June 2015

Read about a new luxury lodge in Northland, TranzAlpine Train Journey bus replacement information, new products in Central Otago, plus much more.

The world famous TranzAlpine train alongside the Waimakariri River. Photo: KiwiRail Scenic Journeys


Pacific Trailways – new tour 
Tourism Results New Zealand is working with Pacific Trailways in marketing the DC3 New Zealand Air Tour with two exclusive departures in February and March 2016.
Ideal for aviation enthusiasts or clients who want to try something different with 12 flights to get your clients around New Zealand, while being professionally catered to by a tour director, cabin crew and experienced pilots.
For more information or bookings please contact Jason Baker.
Philippine Airlines – new flight to Auckland via Cairns
Auckland Airport and Philippine Airlines are excited to announce a new Manila to Auckland service. The new Philippine Airlines service, scheduled to commence on 1 December 2015, will see an A320 operate four flights per week on the Manila to Auckland route, with a stopover in Cairns. Flights on the new Philippines Airlines service will be available for purchase soon, subject to regulatory approval. 


Helena Bay – update
Northland’s newest luxury lodge, nestled on the secluded shores of the Tutukaka Coast, will start welcoming guests in 2016. Helena Bay will initially accommodate up to twelve guests in beautiful two and three suite villas all with magnificent views overlooking the bay. Plans are underway to commence building a ‘cottage’ in nearby Mohei Bay.
Click here to download the fact sheet (1.1MB), or visit www.helenabay.com 
Dive! Tutukaka – new product
Dive! Tutukaka has recently purchased the R.V Acheron vessel and will utilise it as an expedition style live-aboard and Research Vessel. From September 2015 guests will be able to choose from three and five night trips to the Poor Knights Islands and other off-shore Islands. All equipment and meals are provided.
The company is also opening a new dive lodge in Tutukaka. The six room resort styled retreat is set to open early 2016.
Takou River – new glamping product
Takou River has recently opened a romantic luxury camping or ‘glamping’ escape. The beautiful luxury safari tent is pitched on a timber floor in a secluded spot overlooking the river, complete with a vintage kitchen and bathroom, hot running water, romantic outdoor bath on the river bank and private bank and private jetty.   
Quest Serviced Apartments Whangarei – new property
New serviced apartments are being built in central Whangarei. Opening in September 2015, the complex will house 34 studio, one bed and two bed serviced apartments. All apartments have fully equipped kitchenettes, private laundry and a spacious living room.


Accor Hotels – renaming of two properties
Accor is renaming two of its Auckland hotels. The Quay West Auckland will change to The Sebel Quay West Auckland and The Sebel Auckland will be renamed The Sebel Auckland Viaduct Harbour.
Sky Tower – temporary closure of Sky Deck
Auckland’s Sky Tower is in the final phase of its lift upgrade process and has now commenced work on the only lift that accesses Sky Deck (Level 60). There will be no access to the Sky Deck level until 30 September 2015. Guests will still be able to access all other levels of the Sky Tower.
Bush and Beach – discontinuation of Kumeu Wine and Nature Tour
Bush and Beach will no longer be running their full day Kumeu Wine and Nature Tour (code CTT2). Clients can still book the half day Taste of Kumeu with lunch (code GTT4) which can be combined with the Auckland City Revealed tour. Alternatively, clients who want to experience a full day wine tour can book the Great Tastes of Matakana (code GTT3). 
TIME Unlimited Tours – update
TIME Unlimited Tours has recently launched its new brand logo and formally opened a new business unit dedicated to the conventions and incentives market. For more information, visit www.newzealandtours.travel


Coromandel Adventures – new product
Coromandel Adventures has recently launched its four day Northern Hot Spots tour ex Auckland. The four day tour includes two days exploring the Coromandel and two days experiencing The Middle-earth Trilogy package in the Waikato region. For full package details and inclusions visit, www.coromandeladventures.co.nz/northern-hot-spot-package 


HobbitonTM Movie Set Tours – new development
Construction of The Millhouse at HobbitonTM Movie Set will begin in July 2015, with the grand opening taking place in October 2015. Situated in the heart of the Shire, the Millhouse will be a fully themed standalone venue. 


