Leading providers Mantra and BreakFree have come to the party for guests looking for an affordable and fun way to celebrate New Years Eve, with a range of hot deals to the Sunshine and Fraser Coasts.
It’s not too late for couples and families to book fabulous accommodation close to the beach and awesome activities this New Years Eve period, with great rooms still available in the holiday hot spots of Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Marcoola and Hervey Bay.
The New Year’s Eve spectacular on the Sunshine Coast this year features top bands and two separate fireworks displays on Mooloolaba beach.
The free family concert will feature headline acts Kate Miller-Heidke and The Black Sorrows as well as American soul diva Lisa Hunt and Latin/funk band A French Butler Called Smith.
A beachside carnival, fire shows and roving performers add to the fun of the alcohol free event allowing families to welcome in 2010 in a safe environment.
Mantra Mooloolaba Beach has accommodation from $248* per room per night for a one bedroom apartment valid December 25 to January 11; BreakFree Alexandra Headland has studio rooms from a low $215* per room per night valid December 26 to January 11 and BreakFree Marcoola has two bedroom apartments from $295* per room per night valid December 26 to January 11, with minimum stays applying for all rates.
Meanwhile Hervey Bay farewells 2009 in grand style with a New Year’s Eve beach bash, billed as the biggest party ever to be held in the town.
Live music, DJs, local celebrities and loads of surprises will ensure an evening to remember at Seafront Oval, Pialba.
Nearby Mantra Hervey Bay is the perfect base to catch all the fun, offering hotel rooms from just $202* per night, valid December 26 to January 11, with minimum stays applying.
To arrange your BreakFree New Years Eve getaway call 132 007 or visit www.breakfree.com.au. For Mantra, call 13 15 17 or visit www.mantra.com.au
The Little Nell, Aspen’s only five-star, five diamond hotel is wowing guests after opening its newly designed guest rooms, junior suites, and corridors. Crafted by internationally-known residential designer Holly Hunt the iconic The Little Nell is receiving rave reviews since re-opening last week, especially for its environmentally-friendly energy saving ititiatives.
With a contemporary aesthetic that is indicative of the Holly Hunt brand, all of the furniture is designed specifically to fit the unique attributes of each room. Hunt has created a space that gives guests the highest level of comfort, exhibiting touches of classic Aspen with warm tones and a residential feel.
More than $US18 million was spent on renovations. The Little Nell General Manager John Speers said that the remodel has updated the hotel’s look and feel and gives guests a sense of style combined with the comfort they have enjoyed for the past two decades.
“While some competitors are cutting back on amenities and services, The Little Nell has invested in the highest quality guest offerings and gracious hospitality, combining innovative solutions to uphold sustainable practices throughout the hotel,” said Mr Speers.
Green features include room control systems that utilise the most up-to-date technological advances in lighting, music, television, and temperature, guests can customise the accommodations to suit personal desires while also conserving energy consumption. LED lighting ensures a soft, pleasant glow, and with one button, a cutting edge Control4 wireless system developed initially for residential homes, shuts down all energy use in the room. Sensors in each room shut off all of the lights, fireplace, and reduce the temperature two to three degrees upon exiting.
Aspen's only Five-Star / Five-Diamond luxury hotel, The Little Nell blends the virtues of a country inn with the personalized service and amenities of a grand hotel. For more information and for reservations 0011 1 970 920-4600. More information and images www.thelittlenell.com
Boys Day Out is going on a Road Trip, next stop Mystery Creek Hamilton which will be filled with bike stunts, power tools, the Gauntlet of Pain, the Tui Beer Garden and virtually every testosterone charged activity a man can shake his fists at. North Island the Boys Day Out is here and signals the time to remember that the recession can put a cap on your salary but never on your manhood.
Saturday & Sunday March 13-14th at Mystery Creek will play host to the ultimate showcase of all things manly. From Big Boys Toys to Rock Bands, jet skis and let's not forget the Tui Party Zone with the Tui Beer Garden planted with the very hot Tui Brewery Girls, this year's event will be offering a frig load of demos, displays and the obligatory allure of Free Stuff!
