At Christchurch Airport we believe the South Island is the best
place in the world - the best place to live, visit and do
We want it to prosper, so we unashamedly champion the South
Island every chance we get… which brings us to this inaugural
edition of our new seasonal magazine Gateway South. In
this magazine, you'll get a glimpse of some of the many attractions
and activities across this special island, the place we call home
and love to welcome new people to… as well as some of the places
you can get to if you fly out of here.
If autumnal weather tells you a tropical island getaway is
required, it's time to consider a trip to Rarotonga.
It's one direct flight from Christchurch, and sunshine,
relaxation, family fun or adventure, kayaks or cocktails all await
Paula Waldeck from House of Travel says Rarotonga is a Kiwi
favourite for many reasons, including being easy to get to, easy to
enjoy and easy to have exactly the holiday you want.
"It's a true tropical paradise, with a huge variety of
accommodation to suit all budgets and all sorts of activities to
choose from (or not!) - plus many products are Kiwi and so is the
currency," Paula says.
"I highly recommend hiring scooters to get around. They give you
freedom to find your own beach for the day or try out different
snorkelling spots. They also mean you can get around the island to
try all the wonderful restaurants and cafés (the food is really
good!). You do need to sit your licence for the scooter, but it
just involves a drive around the block.
"Visitors often say they don't know where the time goes when
they're here, because exploring on a scooter, lying on a beach,
snorkelling, swimming, or just soaking up the warmth with a pile of
books, all pleasantly fill their days.
"If you have the time, put Aitutaki on your list as well. It's a
short 50 minute plane ride out to the atoll but well worth it. I've
never seen so many shades of blue - a true paradise!
"Visitors tell us a Rarotongan holiday is the perfect island
escape, paradise close to home - who are we to disagree," she
Virgin Australia flies from Christchurch to
Rarotonga every Saturday from June 24 to October 13.
When you drop small change and foreign currency into the
collection boxes at Christchurch Airport you help make community
The donations are topped up by a sizable donation from the
airport company, then community projects and groups apply for a
share of what is known as the Christchurch Airport Community
One project benefitting from your generosity is the 180 Degrees
Trust. The charitable trust works with 13-17 year old at-risk
youths who are struggling in education and making poor
Managing Trustee Jeremy Nurse says the charitable trust uses the
natural environment to initiate a turnaround in the lives of
"We operate an Alternative Education programme for up to 18
students, as well as weekly one-on-one mentoring programmes for
teens referred to us by the Youth Justice System. We use outdoor
activities to create a rapport and trust with youths, then transfer
that relationship to the urban environment.
"The grant from the Christchurch Airport Community Fund supports
our Youth Co-ordinators working with young people to build up their
confidence, social skills and physical and mental fitness.
"We see the day trips and camps help turn lives around. In the
past year, 87% reported a positive transition to employment,
education or training while on the 180 programme; 78% of young
people did not offend while on our programme and 78% of young
people improved their physical health and wellbeing."
180 Degrees Trust is one of many charitable and community groups
and projects to receive funding through the airport. Next time you
buy a cup of coffee at the airport, you might drop your small
change into the collection boxes to help future projects.
Or if you'd like funding for your community project, apply at christchurchairport.co.nz/communityfund
A new vehicle recently revealed at Christchurch Airport has a
mind of its own.
The fully autonomous Smart Shuttle will carry 15 people, has no
steering wheel, nor a front or back. Instead it has guidance
systems that combine many different types of technology, is 100%
electric and can operate on inductive charging.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says Christchurch is the home
of innovation and creativity; so the perfect place for New
Zealand's first trial of such a vehicle.
"Autonomous electric vehicles are part of our future," she says.
"They are coming ready or not and I'd rather be ready. This is an
incredibly exciting time."
Christchurch Airport Chief Executive Malcolm Johns says the
airport team is keen to understand how autonomous shuttles might
operate at Christchurch Airport and how people may react and
interact with them.