Koura Lodge – closed for upgrade until 31st July 2015
Koura Lodge is currently undergoing a complete upgrade, including converting all standard rooms to premium suites.  The upgrade will be completed by 31st July 2015.


Art Deco Trust Napier – new product
The Art Deco Trust in Napier is introducing a self-drive vintage car tour for independent travellers in the next summer season, starting in September. Clients can choose from a range of tailored itineraries including art, wine, food, scenery and architecture. The experience starts with an hour of tuition. Visitors then have eight hours to drive around at their leisure.


Interislander – new ferry
Interislander has named its replacement for the ferry Arahura, which is being retired at the end of July. The new vessel named Kaiarahi will be capable of carrying 520 passengers.


Raetihi Lodge – closed for winter
Raetihi Lodge has now closed for winter and the team look forward to welcoming guests back again on 5 October 2015. Located in the Kenepuru Sound, Raetihi Lodge has 14 rooms and can accommodate up to 31 people.
Marlborough Vintners Hotel – restaurant refurbishment
Marlborough Vintners Hotel's restaurant, the Vintners Room, has had a makeover. The menu has also recently changed with the new season.
Marlborough Airport – update
Marlborough Airport, in Blenheim, is in the final stage of expansion to cater for the increased visitor arrivals and capacity on Air New Zealand flights. The refurbishment will see the passenger area doubled in size and is due to be completed in June 2015.
Dolphin Watch and Nature Tours
Dolphin Watch and Nature Tours has been recognised by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as the first SMART operator (Sustainable Marine Mammal Actions in Recreation and Tourism). The SMART Operator programme is a new initiative by DOC to promote eco-friendly and sustainable tourism products.


TranzAlpine Train Journey – scheduled bus replacement
General track upkeep and maintenance work in the Otira Tunnel will mean the TranzAlpine will only travel from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass return and will be replaced by coach from Arthurs Pass to Greymouth return on the following days:
  • Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th June 2015
  • Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th July 2015
  • Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd November 2015
  • Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th December 2015
On the following days the TranzAlpine will not operate and will be replaced by coach from Christchurch to Greymouth return:
  • Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th September 2015


Copthorne Hotel and Resort Lakefront – refurbishment
All 40 rooms will undergo a complete refurbishment with expected completion by 25th October 2015. During the refurbishment there will be a limited amount of noise during the week days.
Nugget Point Hotel – refurbishment
Nugget Point Hotel managed by Capstone Hotels and Resorts is going through a soft refurbishment in preparation for the 2015/2016 summer season. Each of the 40 suites features an open plan bedroom and lounge, ensuite bathroom, and private balcony or patio, overlooking the river or gardens. 
The Spire Hotel – update
Eichardt’s Private Hotel has acquired The Spire Hotel, a beautifully appointed 5 star boutique hotel in downtown Queenstown. 
Shotover Canyon Swing – new product
Shotover Canyon Swing has engineered New Zealand's highest flying fox with a world's first launch rail.  This purpose built launch rail will give visitors a taste of free fall as they accelerate off the 182m high cliff.


Real Dog Adventures – new product
At their stunning location on the Maniototo plains near Ranfurly and Naseby, Rose and Nigel Voice operate the largest breeding kennel of Alaskan Malamutes in the Southern Hemisphere and own the only two Canadian Eskimo Dogs in New Zealand. From this base, kennel and sled ride tours can be organised for all ages and fitness levels. 
Heliview Flights – new product
Heliview are the only scenic helicopter company based in Central Otago. They fly a MD600N helicopter that can take 6 passengers plus pilot. Heliview Flights is the first ever New Zealand helicopter company to be rated Qualmark Enviro Silver, and also have a fully licensed executive VW minibus for up to 8 passengers.
For more information on their scenic flight options, visit www.heliview.co.nz/ 
Maniototo 4WD Safaris – new product
Join a small group tour to visit the spectacular scenery and rugged tussock lands of the Maniototo high country. The full day ‘High Country Tour’ operates from October to May and the half day ‘Goldfields Tour’ operates year round. 
Tussock Lodge – new product
Newly opened Tussock Lodge is situated alongside the Central Otago Rail Trail. The lodge offers four separate super-king ensuite bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen and two comfortable lounge areas.  Tussock Lodge is Qualmark 4 star rated Hosted Accommodation.