May 2016

This month’s product update includes details of exciting hotel refurbishments in Auckland and Wanaka, a new Māori cultural product in Auckland, plus many more impressive developments.

Northland. Credit: Sarah Orme


NZ Māori Tourism – redesigned website
This great online resource provides extensive information on an impressive range of Māori tourism products in New Zealand.



Helena Bay Lodge – opening 1st November 2016
New Zealand’s newest luxury lodge will open in November. The beachfront lodge, set on 750 acres of privately owned land, offers five villa suites, comprehensive facilities, Estate to Plate cuisine and four private beaches.



Mercure Auckland – refurbishment update
The hotel’s refurbishment programme is well underway with brand new Superior Rooms already completed. Other exciting developments include three new elevators, premium floors and suites and a new events space.
Tāmaki Hikoi – new product: Ra Karakia, Sun Ceremony
Clients can now experience a new morning tour with Tāmaki Hikoi. The Sun Ceremony is an ancient Māori ritual, where the spirit is reconnected to the environment. The tour includes full cooked breakfast and a taonga (gift).



Waitomo Adventures – new product: ‘Lost World Through The Window’ 
Waitomo Adventures are launching a new product this month which will allow visitors to walk into the ‘Lost World’ on a staircase attached to a sheer cliff face. When the stairs run out in thin air guests will then use two tyroleans (similar to a zip line) to continue along upper levels of the cave.
Waitomo Adventures – new ‘Troll Cave’ opening in September 2016
Construction of Waitomo Adventures’ latest venture, the Troll Cave, is well underway. The fantasy experience is aimed at families with younger children and will be fully accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. 
Helicorp – new scenic flights
Visitors now have more sightseeing choices thanks to Helicorp’s two new scenic flight options. The City Scenic flight is a 15 minute helicopter tour over Hamilton City, offering breath-taking views of Hamilton Gardens and the Waikato River. The longer City to Surf flight takes in the sights of Hamilton City and gives guests spectacular views of Te Uku windfarm, the Bridal Veil Falls and the surf town of Raglan (allow 40 minutes). Both scenic flights can depart from Hamilton Airport or Hamilton Gardens.
Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park – Kiwi Night Zone attraction
Park visitors can access the ‘Kiwi Night Zone’, where they can see the rare and endangered Great Spotted Kiwi and Little Spotted Kiwi in naturalistic nocturnal enclosures. What makes this new attraction extra special is it is the only place in New Zealand to view these species of Kiwi.



Beachcomber Cruises & Marlborough Wine Tours – new product: Cruise and Wine
This ultimate one day sightseeing tour combines cruising on the peaceful waters of the Queen Charlotte Sounds and sampling fine wines at some of Marlborough’s boutique vineyards. Lunch is included.
Beachcomber Cruises – other updates
  • The Great Track and Pack Pass (return transport to the Queen Charlotte Track) no longer includes the free passenger transport across the Endeavour Inlet on the first day of travel. 
  • The one way transfer to Ship Cove no longer includes a free bag transfer, but this can be arranged for an additional fee.
  • MV. Matua will join their fleet in the upcoming season, around mid-December. Their newest custom built catamaran will be the NEW Mail Boat with daily departures of 0900 and 1330.



Choice Hotels – Comfort Inn Riccarton added to group
Comfort Inn Riccarton offers 28 rooms including spa studios and two and three bedroom apartments. Each room is equipped with the latest modern conveniences, including fully equipped kitchenettes. The property also has barbecue facilities and guest laundry services.



Alpine Guides – New product: Ski the Tasman 
Ski the Tasman is a very unique experience! Ski the two longest runs in the Southern Hemisphere outside Antarctica – between 8 to 10 km each. Each of the small group tours is accompanied by a qualified mountain guide.



Ramada Hotel & Suites Remarkables Park Queenstown – progress update
Queenstown’s newest hotel is scheduled to open in time for the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival in late June. The 72 bed hotel is part of the Wyndham Hotel Group and is aimed at both the corporate and leisure markets and boasts stunning views of the Remarkables mountains and Coronet Peak.
Appellation Central Wine Tours – new departure time for Boutique Tour
From 1st October 2016 the Boutique Tour will depart Central Queenstown at 1100 and will return around 1615.  Actual hotel pick up times will be given with booking confirmation. There is no change to their Private Boutique Wine Tour which currently departs at 1100 or as specified by the client.
Their Golf and Wine Tour is now only available as a private trip.



Cardona Alpine Resort – new Wanaka transport service
Skiers and snowboarders will be able to take advantage of Cardrona’s new bus service for the 2016 winter season. The service will offer pick-ups from selected Wanaka hotels and Cardrona Corner, arriving at Cardrona at approximately 0900. The bus will then depart Cardrona for Wanaka at approximately 1615. Tickets cost NZD$35.00 per adult and NZD$28.00 per child.
Also new for the 2016 season is a return shuttle from the new Pine Trees carpark (1km from the bottom of the Cardrona mountain road) to the base buildings. Tickets are NZD$10.00 per person.
Edgewater – refurbishment completed
Edgewater is pleased to announce their extensive hotel refurbishment is now finished. Guests can now choose from luxurious studio rooms and one and two bedroom apartments, while taking advantage of the exceptional facilities this Qualmark 5 star property has to offer. 
Edgewater has also launched a brand new website with a dedicated trade area where travel sellers can view suggested itineraries and download brochures and images.


Trail Journeys – new Otago Central Rail Trail: 4 Day– 3 Night Luxury Independent Tour
This self-guided tour includes three nights of luxury double/twin share accommodation, breakfast daily, cycle equipment, luggage transfers, transport (vehicle transport from Queenstown and rail travel to Dunedin) and guided tour of Nasby and curling. Guests will cycle a total of 150km over 4 days (3.5 to 4.5 hours cycling per day) on an easy vehicle-free trail. 



Easyhike – new Kepler Track product
Easyhike has added the Kepler Track to their hiking package options.  Offering premium independent hiking packages for the Milford, Routeburn and now the Kepler Track, Easyhike make it very easy to plan a Fiordland Great Walk.  
Fiordland Discovery - new Milford Sound overnight cruise
Fiordland Discovery is offering a new overnight cruise option in Milford Sound beginning in the 2016-2017 summer season. Guests will cruise on the Fiordland Jewel, a modern, fully-equipped and luxurious 24-metre catamaran that carries up to 20 passengers in nine cabins over three decks. 
Each well-appointed and stylish cabin is equipped with private ensuite and individually controlled air-conditioning and central heating.
Other on-board features include hot tub, elegant lounge and dining area, external deck, upper viewing deck and helicopter landing pad.