Top things to do in a New Zealand Winter!

New Zealand after a long and glorious summer is now heading into it’s short winter and there is no better time to visit the country particularly as everything is less bust and cheaper, apart from the ski resorts of course.

Here is our list of things to do in the winter. If you are visiting NZ make sure you have taken out long stay travel insurance if you are there a while for over 80s holiday insurance if you are senior heading out to NZ.



The Glaciers

Taking a hike on the Franz Josef or Fox glaciers is at the top of many travellers’ New Zealand must-do lists, and there’s no better time to make the trek than in winter. First of all, the chances that it will rain are considerably less in winter, so a drizzle-free hike is on the cards, and the ice won’t be as slippery. Secondly, the ice that makes up the glacier is much more, well, icy in winter! The glacier will be at its biggest and best, meaning you get the best possible glacier experience.

Wellington’s Te Papa

Te Papa is New Zealand’s’ national museum and what’s more it is open 365 days a year. Situated in the nation’s capital ‘Wellington’ it is a ‘must do’ during your time in New Zealand.It has been open since 1998 and over this time it has attracted over ten million visitors. Te Papa is the perfect way for tourists to experience all things ‘New Zealand’ housing some of the nations most prized treasures and depicting its’ most famous stories.

Hot Pools

New Zealand is dotted with hundreds of natural hot pools on both the North and South Islands. Many of these pools are used as spas with extensive facilities attached. Fancy a facial, massage and soak in the pool? I thought so.

If being pampered isn’t up you alley, there are also plenty of un-cultivated springs in national parks around the country. They may not be as deliberately clean as the facilities in Rotorua or Hanmer Springs, but what could be better than finding your own, personal hot tub in the middle of the forest? It goes without saying that the hot springs are best enjoyed in the winter, when the chilly air causes steam to rise visibly in the air, tempting even the most stubbornly terrestrial among us.


There’s more to New Zealand than hiking trails and sheep farms. Auckland is a fun city of 1.3 million people and Wellington is often acknowledged as being one of the coolest capital cities in the world. From hip bars and clubs to creative fusion cuisine to world-class museums, there is plenty to do in the climate-controlled indoors.
Wellington’s Te Papa (the national museum) is a fabulously curated peek into all aspects of New Zealand life and culture, while the Auckland Art Gallery holds an impressive collection of local treasures. To really get into the New Zealand cultural scene, look into the plays and concerts going on during your visit: we get a lot of world-class entertainment passing though at lower prices than you’d pay in the northern hemisphere.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Already well-known as a winter sport-lover’s mecca among locals and Australians, Queenstown in the far south of New Zealand, is gaining an international reputation as the place to get your wintertime thrills. In addition to the bungee jumping and skydiving that earned the town its reputation as the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, are a whole slew of excellent slopes.
Heli-skiiing provides a fantastic adrenalin buzz
There are plenty of options, so snow bunnies of all levels will find something to do. And if you haven’t had quite enough of a heart-pounding, blood-pumping ride, try a heli-ski: helicopters drop you down on out-of-the-way alpine powder so pristine you’ll swear you’re dreaming.


Outdoor Activities

New Zealand is all about the outdoors, and the fun doesn’t stop in winter. In fact, it gets even better, with an array of activities that you can only do when it’s cold. In the beautiful town of Wanaka on the South Island, for example, you’ll find sled dog or snow mobile tours, and snow and ice driving experiences. Over at Tekapo Springs or the Ozone Tubing Park near Queenstown, you can try your hand at snow tubing – yep, like the tubing made famous in Laos’ Vang Vieng, but over snow instead of a river. Too much fun.

Whale Watching

Whale watching is one of the most popular things to do in New Zealand anytime of the year. But did you know that some months are better than others for an up close view of these marine giants?

That’s right. While international tourists may need coaxing to visit New Zealand in the winter, pods of whales are more than willing to stop by. Humpback whales, blue whales and southern right whales leave the frigid waters of Antarctica in the winter and migrate towards tropical Tonga. Catch them mid-migration in Kaikoura, where they spend June and July with the sperm whales that live there year-round and feed on the giant squid living in the underwater Kaikoura Canyon.

