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Old February 21st, 2012, 10:05 PM   #281
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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 22nd, 2012, 08:55 PM   #282
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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 23rd, 2012, 09:35 PM   #283
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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 24th, 2012, 09:38 PM   #284
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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.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #285
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Tourism Northland thanks 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.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 07:40 PM   #286
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Wonderful photos and views from those hotels in New Zealand; and btw the last photo is really great ...just a paradise.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 11:02 PM   #287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christos-greece View Post
Wonderful photos and views from those hotels in New Zealand; and btw the last photo is really great ...just a paradise.
You are more than welcome and I am as pleased as ever that you enjoy this thread
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Old February 26th, 2012, 11:05 PM   #288
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South Island skifields: A ticket to slide

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Queenstown by craigsydnz, on Flickr

Tourists heading for the snow this winter will be able to get extra flexibility from a scheme run by South Island skifields, uniting traditionally competing fields under one ski pass. OnePassNZ provides access to 2230ha of terrain at Cardrona Alpine Resort, Treble Cone, Snowpark, Snowfarm, Ohau, Mt Dobson, Roundhill and the Porters ski area. The interchangeable pass offers access to all the skifields and is loaded with "snow dollars" that can be used to buy time on the snow or other off-mountain activities. Treble Cone marketing manager Nigel Kerr said he had been pushing the idea for years and was pleased to have got it off the ground.

For skiers, it would mean they could book their holidays knowing that if the weather put one skifield out of action they could ski at another. Or if it was raining, they could use their pass for other activities altogether. "People like coming to Wanaka but don't want to commit. This gives them surety." Kerr said it was a major achievement to have ski operators, who usually would be competing, working together. "It was stunning to get an agreement between Cardrona and Treble Cone." It then proved to be easier than he had expected to attract independent skifields. Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager James Helmore said the idea would be "huge" for the area. "It gives consumers ultimate flexibility and freedom of choice and allows them to travel with confidence."

Kerr said it offered benefits for the fields in marketing and the kind of tourists that would be attracted to the pass. OnePassNZ was being marketed at people who were serious skiers, not going for a party weekend in Queenstown with a bit of snow thrown in. He said all the fields realised they needed to improve their identities in the wider market. Even the bigger operators, such as Cardrona, would benefit from the marketing push. "It's a bit bigger, but still, competing in the wider world is hard work." Kerr said the pass would mean skiers and snowboarders were mobile across the eight fields and it would tie the operators together to make the South Island a more enjoyable winter destination.

Smaller fields would offer a day pass and some change in snow dollars for those travelling with a OnePassNZ. Off-mountain activities covered by the pass include skydiving, jet-boating and wine trails. Pass-holders would also be able to use it to rent gear, pay for lessons and buy dinner at local restaurants. Kerr said it was great to see his plan come to fruition. "I used to work for Cardrona and [the pass] was a little dream. Then, this year, when I kicked it out and it didn't get kicked back, I thought 'we're away'."
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Old February 27th, 2012, 04:52 AM   #289
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A collection of scenes from NZ. From the Southern Alps to Fiords. From tropical beaches to tropical rainforests. From geothermal wonderlands to domineering volcanoes.

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Alps of New Zealand by *amy&kimball, on Flickr

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receding Fiord shoreline by Barbara A. White, on Flickr

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Mitre Peak, Fiordland, New Zealand by *amy&kimball, on Flickr

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Picture from Lake Matheson, New Zealand by Dobbs77, on Flickr

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Mount Cook by private.benjamin, on Flickr

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Abel Tasman National Park by Larry He, on Flickr

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New Zealand February 2010 (17), - Collingwood, Farewell Spit by The Grey Panther, on Flickr

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Tongariro Northern Circuit by Department of Conservation, on Flickr

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Parque geotermal de Rotorua, Nueva Zelanda by Lara Lozano, on Flickr

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Mt Taranaki by liquidhotmagma, on Flickr

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Hahei by Tom NZ, on Flickr
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Old February 27th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #290
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Treble Cone develops Fun Park, upgrades main trail for 2012

