Free Travel Newsletter : April 2017
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Richard Gheel, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning a "Kiwi Country New Zealand" DVD.
Hard-working mums, hungry backpackers, historians, families, rugby fans, seafood lovers and teddy bears. Throughout New Zealand, events and activities - hosted by businesses and tourism operators - offer so many different interest groups the opportunity to enjoy what they enjoy most, be it high tea, sport, medieval re-enactments, education or wine-tasting. From the slightly bizarre to the absolutely brilliant - our pick should inspire you to enjoy all that New Zealand has to offer you as you explore.
Read more about:
- Mother's Day 2017
- The Heartland Flyer
- LUX Light Festival
- Rembrandt Medieval Fair
- Teddy Bear Hospital
- DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017
- Bluff Oyster and Food Festival 2018
- Annual NZ Hot Sauce Festival
- What There Is to See and Do In... Wairarapa
- Get Married in New Zealand!
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Mother's Day 2017
Location: Across New Zealand
Date: Sunday 14 May
Giving much-appreciated and hard-working mums a special treat on Mother's Day is a great tradition in New Zealand. Taking mum out to a high tea is a popular activity. High tea is an afternoon tea served in a decadent, delicious and decidedly feminine way and can be enjoyed by all the family. A typical high tea will include gourmet cakes and slices, delicate sandwiches and a choice of teas - or even champagne.
Many hotels, restaurants and cafes are on board with the idea of Mother's Day High Teas, so simply search online for "mothers day high tea" + your location. You don't need to miss out celebrating Mother's Day because you're travelling.
The Heartland Flyer
Location: Palmerston North Railway Station, Matthew Ave, Palmerston North
Date: Sunday 14 May, 12- 3pm
If you're in Palmerston for Mother's Day, you may want to evoke a bygone era by taking mum on a steam train journey. The steam locomotive Ab608 Passchendaele will be hauling classic red heritage carriages from Kapiti to Woodville via the spectacular Manawatu Gorge. You can stop at Ashhurst to enjoy a Sunday lunch (you must pre book) and the train will pick you up on the way back.
The buffet car will also be selling hot food, drink and snacks throughout the journey. Welcome drink, morning and afternoon tea or coffee is included.
View the website for booking information, Steam Incorporated
LUX Light Festival
Location: Wellington Waterfront, Wellington
Date: 12 - 21 May
LUX Light Festival is a free public light festival that turns Wellington's waterfront and laneways into a captivating celebration of light, art, technology and design.
Bigger and brighter than ever in 2017, LUX will showcase a fantastical array of light sculptures that wind their way through the city. Five new precincts will feature a broad range of outstanding nationally and internationally recognised artists, designers and architects, alongside an array of activities and performance.
Unique on the world stage will be the all new Te Aō Marama precinct featuring a programme of New Zealand's leading contemporary Māori light artists and performers. The Playground and Circus precincts will delight the child in everyone, while a feast of street art and fine art will highlight the Urban Edge and Gallery precincts. As the gateway to winter, LUX invites audiences to bundle up and bask in the glow of Wellington.
For more information visit the website, LUX Light Festival
Rembrandt Medieval Fair
Location: Expressions Whirinaki Arts & Entertainment Ct, 836 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt, Wellington Region
Date: Saturday 20 May, 12 - 6pm
Step back in time for something a bit different! This free festival provides an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy a traditional celebration as in the time of Rembrandt, complete with sword making, weaving, tapestry, leather-work and so much more, finishing with your own mini medieval-inspired meal with roving minstrels.
View more information at, Expressions Whirinaki Arts & Entertainment Centre
Teddy Bear Hospital
Location: Hunter Centre, Frederick Street, Dunedin, Otago
Date: Saturday 27 May 10:30am - 2:30pm
Although this event is for limited numbers only, it's such a great idea we're sharing it with you - just in case students at a teaching hospital near you can be inspired to do something similar. (Teddy Bear Hospital is part of a global project set up by the International Federation of Medical Students Association's (IFMSA).
Bring your children and their teddies for a checkup by the teddy doctors and teddy dentists at Teddy Bear Hospital in Dunedin. The aim of the event is to create a positive medical experience for young children as for some, visiting the doctor and dentist can be an anxious time.
The event is free and gives children the opportunity to experience a medical setting in a fun environment. There will be anatomy models on display and a St John's ambulance will be on site as well as fun activities, face painting and bouncy castles.
The event is best suited to children aged 3 - 8 but we welcome children of any age.
To register visit: Teddy Bear Hospital Dunedin
DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017
In June and July 2017, British & Irish Lions take on the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, every New Zealand Super Rugby team, the Māori All Blacks and the All Blacks. Be there to support your team and experience the electric atmosphere when thousands of passionate British and Irish Lions fans descend on our rugby stadiums.
The DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017 is one of the most anticipated events in New Zealand since Rugby World Cup 2011. Demand for tickets is expected to be very strong. Tickets to the non-Test match fixtures are on sale now at www.nzlionsseries17.com
Bluff Oyster and Food Festival 2018
Location: Lee Street, Bluff
Date: 26 May 2018
No we haven't made a mistake with the date, we're giving you plenty of advance warning about the next Bluff Oyster and Food Festival, because this year's tickets for 20 May are well and truly sold out. It is a measure of the success of this unpretentious but highly popular seafood event which champions the sumptuous bluff oyster along with crayfish, paua, scallops, blue cod and whitebait. Plan your trip around the date for next year!
Information and tickets for 2018, Bluff Oyster and Food Festival
Annual NZ Hot Sauce Festival
Location: Sweat Shop Brew Bar, 7 Sale Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland
Date: Saturday 20 May, 12 - 6pm
This is probably the hottest festival in New Zealand featuring over 100 hot sauces. Running for its second year, the Hot Sauce Festival showcases hot sauces from 13 iconic New Zealand brands presented by Fire Dragon Chillies creator, Clint Meyer and Mark Jackson, owner of Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen.
Among the fiery line up of sauces will be at least 6 World Hot Sauce Award Champion winning sauces, live music, fiery cocktails and a spicy smokehouse food menu, created especially for the festival. The festival includes the final of the 2017 NZ Chilli Eating Champs, a homemade hot sauce competition judged by NZ's hot sauce producers.
Tickets available on the day and also for early birds, see Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen
What There Is to See and Do In... Wairarapa
Explore New Zealand country life in the Wairarapa region on the North Island. This lovely heritage region is known for its fine wine and good food in centres such as Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Featherston and Martinborough.
Highlights of the region
- Whareama Coastal Walk - 2 or 3 day fully catered walk over private farmland on the East Coast.
- Brackenridge Retreat and Spa - perfect for Mother's Day gifts and special weekends away - settler style accommodation with open fires and a range of therapeutic and beauty treatments.
- Wellington City Tours - travel in a luxury 4WD and see the best of this wonderful city with an itinerary that can include movie, sightseeing, parliament or beer tours.
- Green Cycle Cycle Tours - Get your legs moving with an easy relaxing cycling experience that takes in scenic highlights of the region.
- Kapiti Heliworx Flights - Get the bird's eye view of the region with a scenic helicopter flight around the Kapiti Coast.
- Martinborough Wine Tours - Do the vineyards justice and let someone else do the driving so you can learn more about the region's history and taste a selection of premium wines and beers.
- Paua World - Visit the factory in Carterton and watch the beautiful paua (abalone) shell being crafted and take a beautiful souvenir.
- Pukaha Mount Bruce - Visit the home of New Zealand's National Wildlife Centre for captive breeding of threatened wildlife, conservation education and forest restoration.
- Stonehenge Aotearoa - A unique place of science and wonder built by members of The Phoenix Astronomical Society with the support of the Royal Society of New Zealand - come and rediscover the knowledge of our ancestors.
What Did You Do and See in Wairarapa?
If you enjoyed an activity during your stay in Wairarapa, why not let other NZTG readers know about it? You can share with the Instagram community or post on the New Zealand Tourism Guide Facebook page. We look forward to seeing your news and views.
Find out more about New Zealand's Wairarapa region.
Share Your Experience
If you have had a particular experience during your stay in New Zealand unlike anything else, why not let us know. We've picked out a few to give you some ideas!
Get Married in New Zealand!
If you have dreamed of getting married in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, then look no further. Intimate ceremonies or larger, decadent affairs - mountain tops, lakeside parks, vineyards, beaches - you are only limited by your imagination. And of course, New Zealand is the perfect destination for your honeymoon too.
Anyone can get married in New Zealand as long as they're not already married or in a civil union, under 16 or closely related. The legal requirements are simple, you just need a marriage licence and to register your marriage after the ceremony.
Everything you need to organise your wedding is online at New Zealand Tourism Guide - wedding venues, accommodation, organisers, cars, cakes, caterers, flowers, gowns and outfits, celebrants, photographers, flowers - everything you may want. But you can always keep it simple (KIS)!
Some popular locations for weddings for locals and overseas visitors include: Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo; Te Papa Marae at Wellington's national museum; under the peak of Mount Cook New Zealand's highest mountain; on board a catamaran sailing Lake Roititi in Rotorua; one of the picturesque wineries of Hawke's Bay; a hot air balloon wedding over the Canterbury plains; or the romantic valleys and bays of the Marlborough Sounds.
For inspiration, ideas and wedding services, visit our New Zealand Wedding pages.
New Zealand Fast Facts
New Zealanders are taking longer than ever to walk down the aisle - the median age at first marriage in New Zealand was 28.5 years for women and 30 years for men. When we do get there, it's likely that we'll get married in the warmer months of the year, January, February, and March and it'll most generally be on a Saturday. Civil unions have been celebrated in New Zealand since 2005 - Statistics New Zealand