This edition marks our second year of producing this seasonal magazine to tell some of the many wonderful stories of our place in the world.

We had a record-breaking summer season (an all-time record set in December and broken in January), with record numbers of passengers entering the South Island through our airport to experience what we are lucky enough to call home.

There's always a lot going on in this island, so we are pleased to share with you some of the events, activities and stories of the autumn season, as well as some of the places you can fly to direct from this airport.


There's a simple reason people go to Singapore - quite apart from being wowed, it's easy to have fun there no matter what your age or budget.

Dalwyn Sinclair, Joint Managing Director at House of Travel Upper Riccarton, says Singapore truly is a destination for all travellers.

"People have long considered Singapore just a stopover - and it can be that - but it also offers a cultural experience as well as rest and relaxation, with great food, experiences and shopping and a tropical climate," he says. "Singapore has matured, is constantly redeveloping and offering increasingly diverse activities to a wider range of travellers.

"People who return after their first visit regularly tell me they wish they had stayed longer. Some are surprised by how strong the Western influence is and that English being the primary language made it easy."

Dalwyn says Singapore is definitely a family destination - his own children love it - and that resort-style accommodation and theme parks are as much fun as the more cultural things
to experience.

His top must-see is the Marina Bay area. "The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is a world famous architectural marvel and much more than a hotel."

Gardens by the Bay is a premium horticultural showpiece which has led the greening of Singapore and won many awards along the way.

Heritage Precincts, including Chinatown and Little India, immerse visitors in Singapore's multi-cultural heritage both traditional and contemporary. The name Food Street speaks for itself!­

"Singapore Zoo is the world's best rainforest zoo and even people who don't think a zoo is for them, love the experience," says Dalwyn.

Sentosa Island is known as the State of Fun. It's an island resort getaway only 15 minutes from the CBD and includes Universal Studios, Underwater World, a Marine Life Park alongside beaches, shops, spas, golf and restaurants galore.

On the off-chance you are still hungry after the previous four suggestions, Boat Quay will help you out. It's wall to wall restaurants, bars and pubs offering food from all corners of the world at various venues and prices.

"All that fun and variety of experiences are just one direct flight from Christchurch Airport - sounds perfect to me," says Dalwyn. 

Singapore Airlines flies direct to Singapore from Christchurch every day and all year, with up to ten weekly flights over the summer period. Singapore Airlines is a partner airline to Air New Zealand, so connections from across the South Island via Christchurch are quick and easy.




Alipay, the world's leading mobile and online payment platform, is gathering speed across the country. More than 3000 South Island businesses alone have expressed interest in joining the smartphone app to connect with Chinese visitors. Our project's first retailers have gone live in both islands to increase their business opportunities. Alipay has 520 million Chinese users who prefer to use the app when they travel overseas, which is why we work with parent company Alibaba to offer the app here.


We welcomed our 12th airline over the summer, with a new direct service between Christchurch and Hong Kong, which became our 24th destination. Not only a new airline, but also a new aircraft - the first time the A350 has flown to the South Island. As is tradition with an airline's first flight, we served an elaborate themed cake!


Dubbed "The Flying Orangutan", the freight plane bearing former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson's face has become familiar at the airport. That plane is one of several extra freight flights taking time-sensitive South Island produce (such as dairy, fresh meat and stone fruit) to export markets, further highlighting the valuable contribution local producers and exporters make to our local economy.


We were very proud to be awarded the Efficiency Champion award at the Sustainable Business Network Awards. The award recognised our dramatic reduction of energy use and focus on using cleaner energy sources. Since 2013, when we opened the new terminal, we have cut our total energy (electricity, diesel and gas) use by 21%. We saved 950,000 kilowatt hours in the past 12 months alone - that's enough to power 120 medium-sized kiwi homes for a year.


A 12-month flight paths trial began on 9 November 2017 for some arrivals into Christchurch Airport, developed in conjunction with Airways New Zealand, Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), and Christchurch Airport. Approximately a quarter of flights arriving into Christchurch are involved in the trial. The approaches are using satellite-based navigation to improve safety, reduce flight time, burn less fuel, emit less carbon dioxide and fly more quietly. For more information visit



If there's one thing that signals early autumn in Christchurch, it's the much-loved Lantern Festival.

The festival is part of the Chinese New Year, which is celebrated by a quarter of the world and an important festival in the Chinese cultural calendar. Chinese New Year signals the world's greatest annual migration of people as families get together at home for a special meal together.

