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Old February 12th, 2012, 10:15 PM   #221
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very nice updates....
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Old February 12th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #222
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Sky Towers' elevator on world's best list

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30 JUL 10 13°C by Urban+Explorer, on Flickr

The Auckland Sky Tower's elevator has been named one of the world's impressive elevators by a popular international travel blog. Ryan Murphy, of Budget Travel, compiled a list of the "12 elevators you need to see to believe" for CNN's website. He described the Auckland landmark's 40-second ride to the tower's observation level as "magical". "The glass-fronted elevators have views of the harbour and Auckland's cityscape, as well as the green countryside unfurling like a quilt in the far distance. "If you can tear your eyes away from the view out the sides, look down through the glass floor for the extra thrill of seeing the ground speed away from you - and come rushing back towards you on the descent." The SkyTower had some stiff competition.

Also included in the list was an elevator inside an aquarium, a rotating boat lift and Europe's highest exterior elevator. The AquaDom resides in the lobby of Berlin's Radisson Blu Hotel and rises through the hollow centre of a cylindrical, 25m tall aquarium giving visitors a panorama of tropical sea life. Meanwhile, the rocket-like Hammetschwand Lift in Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, "offers far more colorful vistas than anything you could find in the emptiness of outer space," Mr Murphy said. The elevator was opened in 1905 and the 152m, 48-second ride is still the tallest outdoor lift in Europe. Not to be out-done, the Falkirk Wheel in Falkirk, Scotland, is a lift for boats which links two canals whose "inconvenient, lock-ridden connection had been severed nearly 70 years earlier".
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Old February 13th, 2012, 08:56 PM   #223
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Auckland secures 10 per cent increase in visitor nights

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25 JAN 12 24°C ST HELIERS by Urban+Explorer, on Flickr

Auckland has capped off an impressive year of strong visitation with a 10 per cent annual increase in guest nights, against an overall national decline of 07 per cent. According to the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand Auckland secured 6.26 million guest nights in 2011 and enjoyed the largest annual rise of any region in the country. Auckland also led the way with its monthly result of a 12 per cent increase in guest nights for December 2011. Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd (ATEED) Manager Tourism Jason Hill says it is excellent to see this strong year-on-year growth. “For the last two years Auckland has shown near-continuous improvement in visitor numbers. Rugby World Cup was an obvious driver for visitation last year, but it is heartening to see the strong numbers through into December,” he says.

For the year end December 2011 Auckland’s international guest nights jumped 11 per cent and domestically they were up 9 per cent. Mayor Len Brown endorsed the new ten year Auckland Visitor Plan last December and says these figures are a good start for growing the visitor economy. “These results bode well for realising the targets in Auckland’s Visitor Plan, which aims to grow the visitor economy by 5.5 per cent per annum, and also help make our city a better place to live as well as a better place to visit,” he says. Tourism is big business in Auckland, generating in excess of $3 billion of GDP per annum and supporting more than 50,000 full time jobs.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 02:26 AM   #224
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Queenstown: the Adventure Capital of the World

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Shadow Basin Lookout by JarvisKP, on Flickr

It’s like a dream come true. My dawn charter flight makes its final approach into Queenstown Airport which has just been voted among the best approaches in the world. This spectacular New Zealand resort is the adventure capital of the world and I am blown away by the summer scenery. It’s no wonder Queenstown with its magnificent scenery and high octane activities is ranked eighth on Lonely Planet's list of top 10 places in the world to visit this year. Queenstown is no longer just a winter skiing destination. It offers fuel-injected fun all summer long. My limousine arrives at St Moritz, the hotel with the best five star views in town. The lake view suite has spectacular views.

I stroll into town for the best biggest breakfast at Fergburgers Cafe. Just ask for the fluffer. Next on the list: a thrilling Kawarau jet boat ride which hits speeds over 90kmph and does 360 degree spins producing squeals of fun from others in the boat. Boat driver Kevin tells me Kawarau is the longest running commercial jet boat company in the world. They leave on the hour from the wharf right by town. It gets even better. Guide Pete Hitchman takes me into the bush on one of his You vs Wild survival tours, based along the lines of the Bear Grills tv programme. On the Sam Summers track, Pete teaches how to survive. He shows how to make an aspirin from a tree, which plants can be safely eaten, and what plant to use as an antiseptic and how to filter water. He lights a fire, by friction with a shoe lace. It feels great being outdoors enjoying nature in the wild.