Boys Day Out will be hosting a number of Extreme Sport Competition's throughout the weekend, Extreme Rally Race, BMX & Skateboard comps, let's not forget our NZ Strongest Man, and our FMX and Trial Motocross competition's as well.
There is also the chance to put your own masculinity to the test mano a mano in the age old tradition of.... The Gauntlet of PAIN. Everyone can take on the challenge it's got the Gladiator, Sumo, Surfboard, the Obstacle Course, Rock Climbing Wall, basically you name it we've got it.
The list of fantasy fulfilment goes on with the V8 simulator, the Agoge Digger School, Try hovering a Helicopter, Parasailing, remote controlled toys, a gamers zone, local rock bands playing all day, everything your wife or girlfriend can't tolerate.
If you love Cars & Motorbikes then Boys Day Out will be heaven for you we'll have a huge selection of cars and bikes of every shape and size on display from the latest models through to some very nice looking classics.
Yet never fear ladies the abounding testosterone will not be present at the Pamper Lounge where you can relax, get FREE cocktails, and get your nails and hair done and escape the mayhem while the boys go and play guilt free.
The Auckland International Buskers Festival is one event that really needs no introduction! Expect to be stopped in your tracks when walking the streets of central Auckland this Anniversary Weekend, because you will more than likely come across an array of performers entertaining the crowds in the tenth annual Auckland International Buskers Festival.
Acrobats, jugglers, magicians, stuntmen, comedians and many others will come together to create an exciting and lively atmosphere in the City entertaining and delighting people.
For the 10th year running, the Auckland International Buskers Festival will immerse the CBD in an awe-inspiring range of entertainment over Auckland Anniversary Weekend from the 29th January to the 1st February 2010.
The Festival is comprised of eight sites spread throughout the Auckland City the BIG little City. Sites include three Viaduct Harbour sites, Vulcan Lane, Downtown/Britomart, Princes Wharf, and the Seafood Festival/Halsey Street Wharf.
The night shows have been part of the Festival since 2003 and are a great way to socialise with friends whilst enjoying good outdoor dining in a fun and comical environment.
“This year’s Festival has the biggest international line up in its ten year history” says Pam Glaser, the Festival’s manager.
Acts for the 2010 Festival include:
o Nick Nickolas (UK/New Zealand)
o Debbie Robinson (UK/New Zealand)
o Gary Knights (UK/New Zealand)
o Eric Cash (USA)
o Liqueur Flambe (Australia)
o MANX (Australia)
o Pat-Trick (Ireland)
o Fraser Hooper (UK)
o Dusty Boots (Australia)
o Ben Zuddhist (UK)
o The Great Dave (UK)
o Anthony Livingspace (Spain)
o Shep Huntly (Australia)
So, zip on your best clapping hands, firm up your stamping boots and dive down the back of the couch for a handful of loose change and we’ll see you at the live street performances in Auckland City over Anniversary Weekend.
For more information on the Auckland International Buskers Festival
HIP NEW VENUE TO MAKE SPLASH ON CAIRNS DINING & BAR SCAPE
Cairns’ party people take note; the sparkle of this year’s festive season will continue well into the new year with the official opening on Thursday 4 February 2010 of a chic new, inner-city hang, LILO...A Wet Bar.
Set to make a splash on the city’s bar scape when it opens in February, LILO is situated on the terraced rooftops of Rydges Plaza Cairns with views of bustling Grafton Street. Integrating five indoor and outdoor lounging domains and taking inspiration from the cool vibe of Miami, LILO...A Wet Bar...is destined to become the city’s hippest ‘retreat from the street’.
Developed at a cost of nearly $1 million, LILO is a project being managed by listed entertainment, hospitality and leisure operator, Amalgamated Holdings Limited (AHL) that, in conjunction with its Rydges Hotels and Resorts network, is currently introducing a contemporary series of restaurant and bar concepts across Australia. These include Locanda Italian steakhouses in Melbourne and Canberra and Mundo tapas bars in North Sydney and Cronulla; all are scheduled to open next month closely followed by LILO in the new year.
