November 2014

As the weather warms up and the peak season fast approaches, many New Zealand operators are creating new products and enhancing existing products. Keep up to date with the latest developments here.

Around the Mountain Cycle Trail. Photo: Venture Southland
As always if there are any products you would like us to include please contact us.



Imagine NZ Travel – new inbound travel company
Imagine NZ Travel is a boutique inbound travel company specialising in tailor-made holidays, offering a wide range of  accommodation and unique experiences including cycling, hiking, culture, food and wine. Imagine NZ Travel was established by Nienke Jansen, who has over 20 years’ experience in the travel industry. Eight of these years in New Zealand inbound tourism alone. Her work experience in retail and wholesale travel in Europe enables her to completely understand your needs and what your clients are expecting.
For more information, please feel free to email Nienke at or visit her website


Salt Air - aircraft fleet changes
Salt Air now have a second Bell Longranger helicopter operational which means they have three helicopters for the upcoming summer season, two of which have a five passenger seat capacity - great for the VIP tours, charters and family groups.


TIME Unlimited Tours – business update
TIME Unlimited Tours have moved their premises to Suite 276 / 92 Franklin Road, Freemans Bay, Auckland, 1011. Their email and phone numbers will not be changing (+64 9 846 3469 or +64 274 846 369). They are also in the process of creating a new and exciting brand refresh with an updated logo, website, brochures and all associated marketing materials. 
Sudima Auckland Airport – carboNZero certification
Sudima Auckland Airport is setting a benchmark in its sector by becoming the first hotel to attain carboNZero certification. 
From its first day the hotel was distinguished by its sustainable design and features, which include refrigerator-free guest rooms, LED lighting and air-conditioning which, uses hot and cold water to maximize energy efficiency and provide twice the fresh air of any comparable system.
Rooms feature paperless compendiums and the property is designed to harvest rainwater that is filtered and recycled for non-potable use. The hotel has a Qualmark rating of 4.5 and consistently operates near full capacity.
The group intends to achieve certification for its properties in Hamilton, Rotorua and Christchurch. 
Stamford Plaza – soft refurbishment
Stamford Plaza Auckland is in the final stages of completing an exciting multi-million dollar soft refurbishment of its Superior, Deluxe and Suite Accommodation.
The hotel is set to offer a contemporary feel to each room category, with improvements in both design and technology greatly enhancing the 5 Star experience of the property. A distinctly New Zealand flavour will infuse each room through the use of a neutral colour palette and artwork featuring native New Zealand botanicals. During this refurbishment time there will also be some enhancements made to the Hotel’s Lobby Area.
SKYCITY Grand Hotel – premium luxury rooms refurbished
The beautiful décor of SKYCITY Grand’s newly-refurbished Premium Luxury Rooms has been inspired by the hills and colours of Auckland. These spacious and airy rooms have been carefully designed to minimise clutter and maximise comfort. As well as 24-hour room service SKYCITY Grand also offers finishing touches like a 55 inch wall-mounted plasma TV, exclusive toiletries, and iPod dock.


Skyline Rotorua – Mountain Bike Gravity Park
Skyline Rotorua’s Mountain Bike Gravity Park has introduced off-peak passes for riders to enjoy the park from Monday to Friday.
The off-peak pass starts at NZ$249 for a three-month adult pass, NZ$250 cheaper than a regular three-month pass (which allows riding seven days a week). The 12-month off-peak pass is NZ$499 compared with NZ$899 for a full year. Six month passes, along with student and child rates are also available.
The Gravity Park has trails for most skill levels with 8.5km of trails braiding down the side of the mountain, including multi-grade features, a 300m jumps section, and international-grade slope style and downhill lines. Eleven (out of 33) dedicated gondolas each take four riders and their bikes to the top of Mt Ngongotaha where the trails start.


