It's time to come out of hibernation and shrug off a couple
of layers of clothing, to welcome a colourful new season.
It's also the season to book travel. You can get anywhere or to
anyone by making the first journey an international flight out of
Christchurch. We have 11 commercial airlines offering you more than
10,000 international and 60,000 domestic flights a year, so book
your seat to the place you want to see for the first time or the
It's time to smell the daffodils, or daphne, or frangipani and
go wherever in the world you blossom.
ON YER BIKE
- ER, PLANE
There's a new way to experience Christchurch Adventure Park. At
the top of the stairs at Gate 15 you'll look out over both the city
and Lyttelton, then as you travel down the escalator you'll move
through the mountain bike trails and trees to the base building,
getting a glimpse of what you can experience at the park along the
Energy efficiency and carbon reduction have long been key
Kaitiaki (Guardian) priorities for Christchurch Airport. Since
2013, we have reduced operating emissions by more than 27% (1,100
tonnes per annum). By year's end we'll decommission our fossil fuel
boilers and replace them with a second ground-source heat pump
system, reducing our emissions by another 1,000 tonnes per
The new autonomous shuttle being trialled at this airport is
believed to be the biggest 3D-printed vehicle in the world. It was
printed over a few days, to produce 13 parts which lock together.
The material used is similar to that used in high performance cars.
Just what you'd expect for this new fully electric and autonomous
To commemorate the centenary of the 1919 birth of Sir Edmund
Hillary, we have installed a permanent tribute to him. It's
opposite our image of Aoraki/Mt Cook, the mountain New Zealand's
favourite son climbed to prepare for Mt Everest in 1953. An
aspirational quote and photo of Sir Edmund overlooks a reference to
the Hillary Step on Mt Everest, and a timeline of some of the
highlights of his life.
What is red, but green, and moves between Christchurch Airport
and the central city? The new bus on direct airport route 29! The
electric bus is 100% exhaust emissions free and has many benefits
over diesel - there's no battery, so no exhaust emissions; no gear
changes, so a smoother ride for passengers; and no engine noise for
travellers or residents in the houses the bus passes.
Advice from a first-time visitor to Beijing - the city is
exciting and the scale is mind-blowing, so see and do as much as
Wanaka resident Pip Gillespie recently visited China's sprawling
capital and found it fascinating.
"There's magnificent architecture, palaces, walkways, ancient
alleys, and much more," she says.
"There's a lot to navigate, so we hired a local guide who gave
us history, culture and heritage information as he drove."Pip says
The Great Wall is at the top of most visitors' must-do list.
"We went early to get ahead of the crowds. The wall sprawled
across the hillside as far as we could see, so our first stairs
were followed by thousands more, with a shaded guard-house every
few hundred metres. Heading back down to meet our driver showed us
the wall's steepness and the beauty of the surrounding area."
Another must-see is the Forbidden City, an Imperial Palace where
24 Emperors lived in tight security, with symbolic architecture,
spectacular gardens and almost two million pieces of art in the
Palace Museum now open to the public.
"Tiananmen Square is a surprisingly large area with beautiful
buildings. It includes Mao Zedong's mausoleum and the National
Museum of China, the world's third largest and third most visited
museum. Definitely the place to learn about China's arts and
After exploring the city in hot weather, Pip's group asked their
driver to find a local brewery where they could get a cold beer,
before tracking down local cuisine.
"Thousands of China's best cooks developed the region's cuisine
within the Forbidden City over many years, but you can't pass up
Peking Duck in its delicious famous sauce!"
Finally, the shopping. Pip says the shopping malls are amazing,
open late and easy to navigate.
"Even among crowds of people, the nightlife and lights are worth
the walk at night. It doesn't pay to miss a minute in Beijing."
Flying from Christchurch to Beijing is easy, with one stop
options flying China Southern Airlines via Guangzhou, Singapore
Airlines via Singapore or Qantas via Sydney.
Imagine living on a farm where 50 acres of golden daffodils
trumpet spring every year!
That's been the scene for six generations of the Chamberlain
family at Hadstock Farm on the banks of the Selwyn River.
John Chamberlain's grandfather began growing tulips and a few
daffodils in the 1930s, his father added more daffodils in the 50s,
and now he and daughters Courtney, Jessica and Hannah work with
millions of bulbs.
"Most people buy daffodils in spring, but we work on them all
year. We pick daffodils from the end of May, have more flowers in
late August for the Cancer Society, dig bulbs from the end of
October, sell bulbs after that, and it's not long before the cycle
John says he gets a lot of satisfaction from a paddock of
daffodils, especially the famous golden yellow trumpet 'Malvern
City' variety, but also from knowing the family's daffodils support
"We've been supplying bunches of daffodils to the Cancer Society
for more than 25 years, to help the society raise funds by selling
the daffodils to businesses. These days we supply the society with
about 30,000 bunches of ten flowers, all hand-picked and hand
There are many ways the Chamberlain family puts smiles on
people's faces, including opening its gates to people with
"One year in the 1970s the markets didn't want daffodils, so my
father invited people to come fill a bucket of daffodils. Decades
later, the invitation continues, and at $10 a bucket we're usually
inundated on the first weekend of September,"
John says daffodils last a week in a vase, if you keep them away
from heat, change the water and trim the stems every couple of
Open day, first weekend in September.
