As we look ahead to the busy summer season, we welcome
overseas visitors and farewell family and friends taking advantage
of our many international connections.
There's nowhere in the world you can't connect to by flying
internationally out of Christchurch - plus you help strengthen the
case for airlines to offer more destinations from here.
So consider Sydney, Melbourne, Nadi, Singapore, Guangzhou or
Hong Kong as your first stop on your way to see the world.
MILLIONS OF PARCELS
More than 13.5 million parcels were processed through NZ Post's
Southern Operations Centre in its first year on the airport campus.
There's 22 dedicated parcel flights in and out every week, with
more added after long weekends, holidays and pre-Christmas when
online shopping increases. The new $8 million facility at the
airport means freight planes taxi right up to warehouses where the
parcels are checked, scanned and distributed to waiting delivery
vehicles which then travel across the South Island.
A mountain of previously unrecyclable plastic has been turned
into a roading material and laid outside our Airport Fire Station.
Called PlastiPhalt®, the product has been developed by Fulton Hogan
chopping thousands of plastic oil containers into small chips and
adding them to asphalt. It has been laid in large test areas for
our 60-tonne fire trucks to drive over several times a day and
should last for about 15 years, then can be recycled all over
SOFIA BACK AT WINTER HOME
NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, known
as SOFIA, spent eight weeks based at this airport over winter. The
Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 106-inch diameter
telescope completed 25 overnight flights to study celestial
objects. Observations included targets that are too low to observe
or not visible at all from the Northern Hemisphere, including our
neighbouring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud, the centre of our
Milky Way galaxy, and Saturn's moon Titan.
Kids are literally jumping up and down at our new Kids' Zone in
the International Arrivals Hall! The activity area features a giant
world map where children can write their name on a magnet to show
where they come from, as well as world clocks with the times of 14
destinations you can fly to from here, plus fun games like
hopscotch, coin-tosses and a scavenger hunt through the garden to
find the caterpillars, lady bugs and flowers.
NEW AIRCRAFT FOR
The summer season will see two of our airline partners flying
new aircraft here. Singapore Airlines will fly its Airbus A350 and
China Southern Airlines will fly its new Boeing Dreamliner 787-9.
Both airlines fly here daily and up to twice daily from Singapore
over the peak of summer. The new aircraft will mean more
international connections for South Islanders, as well as more
arriving visitors wanting to see our place in the world. We call
that a win-win!
The best thing about a holiday in Bali? You don't have to
say no to yourself.
That's according to Kelly Gainsford from House of Travel
Merivale, who's just back from her sixth holiday there.
It was her first visit with her children, and she says the whole
family can't stop talking about it.
"It's a cultural experience and I like being able to buy great
food at prices that make it feasible to eat every meal out," she
says. "I don't spend a lot there to have a great holiday and I
don't feel I have to count my dollars as I do in other places."
Kelly says Bali "must-dos" are much the same with children or
"Without children, we used to end the day in a rooftop bar,
drinking cocktails and watching the sunset. With children, we
watched the sunset from the beach, with other families on bean
bags, with big lanterns, relaxed people and a lovely
"The food is amazing. I can probably name a hundred places to
eat and every one has delicious Asian fusion treats.
"We had a phenomenal day at the Waterbom Bali Water Park.
There's lots of attractions and rides and everyone had a big smile
on their face."
Kelly's children learned to surf on holiday, taking advantage of
the warm water and surf schools with experienced teachers.
Many hotels have a beachfront or a beach club, and there's a
wide price range - including a private villa, or luxurious suite
with butler service.
Kelly says if you fancy holidaying like royalty, you might book
a full day spa experience.
"There's lots of places to get a massage. More basic massages
start around $9 an hour or you could splurge around $15 an hour to
get more experienced therapists."
Kelly recommends at least a week in Bali for the first visit,
but says two weeks would be perfect.
"We like to stay in Seminyak, and after a week there, I'd
recommend about three days in Ubud, to see the rain forests, go
rafting or perhaps book into a yoga retreat."
Kelly says a holiday in Bali is a glorious treat that will not
break the bank.
"Balinese people are lovely, everything is accessible, the
atmosphere is calm... and did I mention the food is fabulous?" she
You can fly daily from Christchurch to Brisbane, with easy
onward connections to Denpasar, Bali.
Visitors and residents are observing new developments in
central Christchurch from a different angle.
They are kayaking the Avon River, exploring what Christchurch
Sea Kayaking owner Katarina Te Maiharoa describes as "our gem."
"There's not many western cities which have the aftermath of an
earthquake scene, so that makes Christchurch super interesting,"
she says. "All cities are similar, so people are really engaged
when I point out derelict buildings and the Red Zone. It brings up
deep feelings as they understand the magnitude of what happened
here, and of being in a very special place and time."
