Free Travel Newsletter : August 2009
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Allan Kenny of New South Wales, Australia, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning "The Ultimate New Zealand DVD".
Why not check out this year's Winter Games on New Zealand's South Island? These games offer an unmissable programme of snow sports for spectators and competitors including alpine and cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, snowboarding, freestyle skiing and ice hockey. Alternatively, you can watch the snow turn pink at the 7th annual Gay Ski Week based in Queenstown, or get away from it all with this month's Off the Beaten Track recommendation, Kapiti Island...
Find out about:
- Winter Games NZ, 22nd - 30th August
- Gay Ski Week, 29th August - 6th September
- Off the Beaten Track to... Kapiti Island
- Adventure Attractions in New Zealand
- New Zealand Fast Facts
Winter Games NZ, 22nd - 30th August
Don't miss one of the best snow events in New Zealand being held during August on the South Island. Some of the country's and the world's best winter athletes compete in able body and adaptive events including alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, snowboarding, freestyle skiing and ice hockey.
The whole programme of snow sports is free to watch and these superb games are being held in some of the most attractive parts of New Zealand's South Island including: Wanaka, Queenstown, Naseby and Dunedin. All you have to do is get there!
Find out more about the Winter Games NZ 2009.
Gay Ski Week, 29th August - 6th September
Hundreds of gay men and women will head to Queenstown at the end of August to enjoy the seventh Gay Ski Week. This is a fun-filled week for skiers and non-skiers, on and off the slopes. Highlights include the welcome party, cowboy dinner, night skiing, karaoke casino night, big gay out adventure days, horizontal bungy night and the grand finale White-Out Party.
Bring your sparkliest snow suits, your highest-heeled snow boots and get ready to enjoy the best week of pink snow in New Zealand (and possibly the world). If your diary’s already jam-packed, start planning for next year instead.
Find out more about the Gay Ski Week, Queenstown 2009.
Off the Beaten Track to... Kapiti Island
Lying about 5 kilometres off the west coast of the southern North Island (not far from Wellington), Kapiti Island is one of few accessible island nature reserves in New Zealand. It gives visitors the opportunity to observe birds that are either rare, or absent on the mainland. Truly a bird-watcher's paradise, Kapiti Island is also of historical interest.
Only 68 people can visit the island per day, so advance booking is highly recommended and permits must be obtained in advance from DOC (Department of Conservation).
View more about visiting Kapiti Island, New Zealand.
Adventure Attractions in New Zealand
Getting to New Zealand can seem like quite an adventure in itself, but once here, you are truly spoilt for choice for more adventure-based activities. With a trustworthy and excellent safety record, New Zealand offers visitors prime opportunities for adventure activities such as bungy jumping, caving, diving, paragliding, helisking, jet boating, rafting and mountaineering.
Here's our pick of some of the lesser-known adventure activities you can enjoy whilst holidaying in New Zealand:
- Fly by Wire – Definitely not for the faint-hearted, flying by wire across canyons and gorges is a unforgettable part of a thrilling day out. (New Zealand has the world's highest canyon swing at 109 metres.)
- Jet Boating – The first jet boat was invented in New Zealand and due to the boat's 360 degree turns, power and handling, jetboating offer visitors an exhilarating ride.
- Skywire – An exciting but not totally terrifying experience, skywire combines a chairlift and flying fox ride sensation. Skywire is only available in Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island.
- Zorbing – You have to ask, who thought of this... zorbing involves being rolled down a hill inside a large plastic ball. Speeds of up to 30km/h have been reached!
New Zealand Fast Facts
The kiwi bird is native only to New Zealand, but is rarely seen in the wild due to its semi-nocturnal, secretive nature. The kiwi first appeared as an emblem in the late 19th century in the New Zealand army's regimental badges. It became recognised internationally in 1906, when Kiwi Shoe Polish was launched in Australia. During World War 1, the term 'kiwi' was used for New Zealand soldiers and the name has stuck ever since.