I’m exhausted. Back in town I sip a latte outside Vudu Cafe and watch a stream of paragliders float off gondola hill. I glance up the gondola and decide to hire a bike and hit the forest tracks in the high-octane new mountain bike park from the gondola back in to town. It’s a big adrenalin-buzz; so steep – even on the beginners green track - but exciting. By afternoon’s end I soak in a hot tub at St Moritz. This is the best place in the world right now. This adrenalin-junkie, sexy, love-making capital of the world is so seductive for activity-lovers who embrace the staggering beauty of this wild destination. Refreshed, I wander down to Steamer Wharf to eat at Wai restaurant for yummy whitebait and salmon, washed down by a buttery Spy Valley chardonnay. Superb hostess Katie suggests going to the sub-zero ice bar for a drink, or possibly a trip on the steam ship Earnslaw which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year.

Around the waterfront, couples stroll arm in arm; girls in bikinis and guys in baggy shorts get the last of the sun on the lakeside beach. The setting sun casts a rosy tint over the rugged Remarkables . This picture-postcard resort destination is a Mecca for people with a lust for high-octane excitement. At dusk I unwind with a back massage at Sofitel. They were named last year by Travel and Leisure magazine as having the best spa in the world. Michelle is an outstanding massage expert and worked on all my bumps and bruises from a gloriously hectic day. Tired but inspired, I plod back to my fabulous St Moritz suite, flop onto the bed and ponder my potential conquests for the next day. Who knows what I will get into: skydiving, paragliding, rafting, hang gliding, bungy jumping, canyoning, horse trekking, mountain biking, water skiing, sailing, deer hunting, canoeing, mountain climbing, kayaking, fly fishing, ice skating, luge and river surfing.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 09:54 PM   #225
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I love this new campaign by Air New Zealand (hosted by Rhys Darby from "Flight of the Conchords" fame) which targets ignorant Australians


The Europhile Aussie





The Bali Aussie





The Hipster Aussie





The Aussie Aussie - Aussie

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Old February 14th, 2012, 10:46 PM   #226
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Visitor arrivals and expenditure increase in 2011

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Moeraki Boulders at Sunrise, Otago, South Island, New Zealand by Ilya Genkin, on Flickr

International visitor arrivals and expenditure both increased in 2011, boosted by Rugby World Cup 2011 and the growing number of travellers coming here to visit friends and relatives, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand says. In the year ending December 2011, international visitors to New Zealand were 2.601 million, up 3% on 2010 and the first time annual arrivals have exceeded 2.6 million. During the same period visitor expenditure reached $5.763 billion, up 3% on 2010. The increase in expenditure was largely attributable to RWC 2011, which pumped around $390 million into the economy, says TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar. “Given the challenging trading conditions for tourism businesses in 2011, the increase in visitor arrivals and expenditure is a good result for the industry,” says Mr Cossar. He cautions, however, that New Zealand needs to do more to increase its share of higher-spending holidaymakers

“The 2.601 million visitor arrivals last year included 1.216 million holidaymakers, an increase of just 0.3% on 2010. At the same time we saw the number of travellers coming here to visit friends and relatives increase by 7.1% to almost 834,000.” “While we welcome all visitors and the contribution they make to the economy, those that come here to visit friends and relatives generally spend less on things like accommodation, eating out, transport and activities than those who come for a holiday.” Mr Cossar says the increase in arrivals visiting friends and relatives (VFR) was particularly noticeable in the Australian market, New Zealand’s largest visitor market. “The number of VFR Australians travelling to New Zealand in 2011 was up 8.6% on 2010. At the same time the number of Australians coming here on holiday declined 1%.”