Katarina started her company after years in the outdoor
"I saw the potential in the Avon River and wanted to draw people
back into the city to experience the nature within, and to explore
the Red Zone in a unique way. The best thing for me is being able
to stay local and do what I love, while showing off the best parts
Katarina offers three tours, using different sections of the
Avon River, but all guided and using double sea kayaks for ease and
"The shortest tour is Te Toru Nui - The Big Three, kayaking
through the Botanic Gardens, the city centre and the Red Zone.
"During the City to Estuary tour, we kayak from the Margaret
Mahy playground, through the Red Zone and into the estuary, to
finish at South New Brighton Park with a wonderful view of the Port
"The longest tour is the City to Sea, from the city to the
estuary, then between sand banks and wading birds to finish at
Moncks Bay, with a gorgeous view to the Pacific Ocean."
Katarina says tourists want an authentic experience in
Christchurch, while residents like to see the changes in their
backyard and to experience their local river.
Katarina shares her Waitaha culture as she kayaks.
"I enjoy sharing the stories, karakia and whakataukī (proverbs),
beliefs and understanding of our people, to help people feel
connected to our natural surroundings and history."
The headline "450km of Spectacular" says it all, but
exploring the Alpine Pacific Touring Route means you can choose
which type of spectacular you prefer.
There's Family Fun, Adventure, Food & Wine and Rustic
Romance, all offering unforgettable scenery and experiences.
Shane Adcock of Hurunui Tourism says the Alpine Pacific Touring
Route (APT) itineraries head north from Christchurch for two to
five days of driving through South Island splendour.
"We suggest people dream, plan and book," he says. "The website
details each day's highlights in mobile, digital and downloadable
Shane says some visitors prefer the sprawling green forests and
surf beaches, others are more tempted by the North
Canterbury/Waipara wine and food scene.
"There really is something for everyone. Visitors say they love
lounging under the stars in the pools at Hanmer Springs Thermal
Pools & Spa, or swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura - and after
exploring the coast and back country, others find a dose of city
life among Christchurch's many new attractions invigorating.
"The five-day Family Fun route keeps kids entertained and
parents exploring, with such things as playing in real snow,
swimming under waterfalls, playing on a beach, enjoying a picnic or
"Three days of Adventure includes marine wildlife such as
whales, dolphins, seals and albatross - with plenty of adrenalin
Some of the country's best Food & Wine is included in the
three-day tour of city cafés, Farmers' Market stalls, vineyards and
seafood sellers, alongside R&R to re-charge the batteries.
The three-day Rustic Romance centres on Christchurch, Hanmer
Springs and Kaikoura. Highlights include wining and dining in the
North Canterbury wine region, thermal pools, rejuvenating spa and
wellness treatments, horse trekking and whale spotting.
Shane says many overseas visitors say the perfect introduction
to their touring holiday is kicking back at an award-winning
vineyard only 40 minutes' drive from Christchurch Airport - it
really sets the tone for a few unforgettable days.
When Mike Gilbert walked away from international corporate
life, he looked for a special place to launch a special business.
He found both in Marlborough.
While touring the South Island for three weeks, he decided the
best way to see the scenery was on a motorcycle. A year later, he's
a director of Blenheim-based company Beatnik Motorsport, renting
Ducati Scramblers to motorcyclists from all over the world.
"They want a fun motorcycle experience within their South Island
holiday," he says. "Ducatis have a mystique about them, a sense of
romance and excitement. They're high-end bikes, easy to ride and
perfect for Marlborough and South Island roads."
Mike and his team create tours for each customer and he says the
most popular tour is two days from Marlborough, through Kaikoura,
Hanmer Springs, Springs Junction, Murchison and back.
As well as American, Canadian, German, French, British and
Australian customers, among others, Mike has put smiles on the
faces of several local customers.
"We've rented bikes to ex-pats returning home, people showing
visiting friends or family around, and locals celebrating a special
event with a fun day or weekend. Collectors of classic motorcycles
have rented the Ducatis for a good ride on safe winding roads. Most
customers arrive in twos or threes, some are away a week, and they
all come back saying they loved the scenery and the freedom and
have great photos of the experience."
Mike grew up in Canada riding dirt bikes and motocross, before a
career in the oil and gas industry took him all over the world.
He's still an avid traveller and has big dreams for the company,
but for now, enjoys sharing his knowledge and new home with other
travellers. To rent and ride, customers must be 25 years old+ with
a valid motorcycle licence. Tours are usually self-guided, but
guides are available, and both Beatnik Motorsport and Ducati offer
"We get overwhelmingly positive feedback, so we know we are onto
something," he says.
