Monday, December 10, 2007

Travel New Zealand has moved...

Travel New Zealand has moved locations...we are now at


For all the same and more...

Please come and visit.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Zealand water makes a splash...

New Zealand water is free...if it comes out of the tap.

But bottle it up and send it overseas and it seems you can charge a fortune.

Apparently the Claridge, an expensive London hotel, thinks so. They have established a 'water menu' featuring 30 brands of bottled water from around the world. And New Zealand's 420 Volcanic is at the top of the list - as most expensive. Get this, you will pay $55NZ for 420 mls of pure New Zealand water...

Other New Zealand brands on the menu are cheaper. Waiwera and Antipodes brands sell at a mere $24NZ.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

5 resources to help plan an eco-friendly trip around New Zealand.

A Blog Action Day post:

Anyone considering a trip to New Zealand who look at ways to travel more environmentally friendly. Here's a few links to help you plan a greener trip...

Ecotours - links to over 100 ecotourism operators in New Zealand offering tours.

Organic Explorer - a resource guide/directory to eco-friendly places around New Zealand where you can stay, eat, sightsee and shop

Focus on New Zealand - looks at the role of nature and eco-tourism in New Zealand.

Green Globe NZ - collective of award-winning, unique, and innovative tourism operations demonstrating responsible behaviour.

New Zealand Eco-Wise Travel Guide complied by the Ministry of the Environment offering tips on how to be eco-wise and leave gentle footprints when travelling in New Zealand (or anywhere else)

Monday, August 20, 2007

US Idol Spot for Kiwi Singer...

New Zealander Joanne Jaffa is one of 40 top contestants for the latest US Idol competition, the Next Great American Band. Joanne, together with her daughters Leticia and Krystle, play in the classical crossover band CJA The band is based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Travel New Zealand has joined the Blog Action Day 2007

Travel New Zealand has joined the Blog Action Day 2007 project.

It's a great idea - getting bloggers from around the world to all post on the one topic on the same day. The first ever Blog Action Day takes place on October 15, 2007 and the topic is 'environment'.

Over 700 bloggers have already registered...

Check it out at Blog Action Day 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Net Guide's New Zealand Photo Competition.

Net Guide is holding a New Zealand Photo Competition.

Head on over and check out the recent entries. All photos must celebrate New Zealand’s unique culture, lifestyle and landscape.

Images are added to the slideshow daily and you can vote on your favorite one. Or better still enter your own New Zealand photo for the chance to win a Sony Alpha digital SLR package.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Reading New Zealand: From the Writer's Notebook...

From the Writer’s Notebook by Lydia Monin (Reed Publishing, 2006)

Subtitled Around New Zealand with 80 authors, this travel book provides an interesting insight into historic New Zealand through the eyes of famous writers such as Mark Twain, Zane Grey, Anthony Trollope, and Agatha Christie etc, etc.

Focusing both on the visiting writers preconceptions of New Zealand - for example, before Mark Twain visited New Zealand, he thought that New Zealand and Australia were connected by a bridge - and on their actual impressions of New Zealand, this book is a fascinating journey around New Zealand in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The NZ Charity Golf Tour...

There’s a guy called Ricky Bartlett wandering around New Zealand playing golf. He aims to hit every golf course in New Zealand - all 385 of them - within the year. You do the maths. He will have to play golf once or twice a day for a whole year. That’s an awful lot of golf….

So you have to ask yourself why someone would create such a challenge. Either you’re a golf nut or you’ve got a mission.

Ricky’s got a mission - to raise money for charity. To be specific he’s raising money for four charities - SPCA, Amnesty International, The Cancer Society, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

He’s been playing for the past 269 days and has raised 45,644.38...

Want to know where Ricky is now ? Check out the Where’s Ricky map…he could be at a town near you…

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Another New Zealand blog...

I discovered a new New Zealand blog the other day called An Argentine-American Living in New Zealand.

He offers an immigrants perspective on New Zealand, complete with dictionary entries...

Who knows what a chilly bin is ?

Christchurch Tour Guide Blog up and running...

I've got a new blog up and running called Christchurch Tour Guide.

Part of the Home Turf Media network, it will be focusing on all things Christchurch.

My theme - to show Christchurch with the 'eyes of a tourist and the knowledge of a local'.

Stop by. Tell me what you think...

Friday, March 02, 2007

An Encyclopedia that doesn’t gather dust…

New Zealand’s pioneering digital encyclopedia, Te Ara Online, is a comprehensive source of information about everything to do with New Zealand. Constantly updated, visitors to the site have the whole of New Zealand - past, present, and future - at their fingertips. Check it out…

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Follow travelers around New Zealand

Thinking of visiting New Zealand. Want to know where to go and what to see? You could read all the books and visit all the websites. But if you want the true story of traveling around New Zealand, then check out other traveler's blogs at TravelBlog.

New Zealand promotional video found on Youtube

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Visiting Christchurch - Top 8 Things to Do

Christchurch is a young city that wants to be old. Least that's what its buildings seem to indicate.The central city houses a wonderful collection of neo-gothic stone buildings well worth visiting. And when you're standing on a bridge over the Avon River, watching Edwardian dressed punters drifting along the river, you might even start thinking you're in England. But there is much more to this city - arts, culture, and adventure - then replicating England.