71 Corbetts Road, Springston.
Can you be tempted by a roadie to North Canterbury to visit
what is officially one of the best health spas in the
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa recently won two awards at
the World Luxury Spa Awards and was named New Zealand's best Luxury
Mineral Spring Spa and Luxury Destination Spa.
General Manager Graeme Abbot says more than 450 spas from 90
countries entered the awards, so being recognised for service
excellence and outstanding achievement puts The Spa on the world
"The award recognises our unique setting, our famous thermal
waters and The Spa's attention to detail in crafting and delivering
treatments," he says. "The Hanmer Springs body products we use
contain our thermal water, but what really sets us apart is our
excellent staff. Feedback we get shows customer satisfaction levels
consistently in the 90% range and talks about how good our staff
The most booked treatment at The Spa is the hour-long massage
followed by Hot Stones treatment, with international clients making
up half The Spa clients and often booking back-to-back
World Luxury Awards Group Marketing Director Michael
Hunter-Smith says Hanmer Springs' win is significant.
"True luxury is not easily attained," he says. "It takes highly
efficient and dedicated staff, who are willing to go the extra mile
and stop at nothing to ensure every guest feels cared for and no
challenge goes unresolved. This is what makes the winners
Street art is literally coming alive through mobile phones
Sam Evans and Adrian Taylor formed a tech start-up 18 months ago
to make "engaging, interactive and meaningful products using
augmented and virtual reality". Their interest was piqued when
Christchurch was ranked in the world's top 50 street art
"We decided to bring that art to life through an app called
'Plain Sight'," Sam says.
"The name refers to the saying 'Hidden in plain sight', because
street art is often overlooked, misunderstood or people don't
realise it's there. Even when they do realise it's there, they
still don't see all that can be seen, so our app adds another
"After people download the free app onto their phone, they'll
get a map of more than 15 works in the city and can hold the phone
up to the mural to see it 'come alive'."
Sam hopes the app will encourage residents and visitors to have
fun exploring Christchurch's central city. The tech team has worked
with the artists to understand the intention of the art and to
ensure the way it comes to life is not at odds with that.
"None of the artists said no to us, and they're excited about
this extra dimension being added to their work," he says.
Two pieces of street art at Christchurch Airport are getting
this innovative treatment. "Perspective" focuses on the surfer in
Dcypher's Canterbury mural at Gate 15, and "Endangered" focuses on
the Orange-Fronted Parakeet in Flox's mural under the Express Park
"It has been a passion project to do this for our home city and
we're keen to hear people's reactions to it," Sam says. "We've
learnt a lot while creating this app and we hope people have fun
with it now it's here."
Who Did You Help Today? is both a thought-provoking question
and the name of a charity known for "unleashing the magic of
Founder Stacey Shortall asks her children that question over
dinner each night, and mentioned it during a speech at an awards
"The room went silent… then people started asking how they could
help our three community projects," says Stacey.
"HelpTank now has 700 professionals sharing their skills with
not-for-profit organisations who need them. Mothers Project has
more than 100 female lawyer volunteers signed up to support
children of mothers in prison. Homework Club has 300 business
volunteers helping more than 600 low decile primary school children
with homework or other learning."
Stacey says help doesn't mean a big gesture.
"New Zealanders want to help, but don't always know how. Some
issues look really big, but something small always helps. You might
not know the impact your interaction will have, but it may help
someone at a low point in their life."
Stacey says her children don't understand the ripples the dinner
question has caused.
"My children have grown up thinking it's what everyone does.
They might answer they passed the ball to someone who doesn't
always get a shot, picked up a lunchbox a child dropped at school,
or helped me unload the car. It's second nature to them and if they
knew other people's responses, they'd probably ask 'What's the big
A donation from the Christchurch Airport Community Fund helped
Mothers Project publish pamphlets for children to know what to
expect when they visit their mother in prison.
"There's about 750 women in New Zealand's prisons and reports
say about 87% of them are mothers," Stacey says. "It can be
difficult for those relationships to stay strong and for children
to have their mother's emotional support. Our volunteers help
information flow so the mothers know their children are OK and the
children know their mother loves them and is asking after
When the call went out for people to identify and
potentially solve systemic tourism issues in this country, ten
start-up teams accepted the challenge.
Three months on, they've emerged from a whirlwind of highly
intensive activity within the Lightning Lab
The accelerator model has focused on other sectors in the past,
but this time topics under scrutiny included voluntourism, helping
EV drivers find resources they need outside South Island cities and
towns, offering visitors a personalised Maori cultural experience,
and working with farmers to offer a patch of land for special
Programme Director Jeffrey Ling says the teams had a lot of
support while they learned and considered solutions for the issues
they were considering.
"Our teams have had unprecedented access to perhaps New
Zealand's largest collection of tourism and hospitality resources,
to help them test and develop their products in New Zealand, before
competing on a global scale," he says.