He says Australian visitor arrivals were boosted by RWC 2011. The UK market, which has been in decline in recent years due to ongoing economic difficulties in that market and added costs in long-haul travel, also showed growth during RWC 2011. Increased air capacity helped see Chinese visitor arrivals reach just over 145,000 in 2011, up 18.6% on 2010. Expenditure from this market was a record $457 million, and has now overtaken the USA as New Zealand’s third largest spending visitor market. The introduction of new air services also supported strong growth in visitor arrivals from Malaysia and Singapore. “Rugby World Cup aside, 2011 was a challenging year for many tourism operators. However, the growth in visitor arrivals and visitor expenditure allows for some guarded optimism for the year ahead,” Mr Cossar says. “It’s important to build on that growth, and as an industry, continue to look for new ways to increase the number of higher-spending holiday makers travelling to New Zealand.”
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Old February 15th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #227
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Sydney - those Air New Zealand vids were great!! Just what a homesick Kiwi boy needed to see!! :-)
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Old February 15th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #228
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Sydney - those Air New Zealand vids were great!! Just what a homesick Kiwi boy needed to see!! :-)
You are most welcome sweety - time to move back home
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Old February 15th, 2012, 08:52 PM   #229
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Rotorua Shows Huge Growth as a Conference Destination

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Rotorua Museum/Bath House by Cathleen Tarawhiti, on Flickr

The Rotorua Convention Bureau is thrilled with the latest Convention Activity Survey (CAS) results which show huge growth in multi-day conferences and delegate days in 2011. The CAS results show Rotorua secured 297 multi-day conferences in the year to December 2011, which was 28 more conferences than the previous year equating to 10.4% growth for the region compared to a decline of 20.8% in the CAS benchmark. More than 40,000 delegates attended Rotorua’s 297 multi-day conferences. The delegates collectively stayed almost 140,000 delegate days in Rotorua and are estimated to have spent $60 million in the region.

Rotorua's market share of domestic delegate days spent in the 10 New Zealand CAS regions has increased from 12% to 20% over the previous year and from 2% to 17% for Australian delegates. Australian delegate days spent in Rotorua have increased from fewer than 2000 days a year ago to more than 10,000 in the most recent year. Rotorua Convention Bureau manager Denise Siviter says when Rotorua first went into the Australian conference market with business development manager Debbie Gee, Rotorua had no profile and no history, but with a lot of hard work the Australian market has come ahead in leaps and bounds.

“These results are clearly a reflection of the work that Debbie has done in the Australian conference market, boosted by the support of local industry. “Rotorua Convention Bureau and industry have formed strong relationships with key people in Australia by working together to encourage business to come across this side of the Tasman.” Siviter says MEETINGS 2011 (New Zealand's only national conference and incentive trade show) was held in Rotorua for the first time last June and it has also helped to raise the profile of Rotorua’s conference and incentive industry.

She says MEETINGS showed delegates how easy it is to run a professional and successful event in a compact city like Rotorua, with many people seeing the city in a fresh new light. She hopes the success of MEETINGS will help Rotorua to continue to grow in the future. “These results are a great start to the year and the Rotorua Convention Bureau look forward to another successful year in 2012,” says Siviter.
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Old February 15th, 2012, 09:53 PM   #230
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Travel book: "The Great Kiwi Motorhome Guide".

Have you ever seen a happy bunch of people tootling merrily down the highway in a motorhome, taking their self-contained holiday accommodation on wheels to some wild and wonderful spot, and thought you'd like to do the same? If so, this book is for you. It's primarily written for folk who haven't yet had a motorhome experience (though, judging from the rising tide of motorhomes on our highways, you'd think there can't be many of them). It's full of information about what to look out for when buying or renting, how to operate the toilet systems, what to take on a trip, checking the vehicle, responsible camping, using a dump station, driving a large vehicle and looking after children. There's also a pretty comprehensive list of great places to stay.
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Old February 15th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #231
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The Best Luxury Hotels in Each Major City of New Zealand.

Most people associate New Zealand with natural wonders such as Milford Sound, Mount Cook and the Franz Josef Glacier, or perhaps with the world-class wine regions of Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay.
But to get to those places, chances are you’ll have to pass through at least one of New Zealand’s major cities. It would be a shame to rush, though, when there are such fabulous designer hotel accommodations in each.


Auckland: Mollies
For those who think Relais & Chateaux properties are fusty French country inns, think again. This boutique property in the heart of Auckland’s tony St. Mary’s Bay neighborhood (a short walk or drive from the Central Business District and the harbor) has all the charms of an urban retreat, and is just steps from the fashionable boutiques and foodie-friendly bistros of Ponsonby Road.


