Waiheke Island Vineyards & Wineries

June 30, 2010

Waiheke Island is home to boutique wineries that produce unique, high quality wines based on cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, cabernet franc and the recent move into chardonnay grape varieties.  The hot, dry summers and stony soils of Waiheke are perfect conditions for growing grapes.

There are Waiheke Island vineyards and wineries spread throughout the island and visitors can either visit at their leisure, or take a tour. Below you will find a partial list of some of the best boutique wineries on the island:

Cable Bay Vineyards - The Cable Bay winery, restaurant and cellar door are set amidst vineyards and olive groves.

Goldwater - Goldwater combines old world traditional wine making techniques with modern day technology to achieve outstanding and memorable hand-crafted wines.

Jurassic Ridge - Syrah, Montepulciano, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Franc vines are planted over 155 million year old Jurassic rock.

Kennedy Point Vineyard and Olive Grove - At the International Wine Challenge, London 2009 the Kennedypoint 2007 Syrah was awarded International Syrah Trophy, Best NZ Red, Best NZ Syrah.

Man O’ War Vineyard - Located at the eastern end of Waiheke Island, Man O’ War first introduced grapes in 1993, firm in the belief that world class wines could be produced here.

Mudbrick Vineyard - Named after the Barn/House was built from mud bricks, Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant offers a unique Waiheke wine and cuisine exprience, available all year round.

Obsidian Vineyard - Obsidian Vineyard nestles in the coastal hills of the Onetangi Valley.

Passage Rock - Passage Rock Wines was established in 1994 by David and Veronika Evans-Gander.

Peacock Sky Vineyard - Located in the centre of Waiheke Island surrounded by lush native bush.

Peninsula Estate - With spectacular views of Oneroa Bay and the Hauraki Gulf, Peninsula Estate is focused on producing single estate, world-class premium red food wines, that can be confidently cellared for many years.

Poderi Crisci - Poderi Crisci is a small family owned vineyard with a passion for growing Italian varietals and olives.

Stonyridge Vineyard - Stonyridge Vineyard is a specialist cabernet-blend winegrower producing cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot, combining traditional winemaking with meticulous organic viticulture.

Te Motu Vineyard - Te Motu Vineyard was established by the Dunleavy family in 1989 and is noted for its fine reds, notably the Te Motu cabernet/merlot.The first vines were planted in 1989, and the first vintage was produced in 1993.

Te Whau Vineyard - With breathtaking 360° views, stunning architecture, exquisite food, and a fantastic wine list, including its own five-star wines, Te Whau Vineyard and Cafe is a truly unique wine lover’s experience.

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Relax and Enjoy the Wine on Waiheke Island, New Zealand!

June 30, 2010

Prior to departing for my 14 night “Wine & Gourmet Cuisine Cruise” on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner between Sydney Australia and Auckland, New Zealand I had a very good friend mention we must visit Waiheke Island, New Zealand. It was one of the many highlights of our 3 week adventure. Great little shops, antique stores, friendly people and gorgeous countryside as well as great wine added up to the best way to end our holiday adventure.

Waiheke Island is a picturesque blend of farmland, forest, beaches, vineyards and olive groves. Located in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, it is only 35 minutes by ferryboat from downtown Auckland. There is a great range of activities on Waiheke including sightseeing, mountain biking, sea kayaking, vineyard & winery tours and much more. When planning a trip to New Zealand, schedule a few extra days to relax on the island.

Waiheke is the third most populated island in New Zealand, after the North and South Islands. Waiheke Island has a permanent population of around 8,000 residents. Much of the population lives close to the western end of Waiheke Island, at or close to an east-west isthmus between Huruhi Bay and Oneroa Bay which, at its narrowest, is only 600 metres wide.