"We see the potential for driverless vehicles to transform and
enhance mobility and transport options on the airport campus," he
says. "We want to explore the possibility of autonomous vehicles
assisting people moving around our campus efficiently and
The New Zealand based and funded trial will begin in the next
few weeks on private roads on the airport campus and is likely to
last two years.
There's nothing quite like kicking through autumn leaves…
and it can be even more appealing when the leaves are from grape
vines, with a wine tasting at the end.
Wither Hills winery in Marlborough is well known for
just that, according to Karen Walshe from Explore Marlborough.
Karen says guided wine tours offered through exploremarlborough.co.nz offer a choice of 30
cellar doors and are especially beautiful in autumn.
"I don't have a favourite because they each have their special
character and they all have exceptional wine," she says.
"As an example, Wither Hills has a vine library outside
the cellar door building with multiple varieties of grapes growing.
I love to get my guests a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and then head
down to the vine library and pick a sauvignon grape for them to
taste. The flavours of the grape are totally replicated in the
"Brancott Estate is situated on a ridgeline above the Brancott
valley, so has some of the most eye-catching views in the valley.
In autumn, it offers an excellent vantage point to view the
patchwork of autumn colours. The wine is wonderful, but I also like
to go there in the morning for coffee on the terrace to soak in the
"In my opinion, a visit to Marlborough in autumn is an absolute
must. The annual harvest is underway, the colours are glorious reds
and oranges, and the cellar doors offer aromas and experiences
which are fabulous."
Visitors to Ross on the West Coast are having fun at an
attraction which grew out of a search for a birthday
Jill Waterman was searching online for a novel birthday gift for
her son, found floating golf balls and the idea for what is now
"Floating Golf" was born. "I'm an outdoors person and anything near
water makes me happy, so I decided to set up a venture in a nearby
lake," Jill explains. "It took a while, but I found a lake in Ross,
created after mining for gold had ended. I was so pleased the
owners of the lake were enthusiastic and supportive about the
idea." Jill is getting very positive feedback from her
"People of all different nationalities and all age groups have a
go. Many have never tried golf before, but after a bit of help they
get the ball out onto the water. I've even had a first-timer hit
the platform! He was stoked.
"I have good golfers visit just to have a swing. They think it
is a great idea and regularly hit the platform, which is 100 metres
from the tee-off area, which wins them another ball to try
"At the moment the prizes are a one ounce gold ingot or $2,000
cash for a hole in one, and a glacier flight in Franz Josef if you
land in the sand hole. We've only been open a few weeks, and have
had two near misses on the gold/cash hole and three on the glacier
Jill says customers love the fact that the golf balls float, so
they can see where their shot landed.
"I have customers returning from nearby towns and an Australian
guy who made a special trip from Hokitika just to play. I even had
a spectator buy a guy another bucket of balls just to keep watching
him play because he was getting so close! It sure has great
spectator value," she laughs.
Jill says her Floating Golf is a welcome attraction in a part of
the South Island so famous for its scenery.
"I love this area and tell visitors what else there is to see
and do here. I also let them see and feel the gold ingot - it is a
great prize, which I suspect someone will win quite soon."
If you want to be wowed by a red and gold autumn
experience, head to Queenstown.
That's the advice from Graham Budd, Chief Executive of
Destination Queenstown, who says golden and red hues dominate the
hills around the region in contrast with the deep blue lakes and
rivers. Graham says there's an impressive line-up of regional
"There's something for everyone here in autumn - adventure,
relaxation, luxury or a family break," he says. "Adventure
activities range from skydiving, bungy jumping, jet boating and
paragliding, to aerobatic flights, horse trekking, rafting and 4WD
"Or you could tee up a round of golf, take a boat cruise or
scenic flight, sample award-winning local wines and cuisine, enjoy
a treatment at a luxury spa or explore the town's shops, galleries,
cafés and restaurants."
Graham says cyclists often visit Queenstown in autumn to cycle
amongst the dramatic colours.