The Lantern Festival can be traced back 2000 years and has become global celebrations involving light displays and the launching of thousands of sky lanterns to represent longer daylight hours and light from the full moon.

The festival was welcomed to Christchurch in 2005 and has since become the most popular cultural event in the city.

ChristchurchNZ's General Manager of Attraction, Linda Falwasser, says it's easy to see why.

"The Lantern Festival celebrates Chinese culture, with hundreds of vibrantly coloured lanterns in the central city. This celebration is for everyone and combines music, performance, arts, food and lanterns," Linda says.

"There's a wider aspect to it too. China's investment in Christchurch, Canterbury and the wider South Island is growing exponentially, with more than $1.4bn exports and $898m imports moving through the Christchurch airport and port each year. Chinese education, business and tourism is a significant contributor to the city. 

"The airport is the Gateway to the South Island and the distinctive China Southern Airlines Dreamliner arrives and departs every day. It not only transports people, but also valuable and often time-sensitive South Island produce to prized Asian markets.

"The festival's success has seen the event broadened to incorporate the South Island Business Forum and a city-wide welcome to new international students to Christchurch.

"The South Island Lantern Business Forum will connect around 200 political and business leaders.

"The Lantern Festival is another way for people to experience and enjoy Chinese culture. This year, the festival moves back into the central city, following the Otakaro Avon River from the Bridge of Remembrance through to Worcester Street and Cathedral Square. We look forward to seeing the thousands of visitors this festival attracts, back in the heart of Christchurch."
March 10 - 11


A Riverton couple dedicated to permaculture are not only managing and living off their own Food Forest, but inspiring others to follow their lead.

Robyn and Robert Guyton moved 25 years ago to two acres of gorse and broom covered land, but now tend a large garden including almost 500 plant species - native trees, a fruit orchard, vegetable garden and plants which entice insect and human visitors (and birds).

These days their Food Forest is not only a major drawcard of the Riverton Heritage Harvest Festival, but also has been acclaimed home and abroad.

Permaculture is the development of designing and maintaining ecosystems modelled on natural forest systems, to grow food in a sustainable and self-sufficient way - and it's catching on.

"There's a big following of permaculture and food forests across the world and it has become part of the food tourism sector,"
says Robyn.

"Every week we get calls from people asking to come visit us, and our Open Orchard project has led to school yards and public parks in Southland now growing heritage fruit trees. Those areas now grow 500 species of apples, 20 types of pears and a dozen plums, which are treasures we found in 19th century orchards and wanted to share. As a result, there are centuries-old apple species thriving down here."

The Guytons started by saving three orchards around Riverton. They went public to ask for any other orchards people might like help with and found about a hundred.

"Some of the orchards had been in farming families for generations and had been kept for sentimental reasons, but the species were at risk of being lost to the area."

Robyn says Southland residents now know there's more to an apple than meets the eye.

"The Riverton Heritage Harvest Festival will feature about 70 varieties of apples.  There are apples for eating and apples for cooking and it is possible to have apples every month of the year. Heritage apples are much more tasty than modern ones and many people love being able to get old-fashioned cooking apples which cook up beautifully."

The first Open Orchard has literally grown into orchards all over the country, thanks to the Guytons sending seeds and cuttings to establish heritage varieties.
March 24 - 25


No more jokes about what happens to sports stars as they age, because the correct answer is they continue to compete in international sporting tournaments.

That will certainly be the case in the upcoming Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies sports celebration, where for the first time all 10 Golden Oldies sports will be held in the same city and in the same month.

The city is Christchurch and the month is April. More than 8,000 participants will spend four weeks revelling in basketball, cricket, football, golf, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby, softball and squash.

As Ben Sigmund, former All White and Phoenix footballer, says "Once competitive, always competitive. For me, Golden Oldies is about catching up with mates, which is why our team is called Christchurch Reunited."

More than a hundred rugby teams are among the thousands of social and competitive players from all over the world, planning to play, in all senses of the world. Sir Graham Henry, former All Blacks coach whose name is on the rugby trophy, says "This tournament will include brilliant sportspeople of all codes and will be marvellous for the city, marvellous for the camaraderie and connection of people worldwide."

While there are many sports stars among the Golden Oldies ranks, former cricket superstar Barry Richards is one of the most highly respected. Barry's reputation includes scoring a century before lunchtime nine times in his first-class career and, playing for South Australia in the 1970-71 season, scoring 325 runs in one day in an innings that is still talked about.

Barry is widely accepted as one of the all-time greats and was chosen by Sir Don Bradman as a member of his 20th century team, as an opening batsman.