History of Waiheke Island
Discovered and settled by Maori approximately 1000 years ago, Waiheke translates to ‘cascading waters’. Some Maori legends relate that one of the pioneering waka (canoes) to New Zealand came upon the island. The first traces of Europeans arrived with the missionary Samuel Marsden in the early 1800s, several years after Captain Cook passed by and acknowledged the island in his travels through the Hauraki Gulf.

Contact the Travel Gal when planning your South Pacific holiday.

Your Friend in the Islands!

Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net or call me at 800 644-6659

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Vatulele Island Resort - Free Nights/Free Flights!

June 29, 2010

The PointDirectly from the sparkling shores of Vatulele Island Resort in Fiji, we are delighted to report that the sun is shining, the breezes are blowing, the people are singing and we are in such high spirits that we are offering you complimentary return flights between Vatulele Island Resort and Nadi town as well as our favorite special of stay 5 nights and pay for just 4 nights!

Vatulele Island Resort

Somewhere between 5 stars and heaven … Vatulele Island Resort is located on one of the most stunning islands in the world. Once you arrive you know that you have reached paradise, the sounds, smells, and sites of Vatulele will remain with you forever.

Vatulele Island is a stunning 31square KM (12 square miles) in area, and similar in shape to a footprint. Apart from the resort, the only other inhabitants live in 4 native Fijians villages with a population of around 1000 located on the Northern side of the island. These people form most of the resorts staff.

Since opening in 1990, Vatulele Island Resort has developed an enviable reputation in every corner of the globe and is often hailed as one of the top ten barefoot chic hideaways in the world. Set on a magnificent lagoon, the beauty of the site is coupled with a unique architectural style.

Priding itself on offering the utmost in luxurious and opulent service, Vatulele will cater to your every whim.

The Villages of Vatulele Island

The Fijians livelihood is sustained through fishing, farming and cloth making. In fact the majority of Fiji’s famous Tapa Cloth is produced on Vatulele Island. The people are gentle, warm, and good humoured.
Resort guests are invited to see how the natural inhabitants live, enjoy a special Sunday church service, play a game of football, see the children at school, and observe them at work making their special tapa cloth, this local artwork is available for guests to purchase. The Village Chief meets guests in his stately bure and invites guests to join in a traditional Kava ceremony before granting permission to explore their home.

These incredible specials are for new bookings only. Valid for travel to 31 October 2010. Book before 31 July 2010. Minimum 5 night stay. 2 return domestic flights per booking. Please quote the following booking code: FLY4FREE.  *Conditions apply*

Contact the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or Teresa@luxuryhideaways.net for more details.

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Time to cool down in Lahainatown

June 26, 2010

d and d at beachOne of my favorite beaches is located at the North end of Lahaina town. It is called Keiki beach or baby beach by the locals. I don’t know what the formal name is - everyone has always called it Keiki beach due to the fact there is a coral reef located a few yards out that provides a perfect barrier so there are no waves and a parent could place their baby sitting up at the edge of the water and the child would not get knocked over as there is no wave action. It is a perfect beach for small families to gather and cool down from the intense Hawaiian summer sun.

I am sitting here on a balmy 90 degree Sunday afternoon enjoying the scenery, children of all ages are splashing in the water, there are a few families kicking back on their beach chairs with coolers nearby, no doubt filled with sandwiches and sodas. Meanwhile a young couple strolls by hand in hand, probably on their honeymoon, a look of contentment on their faces.

One small family catches my attention, they are obviously introducing their very tiny son to the water for the first time. Dad is wading up to his waist and dipping his sons’ toes in the water as Mom has the video camera playing, catching the babies surprised expression of this new experience. The baby obviously is enjoying the water as he is submerged to his chest and waving his arms as the parents are lovingly keeping him afloat in his blow up water ring.

We then have Dylan and Donovan, twin boys - 9 years old and a handful with their friends busy building 2 sand forts complete with cannon balls so they can bomb each other - in between the construction they are taking breaks to cool off a bit and trying out their new skin boards - so much to do. This is very serious work, hence the expressions on their faces that indicates they need to get the job done. This is about as hard as I want to work on a Sunday afternoon in Lahainatown.

