers a number of fun-packed festivals and events especially for New Year. Here, take a look!

new year

Reggae By The River

UB40, featuring original members Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue, will be the star event in Reggae By the River. Other entertainers include L.A.B (KORA Brothers) and Modern Maori Quartet. A variety of food and beverages will be available. However, concert attendees can carry sealed water and non-commercial food. Once Reggae By the River draws to a close, fans will have ample time to move down to the water’s edge and admire the fantastic fireworks display from Lake Taupo.

Date: 31st December, 2016

New Zealand

 

Rhythm and Vines3

The insanely popular Rhythm and Vine plays host to more than 100 international and local artists who perform on different stages in Gisborne. This 3-day international music festival is also marked by waterslides, fireworks shows and, of course, the dawn of New Year. Founded in 2003, Rhythm and Vines has phenomenally grown in size.

Date: 29th December, 2016 – 1st January, 2017.

New Year’s Eve Auckland

Auckland, the most populous part of New Zealand and is renowned for extravagant and brilliant New Year’s Eve fireworks. Auckland’s famous Sky Tower, believed to be the tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, will be the hub of the city’s spectacular fireworks display. Another attractive venue is the Waiheke Island’s Stonyridge Vineyard. It witnesses live performers, dancers, DJs, food and drinks, and spectacular fireworks display at midnight.

Date: 31st December, 2016

New Year’s Eve Queenstown

New Year’s Eve Queenstown will be held at Earnslaw Park. There will be loads of fun and entertainment in the form of live bands and DJ’s and of course fireworks displays. One of the biggest parties in town will be held at Queenstown Central, where the roads will be packed with participants enjoying the exciting carnival-like atmosphere.

Date: 31st December, 2016

Northern Bass

Northern Bass lasts for a period of three days and nights. Conducted in the Mangawhai, this festival presents world-class musicians, DJs, and producers to the international audience. Needless to say, the best way to enjoy the Northern Bass experience is to stick around in the campground. For the convenience of attendees, there are many bars and an array of remarkable food outlets.

Date: 29th December, 2016 to 31st December, 2016

Top Restaurants for Gastronomic Indulgences in Christchurch, New Zealand

Who likes plain and simple food when visiting a foreign land? Very few! Most people want food to be scrumptious, piping hot, and some even want it to be insanely spicy!

food

As the tastes and preferences differ from person to person, the demands change accordingly. That’s why we come up with a few popular restaurants that dominate the food scene of Christchurch, located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Christchurch Tramway Restaurant

Would you like to dine in the only restaurant tram of New Zealand? The Christchurch Tramway Restaurant offers precisely that! While enjoying the tasty meal, customers can check out the fantastic sights of the inner city.

christnchurch

The 36-seater air-conditioned eating venue also serves chilled beverages complimenting the cuisine. The Christchurch Tramway Restaurant Dinner Tour departs daily from Tram Stop number 1, Cathedral Junction at 7.00 pm (March – October) and at 7:30pm (November – February).

Bloody Mary’s

Named after Queen Mary I of England, Bloody Mary’s welcomes everyone with its lavish space featuring local bluestone, dark oak, and rich leather furnishings. You can enjoy a typical New York style steakhouse experience here. The restaurant depends on the best local produce for its beef and lamb. The impressive wine list focuses more on the country-made wines. Champagnes can be ordered by glass or by the bottle.

Cook ‘N’ With Gas

Cook ‘N’ With Gas is a multi-award winning bistro serving high-quality and contemporary New Zealand cuisine in a legendary villa. The friendly and knowledgeable staff efficiently fulfils the requirements of customers. This 16-year old eatery is a favourite amongst locals and a good place to hang out with friends. Advance booking is suggested as Cook ‘N’ With Gas is fully occupied almost every night. It is open from Monday to Saturday – 6 PM onwards.

Samurai Bowl

Are you ardently fond of any of Sushi, Sashimi, Kara-age, and Ramen? Then, head to Samurai Bowl. This casual-style Japanese restaurant offers the real taste of Japanese food at cost-effective rates. To grab the attention of more people, it has a stimulating monthly special menu, which includes fresh seasonal fish, meat, and vegetables. The suggested drinks are draft beer, wines, and cocktails.

