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… such as in this winter edition of our
seasonal magazine "Gateway South". Here, 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
Mt Hutt is gearing up for another award-winning season, with
another trophy on the mantelpiece, increased skiable area and
The skifield near Methven was recently voted New Zealand's best
ski resort 2016, a year after winning the 2015 award.
Mt Hutt Ski Area Manager James McKenzie says the back-to-back
wins are significant because voters had to register to vote and
were each allowed only one vote.
"We are one big adventure - a big mountain with wide groomed
slopes, all-lift access for all abilities, top to bottom terrain
parks with world class jumps," he says. "It's Canterbury's
playground, with a friendly vibe, great customer service and
Families love Mt Hutt because kids ski free. Tourism operators
in Methven offer accommodation, dining and activity options for
children aged 10 and under, free of charge with an adult. This
includes the skifield, where children 10 and under get a free lift
pass every day of the season.
James is promising an even bigger experience at Mt Hutt this
winter. He says the skiable terrain has been increased by 21
hectares, through extending the South West face.
New automated snow guns and modified terrain at the upper
mountain will also boost snow coverage on the higher runs and new
gear means it'll last longer.
"We are one of the highest ski areas in New Zealand, with an
altitude of 2,086m, so add the automated snow as a bonus on top of
great natural snow," he says.
There's a lot to like. Mt Hutt has an annual four-metre snow
fall to give one of the longest snow seasons in New Zealand. Plus
the longest vertical drop in the South Island, the spectacular
views across the Canterbury Plains - Pacific Ocean on one side and
the heart of the Southern Alps on the other - and extensive terrain
for all abilities, including four freestyle parks.
All this plus a big calendar of events, including the Mt Hutt
Slope Style competition on August 5 and 6 where up-and-coming
freestylers defy gravity and make onlookers gasp; and the famous
Peak to Pub race for multi-sporters on September 23.
Fiji has long been a South Island family favourite for mid-year
holidays, and these days grandparents are joining the fun.
Melissa Landrebe, Managing Director at YOU Travel in Ferrymead,
says many people consider Fiji the perfect spot for a winter
warm-up and that extends to three generations. "Our clients tell us
Fiji is their winter go-to destination, because it's one easy
flight from Christchurch and all members of the family find
favourite things to do to warm up and relax," she says.
"Families with small children find one flight from Christchurch
easy and also say Fiji is an easy destination to holiday in.
Everyone is catered for, the weather is settled and the many
accommodation options work for every budget.
"Over the past couple of years, we have noticed what have become
known as Generation Holidays, where three generations holiday
together. We see the adults come home relaxed after a family
holiday, as well as adult time while the children had fun with new
Fijian friends. Fijians adore children and are caring, safe and
cheap babysitters, so everyone wins."
Melissa says most South Islanders stay in Fiji for at least
seven nights, with some staying a few more days to divide their
time between the mainland and outer islands.
"The outer islands offer that true remote tropical island
experience, with beaches replacing pools and very high quality
foodie experiences on offer too.
"Day trips from the mainland to the islands are popular,
especially for family groups with teenagers who love "Cloud 9", a
floating bar and watersport haven in the middle of the ocean - with
its own wood-fired pizza oven."
Fiji Airways flies direct from Christchurch to Fiji three times
a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with a flight time of
four hours. Air New Zealand also offers direct flights from
Christchurch between July and October.
Be in to win 1 of 3 trips to Fiji!
Find out how: eatshopwinatrip.co.nz
Christchurch Airport and Alibaba, the world's largest retail
commerce company, have agreed to work together to connect small
regional businesses with Chinese visitors before, during and after
they visit. Chinese travellers will be able to use Alibaba Group
apps to plan their visit, shop while they' re here, then order more
local goods when they return home. More than 443 million Chinese
used the apps to buy goods and services last year, so New Zealand
SMEs are keen to offer their products into that shopping mix.
Asia's largest airline has joined the University of Canterbury
in a new partnership which will benefit Tekapo and the Mackenzie
District. Christchurch Airport facilitated the signing of an
agreement announcing China Southern Airlines as an official partner
of the University's Mt John Observatory. This partnership also
supports tourism in Tekapo, with 10 per cent of the agreement's
funding provided to the Mackenzie District Council for tourism
infrastructure in Tekapo.