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Treble Cone by Peter Sundstrom, on Flickr


The 2012 Treble Cone season will see the opening of its first fun park, re-routing of the top section of the Easy Rider and upgrades to the café, electronic ticketing system and trail maps. A first for Treble Cone is the Jazz Fun Park which will be located at the bottom of Bullet in the Saddle Basin and will host entry level features aimed at children four to 13 years. Due to the versatility of the features they can also be used in other areas of the mountain for competitions and coaching purposes. Over the summer extensive earthworks have taken place at the top of Easy Rider, removing one switchback and re-routing a small section of the upper part, to make the run wider and less steep. This will help learners’ progression from the beginners’ slopes to the six seater and also define the entrance to the Saddle track.

The new trail map better reflects Treble Cone’s vast and varied terrain. The run grading is now inline with international standards of green, blue, red and black to give more differentiation. The only trails marked on the map are where grooming regularly takes place, the expansive areas of off piste terrain are outlined and named. The new maps will also include the popular and challenging Motutapu Basin. The successful introduction of the computerised ticketing system in 2011, has now been expanded to other services Treble Cone offers. New for 2012 the TCPass can be used in the café, for rentals and childcare payments. Customers can load their Season or Day Pass up with dollars to spend with an easy swipe of a card.

“Treble Cone is committed to providing the best facilities and services for our customers and to ensure snow enthusiasts of all abilities get the most out of their day on the mountain whether they are riding the powder in the chutes, learning new tricks in the Jazz Fun Park or taking in the spectacular view from the cafe,” said Treble Cone ski area manager Jackie van der Voort. Further infrastructure and service improvements include: new portaloos installed in the Saddle Basin and improving the Mainstreet approach to the automated gates at the bottom of the Six Seater. Treble Cone early bird season passes are on sale now until 31 March 2012 through the website or by visiting the downtown Wanaka office on Dungarvon Street.

Treble Cone will open on 28 June with a scheduled closing day of 30 September. For further information, visit www.treblecone.com.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 11:04 PM   #291
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Skifield tipped to bring $1b into Canterbury


A $500 million development at Porters Heights skifield, including a controversial expansion into Crystal Valley, has been given the go-ahead. The Craigieburn Range skifield project would take at least 10 years to complete and would result in more than $1 billion of economic benefit to the Canterbury region over that time, an economist estimated. If it gets through the final appeals process, the expansion will lead to further development of the skifield village, and infrastructure additions to Crystal Valley for skiing. By the winter of 2015 the shareholders plan to put in $60m to develop chairlifts and a gondola lift at the new field. A further $100m would be spent developing the village property, Porters Ski Area Ltd shareholder Simon Harvey said.

Over a longer period Porters will include a 3400-bed alpine village with a hotel and individual chalets, new skilifts and tows, and a hot pools complex. Summer hiking and biking activities would also be available. Commissioners appointed by Environment Canterbury and the Selwyn District Council to consider the plan change and resource consent applications released their decision yesterday. The resource consents decision is subject to a 15-working-day appeal period and the plan change is subject to a 40-working-day appeal period. Christchurch-based Green Party list MP Eugenie Sage, who made a submission against the development, said it was a disappointing decision. Nevertheless, the commissioners had done a thorough job and had made some changes that would alleviate the environmental impact on the area.

"For example, they have put some controls on night-time lighting, they've got controls on aircraft activity – limiting the number of helicopter trips," Sage said. She did not plan to appeal the decision, which would be a costly process. The project is being developed by Harvey (a Sydneysider) and four Russian investors – Yuri Koropachinskiy, of Moscow, and Oleg Kirillov, Yury Zelvenskiy and Vladimir Uchitll, all of Siberia. The Overseas Investment Office-approved investors, who have visited the area and already poured in $10m, say it will bring thousands of tourists to the mountain and Canterbury, and hundreds of jobs to the region.