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Kids Fly Free to the Fiji Islands! Ultimate Cultural Experience/Family Vacation!

June 24, 2010

fiji childrenThe Islands of Fiji is the perfect holiday choice for a family with children of all ages. The Fijians will embrace your children while teaching them about the Fijian way of life. Not only will it be a relaxing and memorable vacation, your children will be receiving an education on a different culture. No amount of schooling will give them this ultimate life experience.

The 333 islands of Fiji, located approximately 10 hours from Los Angeles and offer a wide selection of family friendly resorts that are perfect to keep the kids entertained and active all day. In fact the kids have so much fun that they won’t want to leave! Fijians are known as some of the friendliest people on earth and Fiji offers a true Polynesian experience. No chain restaurants and no mega-malls. This is what getting away from it all is really about and investing in family time is more important than ever.

To celebrate and inspire family travel to the South Pacific in 2010, we have just launched a special offer - ‘’Kids Fly FREE to Fiji”. This incredible offer includes flights from just $679pp* each way based on roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles for two traveling adults and two children will fly free. The savings on flights can be used to upgrade resorts or enjoy additional experiences at the resort.  It is incredible and only available for a limited time.

By the way - my children have traveled to Fiji twice with me and its their most memorable holiday!

For more information call the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or Teresa@Luxuryhideaways.net

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Proper Name Identification - New TSA Requirements

June 24, 2010

NOTE: The Travelgal would like to share new information in reference to traveling either domestic or international, the airlines are tightening their rules on correct names, info on airline tickets:


Effective October 28, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced the final rules for a program known as ‘Secure Flight’. The Secure Flight program has been developed by Department of Homeland Security to enhance the security of domestic and international commercial travel. As a result of the new rules which are being implemented in phases, all international airlines operating flights to, from, within or over the United States will be required to collect Secure Flight Passenger Data and transmit it to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in advance of travel.

The TSA regulation will require that a passenger’s name on a ticket match exactly to their travel document. This means that:

it is exactly as it appears on your form of identification, i.e., Passport or Driver’s License.


If your name appears differently on different forms of identification, you must travel with the form of ID that reflects the name on your ticket and/or cruise documents.

Do not give your Travel Agent your Driver’s License name and then change your mind and travel with your Passport if the name is different.

This is CRITICAL, CRITICAL for recently married couples who may have multiple forms of ID

If a passenger’s name is incorrectly shown on the ticket, you may be denied boarding and/or will be required to refund the old ticket with penalty and purchase a new ticket at the prevailing rate. The airlines & cruiselines will not provide authorization/waiver codes to refund tickets without penalty.
So, please give me:

1. Your names as exactly appear on passport:

2. Dates passports expire:

3. Dates of Birth:

4. Email address so we can begin working on your air/land itinerary. If you have your own airfare, please let your Travel Agent know know the schedule so she can advise the cruiseline in reference to transfers, etc. If you need assistance with air/hotels/tours she am happy to assist you too.

Feel free to call the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 to assist you with your dream holiday.

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June 22, 2010

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” - Jawaharial Nehru

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Discover New Zealand’s Stunning Winter Beauty!

June 21, 2010

This week we have a great deal to New Zealand.   June, July and August are winter months in New Zealand & it makes for a perfect romantic escape - think roaring fires, rich red wine, hot bubble baths and crisp cool days.

In the south you can visit the splendid alpine region of Queenstown while in the north you can enjoy the more temperate climate good for outdoor activities. Of course the mouth watering local foods and famous wines can be enjoyed any time of the year.

Incredible savings, unbeatable value - 3 nights for $100.00! This week only!

Book your airfare to Auckland, New Zealand with us and receive 3 nights accommodation in New Zealand for just $100.00! You can choose your 3 nights at any of these participating hotels:

Copthorne Hotel Auckland Harbour City is situated in one of Auckland’s finest locations, right on the waterfront with easy access to Auckland’s bustling Viaduct Basin, shopping, bars and restaurants.