"The Queenstown Trail is classed a New Zealand Great Ride and
the 110km network of trails in the Wakatipu basin wind between
rivers, lakes and mountain ranges, around iconic Queenstown vistas
and experiences, with access to Queenstown Bay, Frankton, Lake
Hayes, Arrowtown or Gibbston's 'valley of vines'."
More challenging biking options include heli-biking, road rides
and a bike park. There are hire packages and guided options too,
for an hour or several days.
The world-class golf courses are set in dramatic lake and alpine
scenery and range from immaculately groomed 18-hole championship
courses to a family friendly 9-hole course and driving range.
More than 6,000 tonnes of grapes are harvested in autumn from
Central Otago's 200 vineyards, which are an important part of
Queenstown's reputation for great wine and food.
Graham says people wanting to soak up the autumn colours should
head to the Arrowtown Autumn Festival (April 21-25), a five day
celebration of the old goldmining town's heritage.
"It's a beautiful time to walk around the region too," he says.
"There are walking trails, scenic walks from a short stroll around
the beautiful lakeside gardens to tackling Queenstown Hill for
magnificent 360 degree vistas, or Glenorchy's epic Lord of the
Rings scenery which leads on to some of New Zealand's Great
The Nelson Tasman region is known as the Heart of Biking,
with a wealth of trails to offer, but one that attracts cyclists of
all levels is the Great Taste Trail.
It's one of New Zealand's Great Rides and takes cyclists along
Tasman's beautiful coastal and inland area. As a loop, it'll be 175
kilometres long when complete - two-thirds built so far - but it is
easily broken down into bite sized portions… literally, thanks to
plentiful refreshment stops along the way.
More than half a million riders have been recorded to date
(around 200,000 per year), which could be thanks to being able to
eat blackberries off the bush, have a glass of local Pinot Gris,
enjoy magnificent views over the Waimea estuary from your bike and
still be home in time for dinner.
Katrina Marwick prepared the most recent annual face-to-face
survey and says rider numbers are steadily increasing each
"We're seeing a steady increase in numbers, especially family
groups, plus very high visitor satisfaction. Most riders ride for
one to four hours for recreation purposes, with many attracted to
the region for adventure, arts, food, wine and beer.
"This year, 38% of riders were from outside the region (almost
twice the number for 2014) and 12.5% were international visitors,
with more international visitors staying longer (10 or more days).
They say cycling was a factor in their decision to visit Nelson-
Tasman, with comments such as "wide open spaces and constant
changing scenery has me hooked on this".
Elizabeth Bean, a trustee of the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails
Trust, describes Nelson-Tasman as a 'must visit' destination for
If you want to be in the fashion know, make a beeline for
The 18th iD Dunedin Fashion Week will be held from March 18-26
over eight action-packed days of outstanding fashion events.
A highlight of the week is the iD International Emerging
Designer Awards, New Zealand's largest fashion design competition.
In partnership with Otago Polytechnic, the awards offer a glimpse
of the future, with some of the world's most talented and
innovative next-generation designers.
This year's 36 emerging designers are from 12 different
countries and show a commitment to upcycling and sustainability,
including a fashion collection made from chip bags and soft drink
cans, textiles made from fishing tackle and garments using
Many a fashion leader has had their first exposure at these
awards. It's an event international visitors put in their fashion
diary from year to year, wanting to be ahead of the game and in
from the beginning of a rising star's ascent.
A new restaurant has quickly learned a reputation for
pairing wine with local produce to create the ultimate match made
Made In Aotearoa owner Jetti Walker has a very clear
vision for the restaurant, which was awarded the New Zealand Beef
and Lamb excellence award in its first year.
"We aim to constantly create a respectful harmony between the
land, earth and sea of Aotearoa, and convey it through our wine and
food with genuine thoughtful hospitality," he says.
Jetti says his creations use freshly sourced local food to feed
the senses. You can also put yourself totally in his hands and
order "The Chef's Table". That's when there's no menu, just an
indication of the eight to ten diners' desires, resulting in a
banquet with personalised service from Head Chef Wayne.
