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New airplane alert!
163 Boeing 787 Dreamliners are flying the skies right now, a number current as of this week. That includes 162 787-8s and 1 lonely 787-9 for Air New Zealand, which only headed from Boeing's headquarters in Everett, WA to its new home of Auckland, New Zealand at dawn this morning.
That 787-9 won't be lonely for long, however; over 25 airlines have placed orders for more than 400 of the sleek and efficient jets. So why are we getting excited for yet another Dreamliner? The answer is shockingly simple: it's awesomer. Sure, the original flavor 787-8 is great and Boeing will continue to roll them out, but the 787-9 is, as Daft Punk would sing, "harder, better, faster, stronger."
Foreign Grocery Friday / New Zealand Travel / Snack Travel / Drinking Travel / Auckland Travel / → All Tags
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.
Auckland Field Trip / New Zealand Travel / Auckland Travel / AKL / Airports / Qantas / Business Class Travel / Immigration / → All Tags
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.
Auckland Field Trip / New Zealand Travel / Auckland Travel / AKL / Ice Cream / Ice Cream Travel / Food Travel / → All Tags
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.
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.
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 featureTravel Catfocuses 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.
Airline News / Air New Zealand / New Zealand Travel / Auckland Travel / AKL / Christchurch Travel / CHC / → All Tags
Maybe a former airline CEO can wash your car?
There's no doubt that Air New Zealand is always trying to think outside the box when it comes to keeping loyal customers and creating raving fans. Now, the Kiwi airline has added even more perks for hopping on one of their planes. Something called the "Koru Valet" hit the scene several months ago and we find the benefits pretty compelling.
The Koru Valet service isn't just your traditional, "we'll park your car and take you to the terminal" kind of deal. It's a bit more and, had we a car in New Zealand and an upcoming flight, we wouldn't hesitate to use it. It goes like this: an Air New Zealand staff member parks your car super close to the terminal and then you fly off, return, and get that car back washed, serviced and with a full tank of gas. Yep, all that in one valet parking lot.
Airfare Deals / Air New Zealand / New Zealand Travel / Auckland Travel / Wellington Travel / → All Tags
The folks over at Air New Zealand have just made travel a lot easier on the wallet with their new Night Rider fares. No, these are not trips on a talking car named KITT nor will you be seated next to David Hasselhoffthat's Knight Rider. These Night Riders are super duper cheap fares on the last flight out for the night.
Starting the first Monday in November, the airline will sell each seat on the last flight out each day between Auckland and Wellington for $29 NZD (around $23 USD). We're talking entire airplane capacity sold for bargain-basement pricing, though that only includes the seat fare. If you need to pop a bag in the belly, the cost goes up to $39 NZD. For a flight that is scheduled to take no more than 60 minutes, that's a great price!
Based on our recent experience eating our way through New Zealand, the countryís food scene is bursting at the seams not only with talented chefs discovering the agricultural bounty of their island nation, but also farmers' markets where the producers and purveyors of all these fabulous foodstuffs are peddling their wares and showing off the best of what they grow.
To find out just where all these tasty products are coming from and to meet some of the growers, we stopped by two of the countryís best known weekend farmersí markets at opposite ends of New Zealand:
Wine Travel / New Zealand Field Trip / New Zealand Travel / Eric Rosen / Islands / Auckland Travel / Winery Reviews / → All Tags
All this week, Special Jaunted Correspondent Eric Rosen takes us on a whirlwind field trip to New Zealandís Other Wine Regions. Sure, now that itís summer down there they might be sipping on those tropical, grassy Marlborough Sauvignon Blancís weíre all familiar with. But as he finds out, there's much more and most if it is within an hour of New Zealandís major cities.
New Zealand only makes about 0.5% of the worldís wines, about half of which is exported, and the majority of that is from Marlborough. No wonder we donít know much about New Zealand wines in the U.S., so we set out to get a little education. Our first stop was just a forty-minute ferry ride from Auckland: Waiheke Island. Long a hippie hideout in the í60ís and í70ís, idyllic Waiheke is now one of New Zealandís premier wine regions with 17 boutique wineries scattered across its 93 square miles, a gourmet destination with beautiful beaches, and a weekend getaway for Aucklandís affluent set.
A bit of neighborly rivalry is normal, but a couple of bloggers from Australia have taken their not-too-pretty description of next-door New Zealand a bit far, according to the tourism CEO of Auckland.
The Aussie bloggers who've just moved over to Auckland have been posting their opinions of New Zealand at their Fush'n'Chups blog and there's been quite an outrage over some of their ideas--for example, that Auckland is a "horrible soulless city" inhabited by "hobbits".
The bloggers are defending themselves by saying it's just a tongue-in-cheek blog and the Kiwis should get a better sense of humor. They even mention beautiful parts of New Zealand from time to time. The moral for the rest of us is to remember never to mistake a New Zealander for an Aussie, or there could be trouble.
· Kiwis Upset By "Pathetically Rude" Aussie Bloggers [The Age]
· Fush'n'Chups [Official Site]
· New Zealand Travel Guide [Jaunted]