The 13-suite property got a breath of fresh air when new owner, designer Nicola Guinness, took over. The rooms now feature an eclectic mix of designer and antique pieces that give each an individual flair. Junior and Villa suites have small living rooms and spacious master bedrooms and private balconies overlooking the gardens while the Premier Suites have larger lounge areas, fireplaces, and even pianos in a few of them.


In addition to the guest accommodations, the hotel also has a cozy drawing room and a library where visitors can meet for drinks from the cocktail bar, a few meeting suites, and an idyllic Cottage Garden where guests relax at the end of a long day exploring the city or enjoy a gourmet dinner from the Dining Room Restaurant. There’s an onsite day spa that uses upscale Australian Sodashi beauty products, a small fitness center, plus free WiFi. The hotel also has Mollies Restaurant on property where lauded Chef Lance Tripp serves candlelit degustation dinners (in addition to the day’s other meals).


Wellington: Museum Hotel
What it lacks in boutique-style understatement, the quirky Museum Hotel makes up for with a wildly imaginative decorative aesthetic and charming rooms overlooking New Zealand’s capital and the surrounding hills and harbor. This art hotel gets its name from the fact that it is across from the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand history and culture, and contains 160 rooms, suites and serviced apartments. Its lobby is decorated with an eccentric mix of curios, international art, and indigenous New Zealand crafts, giving visitors an eyeful around every corner.


Rooms are simply furnished but very comfortable, and many contain amenities like dishwashers, ovens and washer-dryers that can make an extended stay here that much easier. Standard amenities include queen, king or double beds, a small work desk, a chaise lounge or armchair, 42-inch flat-screens with satellite and cable, iPod docks, minibars, high-speed Internet, a pillow menu, and enormous bathrooms with separate tubs and open showers supplied with local Natural Earth bath products made from manuka honey.


Beyond the rooms, the hotel has a small fitness center onsite with an indoor pool, a Cathy Davys day spa, and one of the city’s best-reviewed restaurants, Hippopotamus, where Chef Laurent Loudeac treats guests to a gourmet, French-inspired menu. All daily meals are available here along with high tea. The hotel is centrally located within walking distance of the city’s major sights (Wellington is not, after all, a huge metropolis), as well as the trendy bars and restaurants of Cuba Street.


Christchurch: The George
Though much of central Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, is still recovering from last year’s devastating earthquakes, The George has remained open nearly the entire time (except for a brief period of minor repairs), and welcoming guests to the city. This chic 53-room property, which is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, lies on the edge of picturesque Hagley Park and the Avon river, and boasts a 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio, so service is paramount.


The sophisticated, minimalist-style rooms and suites (think a palette of white, taupe and black) are equipped with flat-screen LCD televisions, personal safes and fully stocked minibars, evening turndown service, executive desks, high-speed Internet access, and large bathrooms hidden behind enormous frosted-glass doors.


Besides the casual 50 on the Park restaurant, the hotel is also home to Pescatore, an exclusive dining room where Chef Reon Hobson treats guests to a menu of molecular gastronomy delights that changes daily. In addition to being close to the city’s still damaged CBD, the hotel is also easily accessible from the airport, and a good jumping-off point to explore the nearby sights of the larger Canterbury region such as the dramatic harbor and historic village in Akaroa, and the up-and-coming wine region of Waipara, both about an hour away by car.


Queenstown: The Spire
Queenstown might be the adventure capital of New Zealand, where people who are wallflowers in normal life come to bungee, zipline, heli-ski and whitewater raft, but this small town of thrill seekers is also home to one of the country’s highest-end hotel experiences: The Spire. The hotel is located on a little pedestrian street a block back from the lake shore in the central town, and has just 10 huge rooms that you never want to leave thanks to features like oversize king or twin beds with eye-catching red-and-black headboards, sizeable work desks by the wall of sliding glass doors that serve as windows looking out over the city and Lake Wakatipu, and stone fireplaces.


There are also chaise lounges and Eames armchairs for enjoying the high-tech multimedia entertainment system that includes a wall-mounted flat-screen TV, DVD player, satellite television, iPod docking and free WiFi, plus all the space of a separate walk-in closet wardrobe area and enormous bathrooms with peekaboo shutters looking onto enormous tubs, separate showers, and his-and-hers vanities stocked with L’Occitaine products.