Little Star Vietnamese Restaurant

Little Star Vietnamese Restaurant is a place which lets you relish a true Vietnamese cuisine. It is a family business run by a Vietnamese and has Vietnamese chefs. The flavoursome preparations are made from fish, meat, and vegetables. Apart from comfortable dining rooms, there is a private dining room for special occasions.

Upcoming Wine and Food Festivals in New Zealand

The beauty of New Zealand can’t be put into words. Suffice to say that the destination is called God’s Own Country and the denizens of this spectacular land certainly know how to live it up. This is evident by the colourful events and festivals held in different parts of the country. Here, we have mentioned some of the upcoming food festivals.

Taste of Auckland

Peek into Auckland’s food scene at the Taste of Auckland. There will be a variety of mouth watering delicacies as well as workshops by renowned personalities such as Depot, Miss Clawdy, Farina, Bracu, Maldito Mandez, Kazuya, Miss Moonshine, and many more. It will be held in Auckland from 17th to 20th November, 2016. Watch the top chefs of Auckland in action as they bring new flavours and delicacies to the table.

Kapiti Food Festival

One of the new entries to the top festivals in New Zealand, Kapiti Food Festival attracted around 130 participants from all across the nation.  Enjoy a delicious range of commercial food and beverages inclusive of sauces and dressings, liqueurs, dips, pesto, chocolates, condiments, wine, olive oils, coffee, ethnic food, and breads. It will be held on 3rd December, 2016 from 10 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon.

F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic

wines

F.A.W.C! is a 10 day event organised throughout the spectacular Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand. In November 2016, visitors will enjoy an array of 80 amazing events while hundreds of people will participate. The event will also be graced by eminent personalities, including Ray McVinnie, Josh Emett, Nadia Lim, and Al Brown.

Gisborne Wine and Food Weekend

Don’t miss the Gisborne Wine and Food Weekend, which will be held at three different venues. Enjoy the festival at any of the venues, namely Matawhero Wines, Millton Vineyards, and Wine Central Showgrounds Pavilion. With a history of 20 years, it showcases myriad varieties of food and wines. Undoubtedly, the sparkling collection of wine attracts connoisseurs from all corners of the world. It will be held on 22nd and 23rd October, 2016.

Top Wine and Food Festivals in New Zealand

Food…and Wine! Now, who would say no to lip-smacking dishes and fine wines? Somehow, food and wine also seem to feature big in most people’s travel itineraries. After all, travel indeed expands one’s cultural horizons.

new-zealand

Now, without further ado, we just want to say that Food and Wine are an inseparable part of one’s trip to New Zealand. So, here we have summed up top amazing wine and food festivals that you may just experience during your trip to this picturesque nation.

1.      The Marlborough Wine & Food Festival

New Zealand’s acclaimed original and longest running wine and food festival, the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival is a renowned event. Attend to enjoy a unique selection of world-class wines along with scrumptious local cuisines. It is held at Brancott Vineyard, one of the oldest vineyards in Marlborough.

2.      Havelock Mussel and Seafood Festival

Enjoy a world of fun and delicious food at Havelock Mussel and Seafood Festival at Marlborough. It offers a delicious assortment of seafood and mussels along with fun activities and entertainment throughout the festival. Travellers will love the tasty treats by renowned restaurants and chefs participating in the festival.

3.      Visa Wellington on a Plate

One of the largest festivals with a big umbrella of delicious meal deals, Visa Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) will steal the heart of any food lover. Visa WOAP offers a wide range of lip-smacking choices to satiate your hunger. One can find unique recipes for burgers, cocktails, baking, and more.

4.      Whitianga Scallop Festival

The annual food festival held in September, Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival brings every foodie and connoisseur under one roof. The iconic seafood festival is celebrated at Whitianga Harbour, showcasing a variety of succulent scallop delicacies along with cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef, competitions, and more.

5.      Seafest Kaikoura

Enjoy a delectable assortment of seafood during a weekend of festivities with Seafest Kaikoura in the heart of coastal Kaikoura. Travellers will find reputable wine producers, local seafood delicacies, and lots of beers brands.

For Upcoming Wine and Food Festivals in New Zealand, click here.

Festival For The Future 2016 awaits you in New Zealand!

Festival For The Future (FFTF) 2016 will be held from 23rd to 25th September at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. It is a one-of-its-kind event, which brings together young New Zealanders from various spheres of life, including students, young professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists, social activists, artists, and musicians.

new-zealand

These young leaders meet at this common platform and explore the major issues facing New Zealand or even the world, and discuss its possible solutions.