According to Director of Food and Beverage operations for Rydges Hotels and Resorts, Vincent Lombino, “LILO’s beauty will be its diversity – a place where guests are invited to choose their pleasure from any one of five completely different and intimate lounging areas that move seamlessly from inside, out.
“Featuring a purpose built bar, funky lounge areas and pool decks - replete with private cabanas – LILO will comfortably integrate all types of guests. Be it suited business people or bikini-clad sun seekers. We want people to think of LILO as a chic and fun place...little bit of summer all year round,” said Vince.
Open all day – from sun up to well after dark - LILO will feature an ever-changing, seasonal menu of delicious and interesting dishes to snack, lunch and sup on with an extensive cocktail and beverage list to match. Guests can look forward to experiencing something new – be it ‘sliders’, ‘big ass burgers’ or giant cocktails.
Cathay Pacific Airways has announced a continuing enhancement of the “Manage My Booking” facility on the airline’s website, offering a more complete and comprehensive online self-service platform for passengers to take more control over their journey.
Recent additions to “Manage My Booking” include an interactive seat map for eligible passengers to reserve their seats up to 180 days in advance, the ability to order special meals online, and customised inflight entertainment and destination information according to the passenger’s itinerary.
“Manage My Booking” was introduced in May 2009 to offer passengers more control over their own travel itineraries. Key features now include
· Viewing and checking status of bookings, inflight entertainment and duty free items available on flights, travel alerts and advisories, and other related information
· Updating frequent flyer information, travel documents and contact details
· Selecting or changing a seat from an interactive seat map and ordering special meal with instant confirmation
· Upgrading to a higher class of service instantly with Asia Miles, if eligible
· Checking-in 48 hours up to 90 minutes prior to flight departure
Cathay Pacific is committed to providing world-class self service and the enhancement of “Manage My Booking” gives customers full control of their booking and travel information and the convenience of doing it all in one place. They can also view information that is customised, relevant and specific to their itinerary online.
Since the launch of “Manage My Booking”, Cathay Pacific has seen more passengers logging in, with a rapid growth in the usage of both the advance seat reservation option and the online special meal ordering service since they were soft-launched in September.
Cathay Pacific Manager e-Business Lawrence Fong said: “We are pleased to offer further enhancements to the ‘Manage My Booking’ function, turning it into a one-stop-shop for passengers who want to manage various aspects of their own journey. Next year, we will make the service available through mobile devices, providing passengers with even more accessibility and convenience.”
Full details of the “Manage My Booking” service can be found at the airline’s website, www.cathaypacific.co.nz (Manage Your Trip > About Manage My Booking).
CATHAY PACIFIC TO LAUNCH DIRECT FLIGHTS TO MILAN,
STRENGTHEN SERVICES TO NORTH AMERICA
Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it will launch a scheduled passenger service between Hong Kong and Milan, Italy’s principal business and finance centre and a world-renowned capital for design and fashion, on March 28 2010. The latest addition to the network highlights the airline’s commitment to the Italian market and its ongoing work to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s leading international aviation hubs.
The new four-times-weekly service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER ultra-long-haul aircraft featuring Cathay Pacific’s acclaimed three-class inflight product. The new service will increase the airline’s presence in Europe and provide passengers with greater flexibility for travel between Italy and Hong Kong and to other destinations in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: "We are very excited to launch a new service to this dynamic city, and we expect it to help Milan to develop quickly as a prime destination for business and leisure travellers from this part of the world. This is the only direct service between these two major commercial cities and our strong network will enable us to offer great connections for travellers from northern Italy through the superb Hong Kong hub.”
Cathay Pacific began flying to Italy in April 1986 when it launched a service to the capital city, Rome. The airline currently operates a daily passenger service to Rome and a six-times-weekly freighter service to Milan, and will offer a total of 11 passenger flights to and from Italy each week when Milan launches as a passenger destination. The city will become the 47th online destination in Cathay Pacific’s passenger network.
Cathay Pacific’s daily flight from Auckland will offer excellent connections to Milan, via Hong Kong. CX108 departs Auckland at 2.20 pm and arrives in Milan at 7.35 am the next morning.