What’s more, this hip city hotel hearkens back to traditional hospitality with a staff that greets each guest by name and has a slate of suggested activities prepared for them, and rates that include perks like private airport transfer, a welcome amenity of champagne and handmade chocolates, full a la carte breakfast in the small lobby restaurant or your room daily, maid and turndown service, fresh flowers and seasonal fruit, valet car parking, access to a nearby gym.


The hotel’s bar is also one of the most sophisticated watering holes in town with a menu of handcrafted cocktails that changes seasonally (or depending on the barmen’s whims), while in the back of the ground floor, the hotel’s No. 5 Church Lane restaurant serves a Thai-inspired menu that utilizes fresh New Zealand ingredients. The hotel’s central location makes it easy to take advantage of all the activities and tour operators that are based in town, as well as to head half an hour away to explore the wineries of Central Otago.
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Old February 15th, 2012, 10:27 PM   #232
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Wow, thanks for that IThomas, I always stay at The Museum Hotel in Wellington and at The Sofitel in Queenstown - looks as if I have to change that and stay at The Spire instead
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Old February 15th, 2012, 10:30 PM   #233
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Travel + Study + Fun

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Old February 15th, 2012, 10:42 PM   #234
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I always stay at The Museum Hotel in Wellington and at The Sofitel in Queenstown - looks as if I have to change that and stay at The Spire instead
You have always chosen well in Wellington... Now you have to change necessarily Queenstown, otherwise you isn't at the top! Congratulations, you give yourself the best
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Old February 16th, 2012, 08:27 PM   #235
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Emperor Lounge launched at Auckland Airport

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Auckland Airport by Kaell116, on Flickr

Auckland Airport has opened New Zealand's first premium lounge facility that caters for all international travellers regardless of the airline they are flying with. The new Emperor Lounge at Auckland Airport provides choice for passengers who don’t have an airline lounge membership but would like to access a premium lounge facility. “The Emperor Lounge is the next step in building upon our award-winning reputation for delivering the best facilities and options for travellers in Australasia,” says Jackie Neville, Manager, Passenger Product for Auckland Airport. “The Emperor Lounge is designed to provide passengers travelling internationally, either on departure or while in transit, the choice to relax in style before they fly. The lounge has all the services and conveniences of a regular travel lounge and is conveniently located close to other airline lounges and the retail area.”

The lounge features freshly-made light meals (including halal) and snacks, complimentary drinks including wine, beer, coffee and a range of teas, shower and bathroom facilities for those looking to refresh, and whether traveling for business or pleasure, guests are invited to make use of the complimentary Wi-Fi access or secluded study areas. The Emperor Lounge was designed by Stephenson & Turner Architects. The space is an adaptation of a former airline lounge facility. The lounge is also used by international airlines that don’t have a dedicated on-site lounge but who want to offer this service to their business class passengers. Malaysia Airlines, for example, currently uses the lounge for their premium customers.

Entry to the Emperor Lounge can be pre-booked online at wwwaucklandairport.co.nz from $49 per person, and opening hours are 6:00am – 11:00pm.

Auckland Airport
Auckland Airport has been voted the best airport in the Australia Pacific region for the third year running, and has improved its top 10 placing in the best airports in the world over this time – moving from 10th to 9th to 8th place.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 11:49 PM   #236
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Condè Nast Traveler. Gold List New Zealand.
Readers' picks of world's best hotels 2012


Northland, New Zealand

Guests “feel like royalty” at this plantation-style lodge on the North Island that collects a bevy of perfect scores. Mixing Greek revival and a South Carolina plantation house with an East Hampton summer cottage, the perfect-scoring design mixes blues and blonds with dark-oak English and European antiques. “Beautiful rooms,” done in light colors with a country feel, garner a perfect score. Sip on a Kauri Cliffs Kiwi Mojito before indulging in the “divine cuisine” at the blue-and-white main dining room The staff deliver perfect-scoring service—“they made us feel like we were the only guests they had to take care of the whole time we were there.” Perfect-scoring activities include “one of the prettiest golf courses in the world.”