The Selwyn council private plan change (known as PC25) will rezone 616 hectares of rural high country, including Crystal Valley, into a special "sub zone" that allows skiing and development. The zone sets aside 21ha for a mountain village, 34ha for wastewater and treatment disposal and the rest for skiing. The commissioners – Sharon McGarry, Denis Nugent and Greg Ryder – said that by incorporating amendments to PC25 they were satisfied potential adverse environmental effects would be adequately avoided, remedied or mitigated. Harvey said that after five years of "hard slog" and hurdles, the decision meant proper work is likely to be able to start after this year's ski season. In terms of the longer term $500m "demand-driven" development, an extra capital raising via potential private equity partners would be explored.

Porters director of development Michael Sleigh said the commissioners had asked for some amendments to the plan change but these mainly involved the company providing more information on the new Crystal Valley ski trails, and how the company would mitigate any environmental impact from these. "At full capacity it could cope with 300,000 skiers over a season, which would be like Coronet Peak," Sleigh said. Economist Geoff Butcher said that by the time the field was fully developed, the wider economic benefit to the region would be $92m a year with 730 fulltime equivalent jobs created. In the peak winter period the Porters field employed about 50 staff but with the development of the village and Crystal Valley that seasonal number would jump to 500 by 2015, he said.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #292
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Film star markets New Zealand to Chinese travellers


Auckland Airport and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd (ATEED) have worked with wholesale partners in China to showcase New Zealand as a must-see tourism destination with this fast-growing travel market, using one of their own – influential Chinese film star Dong Xuan – as the drawcard. As part of Auckland Airport’s programme to develop premium travel markets, Dong Xuan will spend ten days in New Zealand travelling from Auckland to Arrowtown with Chinese media, film and camera teams in tow. She will visit iconic locations which will be promoted in her home country to build awareness of longer stay itineraries and to highlight the depth of sophisticated options in New Zealand.

An extensive blogger and social media user, Dong has a fan base of more than 3.2 million on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Facebook. She will be providing regular updates and a unique insight into New Zealand as part of her travels. “This is the first time Auckland Airport and ATEED have teamed up in this way to market Auckland and the depth of product for premium markets in New Zealand. In China celebrities like Miss Dong have significant influence, so the power of her recommendations to visit New Zealand can’t be underestimated,” says Glenn Wedlock, General Manager Aeronautical Commercial for Auckland Airport.

Once her tour is complete, wholesale partners will offer Chinese visitors the chance to follow in her footsteps on a “Dong Xuan experience tour”, across the country – with differing tiers of experience to cater for all price ranges. This will be marketed via the media and traditional advertising in China, as well as through social media channels. “Our trade channels and route development will pave the way for travel wholesalers and retailers to produce bespoke, scalable tour packages to drive increased visitor numbers to New Zealand. With the Government's strong focus on tourism value and exports to grow our economy, activities like this are crucial to developing our overseas standing and it’s just another example of how committed we must be to capturing the lucrative Chinese travel market.”

ATEED Manager Tourism Jason Hill says this campaign is a creative way to leverage the Chinese celebrity culture, and is in sync with the focus of Auckland’s new ten-year Visitor Plan. “Smart marketing is critical to help change perceptions and stimulate visitation from the important Chinese visitor market. Having someone as high profile as Dong Xuan visit Auckland and other parts of the country is a great example of this," he says. "Her visit will help to raise awareness of Auckland’s premium tourism offering and encourage people to see Auckland as more than a gateway. It will open people’s eyes to Auckland’s mix of sophisticated urban and natural experiences and the best our city has to offer."

As part of the fastest growing film industry in the world, Dong is celebrated for her romantic dramas and TV series and her trip to New Zealand has already received extensive coverage across China on radio, in newspapers and online. “China Southern Airlines and Air New Zealand have added more flights recently between Auckland and China which, coupled with improved Visa processing, is really helping us deliver 20 per cent plus growth from the China market. It is important we jointly, as an industry, grab the opportunity to develop New Zealand as a premium brand to that market to build an enduring value position,” says Mr Wedlock.