What may be the wedding gift to beat all wedding gifts lives
on in Canterbury as an example of luxury, charm and good taste -
Otahuna Lodge, on the outskirts of Christchurch, was built in
1895 by Sir Heaton Rhodes, as a wedding gift for his wife. Today it
is New Zealand's largest private historic residence, modernised to
combine luxury accommodation, sophisticated cuisine, a wellness
retreat and glorious gardens.
Owner and Managing Director Hall Cannon says the refurbished
Victorian mansion sits within New Zealand's largest private
"The gardens were originally planted in the 1890s by a team from
Kew Gardens," he says.
"Since we moved here in 2006, we have modernised the gardens by
removing self-sown plants, replacing underplanting, and adding
irrigation, lighting and sculptures.
"The gardens are an integral part of the food we serve in the
Lodge. We grow about 140 organic fruits, nuts, vegetables and
mushrooms on the estate, to offer our guests a taste of the
absolute best of New Zealand."
Throughout the year, groups of 20 or more people can book a tour
of the gardens, including the daffodil field, woodlands,
rhododendrons and a lawn that has hosted garden parties, polo
matches and royalty.
Hall says Otahuna's guests take a keen interest in the
"Whether the guest is from New Zealand, Australia, America,
Canada or the UK, they know there aren't many great historic homes
in this country, so they want to see how an historic building can
find a modern purpose.
"We pride ourselves on providing high-end accommodation for our
guests, who generally stay three or four nights to explore
Canterbury. That might be Banks Peninsula on an e-bike, helicopter
into the Southern Alps, fly fishing, horseback riding, or Waipara's
boutique vineyards, and when they return we have a specially
tailored experience waiting for them."
Before the guests arrive, the Otahuna team will know their likes
and dislikes, allergies and preferences, so each night's
degustation dining, matched to New Zealand wines, will be
"We prepare the best of what they like in a way that can only
happen in New Zealand," Hall says. "Many of our guests experience
amazing hospitality wherever they go, so we blend what they expect
with the Kiwi touch to blow them away. We enjoy hearing comments
like 'Wow - I didn't know things would be this great in New
Otahuna Lodge hosts eight to ten weddings a year in the grounds
and ballroom, and it seems only fitting, given the setting was
originally a wedding gift. A gift that keeps on giving today.
If you or your child yearn to take the controls of a big
digger, good news! Your dream can come true in
'Dig This Invercargill' is literally a ground-breaking heavy
equipment playground, where you can drive big machinery and make
the earth move.
Lex Chisholm, the attraction's manager, says it's the first of
its type in New Zealand and based on 'Dig This Las Vegas' which was
started by a Kiwi. Now almost one year old, the machinery is all
new and the feedback from happy visitors is outstandingly positive,
with comments such as "epic", "thrilling", "awesome", and "10/10"
on the feedback channels.
"People of all ages love this place because it's all about fun,"
Lex says. "Children from four years old learn on the smaller static
equipment and many don't want to leave - but it's not only little
boys and girls who want to drive diggers! We host social groups,
corporate team building sessions, groups of friends and lots of
tourists. They all get to operate our bulldozers, excavators and
skid steers in a giant gravel pit. Sometimes it can get pretty
competitive, especially between husbands and wives and I must say,
women are really good at the car crushing," Lex said.
Yes, car crushing… to date, hundreds of cars have been crushed
in what is light-heartedly called an Aggression Session. A large
excavator makes short work of a car and leads to satisfied screams
and a lot of laughter from the new digger operators.
Thousands of visitors have already tried their hand at the
controls of the heavy machinery and Lex says the safety briefing
beforehand, and instructors in headphone contact with the novice
drivers, means everyone knows what they're doing.
No licences are needed and kids aged 4+ can enjoy the mini
diggers, while everyone 14+ can ride any big machine, meaning
almost everyone can find a challenge to earn a certificate and
photo which just might take pride of place on the mantel.
"We love knowing everyone who comes here has a great time and
for many it is a dream come true," Lex laughs. "Our visitors have
fun, do something they dream of and leave laughing and smiling.
That makes us smile too and is a great outcome for everyone."
There was a time when beer was brewed only by men, but Tracy
Banner is one of the women who changed that.
While it's still a male dominated industry, Tracy is the Head
Brewer at Nelson-based Sprig & Fern, owns the brewery with her
husband, and has a swag of medals to show for her efforts.
"I did well at sciences at school in England and was fortunate
to get a job in the laboratory of a large brewery," she says. "I
learned the intricacies of beer, what makes a good beer, and
understood the technical makeup of beer before I learnt the brewing
During her 25 years in New Zealand, Tracy has developed a
reputation for innovative tastes for beer drinkers - including
"Beer is my preferred alcoholic beverage because there are so
many styles to choose from and I enjoy the complexities of the
flavours. My favourite from our range is the Harvest Pilsner, which
is made from fresh hops, rather than dried ones. The hops are
picked at their best, taken from vines in fields about 15 minutes
away and in the brew quickly, to make the most of their high levels
of aromatics that gives the pilsner its distinct flavour and
It is clearly a winning recipe. It's New Zealand's highest
awarded pilsner, winning a gold medal four years in a row from the
Brewers Guild of New Zealand.
