TOURS

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16

Sep

Hobbiton – Home for Hobbits

A quiet valley in the middle of the Waikato isn’t the first place you’d think to find the perfect union of art and nature; but then, life is full of unexpected events. Just ask Bilbo Baggins.   A 40-minute drive from Matamata’s new Hobbit-themed i-Site is a world-first: a permanent movie set open to the …

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16

Sep

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Experience the real Middle-Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, the bucolic setting for The Shire™ that featured in the Peter Jackson directed films, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.   Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the …

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16

Sep

Ten top ways to see the City of Sails, as suggested by residents.

Here’s what Aucklanders told Sir John Kirwan and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development they would do if they had 48 hours and $5000 to show friends and family around our city.   JOIN THE CROWDS If popular is your thing, here are the top five picks:   In a whirl Take a scenic flight …

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16

Sep

Descent into Queenstown named one of the world’s most scenic

The approach to Queenstown Airport has been named one of the most scenic in the world.   International pilots, travel writers and industry experts voted on their favourite approaches on private jet charter website PrivateFly.com.   The poll took in some of the world’s most famous airports, including Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and the …

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16

Sep

Auckland: The Barrier really is Great

Elisabeth Easther pitched her tent on Great Barrier Island and was very reluctant to leave.     There were schools of fish so vast, the ocean’s surface appeared to be boiling and, as the birds worked the buffet, the Sealink ferry ploughed its way across the sea. Occasionally the captain would reduce the throttle, so …

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16

Sep

Queenstown: Sweat, pain and good food

A yoga retreat in Queenstown with laughs and wine, suits Rebecca Barry Hill just fine.       We may not look like a bunch of yogis as we sample Queenstown’s finest pinot noirs. But we deserve a reward.   Our group of nine has sweated through challenging Power Vinyasa classes, spent long, intense minutes …

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16

Sep

Waiheke: Batch winery walks

A gentle walking trail that edges its way around a Waiheke vineyard will delight all members of the family, writes Donna McIntyre.     It is the final weekend of Waiheke Wine Festival, but during the rest of the year you can tread the vineyard tracks on the island. One of the less-trodden trails sits …

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16

Sep

Coromandel: Take in trails from the top

Ease into tramping with an overnighter at the Pinnacles Hut in the Coromandel, writes Andrew Laxon.     In hindsight, the warning signs were there when we left the carpark and didn’t see the other trampers again.   We crossed the swing bridge over the Kauaeranga River, to the boys’ delight, and headed down the …

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16

Sep

Outdoors: Explore gardens, forest trail

  The Puhinui Stream Forest Trail is a tranquil escape from urban Auckland, just 25 minutes from the city and five minutes from central Manukau.   Auckland Botanic Gardens visitor services manager Micheline Newton says the trail has been well used over the last few months, drawing plenty of garden visitors and Totara Park users. …

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16

Sep

Kia ora: Papamoa

Craving fun, sun and stupendous beaches? Here’s the place, says Elisabeth Easther.     Jealous: Papamoa boasts 16km of white sandy beach from Mount Maunganui in the west to Kaituna River in the east.   Origin of name: No, it doesn’t mean Daddy Moa Bird. Papa is Maori for flat, moa for raised – so Papamoa means …

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