In addition to the launch of the Milan service, Cathay Pacific will also be further strengthening its services to and from North America. From 28 March, three flights a week will be added to the existing daily service to Toronto. The additional services will depart Hong Kong at 2.45 am every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday while the existing daily flights will depart at 16.10 from Hong Kong.
The airline is also adding three flights per week to Los Angeles from 1 May, increasing the frequency to 17 each week. The extra flights will depart Hong Kong at 1.10 pm every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. In addition, with effect from 28 March, one of the two daily flights to San Francisco will be retimed to depart at 11.55 pm from Hong Kong, giving passengers a choice of daytime or nighttime departures.
· Four-times-weekly service.
· Flights begin on 28 March 2010.
· Aircraft type: Boeing 777-300ER.
Departure / Arrival
Days of operation
Nakedbus.com has today announced it plans to ring in the New Year with an offer of 2,500 free bus and ferry fares* for Kiwis travelling in 2010.
The low cost bus company, famous for its city to city fares starting at just $1*, is giving away the seats for those travelling in May and June 2010 with the first tickets available from 12pm today.
Based on hugely successful British transport models like Easyjet, nakedbus.com cuts the overhead costs from the ticketing process by providing ‘internet based’ ticketing (www.nakedbus.com).
Nakedbus.com Managing Director Hamish Nuttall says the free fares coincide with the climate change summit in Copenhagen which has highlighted the danger of global warming and its effect on the world.
“Nakedbus.com is doing its bit to help reduce New Zealand’s carbon footprint and raise awareness of this issue,” he says. “Thirty percent of our customers previously used private motor vehicles before they logged onto nakedbus.com. This means that we have helped to avoid 57,000 kilometres of car travel per year,” says Nuttall.
Nuttall says that by moving customers away from private motor vehicles to his public transport system, nakedbus.com has made it possible for his passengers to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 177 tonnes per annum.
Up to 7,000 travellers use nakedbus.com every week, covering more than 350 destinations throughout New Zealand - with the company also offering an integrated Cook Strait Ferry crossing service.
The first ticket on every service is free* for travel from 1 May 2010 to 30 June 2010. Customers can book online at www.nakedbus.com and through local agents.
The free seats will be released from 12pm, Thursday December 17, 2009.
Akaroa, NZ, December 1, 2009– Today officially marks the grand opening of Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari, which is now open to the public. This unique guided New Zealand kayaking tour offers a full day safari with a certified guide. The safari provides visitors with a memorable way to fully experience the beauty and majesty of Akaroa. All Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari guides have received extensive training and have adopted International Standards for Safety. All tour leaders have trained according to a programme entitled SKILS - Sea Kayak Instruction and Leadership Systems.
Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari offers an environmentally sustainable and ecologically friendly way to explore Akaroa Harbour and its many coves and bays. Since kayaking has no carbon emissions, Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari is gentle on nature, wildlife and the landscape.
The Akaroa tour excursion begins at 8:30am and concludes at 4pm. During the safari, guests will have the opportunity to travel by sea kayak through Akaroa Harbour encountering Hector Dolphins and other wildlife. During the journey, participants will enjoy kayaking, access to the beach and swimming, and enjoy a catered lunch from The Akaroa Cookery School, who recently made an appearance on the TV NZ Morning Program. The tour also includes a kayak training session, which includes guidance including a safety orientation, water instruction and games, and an ecology briefing.
Brent Dyer founded Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari because he wanted visitors to be able to have a full-day to experience the natural wonders in Akaroa. Dyer states, "After almost two years of planning and developing Akaroa Guided Sea Kayak Safari,
I am thrilled by the way it’s being received, even before launch. I am determined that my guests will experience the best that NZ and Akaroa has to offer."
Quotes from those who have experienced the safari to date include the following: Robert Day from Christchurch remarked, “Viewing the harbour from the kayak gave a very different perspective on the environment.” Bruce Morrison from Christchurch stated, “While I had limited experience in kayaks, I always felt safe and confident.” Another Christchurch resident Amanda Clarke remarked, “The lunch was great! It was tasty and filling and I appreciated the little touches like the knives and forks and napkins.”
Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari is open from November to April to those over 17 years of age. Teenagers can also participate upon receipt of written permission from a guardian. Previous kayaking experience or athletic ability is not required. The cost is $195.00 per person for the full day of activities and lunch. In order to ensure the comfort and safety of all guests, there is a maximum of six guests on any tour. Participants meet at 8:30 am at "By The Green Cafe" located at 37 Rue Lavaud. Please visit www.akaroakayaks.co.nz. contact 021 156 4591 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the Akaroa tours.
About Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari
Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari provides the ultimate full day Akaroa tour excursion. The one-day safari includes a full day of ecologically friendly activities including encountering Hector dolphins and wildlife, sea kayaking, food from the Akaroa Cookery School and relaxation. More information about Akaroa Guided Sea Kayaking Safari can be found at www.akaroakayaks.co.nz
While NIWA has predicted cooler than normal temperatures for much of the country this summer, the Cancer Society advises that it is still important to use sun protection while outdoors, even if conditions are cool or cloudy.
“It is not temperature or sunshine that counts, it is the intensity of the UVR," says Dr Louise Reiche, Dermatologist. “Be careful to protect yourself and your family from the sun throughout the day, and especially between 11am and 4pm, to prevent skin and eye damage and lessen the risk of skin cancer."
Dr Richard McKenzie, UVR scientist at NIWA, echoes these concerns. “Just because the weather is cool this doesn’t mean that UVR levels are low. Despite our recent cool and cloudy conditions, UVR levels are very high or extreme throughout the country. The New Zealand climate can be very deceptive in this respect.”
Dr Judith Galtry, Skin Cancer Advisor for the Cancer Society adds "it takes only a few minutes to get sunburnt in these conditions - whatever the temperature. Both sunburn and tanning are a sign of skin cells in trauma. If you must have a tan, use a fake tanning product rather than sunbathing or using a sunbed. In fact, using sunbeds before the age of 35 boosts your risk of melanoma by 75 percent."
"But remember, a fake tan doesn't offer any sun protection.” Dr Galtry also urges people to check the UV Index in the newspaper before going out for the day. When
the Ultraviolet Index is at 3 or above, it is important that people use sun protection.
“In general, the safest times to get some sun at this time of year are in the early morning and late afternoon but cover up at other times throughout the day. This doesn’t mean you can’t be active, just be sensible”.
• A wide brimmed hat provides good protection for your face, neck and ears.
• Wear clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible, ideally with a UPF >50(clothing sun
• Apply 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen to exposed skin and re-apply every two hours - more
frequently if swimming / towelling. Don't use sunscreen to extend your time in the sun.
• Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory and protect your eyes from sun damage. Make sure they
meet Australian / NZ Standards.
• Seek shade during peak UV times (11am to 4pm).
SKYCITY Auckland has fought off tough competition from around Australia to be awarded ‘Australasia's Leading Casino Resort’ at the 16th Annual 2009 World Travel Awards, held in London recently.
Nigel Morrison, CEO, SKYCITY Entertainment Group says the company is committed to excellence in every aspect of its offering, from their hotels to their restaurants and bars through to the casino floor and of course VIP facilities.
“To be recognised with this award by the international travel industry is quite simply the best accolade that we could have hoped for.”
He added that they are seeing an increase in the sophistication and demands of their national and international customers. “They have very high expectations and we are extremely proud that SKYCITY Auckland provides this very discerning audience with the ultimate in entertainment and hospitality that they have come to expect.”
“SKYCITY is attracting increasing numbers of international VIP guests to all its gaming areas, adding to the fact that the international travel industry considers SKYCITY Auckland to be the leading casino resort in Australasia.”
The World Travel Awards recognise value, innovation and quality in every aspect of the customer offering. Mr Morrison commented that we continue to strive to enhance the quality of our facilities and offerings at SKYCITY Auckland including:
· Recent launch of chic cocktail bar, twentyone
· Relaunch of the refurbished Rebo restaurant & bar, with indoor and alfresco dining
· Launch of the Terrace Summer Buffet at the Grand Hotel
· Upcoming launch of X.O. – an exclusive ‘invitation only’ bar
· The extensive SKYCITY Hotel refurbishment to be completed in the New Year
Over the past year, SKYCITY Auckland has proudly hosted some of the most spectacular events in the City. Recently, these have included the Spring Racing Celebration on Melbourne Cup Day, attended by nearly 1,000 racing enthusiasts and fashionistas alike; and its week-long Festival of Poker, that attracted a host of international players competing for up to $1 million in prize money.