The brewery supplies a chain of Sprig & Fern taverns, where
up to 18 craft beers and ciders are available to drink - and
included in some of the food on offer (Harvest Pilsner has been
used by Sprig & Fern Tahuna Tavern chef Scott Hopwood in the
"There's a lot of beer for sale in liquor stores and
off-premises, so having our own outlets is a natural extension of
what we do," Tracy says. "The food is always complementary to the
beers and ciders, and the taverns are all about good conversation
with good food and beverage. You won't find pokies at Sprig &
Tracy says cider has become popular in recent years, especially
with women who like different flavour choices.
"Cider is no longer just based on apples. The addition of other
fruits and spices means cider appeals to women who like a change
from wine and a range of flavours."
Tracy says she is proud of the Sprig & Fern team. "They work
together very well to make great products, and then going to one of
our taverns and seeing people drinking our products gives me such a
sense of achievement."
Wild Venison Osso Bucco with Lemon, Parsley & Giant
4 hours cooking time
1x 500ml bottle Sprig & Fern Harvest Pilsner
4x venison Osso Bucco shanks
2 carrots, medium diced
1 white onion, medium diced
4 cloves garlic, rough cut
1x 400g tin of diced tomatoes
100g plain flour
60ml olive oil
Pinch Marlborough sea salt flakes
Coat venison in flour. In a large deep pan, add olive oil and
butter over a high heat. Once smoking point is reached add the
venison and colour to a crisp golden brown. Add the carrot, onion
and garlic to the venison and fry until they get a caramel
Slowly pour in your bottle of Sprig & Fern Harvest Pilsner
and let it reduce for 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the goods from your pan to a medium to large oven proof
pot/tray (preferably terracotta), then add the tomatoes and sea
salt. Bake in the oven at 140°C for around 3.5 hours, until the
meat is flaking off the bone.
2 large peeled Agria potatoes
250g plain flour
Finely grated rind of one lemon
A pinch of nutmeg
1 small bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
60ml olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, cook potatoes until
tender but still firm. Drain, cool and mash until smooth.
Combine mash, flour, egg, lemon rind, nutmeg and parsley in a
large bowl to form a dough. Knead dough and then section into
quarters with a knife.
On a floured surface, roll each section into a 'snake' of dough
about 3cm thick and cut into 3cm lengths. Repeat for all
Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the
gnocchi in batches for four minutes until gnocchi floats to the
top. Remove with slotted spoon. Drain well.
In a saucepan, add olive oil and butter, cook till butter
browns, then add gnocchi and colour till crisp and golden.
A SPRING SELECTION
AORAKI MOUNT COOK
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
This road running event is listed in Runner's World magazine as
one of the world's most beautiful road marathons. Alongside the
beauty is challenge for all abilities, including a marathon, half
marathon, 10km and 5km road running events along lake, mountain and
October 11 - 26
Some of the country's top musicians and performers line up among
international acts for free and ticketed events. Silly theatre for
children, music, dance and performances will later come together
for the Masked Parade and Carnivale on Friday 26, this year themed
Weird and Wonderful.
Assemble your clan for one of the biggest Scottish festivals in
the Southern Hemisphere. Watch an international field of strong men
compete in the Oceania Heavyweight Championship, be amazed when
more than 100 Highland Dancers fling, or step up to try to toss a
caber, play a tune on the pipes, or whirl a Scottish Country
Embrace the child within… and love the mud! Slither and slide
around in mud like you have always wanted to. Sign up with your
Muddy Buddy and negotiate the slippery slide, wriggle under the
cargo net and race the gauntlet through the zigzag.
Due to unforeseen circumstances the 2018 Marlborough
Muddy Buddy has been re-scheduled.
The event is now due to take place in February 2019
- exact date to be confirmed.
Run, crawl, climb and slide your way around all kinds of
obstacles in the stunning surrounds of South Bay, Kaikoura. Sport
Tasman offers you three races to choose from, so something for
everyone! There's plenty of the fun factor, with more water, mud
and suds - so whether you are a serious competitor or just for
laughs, give it a go.
AKAROA & BAYS HOUSE
AND GARDEN TOUR
November 17 - 18
Called Inside Out, because you will get a peek inside a wide
range of heavenly homes, bespoke backyards and gorgeous gardens.
This is the biennial garden tour Akaroa is well known for, with
favourite famous gardens alongside new ones added this year. Get a
group together and drive the peninsula tour.