Millennium Hotel Rotorua is perfectly located on the edge of downtown overlooking mystical Lake Rotorua.

Copthorne Hotel Christchurch Central is one of Christchurch’s leading hotels and is located in the heart of the city overlooking beautiful Victoria Square, the Avon River and with stunning views out to the Southern Alps.

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront is a year round resort, located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and within walking distance of Queenstown central shopping and entertainment area .

For airfare terms and conditions, please contact us at 800 644-6659

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Koa Kea Hotel & Resort - boutique luxury on Kauai Island

June 21, 2010

Koa Kea Hotel & ResortKoa Kea Hotel & Resort is located on Poipu Beach, the sun-kissed south shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. This 121 room boutique, oceanfront hotel offers the most beautiful and romantic accommodations on the island. Their services and amenities include:
• Valet parking  • Concierge services
• Twice-daily housekeeping svc, incl. turndown
• Departure lounge  • Business services and email access
• Wi-fi throughout hotel & in room Internet access
• Kauai resort spa  • Fitness center  • Swimming pool  • Whirlpool
• Restaurant and lounge  • Pool bar
• Sundries and gift shop  • Meeting & Conference Facilities
• Beach Activities Hut Rentals - Snorkel Gear, Surf Boards, Boogie Boards, Beach Chairs

Kauai’s diverse landscape offers a plethora of excursions flexible to the adventurous or relaxed traveler staying in Kauai. Near the resort, guests can choose from a multitude of soft adventure activities by engaging in lessons or renting equipment. Hiking, horseback riding and golfing are easily accessible and are spectacular ways for guests of Kauai to discover the island. This side of the island has ideal weather almost all year long making it an ideal location for enjoying outdoor activities.

In case you need another reason to visit, Koa Kea has just been included in the Conde Nast Traveler Top 100 Hot List for 2010!

Koa Kea Hotel & Resort is offering a variety of packages to pamper their Clients and some even include a 5th night free. Call the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email teresa@luxuryhideaways.net for more details.

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Kangaroos, Koalas & Kiwis - Cruise Sydney to Auckland

June 13, 2010

Date          Port                                                                        Arrive          Depart
Nov 16    Sydney, Australia                                                                        6:00 pm
Nov 17    At Sea, International Waters
Nov 18    Melbourne, Australia                                                8:00 am
Nov 19    Melbourne, Australia                                                                   6:00 pm
Nov 20    At Sea, International Waters
Nov 21    Hobart, Australia                                                      8:00 am       6:00 pm
Nov 22    At Sea, International Waters
Nov 23    At Sea, International Waters
Nov 24    Cruising Milford Sound, International Waters
Nov 25    Dunedin, New Zealand                                        9:00 am           6:00 pm
Nov 26    Christchurch (Lyttleton), New Zealand                  8:00 am           6:00 pm
Nov 27    Wellington, New Zealand                                     8:00 am           4:00 pm
Nov 28    Napier, New Zealand                                           8:00 am           6:00 pm
Nov 29    At Sea, International Waters
Nov 30   Tauranga, New Zealand                                        8:00 am            5:00 pm
Dec 01   Auckland, New Zealand                                        8:00 am

Aboard the Seven Seas Navigator departing 16/November 2010 for 15 nights in the six-star tradition of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Emerging from a refurbishment in December 2009 and occupying the uppermost niche in cruising, she offers her 490 guests an unusual level of luxury and some of the highest space and service ratios at sea. From her all-suite, all-oceanview accommodations with their luxurious marble baths to her signature cuisine to her superbly attentive staff, she has few equals.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions on each and every voyage. Receive access to complimentary, award-winning shore excursions during your voyage, in addition to the all-inclusive cruise experience you have come to expect from the World’s Best Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

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