No. of Units: 22
Price: $$$

OVERALL SCORE 98.4 - ROOMS 100.0 - SERVICE 100.0 - FOOD 95.2 - LOCATION 95.2 - DESIGN 100.0 - ACTIVITIES 100.0








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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #237
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Kauri Cliffs is a pretty special place, we do luxury lodges very well in NZ.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 12:20 PM   #238
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Tatler UK Travel Guide 2012.
The Best Spa of New Zealand.

Split Apple Retreat




Wild salmon, pomegranate juice, Japanese teas and blueberries are the superfoods found in abundance at this zen beachfront retreat, a little island that’s gone big on sophisticated super-lodges. The view is everywhere, and with just three guestrooms and seven staff, you know you’re going to be superbly looked after. Come for seclusion, to quieten your racing thoughts and find a fresh perspective. Owner Lee Nelson is a retired doctor and cancer survivor who wanted to create a graceful place for recovery. You can attack the great outdoors – kayak around glittering islands, walk through rainforests, see huge pods of dolphins and baby seals – or float away with shiatsu massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture and meditation classes. If you feel like wearing your yukata all day, you can – film director Peter Jackson did.




Location South Island, New Zealand
Reservations Scott Dunn (020 8682 5060)
Rates Five nights from £6,510, full board, including flights, transfers and wellness programme.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 12:34 PM   #239
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Tatler UK Travel Guide 2012.
The Best Hotels of New Zealand.



TAKATU (Matakana)
Golden vines are plump with thriving cabernets, and the grass is lime and chunky. There may only be four rooms here, but what a dazzling little handful of charmers. Each has a sunny private veranda and faces the vineyards, and when the sun is shining and you fancy a deep bath, you can fling open the full-length bathroom windows and soak while drinking in the delicious air. The emphasis is on keeping you free from the horrid world of plastics, chemicals, additives, shiny food, man-made fibres and mass-produced spring water. Virtually all you eat and drink here is locally grown, harvested, dug up or plucked. If you sweet-talk John or Heather, who have nurtured this little love object over the past few years, they will find a pinot gris that will send you into a bacchanalian spin. This is a bright little lodge of soft beauty and delicate colours, a pure little haven that’s dodged the real world. The attention to detail is nuts.

EICHARDT'S (Queenstown)
Queenstown is just so smart and sexy – a foxy winter playground for edgy snowboarders from Japan and Emu-booted glamourpusses from LA. In winter it’s hunched over with black Audi SUVs and Prada sunglasses, cold cheeks hidden behind silk scarves. Eichardt’s deserves the attention – only this private bolthole, a wonderful 1869 lakeside masterpiece, cuts the mustard downtown. At the hotel restaurant the tapas and creamy seafood chowder are favourites, as is the salmon and dill wrapped in nori seaweed. Go for one of the four separate Lakefront Apartments or the two Mountain View Suites; all have big bouncy beds, soft-tone colours and lovely fireplaces. And don’t miss the winding Rapunzel-like staircases to the parlours with their awesome views of ancient peaks. There are randomly positioned antique chairs, modern black-leather sofas, snappy artwork, lovely tiled floors and a bar that attracts a distinctly cool crowd. Despite the sizzling competition in a town that is bursting with deeply tempting refuelling hubs, this one pulls them in.

MINARET STATION (Wanaka)
There are no roads here, just gargantuan, brooding mountains. Everything comes in by helicopter, from soap to salt, fuel to possum-skin throws. And so, of course, do you. Flying in entails veering over a precarious abyss at a dizzying 45° angle. But choppers are the only way to get around in the Southern Alps. And suddenly you can’t get out of the thing. You’re whizzing up to Dragonfly Peak for a massage; dashing over to Wanaka to pick up, say, a crate of champagne; or dropping in for coffee at Joe’s Garage in ski party-spot Queenstown. Or you’re getting dumped on a completely daunting mountain ridge for some barmy heli-skiing. This new camp maxes out on high drama. It’s the first place of its type in New Zealand: a remote, high-country ultra-glamp in a giant U-shaped glacial valley that twists and tumbles its way down to a gleaming, deep lake. Up in the main lodge there is a work-of-art kitchen run by a New York-trained chef who hails from Botswana. A genius with venison! When it is negative five (as they say round here) and a wind is being entertaining (as they also say), you’ll be snug: each tent has a hot-tub and the minibars are full throttle, stocked with good things like the local Brewski beer. This is, wham, bam, the purest air you’ll ever breathe. Don’t forget your hiking boots.

