New Zealand - The South Island, Christchurch & Queenstown

July 10, 2010

The South Island is home to some of New Zealand’s most striking landscapes… perfect for outdoor adventures.

Christchurch, the “Garden City,” is also called the “most English city outside England.” The largest city on the South Island, it is filled with beautiful parks and gardens, through which the Avon River runs. Whale-watching, visiting the International Antarctic Centre, punting on the Avon, hot air ballooning, and wine tasting are some highlights of a visit to Christchurch.

Toward the center of the South Island, Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand. Activities include jetboat rides, garden tours, lake cruises, helicopter flights, bungy jumping, golf, skiing, gondola rides, guided walks, fishing, skydiving, wine tasting, and much more. If there’s any outdoor activity you crave, chances are you can find it in Queenstown! By far the most popular activity is the trip to Milford Sound, including a launch cruise on this stunning fiord.

Dunedin, New Zealand’s oldest city, is located on the southern coast. It is home to Edwardian heritage buildings, museums, galleries, and New Zealand’s first university. The nearby Otago Peninsula is a haven for wildlife, including seals, dolphins, albatross, and penguins.

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Ready … Set … GO! Hawaiki Nui Canoe Race Nov. 10, 11 & 12, 2010

July 10, 2010

canoe paddlersEvery year, in the islands of Huahine, Raiatea, Taha’a and Bora Bora, takes place the incredible Hawaiki Nui Canoe Race!

This competition has gained international fame to become THE not-to-be-missed event for fans of the sport.  Approximately 80 teams from the islands and worldwide enter the race on an itinerary starting from Huahine to Bora Bora. Each day equals a segment:

Day 1, Huahine to Raiatea;

Day 2, Raiatea to Taha’a;

Day 3, the longest segment of this beautiful adventure, Taha’a to Bora Bora.

The race unveils the physical and mental strength of each canoe paddler. It does indeed require quite a mental of steel to paddle hours long with no rest!

Each departure, each arrival in the islands is spectacular! However, we have to admit that the Grand “Finale” in Bora Bora’s lagoon is just the most amazing!

You can be part of this unique adventure too!

Contact us now to book YOUR Hawaiki Nui experience at 800 644-6659!

or Teresa@Luxuryhideaways.net

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New Zealand - The North Island, Auckland & Bay of Islands

July 10, 2010

The North Island is home to the international gateway, Auckland – a city located between two harbors and devoted to sailing culture. Auckland is a cosmopolitan city, with a population of over one million. It boasts a thriving cultural scene, with museums and galleries. The Auckland Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Maori artifacts.

In the far north, the Bay of Islands is home to uncrowded beaches, ancient kauri forests, and fruit-growing areas. It’s a great place for golf, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, and dolphin watching. The region is also home to much of New Zealand’s colonial history, including the Waitangi Treaty House, location of the treaty between the British and the Maori — the country’s first settlers, Polynesians who arrived about a thousand years ago.

Rotorua, toward the center of the North Island, is an area steeped in Maori culture. Visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Centre, or take part in an evening “Hangi” (feast) with a traditional song and dance show. You can even visit a replica Maori village, to learn what life was like in New Zealand before the arrival of European settlers. The region’s active geothermal features include boiling mud pools, spouting geysers, and natural spa pools. Between Rotorua and Auckland are the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, featuring yawning caverns filled with stalagtites and stalagmites, and an underground river lit only by the eerie glow of tiny creatures high above.

At the southern end of the North Island lies Wellington, capital of New Zealand. Here, you can visit the Parliament buildings, botanic gardens, or the acclaimed Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. With over 350 restaurants, bars, and cafés, Wellington has more dining choices per capita than New York City!

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Travel Gals Travel Tips

July 8, 2010

1. Coordinate your clothes around one or two basic colors. This cuts down on the number of shoes and accessories you have to bring.
2. Take as few clothes as possible. Plan on laundering. One person suggested one week’s worth of clothes. I take fewer unless they are my washable silks.
3. Wear and carry washable silk clothing whenever possible. It is as warm as and as cool as cotton. It dries overnight and 10-15 pieces take no more room than two pair jeans. There are some other manmade fabrics that travel as well if not better, but they cost quite a bit more.
4. Take older clothes that can be discarded along the way. Great for growing children. Many places, the local people are pleased to get these castoffs. There are travelers who take nothing but old clothes so they have that much more room for bringing souvenirs home.
5. Safety Tip - Never take a taxi that seems just to be hanging around, offering its services when there is a taxi queue available

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