What’s The Celebration For?

The weekend festival features New Zealand’s youth at the forefront of bringing a positive change in society. The festival celebrates the common platform, which connects innovators and influencers to share ideas, inspire people, and create a better tomorrow.

Dubbed as the most inspiring event in New Zealand, its 2015 edition saw over 550 attendees and the festival was packed with talks from inspiring speakers, workshops, performances, and live entertainment.

This Year’s Programme!!

FFTF 2016 is set to become one epic weekend with its amazing line-up of events.

LAUNCH NIGHT

The event will kick start on a Friday evening – 23rd September, 2016, when the registrations will open for attending the event. It can turn out to be a great chance for connecting and networking with young leaders. Following the registrations, the formal opening ceremony for the festival – Haere Mai – will be held. The evening will see musical and other live performances after the opening ceremony.

DAY ONE

The first day of the festival, Saturday – 24th September, will see a host of morning activities. The morning will start with a Speaker Session, after which the visitors can choose to attend any one from a Workshop or a Panel on Future of Economy. During lunch, there will be musical entertainment, food stalls, and souvenir stalls. Post lunch, there will be more workshops and another Panel on the topic ‘Future of Environment’. The evening will see a speaker session and an evening wrap up activity.

DAY TWO

The last day of the event, Sunday – 25th September, will start with a morning activity, which will be followed by a Speaker Session. After this, visitors will have to choose to attend either a Workshop or a Panel on Future of Education. This will be followed by a fun lunch, with live entertainment, including musical performances, and various live stalls. Post lunch, there will be various workshops and a Panel on Future of Equality. Visitors can attend any of these two programmes, which will be followed by the final Speaker Session of the event. The evening will be wrapped up with the hosting of a lively farewell to the event and the young minds attending it.

Best Cultural Festivals of New Zealand

New Zealand is a country of beautiful natural landscapes and a rich culture. It’s a popular travel destination for many reasons – snowy winters, beautiful mountain peaks, pristine waters, amazing flora and fauna and fantastic people are just some of the elements.

new-zealand

JAZZOf late, the country is also becoming popular for the various types of amazing cultural festivals it hosts, which give visitors a sneak peek into its rich and fabulous culture. New Zealand attracts tourists with its food festivals, wine festivals, music festivals, arts festivals, fashion festivals, family fun events, sports festivals, and various other events and festivals. At these festivals, one often witnesses collaborations between local and international artists.

Wellington Jazz Festival

Wellington Jazz Festival is a music festival celebrating the music genre of Jazz by big international as well local musicians. As the name suggests, the musical extravaganza is held at Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.The fest sees around 100 acts by world class musicians, for three to five days. There is lots of great food and drinks.

F.A.W.C! – Hawke’s Bay (Food & Wine Classic)

F.A.W.C! (Food & Wine Classic) is a popular food and wine festival that is organized twice every year amidst the stunning surroundings of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. The festival is well attended by notable food and wine personalities. One gets to sample delectable local lambs and venison to the accompaniment of rich wines and fine music. The festival is held once in summers and once in winters.

American Express Queenstown Winter Festival

The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival is an annual event that is held to mark the beginning of winters in Queenstown, New Zealand. The 10-day festival includes many fun-filled activities, great music, street parties, international and local stage acts, comedy acts, family fun activities, food and wine and electrifying fireworks. The festival is visited by around 45,000 foreign and local visitors.

Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival

The Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival is a chocolate carnival held in July every year at Dunedin, New Zealand. The famous festival is attended by thousands of chocolate lovers – not just for the chocolates – but for the many family-friendly events. The carnival holds chocolate factory tours, food classes, cookery competitions, chocolate facials, chocolate decorating, chocolate painting and its famous Gold Rush train ride and treasure hunt.

Visa Wellington On A Plate

The Visa Wellington On A Plate is another food festival organised in New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington. This is the largest and the most popular food festival in the country, which witnesses the participation of a large number of renowned chefs.

Driftwood & Sand Sculpture Festival

The Driftwood & Sand Sculpture Festival is a community beach sculpture festival held every year at New Zealand’s Hokitika beach. Thousands of beach sculpture enthusiasts, young and old, participate in this festival to create marvellous sculptures using just driftwood and sand on the stunning scenic background of the West Coast. The festival ends with prize distribution to the winners who make the best sculptures.