In April, he will be a Golden Oldie ambassador for cricket and play in the golf with his partner Ingrid. "The Golden Oldies attracts me because of the camaraderie and getting to know like-minded sports people, as well as to experience other cultures," he says. "While some people say there's no such thing as social sport, at Golden Oldies I would like to believe it's 60/40 in favour of fellowship over competitiveness.

"I've attended previous Golden Oldies events in Vancouver and Cape Town. Both were great fun. This time I would urge all Golden Oldies to add some holiday time in New Zealand to the tournament.  It is definitely one of the most beautiful and hospitable countries I have ever been to."


If the word "feast" doesn't already have your attention, how about an invitation to what is described as a four-day food adventure.

Feast Marlborough is just that, coinciding with the Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon to showcase the region's bounty and diversity.

The long weekend begins with the Gala Feast. The May 10 event is co-ordinated by Arbour restaurant, whose co-owner Liz Buttimore promises 'a producer showcase the likes of which the region hasn't seen before.'

Liz explains Feast Marlborough is the platform for two culinary challenges.

"'Rare Fare' sees local restaurants offer a unique dish celebrating Marlborough produce in the lead-up to the event. This will be judged both by the public and Cuisine Magazine.   'Twisted Fish' is a fresh take on the Kiwi favourite takeaway of fish and chips. The public will vote for the winner of offerings from the foreshore to the five star."

Liz says Marlborough is a foodie hideaway.

"Many locals make their own bread, churn their own butter and grow their own vegetables. Thanks to the bustling wine industry, locals are well travelled and the region has attracted many internationals.

"Knowing this pushes us to ensure Arbour meets expectations of such well-travelled palates.  The produce we can source here is diverse and delicious - for example Meaters of Marlborough, Cloudy Bay Clams, New Zealand King Salmon, Origin South Lamb, Cranky Goat cheese, Garlic Noir by Marlborough Garlic Company, Windsong Plums, Old Road Estate Figs… the list goes on".

Co-owner and chef Bradley Hornby works with suppliers on special projects and creates planting plans with growers.

"That means we can tell our guests personal stories about the food on their plate or the wine in their glass. We often put a map of Marlborough on the table, show diners where their wine comes from and let them know something personal about the winemaking or viticulture team and their philosophy," Liz says.

Liz and Bradley have each spent more than twenty years working in high end hotels, luxury resorts and vineyard restaurants.

"Marlborough was always on our radar for fabulous produce, then a job opportunity came up here and we thought we would take a look. We fell in love with the region and have been here since.

"Guests tell us our food tastes different to other places. It is distinctly Marlborough, which is exactly what we intend and Bradley uses combinations of local ingredients to create unique dishes which simply can't be replicated anywhere else."

Arbour has also earned a reputation for supporting the community.

"The support our community shows our business is humbling and we in turn help those less fortunate than ourselves," says Liz.  "Arbour has helped raise more than $400,000 for local charities and community groups by closing several nights a year to host charity dinners and auctions. It's not a donation from us, but the result of a massive team effort - Arbour organises and hosts, suppliers donate produce, retailers donate auction items and ticket-holders put up the money at auction."

Thursday 10 May
ASB Theatre, Marlborough
A veritable flight of fancy with outstanding Marlborough food and wine dished up with song, dance, comedy and visual and performing arts.
Contact Liz Buttimore

Friday 11 May
A colourful food festival that takes over the streets of Blenheim.
Contact Stephanie McIntyre

Saturday 12 May
The Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon, where runners cross the line to a celebration of street food vendors and a live band.
Contact Chris Shaw

Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 May
A series of exclusive dining experiences in unique locations across Marlborough.
Contact Joanna Glover


While Dunedin might be considered "wild" because of its reputation as a party city for "scarfies", there is an annual festival which proudly shares the real "Wild Dunedin".

The NZ Festival of Nature is where thousands of people get to know Dunedin's wild side, through more than 50 events celebrating land, skies, seas, rivers, wildlife and people working with nature.

Many of the events are free and Festival Co-ordinator Jeannie Hayden says other operators offer generous discounts to give families the chance to connect with nature.

"This year's festival will be our third and with numbers growing each year, we are hoping for ten thousand people this year - weather permitting," Jeannie says.

"The festival is a celebration of our wonderful wildlife and is held during the April school holidays so families can take time to understand our plants, animals and unique places. It gives us the chance to showcase Dunedin's wild heritage to New Zealand and the world.