While she is in New Zealand Dong Xuan will experience:

Auckland – Waiheke Island vineyard tour, sailing on the Waitemata Harbour, Viaduct Harbour, West Coast beaches

Matamata/Waikato – Hobbiton Village

Rotorua – Shearing and milking

Queenstown/Arrowtown – Southern Alps visit, jet boating

Milford Sound – Glacier cruising.

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 29th, 2012, 08:28 PM   #293
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High-flying future for Queenstown Airport


Queenstown Airport's future is so bright its bosses have hinted at expanding into off-site retail and real estate after reporting a $6 million profit for the past six months. Airport corporate general manager and acting chief executiveKaren Castiglione dropped the expansion hints at the end of presenting the airport corporation's six-monthly report and draft statement of intent to Tuesday's Queenstown Lakes District Council's finance and corporate committee. The corporation would "pursue other commercial activities on land owned by the airport", Ms Castiglione said. Airport chairman John Gilks said airport business revolved around a core trade of aeronautic operations but also included "an awful lot of commercial activity, including rental car facilities and retail". Adding to the hints about growth, Mr Gilks said Scott Paterson, the corporation's new chief executive, who is due to start his job officially next Thursday, was the right man to lead the airport into a further period of expansion. "The next few years will be characterised by development one way or another, and Mr Paterson has the skills and experience in infrastructure and development to see us in pretty good shape." Ms Castiglione declined to comment further on the plans. Although Mr Paterson attended the meeting in a non-official role, he was introduced to Queenstown Mayor Vanessa van Uden, councillors and committee members, and gave them an assurance he was looking forward to a "speaking role" in the imminent future. In the last six months of last year the airport's aeronautic operations revenue rose by 7 per cent to top $6 million, which was an increase of $428,000 on the same period in 2010. That growth rate was bested with a rise of 18 per cent in commercial operations, including retail, commercial transport tariffs and parking charges, taking the entire revenue stream to almost $2.5 million for the six-month period. Construction of a Hertz rental car site within the airport complex also began late last year, and is slated to be finished by May.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 10:18 PM   #294
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Auckland Airport profit up 5.5pc

Auckland International Airport, New Zealand's biggest gateway, posted a 5.5 per cent increase in first-half profit on passenger growth and said full-year earnings would be "at the higher end" of its guidance. Net profit rose to $69 million, or 5.22 cents a share, in the six months ended December 31, from $65.5 million, or 4.99 cents a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Sales rose 8.9 per cent to $215.9 million, while expenses climbed 15 per cent to $54.5 million, which it said largely reflected work ahead of the Rugby World Cup. The biggest single contribution to the gain in revenue was from retailing, where sales rose 13 per cent to $61.8 million. Revenue from airfield income, passenger services and terminal services charges combined rose 6.6 per cent to $95.5 million and the company flagged further increases to fund development of a new domestic terminal. The airport company has diversified from its core Auckland airfield business, developing its land holdings to accommodate a hotel, retailing, offices and airport services, and investing in airports in Queenstown and Queensland. Total international passengers rose 6.5 per cent to 3.96 million in the first half while domestic passengers rose 0.9 per cent to 3.13 million. January including the biggest week for international passengers ever recorded, it said. Volumes through the airport are now pushing the capacity limits of the current domestic terminal, chief executive Simon Moutter said. The company has been looking at building anew domestic terminal, with a decision expected in the next few months, he said. The existing domestic terminal, dating back 40 years, "is becoming increasingly inadequate" especially with the arrival of larger aircraft such as the Airbus A320. Providing the new infrastructure will represent "a significant investment that will affect airport charges." Auckland Airport had previously flagged full-year net profit, before any one-time items and fair-value accounting changes, would be "in the $130 millions." "We are firmly on track to meet the higher end of this guidance" subject to volatility in the global market, non-cash charges and adverse events, Moutter said. The company will pay a first-half dividend of 4.4 cents a share, up from 4 cents a year earlier. The shares were last at $2.445 and have advanced 8.9 per cent in the past 12 months. Auckland Airport is rated a 'hold' based on the consensus of 11 recommendations compiled by Reuters. The company's share of profits from associates -its holdings in North Queensland Airports, Queenstown Airport and Auckland Airport Holdings - rose about 220 per cent to $2.7 million. North Queensland sales rose 7.4 per cent to A$$57 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, fair-value adjustments and investments in associates rose 16 per cent to $37.5 million. Queenstown Airport sales rose 9.9 per cent to $8.5 million, while EBITDAFI rose 4.9 per cent to $6.2 million.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 11:48 PM   #295
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An amazing thread that is very informative and beautiful photography. Lots of style !
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 10:46 PM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_kiwi_fruit View Post
An amazing thread that is very informative and beautiful photography. Lots of style !
Thanks, I give it my best shot
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 10:47 PM   #297
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Vibrant year ahead for Christchurch - Canterbury