FLYING WITH RICHIE
The 'Ultimate Day Out with Richie' turned into a memorable day
for the Burgess family, which won a promotion run by Christchurch
Airport and Christchurch Helicopters. Karen Burgess entered the
draw by buying breakfast, and so spending the minimum $15 to
qualify, in the terminal on her way to Fiji. A few weeks later, she
learned she and three guests (husband and two teenage sons) had won
the chance to fly by helicopter, piloted by Richie McCaw, to
Terrace Downs for a luxury lunch.
Fourteen community groups and projects have cashed in on the
small change dropped into collection boxes at Christchurch Airport.
The change is topped up by a sizable donation from the airport
company and divided among applicants. The latest round saw grants
for a wide variety of groups and projects, including a portable
pole-vault run for athletics competitions, Citizens' Advice Bureau,
free theatre productions and education programme, holiday camps for
children in need, Phillipstown Community Hub's three community
events and the Special Children's Christmas Party.
ELECTRIC DAY PASS
Corporate travellers can sign up to free electric cars when they
travel between Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. The programme
launched in Christchurch allows regular business travellers who fly
into any of the three cities Monday to Friday and out on the same
day, the opportunity to book an e-Golf for the day, free of
A one-night only dance performance is coming to Christchurch in
September, following rave reviews in America.
"Beyond Calligraphy" is a double-bill programme performed by the
Guangdong Modern Dance Company. American critics said "One of the
big success stories of international dance…" (New York Times),
"Full of meditative grace, sharp, cut-crystal physicality and
languid dignity" (Washington Post) and "Powered by a beautiful mix
of grace and testosterone" (Houston Chronicle).
The Guangdong Modern Dance Company was founded in 1992 as
mainland China's first professional modern dance company. It is
internationally renowned for exquisite and captivating
performances, as well as the number of prestigious awards it has
China Southern Airlines is sponsoring the performance as part of
the Christchurch Arts Festival. It is one of 50 shows in the
festival, but will take the stage for one night only.
"Beyond Calligraphy", September 9, Aurora Centre,
It's time to name and fame yourfavourite Canterbury business
champions in the Champion Canterbury Business Awards, the largest
business awards in the country.
General Manager Leeann Watson says the awards are now in their
"The Champion Canterbury Business Awards celebrate the
excellence, innovation and success of business in our region," she
says. "People across the South Island can vote right now to
reward outstanding work by the nominees in the various
"We anticipate this year's Awards Night in October will
celebrate today's champions and inspire the champions of
The gap between the snow and the sky will close during the Audi
quattro Winter Games NZ, as athletes test their daring and the
limits and spectators gasp and applaud.
Stunning scenery, the world's best talent and Kiwi hospitality
is about to be offered up to a global audience, all free to view
both on mountain and on ice, as well as on TVNZ's Duke
The 16-day winter sport showcase will feature all five of the
Southern Lakes ski resorts for the first time, plus ice hockey
international test matches between Australia and New Zealand at the
Queenstown Ice Arena.
Arthur Klap, Winter Games NZ CEO, says a true spectacle is on
"It feels like a bit of a champagne moment. We created the
Winter Games NZ to highlight New Zealand's winter sports talent and
introduce the world to our amazing venues," he says.
A flood-lit dual slalom will launch the Games on August 25 at
Coronet Peak, followed by four World Cup events at Cardrona as well
as mixed doubles curling at the Maniototo International Curling
Rink in Naseby. The Remarkables features the new Games event, the
North Face Frontier, while Treble Cone will host a Para-Snowboard
Banked Slalom World Cup.
The stars are literally lining up. The high profile American
men's team has already indicated its intention to compete in the
cross-country events at the Snow Farm, so spectators really will
get up close to the top talent in the world.
"People often talk about events as 'not to be missed' but I can
hand on heart say this year's Games will reward anyone and everyone
who comes to watch - including it being free to watch on TVNZ this
year," says Mr Klap.
Welcome by name and by nature … and one of the joys of winter
in the South Island.
Welcome Rock Trails is a 27 kilometre loop through Blackmore
High Country Station in Garston, just outside of Queenstown.