Winter Festivals

Every year, backpacker hot spot Queenstown celebrates the start of winter with a 10 day extravaganza of parties, fireworks, music, comedy and plenty of mountain based fun. I was lucky enough to witness this year’s Dog Derby, where anyone with a dog can get involved racing down Coronet Peak with their furry friend. The winner is the first person across the finish line still holding their dog – cue one of the funniest things I’ve witnessed in ages, and a few hairy (‘scuse the pun) moments where dogs looked as though they were going to take out a few skiers. Hilarious.

The Five Unmissable Museums in NZ

NZ might be a relatively small and new country but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some world class museums to crow about.

It’s not all spectacular landscapes in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Middle Earth has some great culture too and here are our five favourite places not to miss!

1. Te Papa
The MUST SEE man made thing in NZ. Based in the nations capital of Wellington, Te Papa (meaning our place in maori) is one of the World’s best modern museums. Miss it at your peril!

2. KD’s Elvis Presley Museum
Elvis lives! At least he does at Kevin D Wasley’s astonishing museum, which houses over 10,000 of the King’s records and a mind-blowing collection of Elvis memorabilia collected over 50 years. ‘Passion is an understatement’, says KD. Just don’t ask him about the chubby Vegas-era Elvis: his focus is squarely on the rock ‘n’ roll King from the ’50s and ’60s.

3. Auckland Museum
Dominating the Domain is this imposing neo-classical temple (1929), capped with an impressive copper-and-glass dome (2007). Its comprehensive display of Pacific Island and Maori artefacts on the ground floor deserves to be on your ‘must see’ list.

4. New Zealand Rugby Museum

Fans of the oval ball holler about the New Zealand Rugby Museum, an amazing new space overflowing with rugby paraphernalia, from a 1905 All Blacks jumper to a scrum machine and the actual whistle used to start the first game of every Rugby World Cup.

5. Left Bank Art Gallery
This 90-year old former bank houses contemporary NZ jade carvings, prints, paintings, photographs and ceramics. The gallery also fosters and supports a wide society of West Coast artists.



Milford Track is for everyone!

Everyone ought to do this great walk that intrinsically receives a really sizable amount of tourists p.a.. The Milford is taken into account by several to be one in all the best hikes within the world because of its superb scenery.

The complete track takes four days — solely on the market to be walked in one direction — from the Te Anau finish to Milford Sound. there’s additionally the choice for sooner or later radio-controlled walks of the primary section of the track.

Cross the Clinton watercourse on this spectacular seventy two m bridge, designed by Fijian engineers in 1978. The bridge could be a excellent place to identify eels and trout within the watercourse

Fiordland parkland is notable for its high annual precipitation however don’t despair! The rain provides a mystical moss-draped forest, energetic streams and rivers, and waterfalls that ar even additional spectacular!

Here ar some things to seem for…

Look out for whio (blue duck) riding rapids on the Clinton and Arthur Rivers. usually exhausting to identify, their blue-grey feathers offer excellent camouflage amongst rocks. Males whistle a decision of ‘fee-o’ whereas females build a coffee rattling sound

Follow within the footsteps of early soul Quintin McKinnon WHO discovered the route from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound in 1888 that’s currently splendidly referred to as the Milford Track

Spectacular Joan Sutherland Falls drops 580 m in 3 leaps from Lake Quill. Leave your pack at the shelter however don’t forget to require your waterproof – the falls generate plenty of spray! enable one.5 hours for the come trip
For a close track description, freelance walking guide and places to remain on the track visit the DOC web site.

How to get to the track
Walking the Milford Track needs bus or personal transport to Te Anau Downs, then a ship trip (1 hour fifteen min) to piece of ground Wharf, the beginning of the track. Boat transport (15 min) is additionally needed from sand fly purpose, at the tip of the track, to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi.

Travelling by road: between Te Anau and Te Anau Downs (27 km), between Milford Sound and Te Anau (120 km) and between Te Anau and Queenstown (197 km)

During the nice Walks season (late Gregorian calendar month to late April) there ar regular transport services to and from the Milford Track. Boat transport is needed at each ends of the track. Road transport is needed to the boat departure purpose at Te Anau Downs and from Milford Sound. you’ve got the choice to book connecting transport on-line once you book your hut tickets.

