New Zealand Travel Guide

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Inside the Amenity Kit: Air New Zealand's Business and Premium Economy Pouch

May 12, 2014 at 1:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

We come across some downright awesome airline amenity kits in our travels, and the surprises of each zippered pouch can often make or break comfort on a premium flight. With this in mind, here's to our new series: Inside the Amenity Kit, wherein we unzip, unwrap, and expose the loot inside:

Hopping across the Pacific is not a short, quick flight by any means. Thus, any little added comfort is a welcome bonus for passengers on flights that approach 12 or 13 hours, depending on the route. With this in mind, Air New Zealand provides an amenity kit both quirky and functional.

Passengers gearing up for extended period of time on the airline's 777-300s are greeted with a small, light grey felt pouch filled with goodies to ensure a comfy flight. We flew in Premium Economy one way and Business Class the other on a recent trip, and were offered the same exact amenity kit for both.

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Foreign Grocery Friday: New Zealand's 'Raro' Drink Powder

April 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM | by | Comment (1)

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

Something as simple as a delicious drink can transport your imagination back to the enjoyment of an overseas vacation. So, when we grabbed a few intriguing packages of a local treat during a visit to New Zealand, we were pretty stoked to save it for a rainy day.

Kids go nuts for it, adults reminisce about their childhood with it, and expats long for the taste of it; we're talking about Raro, the powdered drink mix.

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Pure New Zealand Has Entered the World of Pure Instagram

March 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM | by | Comments (0)

We continually said it over and over again, that tourism and travel is constantly killing it on Instagram, and that Australia reigns supreme.

This week we welcome a new addition to the awesome Instagramers with Pure New Zealand, the folks behind promoting the natural beauty of the island nation in the South Pacific. Started only this month, they've been pretty active already with a myriad of photos, ranging from city-scapes to nature shots with a gentle sprinkling of requisite Hobbit snaps.

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Chinese Tourists Get Crash Course on World Travel in New Zealand

March 13, 2014 at 12:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

As we talked about in our recent review of a "state of the union" type travel book, the Chinese are without question the biggest and most important market that will determine and shape the future of tourism. But having been sheltered for so long by their own government, their transition into worldly travelers has not been a smooth process by any stretch of the imagination.

As recently as last year, complaints flooded in from around the world about the behavior of Chinese tourists abroad. In an effort to curb the declining reputation of its citizens and the country as a whole, the Chinese government issued a pamphlet that laid out some guidelines for how to act in another country.

While some of the recommendations where good ones that explained cultural differences, such as not drinking soup straight from the bowl, the behavior guide ended up backfiring in a way, as the media highlighted many of the more peculiar suggestions. The Mirror, for example, opened its article with this:

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Safety May Be the Last Thing on Your Mind with Air New Zealand's New Bikini-Filled Safety Video

February 13, 2014 at 10:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

When it comes to in-flight safety, the last thing that probably comes to mind is a bevy of bronzed swimsuit babes frolicking on the beach. If you're Air New Zealand, however, that combination makes perfect sense. And, seeing as how the airline has a strong history of creative safety videos, it makes even more sense.

Using swimsuit models can be considered gratuitous, but this time there's pretty good reason for the exposed skin. The Kiwi airline has partnered with both Sports Illustrated and the Cook Islands to bring us this season's newest pre-take-off demonstration, Safety in Paradise.

Air New Zealand actually celebrates 40 years of flying to the Cook Islands, while SI celebrates its 50th year of showcasing the newest bikini fashion in tropical locations.

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Gandolf Blows into Wellington on a Giant Eagle Admist Hobbit Buzz

January 15, 2014 at 1:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've come to that special time again when a new Hobbit movie is released and entire nation of New Zealand goes gaga for all things Gandolf and Bilbo. In the air, the giant Smaug took to the skies with Air New Zealand and now the folks at Wellington International Airport have, again, gotten into the fun.

In 2012, the airport installed a giant (not to mention so realistic it was creepy) Golum above its food court to share in the excitement of the newest movie. Now, airport visitors are greeted by two Great Eagles suspended from the ceiling and Gandolf perched on top of one of the 2,000lb sculptures.

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It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's a Dragon Painted on an Air New Zealand 777

December 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yet another new Hobbit movie has the folks down at Air New Zealand all excited to launch their latest homage to Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf. The Kiwi airline has given fans of the movie a sneak peak of the latest release's namesake character by emblazoning a plane with Smaug, a mythical dragon of The Hobbit: The Desolation of the Smaug.

There's no doubt that Air NZ loves anything and everything Hobbit, as this is actually the second Boeing 777-300 to be wrapped with a Hobbit scene. Both colorful Boeings regularly fly between New Zealand and the US, which makes Los Angeles the best place to spot the new dragon.

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Why Auckland Airport is So Special for Qantas' Premium Flyers

November 22, 2013 at 9:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

All good things must come to an end and, sadly, our quickie Auckland Field Trip has closed, but not without a nice goodbye. Although it's difficult to see another vacation conclude, our time at Auckland International Airport couldn't have more civilized.

Passengers flying Qantas in business, or high flyers with gold or platinum status or the OneWorld equivalent, can reap the benefits of a special check-in process. The ease of it evokes the golden age of travel, as premium guests pass through glass doors into a private room to handle ticketing and baggage check.

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Where to Nom Auckland's Best Ice Cream and Gelato

November 21, 2013 at 11:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

The next stop on our Auckland Field Trip is a little shopfront on the city's main strip, Queen Street. Amongst bustling cafes, shopping arcades and fast-food outlets sits a gem of a gelateria called Giapo.

Walk through the doors under a sign that reads, "Pure Aotearoa Organic Goodness and Creativity" (for the uninitiated, Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand) and you enter the holy grail for ice cream and gelato in Kiwi-land.

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The Best Ways to Get a Bird's Eye View of Auckland, New Zealand

November 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

Spending a few days in a new city can be a whirlwind experience jam-packed with sights and delights. Our recent trip to Auckland was no different, running from here and there to see as much as we could in a short period of time. A brief visit to learn about a new city is as close to a school field trip as you can get, thus we bring you Auckland Field Trip.

The Kiwi financial capital is situated directly on the Pacific waters of the Hauraki Gulf, and Auckland most certainly utilizes its coastal location to its fullest. Just steps from the city center, the landscape trades high-rises for yacht masts to rightfully claim the name, City of Sails.

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The Adventures of Travel Cat: Stoop-Sitting in Ponsonby, Auckland

November 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new feature—Travel Cat—focuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).

Travel Cat spotted in: the Ponsonby neighborhood of Auckland, New Zealand.

This black and white bucket of fuzz was just hanging out on the stoop of one of the Victorian villas of the Ponsonby suburb of Auckland. We hesitate to call Ponsonby a suburb, however, since almost all of downtown is a measly 20-30 minute walk away. This cat is one well-located feline.

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Beyonce Takes Leap of Faith, Jumps Off Building in New Zealand

October 24, 2013 at 3:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

It seems performing to sell out crowds isn't enough to give Beyonce the adrenaline rush she craves. So, she did what any legendary pop diva looking for adventure would do - she jumped off a building.

Earlier this week, Beyonce posted pics of herself about to freefall off of Auckland's Sky Tower in New Zealand, the birthplace of extreme adventure.

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