June 2018: Winter adventures for the non-skier

New Zealand’s mountains come alive with skiers and snowboarders in winter, but there’s more to see and do during the colder months than just hitting the slopes.

TranzAlpine Alpine Express
Winterless north     
The Northland region is known as the winterless north due to its tropical weather year round. 

The Bay of Islands is only a 3-hour drive north of Auckland, or a 45-minute flight, and is rich with Maori culture. It’s also renowned for its clear waters, huge ancient Kauri forests, and active wildlife. 

Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds to view their contemporary museum, powerful Maori cultural performances and taste hangi. Clients can also take a short ferry ride from Paihia to Russell which is a charming seaside town and the country’s first capital. We recommend dining at Duke of Marlborough pub which holds New Zealand’s first liquor license.  
    

Hot pools    

In New Zealand, you’re never far from a naturally heated soak in a hot pool

The North Island has plenty of geothermal destinations to choose from, with Rotorua being the most well-known. Polynesian Spa is at the heart of the region with 27 mineral pools that sit overlooking Lake Rotorua. 

In the South Island active fault lines create heat down below, so natural hot pools can be found where you’d least expect it. Man-made hot pools are also common in areas like West Coast and Lake Tekapo where you clients can warm up after a long day of exploring, overlooking snowcapped mountains.     
 

Wineries     

If your clients are on a self-drive holiday, direct them along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail from Hawkes Bay on the North Island’s east coast to Malborough at the top of the South Island. While the vines will be bare, the cellar door will be bursting with the labours of an Autumn vintage.       
 

Abel Tasman National Park    

The Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite and its world famous coast track. Average temperatures in this coastal paradise only vary by 10 degrees Celsius throughout the year, making it the perfect winter getaway. 

Clients can still enjoy a range of activities during winter, with operators like Wilsons Abel Tasman offering tours and accommodation year round. Explore the park by foot, sailing catamaran, sea kayak or water taxi. 
    

TranzAlpine    

For clients starting their New Zealand journey in Christchurch, they can climb onboard the TranzAlpine train and head to the mighty West Coast. This rail journey is one of New Zealand’s most memorable and the snow covered landscapes make it even more magical during winter. 

Starting in the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, the railway traverses the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River.
 
The train then climbs into the majestic Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass National Park, before descending through lush beech rainforest to the West Coast town of Greymouth.