Nimon and Sons - update
Nimon and Sons are very excited to receive the newest and largest member of their fleet. A brand new 2014 Volvo B7RLE built by Kiwi Bus. The bus has 65 seats (all with seat belts) and is the largest single deck passenger vehicle in the country. Features include full air-conditioning, large TV screen and DVD player for presentations, movies or product updates, PA system, cloth interior, large lockers and faux wood flooring throughout.  This is the perfect vehicle to transport large groups of people for any occasion. For more information or bookings email or visit
Wātea Boutique Bed and Breakfast – new product 
Wātea is a Māori word meaning be "Welcome" which embodies Wātea Boutique Bed and Breakfast’s intent to provide guests with a memorable experience. 
Wātea is a new Bed and Breakfast which opened in March 2014. As the name suggests, their intent is to create a new level of Bed and Breakfast experience and to become rated as the No1 in the Hawke's Bay. The house is new with a lot of original art.  It is located on a large section with a rural outlook, yet conveniently located for access to all that Hawke's Bay has to offer.  Wātea is a 10 minute drive to Napier, and 15-20 minutes’ drive to Hastings and Havelock North. 
Prinsy’s Wine Tour “Hawke’s Bay in a day” – new tour 
Hawke's Bay contains an abundance of luxury, much of the landscape retaining an 'untouched' feel that New Zealand is renowned for. With Prinsy’s Tours, your clients will experience that luxury and landscape with their own exclusive tour. The tour includes transport, wine tastings at Mission Estate Winery, Craggy Range Winery and Black Barn Winery, and a visit to Te Mata Peak. Allow a minimum of four hours. Maximum of 4 passengers, larger groups by arrangement. Lunch not included.
For more information email or visit


The Devon Hotel – update
Heritage Hotel Management will add The Devon Hotel, New Plymouth to the group from 1 December 2014. The hotel has recently embarked on an upgrade, including refurbishment of its 102 rooms and an update of the hotel’s reception and lobby. The hotel offers well-equipped modern hotel rooms; many with sea or mountain views. The property is walking distance to the central business district and the coastal walkway, where guests can use the hotel mountain bikes to explore the popular trail at their leisure. There is also a restaurant and lounge bar, heated outdoor swimming pool, spa pool and off-street parking. The hotel is owned and operated by Peter and Rosemary Tennent. Robert Davies is the general manager and is assisted by a senior management team and staff of over 100.


The Portage Resort Hotel - rebranding
Portage Resort Hotel wishes to announce that it is no longer associated with the Mantra Hotels Management Group. The hotel will no longer be operating under the "Peppers Portage" brand and has reverted to the original name Portage Resort Hotel.


Commodore Hotel – trading independently from 01 November 2014
Christchurch’s Commodore Airport Hotel will begin trading independently from 1 November, following the conclusion of an 18 year franchise association with Millennium Hotels.
The Patterson and Ward families have owned and operated the Commodore for more than 42 years, with today’s day-to-day management being the responsibility of Tom’s three sons, Michael, Ken and Thomas. Michael Patterson, general manager of the Commodore Hotel, says that the families and the Commodore have had a great relationship with Millennium Hotels but now seemed the right time for the hotel to develop its own brand and style of service. 
‘Our independence will enable the hotel to focus solely on providing our guests with the best possible hotel experience in the city, reinforced by the unique family values that are the strength of the Commodore Hotel. We want to ensure a true ‘Kiwi’ experience. 
‘We have confidence in Christchurch and the South Island and now that the effects of the earthquake on tourism and business in Christchurch are fading, the potential for growth is strong.’ 
Last year the Commodore opened the $6.5 million five star 20-room Matai wing, comprising 18 business-level rooms and two suites. This increased the hotel’s capacity to 160 rooms. 


Ultimate South Island Tour, Alpine Adventures – new tour 
Alpine Adventures offer private luxury New Zealand experiences. Their newest tour, Ultimate South Island, includes helicopter transfers, jet boating through Skipper’s Canyon, morning tea on the edge of an alpine lake, snow landing on the Jura Glacier, and a West Coast beach and rainforest walk. To find out more visit their website   
Flow Fun Canoes, Queenstown Rafting – new product
Flow Fun Canoes runs inflatable kayak excursions on the Kawarau River – a relaxing and scenic trip that literally goes with the flow. No prior experience is required for this fully guided activity which is suitable for most ages and fitness. The voyage starts at the confluence of the Shotover and Kawarau rivers and finishes 7km downstream at the historic Morven Ferry site before transferring back to town. The scenery includes a beautiful stretch of the Kawarau River with the Remarkables as the backdrop. Total time on the river is between 1 to 2 hours – 3 hours including transfers from central Queenstown. All equipment and life jackets supplied.


Around the Mountains Cycle Trail – Opening Stage 1
Southland’s Around the Mountains Cycle Trail officially opened Stage 1 on 01 November. The trail offers the best of easy (grade 1) back country cycling in the stunning Queenstown and Northern Southland regions.