Christchurch city and the Canterbury region are in full swing for 2012 hosting international buskers, golfers and garden aficionados this summer, with plenty more to come. Described by the Lonely Planet as a “vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively,” Christchurch is showing off its vibrancy with new developments popping up all over the place. Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the city of Christchurch will take time to recover, but the resilience of the tourism industry is phenomenal. Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter says that as the city approaches the one year anniversary of the February earthquake, the sense of optimism in the region is strong. “Christchurch and the Canterbury region have continued to welcome visitors to the area over the past year. There is a vibrant range of tourism activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy during their stay both in Christchurch and the surrounding regions". “As a result, for the year ending September 2011, 47 percent of all visitors have continued to spend a night in Canterbury as part of their New Zealand stay, against 56 percent a year before.” Major 2012 events have already included a successful World Buskers Festival which drew a total audience of around 330,000 spectators. The 11-day festival (19 - 29 January) featured 60 acts from New Zealand and around the world. And, Christchurch has just hosted some of the world’s best women golfers at the 2012 ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Golf Open (17 - 19 February) held at Pegasus Golf Course. Next up, there’s the annual Ellerslie International Flower Show (7 - 11 March), and Canterbury’s Crusaders Rugby Team will square off against South Africa’s Cheetahs on 24 March in their new temporary stadium at Rugby League Park. The Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks will also play one of six international test matches in 2012 at the revamped stadium, which has become the interim home of rugby in Christchurch. AMI Stadium, the traditional home of Christchurch rugby, was severely damaged in the February 2011 earthquake, and remains unavailable for 2012. The NZ government will underwrite the NZ$20 million stadium redevelopment cost with funding support from Christchurch City Council and the New Zealand Rugby Union. There are many surprises in the Christchurch rebuild with Kiwi innovations and unique ideas in the pipeline, including some creative community projects that are filling neighbourhood gaps. Start - a funky new pop-up container mall - is attracting Christchurch locals back into their city centre for a unique new shopping experience. The colourful retail precinct with 27 stores, includes High Street brands, upmarket boutiques, cafés and a department store. Lyttelton, the historic village surrounding the port of Christchurch, has a new petanque pitch and temporary art installations thanks to the Gap Filler Project - an urban regeneration initiative spearheaded by local artist curator Coralie Winn. Gap Filler activates creative projects on vacant sites with the aim of keeping the city dynamic and vibrant. Meanwhile, other sites around the city centre are being transformed into beautiful green spaces for outdoor events and entertainment under the Greening the Rubble initiative. This volunteer project is creating temporary public parks and gardens on empty sites, usually in commercial rather than residential streets. The Christchurch Art Gallery has launched its Outer Spaces programme placing artworks on a free trail, in spaces ‘outside the box’. Plans are underway to temporarily replace the Christchurch Cathedral with a cardboard cathedral. The Christchurch Anglican diocese has commissioned renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban to design a cathedral capable of seating more than 700 people. The temporary cathedral, which would be constructed of locally produced cardboard tubes erected in an A-shape over a foundation of shipping containers, would be available as a venue for both religious services and concerts. A small area central city business district is cordoned off from the public as demolition and rebuilding continues. The cordon is shrinking on a regular basis.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 10:01 PM   #298
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Air New Zealand has been named ‘International Airline of the Year’ in the inaugural Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards in Australia. Roy Morgan surveyed nearly 4,000 people who’d used an international airline in the previous 12 months and Air Zealand was rated the Best International Airline for customer satisfaction in 2011, winning more months than any other airline throughout the year. Air New Zealand’s average satisfaction rating for the year was 89%. Air New Zealand General Manager Australia Cam Wallace, says winning the International Airline of the Year category in Roy Morgan’s first Australian Customer Satisfaction Awards is a great honour. “For years we’ve pursued a strategy that recognises that our people rather than planes are our most valuable asset and it’s really pleasing to see that acknowledged by the people who fly with us.”