WHAREKAUHAU (Wairarapa)
An Edwardian-style, pure-bred A-lister. At the end, literally, of a winding road in the North Island, this place quietly reigns supreme. Sitting above the blustery (read howling) winds of Palliser Bay and only a 15-minute chopper hop from Wellington, it’s a gleaming white star set in 5,500 acres of rich green farming country, snug in the hug of surrounding hills. There are 10 fabulous cottages, crammed with over-cooked comfort: supersize king beds, double spa baths, wool carpets so thick you bounce like Tigger. Jeepers creepers, the whole heat thing here is snazzy. It’s under the floor in the bathroom, racing through the towel rails, blasting out at the flick of a switch, turbo-charged, from the open gas fireplace. Sitting in the lush drawing and reading rooms in the main lodge, full of delicate prints and Chinese pottery, you can gaze out through large bay windows, read and idle about. Or you can do laps in the 24-metre pool, play tennis, go on a four-wheel-drive trip around the estate or think about supper – the food is so good it’s hilarious. Salt and ice-cream may sound mad, but add some crab-apple jelly with a chocolate spiky comb and, hey presto, you have something quirky and delicious. (The cutlery – just the amount of it! – is extended out in a particularly satisfying way.) Step out early in the morning and watch the sun rise in a shimmering marine light. It really is quite magical.
__________________
Common people who see me as a mad, fails to see how boring are their lifes.
Madness is the freedom to be alone and the safety to not be understood,
because if all people are able to understand, at the end make us as slaves.

Instead I want to be a love slave. But a magnificent absurd love.
A love in which I can’t breath, and if it is necessary,
I’ll cross the oceans to have the person that I want.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 07:27 PM   #240
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Tourism Northland thanks to Cup fans


Northland's tourism industry is celebrating an increase in visitors to the region last year, thanks largely to the Rugby World Cup. However, a tourism chief warns that the European debt crisis could lead to a tough year ahead. Figures from the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIA) show nationally visitor numbers in the accommodation sector, and the amount they spent last year, were up on 2010. Northland did particularly well out of the increase. Nationally, there were 2.601 million visitor arrivals, including 1.216 million holidaymakers, an increase of 0.3 per cent on 2010. In Northland, however, numbers were up 2.2 per cent, a remarkable achievement given the global economy and European crisis, Destination Northland boss Brian Roberts said. Visitors to Northland increased from 750,357 to 766,654 making use of hotels, motels and holiday parks, a total of 1,624,404 visitor nights. With each visitor spending between $200 and $300 a day, they poured a massive $325 million to $480 million into the economy. Mr Roberts said the figures did not take into account visitors who stayed with family, friends or in campervans and smaller B&Bs; and homestays. "During the Rugby World Cup, for instance, I know that a lot of people in campervans stayed in council carparks or other places that would not be caught in these figures," he said. "So a 2.2 per cent rise is very good, and we did quite a bit better than nationally, especially at a time when the global economy is so bad and people are looking at saving money on accommodation costs." Mr Roberts said the UK and Europe were big markets for Northland and, while visitors from those markets were down, that had been offset by other international visitors during the RWC. In August last year, visitor numbers were up by 15.5 per cent in Northland and by 11.2 per cent in September, as RWC visitors poured into the country. Two RWC games were held in Whangarei in September. "If we didn't have the RWC, I don't think we would have had as good a result as we had. And with the euro crisis likely to lead to less international visitors - the advanced bookings for the first three months of this year from those markets are already down - it's going to be challenging for the industry this year." To counter that, Mr Roberts said, Northland's tourism industry was about to launch a major campaign in Australia, targeting Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Marketing campaigns were also about to be launched in Auckland and Wellington. TIA chief executive Tim Cossar said the RWC pumped around $390 million into the economy nationally.
__________________
Common people who see me as a mad, fails to see how boring are their lifes.
Madness is the freedom to be alone and the safety to not be understood,
because if all people are able to understand, at the end make us as slaves.

Instead I want to be a love slave. But a magnificent absurd love.
A love in which I can’t breath, and if it is necessary,
I’ll cross the oceans to have the person that I want.
IThomas no está en línea   Reply With Quote


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