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Quick question: do you like to walk? Like, really like to walk, especially when it's around waterfalls around canyons and across awe-inspiring vistas? If you answered yes or even "maybe," then you should totally enter the newest contest from Air New Zealand.
You see, Air New Zealand has partnered with the Department of Conservation to highlight the country's nine Great Walks by sending four contest winners to walk them all, over only nine weeks.
Antarctica Travel / New Zealand Travel / Extreme Travel / Qantas / 747 / Airline News / Weird Travel / → All Tags
For those jet-setters who've ticked off a healthy slew of bucket list destinations, we applaud you. It is quite the accomplishment to have been almost everywhere. Still, we just added a new destination to our own list and we think you may want in. You see, for the first time in 33 years, commercial trips from New Zealand to Antarctica have, once again, become a possibility.
There's a reason they ended in the first place, however; a tourist flight crashed in 1979 and proved fatal for all aboard. It's been long enough for airplanes and navigation and all sorts of other technology to improve and so, this upcoming February, sightseeing flights to the polar cap will once again become a normal departure from NZ. The day trip will see a chartered Qantas Boeing 747 take off from Auckland and travel due south to fly over the ice mass.
Confession: we're giant Lord of the Rings fans, we'll admit it. We might even have seen the first movie eight times when it was on the big screen, and countless times on DVD and iTunes since then.
We're also giant New Zealand fans, and on our first trip to Aotearoa in 2010 we naturally had to hit up Matamata, the farming community that's most famous for being the site of Hobbiton in the movies (and not to be confused with Matamata, Tunisia, near the filming location of Star Wars' Tatooine).
Of course, it's very different now: since we first visited in the interregnum between the three Lord of the Rings and two Hobbit movies, the site has really changed, with part of the movie site deal allowing the landowner to keep the Hobbit-hole façades and ambience.
But here's what it used to be like...
Movie Set Travel / Comic Cons / SDCC 12 / The Hobbit / New Zealand Travel / Air New Zealand / → All Tags
Fans of The Hobbit had plenty to be thankful for at San Diego Comic-Con. Of course there was the Hall H panel that included the debut of four full scenes from the films, but fans also got a peek at some of the Hobbit-themed tourist attractions getting ready for the first film's debut later this year.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey doesn't hit theaters until December 14, but the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours are already gearing up for the influx of fans expected to visit Hobbiton this year. The site is just one of over 30 tourist experiences that showcase The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit locations across New Zealand.
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We'll admit it: on a day flight, we're enormous window seat fans. There's just so much of the world out there to seeand to capture in a photo.
From takeoff to landing, from the super-posh seats up the front of an A380 to the last row of economy on a Saab puddlejumper, let us take you on a journey around the world, and persuade you that windows are where it's at.
Ten photos that prove you should always ask for a window seat:
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When you think of Air New Zealand, you're supposed to think about a sleek white airplane winging its way over blue waters to very, very far down under. Alas, thanks to Air NZ's media efforts, you're now just as likely to picture Richard Simmons in a bedazzled tank top or blonde Playboy models pouting.
These would be a couple of the stars of their recent in-flight safety videos and commercials, and now there's two more to add to the mix: Ed O'Neill (Modern Family, Married with Children) and Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men, Up in the Air), who lend their voices to the illustrated (!) safety video that's brand new for this season.
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Re-inventing an airline is tough work, and Virgin Australia has had their hands full with all the rebranding needed done. On the shores of Australia, the majority of the brand is consistent, save a few planes sporting the old livery here and there.
Last month, the first of the freshly repainted planes began flying in and around New Zealand. Naturally, now is the best time to launch a very Virgin-y, very flirty new television commercial showcasing what the "new" airline has to offer traveling Kiwis.
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Looking for something to do when you board a flight and find that the in-flight movie is something like "Dude, Where's My Car?". Air New Zealand has come up with a solution to that awful cinema problem. At first you may think that a new in-flight entertainment system is in the works, but the ingenious Kiwis have come up with more interactive entertainment. On-board golfing!
Passengers flying between Auckland and Queenstown may have the opportunity to test their putting prowess. As part of celebrating a partnership with the first New Zealand PGA tournament, ANZ roll out a turf carpet down the aisle so 4 selected passengers can to try their luck to win some prizes. The grand prize is an all-expense paid trip to the tour championship.
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Bret McKenzie may have won an Oscar, but that doesn't mean he's forgotten his roots.
McKenzie will be reuniting with the other half of New Zealand's 4th most popular folk parody duo, Jermaine Clement, for a Flight of the Conchords summer tour. FOTC will kick off a 10-city tour of New Zealand on June 13, with stops in Hastings, Auckland, and Wellington.
Based on our recent experience eating our way through New Zealand, the country’s 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 country’s best known weekend farmers’ markets at opposite ends of New Zealand:
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If a black airplane lands at night, do you even see it land at all? Okay that was kinda stupid, but all words pale in comparison to the awesomeness of the newest Boeing 777-300ER to be delivered to fun-loving Air New Zealand. It's the All Blacks-edition jet, the second plane in AirNZ's fleet to be outfitted in the black livery that's an ode to the rugby team All Blacks. One could even say the color is jet black.
The 777 is fresh off the Boeing assembly line in Everett, WA and lucky to start its life as the pimpest-looking plane in the sky. It's actually the largest plane painted noir, as the old Playboy DC-9 is long gone and AirNZ's other black metal is the smaller Airbus A320, confined to domestic itineraries. But this babythis one with its three classes (four if you count the Skycouch)this one is also flying further, like to LAX and London from Auckland.
While much of the “red zone” in the city center of Christchurch remains empty of people (save for the demolition crews checking the abandoned buildings that still make up a large part of the area), we came across a little rehabilitation project right at the edge that’s bringing life and color back to the devastated city, Project Re:Start.
Project Re:Start is kind of like a pop-up mall made up of purpose-built, brightly colored shipping containers that have been arranged and stacked along Cashel Street and converted into shops and cafes. The project was financed with NZ$3.36 million from a the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal fund.