It is a city made for walking. Flat and with the streets laid out in a grid formation from Cathedral Square, it is impossible to get lost. Check out the 'culture precinct' website to see what's worth seeing around the inner city.

Top eight things to do when visiting Christchurch include:

1. Spend some time in Cathedral Square watching the world go by.

This is the true city center. A pedestrian only area, the best time to visit is lunchtime. Buy some food, find a seat, and wait for the entertainment to begin. Step ladders and soapboxes come out and a collection of eccentric individuals will spew forth on anything that holds their attention. You may be shocked or even insulted, but you will not be bored.

2. Catch the Tram for a quick trip around the central city.

Hop a tram to explore Christchurch. The 2.5 km circuit passes most main attractions of the central city. Get on and off as you desire. The whole circuit takes 25 minutes.

3. Have lunch at the Art Center and then explore its numerous galleries and shops.

The Art Center used to be the University of Canterbury. You can even visit Rutherford's Den. But most of the neo-gothic buildings now house arts and crafts shops and galleries. There are more than 40 to wander through, as well as a few cafes and restuarants. And during the weekends, market and food stalls go up in the adjacent carpark.

4. Walk off lunch with a stroll around the botanic gardens.

Seventy four acres of gardens, lawns, and paths right in the heart of the city. Take a book, bring a camera. Walk the paths or find a quiet corner to sit and watch the world go by.

5. Take a punt on the Avon River.

The Avon River runs through Christchurch and is an ever present part of the landscape. The Antigua Boat Sheds, an institution in the Christchurch since the 1880s, provide canoes and paddle boats that can be taken along the river into the botanic gardens.

And for the less energetic, there is ‘punting’ in English flat-bottomed boats with Edwardian dressed punters.

6. Catch a bus to the Gondala to see the sunset from the top of Mount Cavendish.

It’s a cliché, but ‘on a clear day you can see forever’ from the top of Mount Cavendish. The gondola takes you up the side of a long extinct volcano for a spectacular 360 view of the region - Christchurch., Lyttleton Harbor, and the Southern Alps.

7. Visit the International Antartic Center.

Christchurch has been the gateway to the Antartic ever since Robert Scott and then Ernest Shackleton used the city as their expedition launch point. So it makes sense that the International Antarctic Center would also find its home here.

With interactive exhibits, audio visual shows, live penguins, and a very, very coldd ice cave and Antarctic storm (jackets and overshoes provided), the International Antartic Center is well worth a visit. Additonal activities include riding on the Antarctic Hagglund, an all-terrain amphibian vehicle.

8. Get creative at The Bone Dude.

Go on a carving adventure and create a lasting souvenier of your visit to Christchurch at The Bone Dude gallery. With expert instruction, you use the simple hand tools provided to create your own bone carving. There are 16 contemporary designs available or you can create your own. And at the same time, you get to learn more about the history of bone carving in New Zealand.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

More from the 2007 Christchurch World Buskers Festival...

Mr Spin (Australia) - considered Australia's finest juggler

Pandora Pink (Australia/UK) - one of the few female buskers (with her sidekick 'Elvis' from the audience)

Gamarjobat (Japan) a comedy duo who communicate with whistles...

Photos from the 2007 Christchurch World Buskers Festival...

Photos from the 2007 Christchurch Buskers Festival. Only had the chance to see one act yesterday, but it was a good one.

Meet Leapin' Louie Litchenstein from Portland, Oregon. He's a Lithuanian Jewish Cowboy Juggler with high energy, high falutin' tricks that involve a lassos, whips, and knives.

The weather turned half way through his act but no one left. As the rains came down, the umbrellas came out and some moved under the shelter of the tree, but the show went on...

More photos to follow...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Want to go Medieval...

It’s time again for the International Jousting Competition. Held in Upper Hutt, just outside of Wellington, this competition returns to Harcourt Park on 13 and 14 January 2007. Read more

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wellington named as rising city...

Lonely Planet editors have named Wellington as one of the ten world cities on the rise. The newly released Lonely Planet Blue List (The Best in Travel 2007) describes Wellington as ‘more beautiful than Seattle or Melbourne’. And the rest of New Zealand rated just as well. In a poll of 33,000 travellers from 170 countries voted New Zealand No. 2 ‘most favorite destination’ (No 1 was Australia).

Monday, January 08, 2007

Maori Kai (food)....

Back in March I posted ‘Why are there (almost) no Maori Restuarants?’ I still can’t answer that question but if you’re looking to taste some traditional Maori kai (food), then head for the Kawhai Kai Festival in Kawhia on the West Coast of the North Island. This one day event happens 3 February 2007.

City of Laughter...

Grab hold of your sides and get ready to laugh. The annual Christchurch World Buskers Festival is about to hit town. Running between 18 January and 28 January, this annual event, considered the largest buskers festival in Australasia, is hilarious. With over 30 acts staging 400 plus shows (day and night) at various locations around Christchurch, this is the place to be this summer.

South Island tops...

A recent Conde Nast travel poll voted Queenstown as ‘top town’ in New Zealand, followed by Christchurch. Auckland didn’t even rate a mention…

Fancy a traditional Maori Wedding...

New Zealand Maori Weddings in Rotorua offers couples the chance to experience a traditional Maori Wedding ceremony. Wedding Co-ordinators Darren and Michelle Brown will arrange the ceremony, Maori Priest, and traditional wedding feast. All you have to do is decide on the location (five sacred venues to choose from).