Free Travel Newsletter : February 2012
Written by Steph Kendall
Brought to you by New Zealand Tourism Guide www.tourism.net.nz.
Congratulations to Ian Harper of the UK, this month's lucky Free Travel Newsletter subscriber, winning "The Ultimate New Zealand DVD".
Whether you want to walk or run, go green or go caving, February in New Zealand offers outdoor enthusiasts and festival-goers some fantastic opportunities to enjoy spectacular scenery, wilderness environments and famous Kiwi-style hospitality. And even if you just want to take it easy and curl up with your book, we can even help you out with suggestions from NZ Book Month.
- New Zealand International Arts Festival, 24th Feb - 18th March
- Te Houtaewa Challenge Race, 90 Mile Beach, 17th March
- St Patrick's Day, New Zealand 17th March
- NZ Book Month – March 2012
- New Zealand's Great Walks
- Off the Beaten Track to... Karamea
- New Zealand Fast Facts
New Zealand International Arts Festival, 24th Feb - 18th March
Wellington plays hosts to the New Zealand International Arts Festival, New Zealand's premier cultural event and a leading multi-arts festival in Australasia. The Festival has an esteemed reputation among artists and audiences for bringing the very best artists and performers from around the world to New Zealand.
For 24 days, Wellington's theatres, concert halls, museums, galleries and open spaces come alive with theatre, dance and music, literature, film and visual arts. Nearly 300,000 people are expected to attend over 300 events. The major focus of the festival is on international work, but it also showcases the best of New Zealand's creative talents.
Find out more at the New Zealand International Arts Festival website.
Te Houtaewa Challenge Race, 90 Mile Beach, 17th March
Feel like taking on the 'Te Houtaewa Challenge Race'? This is billed as the most challenging beach race in New Zealand with runners, cyclists and surfers competing for top honours. The race is now in its 21st year and was started to follow the footsteps of Te Houtaewa. According to Māori legend, he was the fastest runner of the day and having stolen some kumara (sweet potato) from a rival tribe, managed to outwit and outpace them to deliver the food to his mother in time for tea (a traditional hangi). The good news is that race participants in 2012 do not have to carry heavy baskets of kumara, but there are challenging races on the sand nonetheless including:
- Runners Endurance
- 60-kilometre Ultra Marathon
- 42-kilometre Marathon
- 21-kilometre Half-Marathon run/walk
- Cycle Challenge
- 60-kilometre Ultra Marathon
- Waka Ama Challenge (Māori canoe)
- Blue & White Endurance Challenge
More races and more race information at http://www.tehoutaewa.co.nz/
View more information about the 90 Mile Beach.
St Patrick's Day, New Zealand 17th March
There's probably no patron saint so celebrated worldwide as Ireland's St Patrick (nothing to do with Guinness marketing of course). Anyway, it's a great excuse to let your hair down and enjoy a few pints of the black stuff, dance a few jigs and paint yourself green for the day. There will be pubs throughout New Zealand celebrating 'St Paddy's Day' and most notably, a parade along Auckland's central Queen Street with fun for all the family.
NZ Book Month – March 2012
If you love reading books: guidebooks, travel books or just the books you pick up on your travels, then join the celebration of books with like-minded people during New Zealand Book Month in March. Events are being held throughout New Zealand to celebrate authors, readers and the books that inspire, challenge and move us. Find out more at NZ Book Month.
New Zealand's Great Walks
A number of New Zealand's best walking tracks are managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and planning your holiday around a few of these will ensure you see some truly spectacular scenery. There are 9 Great Walks in total (which includes rather confusingly one canoe trip!) and they are located on 3 islands, North, South and Stewart Islands (south of the South Island).
North Island Great Walks
- Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk - A moderate hike in Te Urewera National Park.
- Tongariro Northern Circuit - This hike winds its way over Mt Tongariro (an excellent day hike option) and around Mt Ngauruhoe.
- Whanganui Journey - A 145-kilometre paddle from Taumarunui to Pipiriki on the Whanganui River through atmospheric rainforest.
South Island Great Walks
- Abel Tasman Coast Track - An easy 3-5 day hike that features stunning coastal views, tremendous beaches and marine wildlife.
- Heaphy Track - At 78.4 kilometres, the longest of the DOC Great Walks in Kahurangi National Park. (Mountain biking is allowed on a seasonal basis).
- Routeburn Track - 32 kilometres through the awe-inspiring Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park.
- Milford Track - 53.5 kilometres beginning at the head of Lake Te Anau and ending at Milford Sound in the heart of spectacular Fiordland National Park. Famously described as 'the finest walk in the world'.
- Kepler Track - The 60-kilometre Kepler Track is a moderate walking track in Fiordland National Park that takes 3-4 days to complete.
- Rakiura Track - The Rakiura Track Great Walk is on Stewart Island/Rakiura, just a 20-minute flight from Invercargill or an hour by ferry from Bluff.
View more about track bookings, conditions, huts and the outdoor safety code.
Off the Beaten Track to... Karamea
Described as the West Coast's best-kept secret, Karamea is a small township located in the north-west of New Zealand's South Island. Situated between the mountains and the sea, Karamea appeals to hikers, cavers, birdwatchers and botanists, mountain bikers, hunters and fishermen, kayakers and rafters...(more)
New Zealand Fast Facts
Lemon & Paeroa, (known as L&P) is a soft drink manufactured in New Zealand and originally made by combining lemon juice with carbonated mineral water from the town of Paeroa. In Paeroa (on the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island) there stands a giant L&P bottle showing the original label design. L&P is only found in New Zealand and in speciality New Zealand stores overseas. Its advertising slogan, "World famous in New Zealand" has became a popular New Zealand saying used to describe items or people that are famous in New Zealand but unknown by the rest of the world, although the same items or people in larger countries would be famous worldwide.