It was hand-built by the owner/operators Tom and Katie O'Brien,
then developed in conjunction with DOC to ensure its ecological
The trail is available only to hikers from May to September -
bikers can join in the fun the rest of the year - and it seems
hiking through dramatic scenery with snow on the ground is keenly
Tom says "This is a very special part of the island and visitors
tell us they love it for the breath-taking scenery and the fact
that it's hardly touched by man. It's an uncrowded private trail
with spectacular views off the beaten track and hikers are
guaranteed a bed in the hut of their choice."
The trail is a single track, cross country trail, with 21 of the
27 kilometres hand-built with pick and shovel. To add to the
pioneering feel, visitors can safely drink from the freshwater
creeks along the way.
The trail is also known as the Roaring Lion Trail, because it
follows along the historic Roaring Lion water race. The race is one
of New Zealand's longest historic water races, originally cut as a
channel across the hillside to bring water from streams to places
where gold was mined.
Fans of Southland's famous cheese rolls know to go to
Invercargill's main street and look for the elephant on the
That's how to find Zookeepers, the café that has second and
third generation fans after 26 years of serving up delicious food …
including hundreds of cheese rolls a week.
Zookeepers' Nic McLeod says there's a significant number of what
she calls "Cheeserollers" - fans of the toasted delicacy -
including a 94-year old who visits every Tuesday for three cheese
rolls and a pot of tea.
"Our secret ingredient is closely guarded by Barbs, our fabulous
baker who makes the cheese rolls - and cheese scones and date
scones, Afghans and Yo-Yos. We are a casual and groovy café and we
serve a lot of Kiwi favourites, but we also mix it up."
From 6.30am when the first "Cheeserollers" arrive to buy
breakfast, until the last dinner guests leave about 9pm, the doors
are open and the flow of customers is steady seven days a week.
Thursday's "Open Mic" nights attract musicians and music fans from
near and far to enjoy the vibe.
"We have lots of regular customers, but we also love welcoming
visitors. We're down the road from the Civic Theatre, so we see a
few famous faces from time to time too. Kids love this café and we
see them come back as young adults, which makes us think this café
is a unique piece of South Island history."
Owner Paul Clark has a long association with cycling, with
longstanding and widespread connections across the world, which
accounts for French tourists who come looking for the elephant on
"Many visitors ask about cheese rolls when they arrive. They're
not quite sure what they're asking for, but when we explain they
ask how many to order. We always say 'One is not enough' and they
seem to agree."
Recipe books date cheese rolls back to the 1930s. Their big
increase in popularity came in the 1950s when sliced bread became
available, though they remain a South Island specialty.
Whatever their history, Nic declares cheese rolls a staple food
in Southland - and likely to remain that way, if the hundreds being
sold at Zookeepers every week are anything to go by.
Zookeepers can't share their special recipe, but have
some tips for great cheese rolls:
- Very fresh sandwich bread - they only use Molenberg and cut the
side crusts off
- Good quality ingredients
- Lots of tasty cheese
- Your favourite additives - onions, onion soup, salt and pepper,
- Don't let the filling get too moist, because the roll will go
- Use a generous amount of filling
- Toast the roll until it is just starting to brown, and the
cheese is melted through
- Always butter the top of it and serve it quickly.
|GREY STREET SPRINT
Come smell the rubber! Drift cars don't usually run together - but
they will for this event. You'll see special cars, including some
with Bathurst and Wellington Street Race wins to their credit.
Entry fee to this spectacle is a gold coin donation to
|QUEENSTOWN WINTER FESTIVAL
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
|HOKONUI FASHION DESIGN AWARDS
The longest running fashion design awards of their type have been
making Gore a fashion hub for more than 25 years. Come enjoy
fashion shows, music, hair styling and much more.
|MARLBOROUGH BOOK FEST
A celebration of writing and reading. Marlborough venues will host
literary stars including award-winning poets, novelists,
cartoonists and fiction writers, including three shortlisters for
the 2017 NZ Book Awards.
|SOUTH ISLAND HALF MARATHON
This event is for all runners, whether you're a starter or a
regular competitor. It's a flat course around the beautiful Lake
Hood catchment's lake, garden settings and reserves. Walkers are
welcome too and there's a short dash for kids.
|CHRISTCHURCH ARTS FESTIVAL
August 30-September 17
International and Kiwi performers and artists offer arts and
entertainment across the city. Organisers promise killer songs and
killer stories, clowns and crooners, and a variety of acts
described as saucy, steamy, shocking and electrifying.