"There is a lot of preservation, protection, conservation and fostering of this country's flora and fauna going on in the greater Dunedin environment, so the Festival of Nature allows us to educate and encourage the public to respect and understand that."

Enthusiastic trust members and festival partners, whose interests align around this passionate work, coordinate the many community organisations and companies which stage their own events within the festival, and ensure residents and visitors know they are taking place.

"Nature HQ" is set up in the Princes Street Community Gallery as a one-stop shop for people to learn about all the festival activities, as well as see demonstrations, talks and displays.

"There's a lot going on during festival week," Jeannie says. "We want people to have fun while they enjoy Wild Dunedin and the wide variety of events - there's even a Wild Film Festival."
April 20-25


Serves 4 people as an entrée

Surf clams
12 Cloudy Bay Clams - Moon shells
12 Cloudy Bay Clams - Diamond shells
100ml Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
5g coriander seeds
5g fennel seeds
2 stalks thyme
2 stalks bay leaf

Foraged coastal vegetables and herbs
60g samphire
60g ice plant
60g fresh wakame

Local white beans
150g dried local haricot blanc beans
1 stalk celery
1 carrot (cut in half)
1 onion (peeled + cut in half)
1L water
1 bay leaf
½ lemon (thinly sliced)
50ml olive oil
10g sea salt

Kawa kawa dressing
100ml olive oil
1 shallot (finely diced)
50g confit garlic
15g freshly grated horseradish
1 lemon zest + juice
1 lime zest + juice
1 dried kawa kawa berry (grated)
Pinch sea salt and black pepper to taste

To make the clams: Place a medium sized pot with a tight-fitting lid on a medium heat and add the clams, white wine, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, thyme and bay leaf. Replace the lid and when the clams begin to open, remove them from the pot and place to one side.

When the clams have cooled enough to handle, gently remove from the shell, using your thumb, or a teaspoon, to gently separate the clam from the shell. Add a little of the cooking juices to the clams and some olive oil. Place in the refrigerator until required.

To make the vegetables and herbs: Clean the sea vegetables in cold water to remove any sand. Place a pot of water on a high heat and blanch the vegetables for 10 seconds before removing them and plunging them into iced water. Drain on a paper towel and put aside until required.

To make the beans: Cover the white beans with cold water and allow to soak for five hours. Once soaked drain the white beans and place into a pot and cover with cold water. Add all other ingredients, except the salt, and simmer over a medium heat until the beans are tender. add the salt at the very end of cooking (no sooner) and allow the white beans to cool in the cooking liquid.

To make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Taste and season as required with salt and pepper.

To finish the dish
Drain some of the white beans and add the blanched sea vegetables and clams, dress with the kawa kawa dressing and layer the ingredients into an entrée bowl. Finish with foraged herbs and serve. We've garnished ours with some of our house made sago and black garlic crisps for texture. Buy something crunchy that you enjoy to achieve a similar result.

To serve
Match this with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to pair with the flavours in this dish.

Thanks to Arbour Restaurant and Feast Marlborough


March 10

Taste the wild and challenge your senses. This festival is famous for its unique mix of tastes, sights, smells, sounds and touches… as well as the distinctive West Coast hospitality. More than 50 stalls will tempt you and your foodie bucket list - from delicious to disgusting and everything in between, including souvenirs derived from the wild.

March 11

Under the oaks in Glenmark Domain, an eclectic range of food stalls, diverse selection of North Canterbury wine, live music, family friendly entertainment and activities for five to 85 year olds. This year's charity partner is Maia Health Foundation to make a difference to locals needing lifesaving support.


March 18

An ocean swim, a bike ride that climbs to the highest roads in Christchurch, before a hilly run along a scenic coastal trail. You can compete on your own, with a team or as a first-timer in the "Have a go" section, plus there's an event for 5 to 9 year olds.

March 24

The only Kiwi region to grow hops and the most craft breweries per head of population in the country means this "beer flavoured festival" is right at home. All beers have been specially commissioned just for the festival, alongside wine, cider, juice, regional cuisine and great live music.

April 7

The biggest one-day cycle event in the South Island. Cycle or support those pedalling the 42km, 101km or 202km course. As well as cycling, there's vineyards and breathtaking (literally) scenery, sun… and don't forget the annual Grape Crush where you can be part of next year's vintage.
May 26

Billed as "Unsophisticated and proud of it", the festival is hosted in the seaside township of Bluff. Bluff Oysters are considered the world's best because they slowly grow fat and juicy in Foveaux Strait's clear cold water. The delicacy is the hero of the festival and complemented by seafood, wild foods and southern ales.