Best time to travel
The best time to steer the Milford Track is throughout the nice Walks season from late Gregorian calendar month to late April once the weather is hotter and there ar additional regular transport services to and from the beginning and finish of the track. throughout the off-season season (May to October) the Milford Track remains open however is subject to weather, track and avalanche conditions

Travelling with children?
The Milford Track isn’t suggested for youngsters below the age of ten owing to the exposed mountainous setting and sometimes adverse atmospheric condition.

Safety is your responsibility
A good level of fitness and therefore the right outside vesture, gear and instrumentation can greatly improve the enjoyment of your trip. Safety is your responsibility – leave your trip details with a sure contact. Intention forms and therefore the outside safety code may be found on the AdventureSmart web site.

Book before
Book your trip well before as well as your accommodation, transport and transfers to the start/end of your nice Walk – visit DOC’s web site for a listing of operators.

Pack all necessary instrumentation
Great Walkers got to be self reliant on the track, therefore make certain you’ve got packed your own food and drinks and any private property required for your trip as well as an additional day’s provide of food. Food and drinks don’t seem to be on the market for purchase at nice Walks huts and campsites.

Visit Auckland, four seasons in one day!

Auckland is the largest city in NZ and also the unofficial capital of the South Pacific region. It has the largest polynesian population in the World!

The city has a temperate climate but you can experience four seasons in one day! The summer is generally long though starting sometime in November right through to April.

There are lots of things to see in Auckland as this short video presentation from Lonely Planet will show…


Summer of events in Wellington

Summer 2013 is sure to be a memorable on in the capital this year. Here is just a small flavor of what’s going on in the warmer months.

This year Wellingtonians will notice a stronger harbour theme to our events programme. Some of the highlights include the Waka showcase – with bands and kai – outside the new Wharewaka Te Raukura on Waitangi Day, the Chinese New Year parade on the waterfront and Salsa at Sunset lessons on top of the Band Rotunda in Oriental Bay.

Wellingtonians can even get up close and personal with the crews and yachts from the Global Ocean Race, here until 29 January.

For film buffs, there’ll again be Films by Starlight outdoor screenings in the Dell, in the Wellington Botanic Garden. It’ll again be a mix of classics and new films, with four films screening from 18-26 January.

On Waitangi Day (6 February) Wellington will be alive and hopping with Te Ra o Waitangi on Wellington waterfront and One Love 2013 at Foxglove.

Popular community events like the Island Bay Festival and Kilbirnie Festival return in 2012, and with its festive atmosphere, the Newtown Festival on 4 March will not disappoint either.

If you are heading to NZ then always ensure you have good cover for holiday insurance over 65s for the senior.

There will be plenty of thrilling sporting action on offer in Wellington, with the party atmosphere of the 2012 NZ International Sevens at Westpac Stadium from 3-4 February, the AMI Round the Bays Fun Run and the Wellington Dragon Boat Festival in mid March. Cricket fans should note there will also be top quality cricket action at Wellington’s Basin Reserve and Westpac Stadium this summer too, with the NZ BLACKCAPS hosting England.

Skiing in New Zealand

While the Northern Hemisphere is basking in summer sunshine the South is in mid winter which means only one thing for the mountains of NZ – snow!

New Zealands’ resorts might not be as flash as the ones in Europe and North America, but on a smaller scale, they are still well worth a visit if you are into winter sports of skiing and snowboarding.

Here are a run down of the resorts.

Coronet Peak ski New Zealand

The closest ski resort to Queenstown, Coronet Peak has some of the best free riding terrain in New Zealand. The high capacity lift facilities cater for a large number of skiers and boarders.

Long groomed runs make the riding style smooth and fast, and the snowmaking facilities ensure that there is a solid snow base from early in the season. Coronet Peak is a great mountain for the introduction to off piste and backcountry riding with moderate gradient snow lines to select. After heavy snowfalls an endless dimension of backcountry exploring opportunities opens up.