Nigel Morrison adds: “Nothing beats being recognised by the industry and by your peers for providing the best of the best for the tourism industry and at SKYCITY we will continue to strive for nothing less in the future.”
Major Bollywood production company Dharma Productions will film in Queenstown in late January, putting New Zealand on screen in front of as many as 150 million viewers.
The major feature film I Hate Luv Stories stars Bollywood heart-throb Imran Khan and the beautiful Sonam Kapoor. Due for release in May 2010, it has already been noted by Bollywood critics as a film to watch out for.
Tourism New Zealand’s Acting Chief Executive Tim Hunter says the opportunity to showcase New Zealand and for media coverage in India is huge.
“The movie itself will attract a huge audience but the media surrounding the filming and the release will also present great opportunities for promoting New Zealand as a visitor destination,” he says.
During the filming in January, Tourism New Zealand will also be hosting Indian media who will follow the two lead actors as they participate in tourist activities in the Queenstown area.
· All $1 seats between 1 January 2010 and 31 March 2010 are now FREE*!
InterCity is planning to bring the new decade in with a bang, announcing that it will be giving away 4,500 FREE* seats on the extensive InterCity network from the 1 January 2010.
All $1 seats between 1 January 2010 and 31 March 2010 are now FREE*. From midday today, the 4,500 FREE* seats will be available on selected services across the country.
InterCity has bettered yesterday’s announcement, which launched the new $1 fare offering on every single InterCity route going forward.
“The Christmas and New Year combo is not only a way of thanking people for using our services throughout the year, but it also helps people to save money at an often financially stressful period of the year,” says InterCity Chief Executive Malcolm Johns.
“There are no gimmicks, spin or hidden booking fees – these tickets are 100% free!”
So if you get in quick, InterCity connects with hundreds of destinations throughout the country. You could use the money saved to buy a present for yourself and you don’t even have to worry about contending with the traffic!
It’s as simple as jumping on the www.intercity.co.nz website, and using the internet booking system to search for the free fares. It works on a first in, first served basis.
The Tour Begins where your host will pick you up from your Hotel and proceed to Orakei Marae on Bastion Point where visitors will get to experience and see a traditional Maori Waka ( Canoe) and get to see a Maori Marae.Your Host will explain the significance of the Marae and the History of the Area.
From the Marae we will proceed over to the Sir Michael Savage Memorial where the Host can talk about the History of Ngati Whatua ( Local Tribe) and Bastion Point and relative points of interest in Auckland.
From here the Tour will proceed to Mt Eden ( Maungawhau) or One Tree Hill ( Maungakiekie) will your host will give the history of these areas and show how Maori use to live on these great volcanic plateaus.Come experience all these Tours through the Eyes of Maori.
After this we will proceed up to the Auckland Domain and we will visit the Famous Auckland Museum where you can take in the different exhibitions shown there. The Famous Maori Cultural performance is on show there at 11am, noon and 1.30pm.
The Cost for entry to the Museum is Gold Coin Donation
Entry Cost to the Maori Performance is Adults $25
Family $62 (2 Adults and 2 Children).
At the Museum we will stop for about One and a half Hours.
The Tour will commence after a short stop to Maungawhau (Mt Eden) along the way the Host will talk with the Visitors about the legends of the Area pointing out famous landmarks for the visitor.
Once upon Maungawhau the visitor can disembark and take photos and their host will point out different Landmarks like Rangitoto,Waiheke , Kawau, Motatapu, Motuihe and many more.
Visitors can be dropped at their Hotels or they could be left in Queen St to shop.