"The programme has specially designed tools and processes, so
the teams could generate tourism insights crucial for understanding
how the tourism industry should develop and evolve, commercially or
"I'm confident the teams are well on their way to finding
solutions and raising funds to hone their plans for a sustainable
future for tourism in New Zealand."
Memories of a recent cricket game at Lord's may be rekindled
when Kiwi and English stars head to Christchurch in early
The first T20 match ever played at Hagley Oval will be between
New Zealand's BlackCaps and England, and promises excitement,
family fun and plenty of banter.
New Zealand Cricket Manager of Public Affairs Richard Boock says
the combination of lots of runs scored in a short time and families
getting up close to cricket stars makes this game very
"The game will start at 2pm and will not be a late outing for
families. T20 games usually last for about three hours and are
action packed, with teams scoring around 150 to 200 runs in a
"New Zealand's T20 side is ranked sixth in the world and England
is ranked second, so this will be a top-class event - with the
added opportunity for autographs and selfies with cricketing
BlackCaps vs England - T20 game - Hagley Oval
The French saying 'La nourriture est la vie' (Food is life)
explains why this year's Akaroa FrenchFest will again feature
mouthwatering food alongside culture, entertainment and
One of the longest queues is always for crêpes made by Elise
Cailleau, a Frenchwoman who found Akaroa nine years ago and now has
two mobile crepe makers and a food cart there.
"One of the best things about crêpes is you can do anything with
them," she says. "I make savoury toppings and sweet toppings, and
everyone has their favourite.
"The most requested topping here is the classic lemon juice and
sugar, but other Kiwi favourites are banana and chocolate, or
banana and caramel. The most popular savoury topping in Akaroa is
probably smoked salmon, spinach and cream cheese.
"In France the classic topping is egg, ham and cheese, and at
home I make myself a ham, goat cheese, honey and thyme topping.
It's delicious, but I'm not sure Kiwis are ready for it," she
Elise says preparing for FrenchFest means sourcing lots of local
free range eggs, buckwheat for savoury crêpes and premium wheat
flour for sweet ones. She makes the doughs the night before sale,
to give them plenty of time to stand.
Elise says crêpes are a part of life in France.
"As a child, I had crêpes once a week. We always had the
ingredients at home, for the crêpes and the toppings. My mum would
make the dough and we'd all take our turn to make our own crêpe
with the flavourings we liked."
Elise says making crêpes for others is a genuine pleasure and
the biggest compliment she's had came from a little girl.
"She told me 'Your crêpes are yummier than Easter eggs'. I
consider that a great compliment," she laughs.
TOP TIPS FOR CRÊPES
- Rest the dough for at least two hours before you cook it.
- Make sure the dough is thin and light.
- Use a thin metal shallow/low-sided pan with a wide base which
will spread the heat evenly.
- If you spread the dough with a wooden scraper, keep it in water
between crêpes, so it doesn't stick to them.
- Watch the crêpe closely while it cooks and remember to flip it
|PEAK TO PUB
Look no further for a challenge which will also be a blast. The
event starts with a 2km ski section high on the slopes of Mt Hutt.
From the Mt Hutt base area, your mountain bike will take you 18km
down the dirt access road, which may appear all downhill, but you
will certainly have to peddle. Then the run begins - 12km of road,
trail, water and mud to the finish line at the famous Blue Pub.
|ATV MUD PLUG
The West Coast boasts untamed wilderness and this event will
make the most of it. There will be mud galore on the farm and
forestry tracks, so you'll need safety gear and mates to master the
20km. This event is designed for ATVs, with creek and water
crossings and some brand new tracks. All proceeds will be donated
to Women's Refuge, so get muddy for a good cause.
This very popular all women event is sold out, but you can go on
the waiting list or go watch the fun and support the competitors.
It's an adventure for trios of women who go rafting, mountain
biking, hiking and orienteering in three, six or nine-hour events.
It's the 13th annual Spring Challenge, which started with 327
women, but this year will welcome 450 teams.
It's back and better than ever, if that's possible! It's the day
central Dunedin's Vogel Street becomes a family friendly pedestrian
space to celebrate the things that make Dunedin special. Make your
plans to get to the free events, interactive activities,
entertainment and, of course, food. It's a one-day fun day you
won't want to miss.
Westport whitebait is seriously famous, so it seems only right
that the town honours its delicacy. The weekend starts with a
Friday night market with local music. Saturday is the main event,
with music, art, food stalls and 'The Great Whitebait Cook-Off',
plus the famous 'Whitebait Filleting Competition.' That night will
see the inaugural 'Whitebaiters' Ball', before Sunday family fun
and avant-garde whitebait themed cuisine.
New Zealand's largest high country station will host this ultra
running event for solo runners, or teams of two or four. The
terrain includes gravel road, grass and tussock land, rolling
mountains and scree slopes, alongside rivers to the North
Canterbury town of Hanmer Springs (and the glorious thermal pools
for recovery). It's spectacular scenery which even the hardiest
runner will appreciate.