Cardrona near Wanaka

Approximately mid way between the townships of Queenstown and Wanaka is the family friendly Cardrona Mountain Resort. Cardrona has some of the best quality natural snow in New Zealand and caters for Snowboarders and Skiers of all abilities.

Treble Cone near Queenstown

The king of mountains in Southern New Zealand, Treble Cone has the highest and steepest terrain, providing some exciting challenges for advanced skiers and boarders. The steep natural chutes on the backside of the mountain provide some excellent natural half pipe opportunities.

Remarkables – New Zealand

This Ski resort is accessed via an adventurous road which boasts spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu and the township of Queenstown. Just 45 minutes from town, the Remarkables is an old favourite for the local skiers and boarders.

Known for it’s backcountry and touring potential, there is always fresh tracks to be made somewhere in this vast terrain.

Queenstown and Wanaka are both very busy tourist resorts.

Things to do in Queenstown in Autumn

Queenstown is best known as a winter destination being close to many excellent ski fields, indeed it is one of the skiing capitals of the southern hemisphere. It is also well known as a summer destination too when the ski poles are replaced with walking poles for the busy tramping season.

Queenstown though doesn’t really have an off-season. Autumn is a fine time to enjoy much of what the region has to offer. Here are some activities you can do in the fall.

Hiking/Tramping – Even if the tops of the mountains are starting to look a little brushed with snow there is still plenty of hiking options for those who do not fancy putting on crampons and carrying ice-axes!

The Greenstone track which starts approximately 65kms from Queenstown is a low level hike that can be pretty much walked year round. In the autumn it is also possible to make it a circular walk with the ever popular Routeburn track.

Mountain Biking – Queenstown is still very much at the center of mountain biking in the south island and there are heaps of opportunities to ride the many tracks around the regions.

On the Lake – You can take out kayaks and even parascend over The Lake  Wakatipui or take a more leisurely trip over to Walter Peak on the Earnshaw that departs from Downtown Queenstown every day of the year.


Summer Events in New Zealand

New Zealand really comes alive in the summer months and there is no better time to visit new zealand than this time when outdoor events seem to be happening every week.

NZ is famous for it’s wine and one the finest events on the calendar is The Marlborough wine festival. New Zealand’s longest running wine festival – held at Brancott Estate – offers the chance to sample the best from Marlborough’s award-winning wineries matched with local food. Activities include wine tutorials, cooking classes, entertainment and ‘Fashion in the Vines’.

This year the festival is taking place on the 11th Feb.

Another major event which is unique to New Zealand is the Art Deco weekend that takes place in Napier which is New Zealand’s art deco capital and one of the best-known collective examples of 1930s architecture in the world.

From the 14th Feb the city celebrates in style with classic cars, aircraft and guests in Deco clothing, adding authenticity and 20s glamour to events – many of which are free.

Overseas visitors to New Zealand should always take out travel insurance over 75 to ensure they are covered in case of loss of items or medical emergency.

Tourism benefits from world cup success

The rugby world cup was a huge success commercially for NZ, and the feel good factor of a home win also added to the huge benefit of hosting such an event.

The NZ Rugby World Cup lured thousands of hard-core rugby fans from UK, France, and Australia; visitor arrivals increased by 26% compared to September 2010 which is great news.

New Zealand needs to keep momentum going and TIA is encouraging the incoming government to provide the means to ensure further development of the sector. The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) has commented on this great achievement, yet concluded this is not enough.

Things you can do in Nelson

Helipro Nelson

Based at Nelson Airport terminal, we’re skilled in most regions of helicopter procedures. We operate 24 hrs, seven days a week. Our friendly team and experienced aircraft pilots can customise a transfer or scenic flight for you personally in our modern helis.

Marhau Ocean Kayaks

We are only a stone’s throw in the golden sands from the Abel Tasman National Park. Our philosophy is concerning you becoming an individual, either on the led excursion, or at the own pace having a freedom hire.

Tasman Helis

Fly into a couple of from the The almighty from the Rings secret locations. Explore the mystical atmosphere and head to the unknown. Go through the isolation and spectacular rocky landscapes south of Rivendell (Mount Olympus).

If you are travelling to Nelson from overseas then ensure you have decent over 85s travel insurance  with you in case you need medical treatment.