New accommodation in Taupō, New Plymouth and Queenstown, New Zealand’s first motorised kayak product, and much more.
Air New Zealand – new long haul flight and extra domestic capacity
Air New Zealand has announced it will begin flights to Houston, Texas, from December 2015. The airline will fly its refitted B777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week.
Air New Zealand has also announced it will increase its total domestic capacity by more than 650,000 seats in the coming financial year. Larger aircraft and extra frequency will be added to services at the following domestic ports: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Kerikeri, Napier and Taupo.
Hiking New Zealand – new product
Hiking New Zealand have enhanced their New Zealand Uncut Tour which is designed for visitors who appreciate a high standard of accommodation after a good day of hiking.
The day hikes and short walks have been selected to showcase the best and most diverse wilderness areas of New Zealand. From strenuous alpine hikes to strolls along the beach, clients can choose the walks that suit them.
There is a 12 night New Zealand option, a 5 night Northern Portion or a 7 night Southern Slice.
Europcar – new bike carriers
To meet growing demand, Europcar is introducing the first rental cars with bike carriers into the New Zealand market, providing a ready-made solution for cycling tourism which has increased significantly in recent years. ‘The popularity of cycling holidays continues to climb, and travel by road or off the beaten track in New Zealand is a fantastic way to see the country,’ says current New Zealand Road Cycling Champion Jo Cooper of the Avanti Racing Team. ‘There are parts of both islands which can only be accessed by exploring on two or four wheels, and in a country known for extreme sport activities, cycling offers a fantastic alternative for enthusiasts or families looking to visit New Zealand,’ adds Cooper.
Mercure Auckland – new lifts
Mercure Auckland kicks off its refurbishment program with the installation of brand new guest lifts. To minimise guest disruption each lift will be renovated independently and completion of all lifts is expected in Quarter 2, 2016.
Auckland Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira – new exhibition
Auckland War Memorial Museum has announced a new home grown exhibition ‘Taku Tamaki – Auckland Stories’ opening in late May, which will ‘share the stories that have shaped the city and its people’. The exhibition will feature a film starring Auckland school children, a specially commissioned art piece from Peter Madden and a photographic display by Jane Ussher that celebrates heroes of Auckland as selected by youth.
Taupo Kayaking Adventures – new product
Taupo Kayaking Adventures is proud to be the first kayaking company in New Zealand to offer motorised kayaks. The small motors fitted to the kayaks allow guests to take in the stunning scenery of Lake Taupō without the effort of paddling.
Their motorised kayaks also mean they can offer safe kayaking trips for the disabled, and for those who are unable to paddle due to injury and other health reasons.
Quest Taupo – new hotel
Quest Taupo Serviced Apartments is due to open in late July 2015, offering visitors the choice of stylish studios, and one, two and three bedroom apartments. All apartments feature fully equipped kitchenettes, private laundry and spacious living room.
The hotel is located in central Taupō, approximately 10 minutes’ walk to the town centre.
The Kinloch Club – accommodation update
The modern uber-luxury Lodge at The Kinloch Club is scheduled to open in early September 2015. Featuring a luxurious dining room, bar and den (for private dinners or meetings).
A short stroll from the lodge, are the exquisite two and three bedroom villas, and one bedroom junior suites. Villas feature full kitchen, laundry facilities, and private terraces for outside entertaining.
Novotel Hobson – new hotel
New Plymouth’s newest hotel is set to open in mid-October 2015. The 101 room hotel will comprise of studio rooms, executive rooms and apartments. As well as the Governors Restaurant with seating for up to 100 people, conference facilities, plus health and fitness facilities. Located on the fringe of the CBD, this hotel is well suited for both business and leisure travellers.
Mellonsfolly Ranch – new packages
Mellonsfolly Ranch has added an exclusive ‘Day Tripper’ experience and exclusive `Wedding’ package’ to their product offering. For more information visit, www.oldwesttown.co.nz/
Chateau Tongariro Hotel – hotel refurbishment
The hotel is pleased to announce all original Heritage Wing rooms have been refurbished. Throughout the upgrade the hotel has maintained historical integrity and kept with its belief of providing customers with a "timeless elegance".