Made In Aotearoa has just celebrated its first birthday
with a gift to its community.
"We want to support Community College Marlborough's Cookery and
Hospitality students, so hosted a charitable fundraiser to nurture
and create the young professionals' training for the hospitality
industry," says Jetti.
"The menu highlighted salmon, whitebait, tuna, lamb and pork,
cooked in a late summer/ early autumn way and served by students of
the college. We were very proud of the students and plan to offer
them regular on going work-based training, to help them complete
Autumn Recipe - Made In Aotearoa Lamb Rump
Almond, lemon and thyme stuffed lamb rump. Served with wilted
watercress, mustard greens, roasted root vegetables and port and
4 servings ∞ 1 hour preparation time ∞ 25 minutes cooking
4 trimmed lamb rump (cap off)
1/2 cup ground almond meal
3 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
300g mixed mustard greens including small
2 peeled parsnips
1 large golden kumara
12 baby carrots
4 tbsp port and redcurrant jelly
1L beef stock (reduced by half with jelly)
Fresh chopped rosemary, thyme, oregano,
Marlborough sea salt and fresh ground black pepper - to
season lamb rump and vegetables before cooking
1. Combine thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice and ground almond meal
to create stuffing.
2. Cut cavity in centre of lamb rump and add prepared
3. Peel and vegetables, parboil prepare then cool.
4. Apply vegetable oil and herb seasoning to vegetables, pre-heat
oven to 200°C and cook for 15-20 minutes.
5. Pre-heat heavy cast iron pan, season lamb with herb mix, sear
all surfaces, rest lamb. Complete cooking of lamb (5 minutes) with
6. Gently wilt greens so still firm, apply small amount of jus,
combine vegetables, carve lamb, dress with jus and garnish.
MADE IN AOTEAROA
14 Scott Street, Blenheim
AN AUTUMN SELECTION
The Nelson region is New Zealand's sole hop growing area - and has
more craft breweries per head of population than anywhere else in
the country. Unlike other beer festivals, all the beers available
at MarchFest have been specially commissioned for the event and
have never previously been tasted by the public.
|MUDDY GOOD RUN
Your chance to run and slither in, on and through mud pits,
manmade hills, slippery slides, mud and water slides, with climbs,
crawls and running for good measure. You can choose one lap or two
(5km or 10km), and who to enter with - friends, family, a workmate
- but be quick because entries are limited to 2,500 adults and 400
|HIGHLANDS FESTIVAL OF SPEED
The Highlands Festival of Speed is a weekend packed with some of
the best modern classic racing you will see in New Zealand. It
stars some of New Zealand's most well-known racing legends, with a
big field of Pre-65 Racing, Mainland Muscle, modern and nostalgic
|CLASSIC FIGHTERS OMAKA AIRSHOW
Marlborough's largest event attracts 30,000 people from around the
world for a three day airshow.
Friday 14th is the official Practice Day, which includes the
Twilight Extreme of sunset flying, concert and spectacular
fireworks. Saturday and Sunday are the main show days with more
than 100 aircraft participating, together with mock airfield
attacks supported by ground theatre and pyrotechnics.
|AKARUA ARROWTOWN AUTUMN FESTIVAL
A five-day celebration of the old goldmining town's heritage, with
gold panning, a market day and street parade, guided historical
walks, a vintage car rally and live music and theatre. There'll be
time to explore the old miners' cottages, restored Chinese Village
and Lakes District Museum too.
|BLUFF OYSTER FESTIVAL
Bluff oysters are considered the most delicious in the world
because they grow slowly in Foveaux Strait's clear cold waters
until they are fat and juicy. The festival includes oyster eating
competitions and there's other local delicacies such as
Muttonbirds, other seafood and various wild foods. The famous
southern hospitality includes plenty of live music at the festival
in Bluff, home to the fleet of oyster boats.