This Tour should take about 4 Hours and the cost is $100 per person. For a Group Booking of 4 or more the price reduces to $85 per person
It’s taken more than a year of elbow grease and some Kiwi ingenuity but a new reminder of Sir Edmund Hillary was finally unveiled at Aoraki Mount Cook last night (9 December).
An exact replica of one of the legendary Ferguson TEA tractors which transported Sir Edmund and his team on their epic journey to the South Pole in 1958 has been made especially for the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
The tractor construction was undertaken by John Callesen, a well-known vintage car restorer and ex-All Black. He’s also the brother of Denis Callesen, who led the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre development.
John Callesen painstakingly compared hundreds of photos of the three tractors that went on the Antarctica expedition to ensure accuracy.
Photos were sourced from the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre’s existing collection while others were taken of the original tractors housed at the Canterbury Museum, MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology) in Auckland, and the Massey Ferguson Museum in France.
Based on the photo comparisons, John Callesen replicated every single visible part of the tractor in his Palmerston North workshop.
The tractors that went to Antarctica as part of the 1957-1958 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition were originally to be used to help unload the Endeavour and build Scott Base. However Sir Edmund Hillary was so impressed with them that most of the huskies, which had been trained at Aoraki Mount Cook and brought over for the expedition, were replaced by the tractors.
His gamble paid off as his team went on to become the first to reach the Pole overland since Captain Robert Falcon Scott in 1912 and the first ever to do so using motor vehicles. It took the ‘tractor train’ of three tractors, a Weasel, caboose and six sledges more than 80 days to complete the 1,930km (1,200-mile) journey.
Many modifications were made to the tractors before departure but, lacking a local hardware store, the team was forced to get creative with the materials on hand at Scott Base. Consequently, the likes of Dexion shelving and Waratah fencing standards became invaluable in ensuring the tractors survived the journey to the Pole.
John Callesen says his biggest hurdle in building the tractor was distinguishing between the numerous alterations made to the tractors before and after their trip to the Pole.
"The tractors stayed at the South Pole for several years afterwards and were further modified which made producing an exact visible replica tricky. However, based on original photos and feedback from surviving expedition members, what I’ve built looks exactly like what the expedition team drove to the Pole, gas torch scorch marks and all,” he says.
The replica tractor now sits in the dedicated Sir Edmund Hillary Gallery alongside items such as 50-year old footage of Sir Edmund boarding the Endeavour, the original mileage wheel showing the exact distance to the Pole, and Sir Edmund’s original primus stove. There’s also imagery of Sir Edmund training at Aoraki Mount Cook in 1957 on what’s believed to be one of the tractors that went to Antarctica.
Denis Callesen, General Manager of Tourism for Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Village Ltd, is delighted with the replica tractor, saying it adds to the picture they’re building of Sir Edmund’s life and his Himalayan and Antarctic training links to Aoraki Mount Cook.
“It’s an honour to be able to share Sir Ed’s intriguing story with the world and we’re very grateful to those who contribute items which help put things in context for our visitors. Seeing the primitive equipment he and his various expedition parties used gives people a sense of the triumphs, tribulations and magnitude of what they achieved. Imagine battling Antarctica’s extreme cold and crevasses on ordinary farm tractors without the technology or equipment we have today - it’s a truly amazing feat.”
The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre was officially opened on 29 May 2008 by Sir Edmund’s widow, June, Lady Hillary Q.S.M. It is located adjacent to The Hermitage Hotel in Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Village, within the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and World Heritage area. The Village is a spectacular 55km drive from the Lake Pukaki / State Highway 8 turn-off and is four hours from Christchurch (272km) and three hours from Queenstown (330km).
Take an all-new dangerous trail around the Auckland Museum to discover heroic adventures. Journey into the heart of a volcano, unlock the secrets of the eel-maze, come face to face with a giant moa and more. What better way for brave boys and girls (and mums and dads) to spend their weekends and holidays! Suitable for children 6 years and older.
$5 per Dangerous Museum Pack. Available at ticket desks.
Every day except Sundays
11-28 January, 11.30am & 1.30pm
A Midsummer Night's Dream is amongst William Shakespeare's most popular comedies. Set in a garden wonderland of magical fairies, the tale has captivated audiences for generations. Now Auckland Museum has adapted the play into a 45-minute performance that will delight children and families. Suitable for 5-12 year olds.