Mangapapa Petite Hotel - refurbishment
Managapapa Petite Hotel is currently undergoing major renovations which will include a new hotel reception area added to the main homestead and alterations to the Mangapapa restaurant.
All first floor homestead bedrooms will be upgraded and the four cottages added in 1994 will become two bedroom executive suites. In additional, a new high end conference facility will be built (ideal for executive retreats or small boutique weddings) with the existing facility being converted into two new junior suites.
The hotel will reopen on 1 November 2015.
The White Swan – planned refurbishment
The White Swan in Greytown has new management and will undergo a transformation beginning in August this year. The refurbishment will include an upgrade to the bar, dining area and accommodation.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa – new exhibition
To mark the World War I centenary, Te Papa has joined forces with Weta Workshop to take visitors back to Gallipoli. Experience the triumphs and countless tragedies of this 8-month campaign through the eyes and words of the ordinary New Zealanders who were there.
The exhibition will run for the next four years. Parental guidance is recommended as the exhibition contains graphic content and some language may offend.
Quest on Gilmer Apartments – update
Quest on Gilmer Apartments, a centre city apartment hotel, has a dedicated communal kitchen which is well suited for groups that travel with cooks.
The communal cooking room contains an oven, electric cook-top (hob) and rice cookers. The cooking room contains a large dining table with chairs, cooking utensils, plates, and cutlery. There is also a flat-screen television.
Mercure Queenstown – refurbishment
Mercure Queenstown Resort will commence a full refurbishment of its Lake View rooms from late April 2015.
The spacious new room’s interior will feature rich toned cabinetry, designer bed heads, LCD TVs, new lighting, soft furnishings, comfortable relaxed seating along with WI-FI connectivity ports. Additionally the hotel rooms will introduce all new bathrooms featuring walk-in showers.
Eichardt’s Private Hotel - update
One of the most highly valued pieces of real estate on Queenstown’s waterfront will soon be home to the country’s most expensive hotel suite. Eichardt’s Private Hotel has been announced as tenants for a penthouse apartment and two further Lakefront suites to meet ultra-high net worth visitor demand.
The expansion takes the luxury hotel’s capacity to seven suites, with the 240sqm penthouse suite (plus 100sqm balcony) featuring a commercial grade kitchen primed for private chef usage, two suites each with ensuites, a sauna, spa and a powder room with views across the lake.
Real Journeys – TSS Earnslaw update
Queenstown’s TSS Earnslaw goes on her annual survey in May, after being awarded a Qualmark Enviro Silver for minimising smoke and emissions. While the Earnslaw is stripped down for maintenance two of Real Journeys’ original Fiordlander class vessels will continue to take visitors to Walter Peak until TSS Earnslaw returns to service on June 29.
Kinross Cottages – new accommodation
The newly opened Kinross Cottages are set amongst the picturesque vines of a working vineyard, in the stunning Gibbston Valley. The property consists of 14 spacious self-contained Studio Cottages (some with internal adjourning doors), each featuring fully equipped kitchen, well-appointed bathroom and deck with outdoor seating area.
Guests can also take advantage of the onsite coffee shop, general store and wine merchant. Or hire a bike and enjoy the stunning cycle trails that are right on the property’s doorstep.
Edgewater – refurbishment
Edgewater has commenced a refurbishment programme of its guest rooms. The property will manage a staged upgrade of all room types during lower occupancy months through 2015 to mid 2016.
Edgewater’s spacious layout will allow the hotel to undertake the project in a manner so as to minimise guest inconvenience. The hotel will aim to ensure customers are placed in guest rooms away from those that are under current refurbishment.
Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours – new product
Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours has recently launched an exclusive photographic tour called the Southern Nature Photo Safari. This small group guided tour takes in the wildlife and stunning scenery of the Otago Peninsula, Harbour and coast near Dunedin.
Between April and September the winter tour is a full day photo safari. In the summer months, guests can choose from a sunrise tour with exclusive access to a beach-front hide at Penguin Place to watch Yellow-eyed Penguins returning to the sea; or the sunset tour where guests can see the night-time arrival of Little Blue Penguins on Pilot’s Beach.