Category Archives: New Zealand

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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Magic of Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival

Dunedin hosts one of the most awaited festivals of New Zealand every year in the month of July. The festival, known as the Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, is a celebration of themed events wholly centred on chocolates.

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What is it all about?

This annual carnival brings joy to the New Zealanders and visitors by offering a host of activities like Crunchie trains, guided chocolate tours, Cadbury couture fashion show and the most famous of all, the Jaffa race. Dunedin has been the home of Cadbury factory for a long time and the Cadbury World offers different activities to ensure that the visitors have a good time here. Different kinds of tours are also conducted during this carnival.

Crunchie Train

This treasure hunt aboard the Crunchie Train is full of fun-filled activities. The highlight of the adventure is to look out for the treasure hidden somewhere between Dunedin and Middlemarch. The challenge is to find the treasure trove and return it the rightful owner, i.e. the Cadbury Factory. This involves several encounters with suspicious characters who try to prevent one from fulfilling the mission.

Jaffa Race

This is the most popular event that marks the closure of the carnival and is attended by a huge crowd. Thousands of Kiwi Jaffas (balls) roll down the steep street of Baldwin. Each of these particular balls is given a unique identification number. The first five Jaffas to reach the lowest point are declared winners. The entire episode is full of fun and exciting music is played. Each Jaffa is sold for a dollar at the start of the race and the proceeds go to various charities.

Other attractions

Beautiful cafes, restaurants, galleries and theatres add to the charm of the city. Dunedin also has spectacular wildlife and a visit to the Otago peninsula and Orokuni Eco sanctuary will surely be an overwhelming experience. Apart from that, a guided trip through the city of Dunedin will let you experience the very best of Scottish architecture and rich heritage. After the carnival, you can also set out on a mountain biking tour and explore the rides along the Otago Central Rail or head to the sea and go surfing to the North Coast.

The Joys of Visiting New Zealand during winters

With the onset of winter in June, the North and South islands of New Zealand witness a huge influx of winter enthusiasts. Join the horde of holidaymakers to enjoy the stunning natural retreats, snowy landscapes, and wildlife. Also, ski or snowboard down the slopes and hike along the empty trails or go whale watching.

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Besides, there is the Queenstown Winter Festival in June to look forward to. It is one of the most popular winter events, which attracts thousands of visitors. Read on to know some of the top winter highlights of New Zealand.

Experience Adventure at Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman ranks among New Zealand’s finest coastal national parks with water sports, sky diving, trail walking and day trips as its main attractions. Hit the beach to soak up the sun by the day and lie under the night sky to admire the beauty of the place. Stay at a beachfront lodge to enjoy the coast. Various boating companies offer single day or multi day tours of the park. While professionals can rent a kayak and explore the wilderness of the sea on their own, amateurs may seek the expertise of a number of kayaking agencies.

Whale Watching, Kaikoura

Also known as the whale watching capital of New Zealand, Kaikoura is a fabulous place to watch these gigantic primitive mammals in their natural habitat. Ranging from the largest of dolphins, the Orca, to the smallest, the place has it all. A spectacular variety of sea birds makes this place all the more appealing.

Snowboarding and Skiing in the Alps

Home to the Southern Alps, New Zealand offers one of the best snowboarding and skiing experiences in the world. Snowboarding gear is available on hire and experienced instructors are there to teach you priceless lessons. Choose from a variety of places like Queenstown, Coronet peak and Treble Cone to snowboard to your heart’s content.

Train Journey with the TranzAlpine Express

No journey to New Zealand is complete without a tour of the beautiful landscapes of the country. The TranzAlpine Express, one of best in its class, offers a beautiful winter experience by taking you through the snow clad Canterbury Plains, the cascading slopes of the Alps, and the meandering rivers. Operated by Kiwi Rail, this train runs daily between Christchurch and Greymouth. The entire journey takes less than 5 hours.

Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown celebrates one of the best winter festivals of the southern hemisphere with lights, sound, music and fireworks by the end of June. A spectacular display of fireworks marks the opening of the festival followed by a host of other fun filled activities like live street music, comedy shows, mountain races and street parties. This festival is all about celebrating the city’s unique culture with pomp and grandeur. Get ready to enthral yourself for 10 full days from 24th June to 3rd July.

Handy Information for a Skiing Holiday in Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand is home to some of the most amazing mountain slopes. Furthermore, its proximity to the Antarctic largely keeps the lower side of the country frozen throughout the year.

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The frozen fields with even slopes have led to establishment of many commercial ski clubs and skiing enthusiasts from all across the world head to these places. To make the most of your experience, check out some useful tips.

Best Time for the Trip

Winters in New Zealand start in July and last till September. The onset of this season is an invitation to all skiing enthusiasts. July does not witness much snowfall. So, the month of August and the first half of September are ideal to visit this country, if skiing is high on your agenda.

Family-friendly Accommodation

A family trip is quite different from an individual expedition. So, while booking a ski resort, a lot of things like safety, proper accommodation and suitability for the kids have to be considered. For instance, Cardona Ski Resort is a perfect family friendly option. They also offer packages for beginners. Treble Cone is another family friendly resort, well known for the special attention it gives to children.

