August 2017

Air New Zealand adds thousands of seats to its domestic routes, a new waka tour in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour and a revamped heritage centre for Stewart Island.

Stewart Island

AIRLINES

180,000 extra Air New Zealand seats

Air New Zealand is adding flights to its domestic schedule ready for summer to deliver 180,000 extra seats between November 2017 and March 2018, compared with the same period last year. The increases will be as follows:
• Auckland-Nelson 16,500 extra seats
• Auckland-Tauranga 13,800 extra seats
• Auckland-Napier 12,800 extra seats
• Auckland-Palmerston North 7300 extra seats
• Auckland-Kerikeri 4,900 extra seats
• Auckland-New Plymouth 2,800 extra seats
• Auckland-Taupo 2,100 extra seats

Air New Zealand offers passport reminders app

Turning up to the airport with an expired passport will be a thing of the past for Air New Zealand customers, with the airline’s mobile app now able to scan and save passport information and send a reminder when it’s time to renew. 

NATIONAL

InterCity expands in South Island

An InterCity GOLD bus will begin operating daily on the Dunedin – Queenstown route from Tuesday 1 August. The service offers standard or premium GOLD seats – large soft leather recliners with individual charge ports and power outlets. The services depart Dunedin at 8.30am daily and arrive in Queenstown at 12.50pm. The return journey will depart Queenstown at 4.15pm and arrive in Dunedin at 8.50pm.
www.intercity.co.nz

NZ road trips in new Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet explores road trips across the world with new book Epic Drives of the World, published this month. New Zealand is represented by two driving routes highlighted in the chapters ‘Southern Alps Explorer’ and ‘Northland & The Bay of Islands’.

NORTHLAND

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds has been named a finalist in the New Zealand Tourism Awards for the second year in a row. The winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner in Christchurch on Thursday 7 September.
www.waitangi.org.nz

AUCKLAND 

AccorHotels expand in NZ

AccorHotels has entered into a franchise agreement with two Auckland hotels – the Hotel Grand Windsor and the Eden Crescent Hotel. The properties will join the Accor’s MGallery by Sofitel brand.
Located on Queen Street the Hotel Grand Windsor is a heritage listed hotel dating back to 1928 and is currently undergoing extensive works. The Eden Crescent Hotel was constructed in 1860 and what remains today is the seven storey extension built in 1912.
Both projects will be completed in 2018.

Jet Park Auckland gets a makeover

Jet Park Hotel & Conference Centre, based at Auckland Airport, has given 40 superior twin rooms a makeover. Rooms have been freshly painted, with new carpets, new headboards, blackout curtains and new extractor fans in bathrooms. One-bedroom executive suites have been updated with a new lounge suite with fold-out couch, which doubles as another bed, and new soft furnishings.
reservations@jetpark.co.nz

NEW product: Waka tours by Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport

Experience an authentic Māori Waka Tour out into the Waitemata Harbour where you will be encapsulated by the stories of our Māori ancestors. Enjoy a contemporary styled cooked hāngi and be entertained with Māori music and performance while taking in the scenic views of the Waitemata Harbour.
Retail rate: NZ$240pp
www.okeanos-foundation.org/sustainable-sea-transport

Tāmaki Makaurau Māori tourism experiences brochure

Earlier this year, ATEED launched Auckland's first dedicated Māori Tourism brochure. The brochure will be used at trade shows and major events to promote the wide-ranging activities on offer in Auckland.
Click here to download. 

TIME Unlimited expands top-end luxury vehicles

To keep up with demand, TIME Unlimited have placed an order for another Mercedes Sprinter luxury vehicle for 11 guests with full leather seating and all the extras, which will be available for touring from 1 November 2017.
www.newzealandtours.travel

Even Hotel to open in Auckland

A 200-room Even hotel is planned for the Auckland CBD, the first of its kind outside the US. The $200 million 37-floor tower on the corner of Wyndham and Albert streets will open in 2020.
Aromatherapy amenities, athletic studios, special lighting to energise or relax guests, in-room exercise zones and simple fresh foods offer guests a shift towards holistic wellness.
www.ihg.com/evenhotels

ROTORUA

Te Puia to manage Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Waimangu Volcanic Valley has been part-purchased by Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI), in partnership with local iwi (tribes) Te Mana o Ngati Rangitihi and Tuhourangi Tribal Authority. Waimangu will continue to operate as a separate entity.
www.waimangu.co.nz  

CHRISTCHURCH

Avis returns to Christchurch CBD

Avis is moving into a new central Christchurch location in mid-August. The new purpose built rental car building on Kilmore Street will house Avis’ large fleet of modern rental vehicles, including the luxurious BMW X5 SUV, in a fully covered car park.
The wizard location code is J29


Taieri Gorge train temporarily closed

Due to the recent rain and floods in the Dunedin area, the Taieri Gorge Railway will remain closed until early September. They are running some other trips (that don’t go into the gorge). See their website for other trip suggestions.
www.dunedinrailways.co.nz


QUEENSTOWN

Off Road Queenstown is offering new private expeditions on four wheels or two – off-road (of course) through the central South Island to give groups exclusive access to some of world’s most stunning and remote off-road terrain and landscapes. 
www.offroad.co.nz 

SOUTHLAND

New heritage centre planned for Stewart Island

A purpose-built heritage centre on Stewart Island will receive $108 million in government funding, says Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry. Rakiura had a rich and fascinating story to tell, she said. “But the current museum was simply too small for an increasingly large and valuable collection.”