Mr Wallace said the award reflected Air New Zealand’s commitment to delivering customers a uniquely Kiwi experience in what is one of the world’s most competitive industries. “We believe the ability of our people to adapt quickly to changing customer expectations, new competitors and uncertain economic conditions has enabled Air New Zealand to outperform most of our peers in terms of the genuine service we deliver to our Australian passengers and those around the globe. Last year Air New Zealand won more than 25 awards across the business – recognising such diverse areas as innovation, in-flight product, design, brand and marketing strength and
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Old March 5th, 2012, 10:23 PM   #299
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New air links to Asia have helped international tourism numbers top one million arrivals and departures in January, the highest monthly number ever, Statistics New Zealand says. The number of visitors from China was the highest recorded for any month at 23,300, and up 60 per cent on two years ago. For the year to January, foreign visitor arrivals were up just 3 per cent, despite the boost from the Rugby World Cup. Tourism Industry Association policy and research manager Simon Wallace said 2011 had been a challenging year for the industry with natural disasters here and in Japan, volcanic ash cloud disruptions and the ongoing effects of the global financial crisis. "The fact that the numbers are stable proves that we have held our own," Wallace said.

The arrival last year of Asian carriers China Southern Airlines, Jetstar and AirAsia X, as well as additional Air New Zealand services to Beijing and Shanghai had driven the higher numbers from Asia, he said. Malaysian-based AirAsia X's possible withdrawal from New Zealand was a concern. "It has been a real boon for the South Island particularly," Wallace said. AirAsia X had also led to a significant increase in the number of Malaysian tourists flying direct into Christchurch who were also higher value independent travellers. Likewise, Jetstar's Singapore to Auckland service had increased visitors from the city state. Some other high value markets were beginning to show tentative signs of recovery including the United States, he said.

And the number of international buyers planning to attend the tourism industry's annual international trade event was up on last year which was a sign of confidence, he said. While possible changes to Air New Zealand's services to London as part of its long haul review were a concern, the country was well served by a number of other airlines from Britain, Wallace said. ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said that in the wake of the Rugby World Cup visitor numbers had recovered to pre-February 2011 levels. But the mix of tourists was changing, Tuffley said.

The weakness of the euro and the pound against the kiwi dollar would discourage holidaymakers from that part of the world to venture south, while "the growing affluence of Asia is rapidly becoming a boon, which New Zealand will need to learn how to best cater for," Tuffley said. While the boost in Chinese visitors was influenced by the Chinese New Year falling in January rather than in February for the previous two years, their number in the last 12 months was nearly double that of two years ago, he said. Chinese tourists now outstripped the combined totals from the slowing tourism markets of Japan and South Korea.

TOURIST FLOW

A total of 1,002,400 passengers passed through customs including 499,800 arrivals and 502,600 departures. Foreign visitors made up 266,800 arrivals, up less than 1 per cent on January last year.

There were 2.6 million foreign visitor arrivals for the year to January, up 3 per cent from 2011.

In January, the increase in visitors was mainly due to 7000 more arrivals visiting friends and relatives.

Those here for a holiday dropped 4200 and arrivals for conferences and conventions were down 800.

By country, there were more visitors from China and Australia, but fewer from Britain and Japan.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #300
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nice
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