Fitness is Essential

Skiing in New Zealand is indeed fun but make sure that you are at your physical best. If possible, try to acclimatize to the cold adventure conditions by practising at indoor winter sport facilities before your trip. Plan your journey months ahead and be particular about maintaining your health. If you are suffering from any kind of ailment, take proper advice from the doctor before booking your flight.

Being Safe and Sound

Safety comes first when you embark on such an adventure. Travellers not comfortable with high altitude climate conditions should hire guides. Wearing proper clothing, helmets, protective gear, taking proper rest the day before and maintaining communication with other members while skiing are some of the important safety tips to be observed at all times.

Transport

Queenstown is definitely the place to go to if you want to have an unforgettable skiing experience. It is well connected by domestic as well as international flights. Rental cars can be hired straight from the airport.

Immerse Yourself in the Winetopia of New Zealand

Presented by Singapore Airlines, Winetopia is perhaps the most comprehensive public wine tasting event in New Zealand. This globally popular event has won the 2015 Business Traveller Gold Medal for Best overall Wine Cellar and also the Gold Medal for Best First Class and Best Business Class Sparkling.

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Without beating around the bush, let us know more about Winetopia, especially the exclusive elements it promises this year.

Introduction

Winetopia is an ultimate wine tasting event, wherein travellers from around the world can savour marvellous wines from various regions of New Zealand, thus getting an idea of the new varieties and food matches. One may buy wines by the bottle, while hardcore enthusiasts even end up buying cases of wine to carry home as fond reminders of their trip. Besides wine, the event will also offer numerous entertainment facilities to ensure a fun-packed experience for one and all.

Basic Information of Winetopia, 2016:

When: 20th May, 2016 (05:00 PM to 08:30 PM)
21st May, 2016 (12:00 PM to 03:30 PM)
21st May, 2016 (04:30 PM to 08:00 PM)
Location: Shed 10, Queens Wharf, CBD, Auckland

Ticket Details: General Admission – 5 tastings + wine glass: $30.00
Premium MiNDFOOD Ticket ($150 Value): $65.00
Door Sales – $40.00 (Subject to Availability)
Buy Tickets – 0508 484-253

Winetopia 2016: More in Detail

With over 200 wines on offer to taste and take home, Winetopia is definitely one of the best places to discover your favourite wine. Guests may thoroughly explore the opulent world of reds and whites as well as the exciting varieties that lie between them. Not only this, there will be sommelier-led tasting classes and live music at the end of the session to add more value to the overall experience.

This is a great occasion for travellers to mingle with the locals and people of different countries. Attendees get an exclusive chance to share a glass with popular personalities. Famous artists who will grace Winetopia this year include Russell Brown, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Melodie Robinson and Shane Cortese. To entice guests further, the event will declare one lucky visitor who’ll get two return Economy tickets to Vietnam!

Interested travellers should visit the official website of Winetopia for more information and updates.

Wellington Jazz Festival 2016 is Round the Corner

The yearly Wellington Jazz Festival is extremely popular. After all, world renowned jazz artists belt out memorable performances. The mood of the festival is all the more elevated by great food, craft beer and exquisite wine.

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This year, the festival will be held from 8th to 12th June and will offer the privilege of experiencing the music of the likes of Wayne Shorter Quartet and Lisa Fischer.

Performances to Look Forward to

Soak in the mesmerizing music of Wayne Shorter Quartet, the multi-Grammy winner. Of course, you will see lead members of his orchestra. They are none other than Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade. Lisa Fischer, the academy award winner brings to the audience her enigmatic fusion of rock and soulful compositions. Snarky Puppy from USA, with a contemporary mix of jazz and synthesizers is bound to enthral the audience.

Venues

Opera House, Wellington is the nerve centre of the festival and lures the best of Jazz artists. Matterhorn, a venue with historical significance lets you enjoy music as well as heady cocktails and food. Some of the other venues are The Rogue and Vagabond, CQ Bar, The Realm, Basque, Havana, The Lido Cafe, Meow, Hotel Bristol, New Zealand School of music, The Third Eye and Cin Cin among others.

Bookings

Visitors can book tickets online, in person and also over phone for events at the Opera House. Tickets can be booked by logging on to the official website. For phone bookings, call 0800 842 538. Tickets can also be booked by visiting any of the Ticketek agencies across the country. Free events at many of the venues can be enjoyed on a first-come first-serve basis. So it is advisable to reach such venues well in advance.

How to reach?

The nearest airport to Wellington is Wellington International Airport. It caters to both domestic and international flights. Another major airport is the Kapiti Coast Airport which is about 55 kms from Wellington.

Transport and Accommodation during the Festival

Going around the city is pretty easy and the popular places are easily accessible by public transport. Hiring a bike is also another good way of moving around the city. There are different cabs and taxi shuttles which provide excellent commuting facilities and can be hired on an hourly basis.

Wellington, the third most populous city in New Zealand offers a wide range of accommodation facilities. Budget hotels come with a tariff of about 100 NZD while dorm rooms come with a pretty cheap tariff of about 25 NZD.