$10 per Child/Adult, $6 Members. Booking fees apply.
Queenstown tourism company Pure Adventure is taking adventure and adrenalin to a whole new level with a heart-stopping experience that’s not for the faint-hearted.
Aimed at those who think they’ve seen or experienced everything, Pure Adventure has teamed up with Chuck Berry, one of the world’s most extreme athletes, so its clients can experience BASE jumping*, an extreme sport like no other.
While Pure Adventure is not suggesting for one moment they will let any of its clients jump off a cliff, it has put together a special package so they can see and experience the adrenalin rush of a BASE jump first hand.
The BASE jump experience starts with a helicopter ride from Queenstown, landing high in a stunningly beautiful remote valley where 42-year-old Chuck will prepare for his jump.
Clients will watch from the helicopter as the daring and highly skilled daredevil extraordinaire, who lives in Queenstown but has BASE jumped around the world, steps over the edge for a magical freefall before opening his chute with seconds to spare.
It’s a heart-stopping moment that Chuck wants to share with like-minded adventure lovers.
“Have you ever imagined what it must be like to jump off a cliff?” he asks. “Maybe you have, but more to the point is have you ever imagined what makes it possible for someone to put themselves in that position of wanting to jump enough, that they find themselves at the launch point. This does not happen by accident.
“This is the culmination, the coming together of fantasy, desire, faith, knowledge, ability and visualisation. Accepting a challenge of your own design, a brutal confrontation between one’s personal life and safety and putting yourself out on a limb, far from the safety we naturally yearn for.”
With the jump safely completed, clients will land at the base of the jump site to join Chuck for an enjoyable picnic lunch.
“We’re always looking for new an innovative ways to add to our product mix, and this is certainly very different,” says Pure Adventure owner Steve Robertson. “Chuck’s an absolutely amazing athlete and we’re very lucky to have him here in Queenstown. He personifies the extreme adventure enthusiast for which the resort is so well known.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will just love to see him jump and have the chance to talk to him before and afterwards. I think the lunch time picnic conversations will be guaranteed to be interesting!”
The BASE Jump Experience costs $3750 per person (2 pax exclusive) or $2500 per person (3 or 4 pax exclusive).
*BASE jumping is an activity that employs a parachute to jump from fixed objects. B.A.S.E. is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: buildings, antennas, spans (bridges) and earth (cliffs).
InterCity Coachlines is really getting into the festive season and giving away coach fares for just $1!
There will be at least one $1 fare available on every InterCity route going forward which equates to over 25,000 $1 fares* available over the next year!
“Travelling to see your loved ones this Christmas has never been easier on your pocket,” says InterCity Chief Executive Malcolm Johns. “The extra money will come in handy especially at this busy time of the year and it is also a stress-free way to travel – all you have to do is sit back, relax and let the coach driver take you to your destination.”
InterCity Coachlines provides New Zealand's largest coach transportation network connecting to more than 600 destinations nationwide.
So if you get in quick, InterCity connects with hundreds of destinations throughout the country. With no booking fee when you purchase online you could use the money saved to buy a present for yourself and you don’t even have to worry about contending with the traffic!
It’s as simple as jumping on the www.intercity.co.nz website, and using the internet booking system to search for a $1 fare with no booking fee. It works on a first in, first served basis.
“Get in quick, tell your mates and book your ticket today,” says Malcolm.
TheNewDowse and Civic Gardens, Laings Road, Lower Hutt
26 February – 21 March 2010
Daily 10am – 5pm & Thursdays 10am – 8pm
$5 with proceeds to charity, accompanied children free
Wellington’s preeminent outdoor sculpture exhibition shapeshifter is a key visual arts feature of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.
Featuring more than 80 works by leading and emerging New Zealand artists, shapeshifter is an exciting fusion of contemporary indoor and outdoor sculpture, set amongst the striking venues of TheNewDowse and the beautiful Civic Gardens.
Picnickers are welcome with music events, guided tours and evening openings planned.
All works are for sale, with proceeds going to local charities.