Saturday, March 13, 2010

Be into Win a Business Class Upgrade and More

Book an Australia Sale Fare on and be in to Win a Business Class Upgrade for two passengers across the Tasman. Plus we are giving away a total of:

-20 Qantas Club Lounge Passes for New Zealand
-20 Priority Check-in Passes for New Zealand
-12 Skyway Valet Parking for Auckland
-4 Skyway Car Valet Passes for Auckland

Terms & Conditions apply. Draw date 30 March 2010.

Sale ends midnight Monday 29 March 2010. Hurry, seats are limited.

For passengers departing from Wellington prices exclude New Zealand Departure fee of $25 payable at the airport.

Prices based on payment at*
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Airport service quality is becoming concerning

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has cautioned the nation’s airports saying that they have to beware dropping quality standards.
ACCC says that one of the key concerns is skyrocketing prices for parking at the capital city airports around the country.

“This year’s report has found the performance of Sydney Airport to be of greatest concern. The indications are that Sydney Airport has increased profits by permitting service quality to fall below that which the airlines reasonably expect,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel, said.

“While airlines lowered their airfares to attract business in the current global economic slowdown, the airports appear to have enjoyed the security of guaranteed prices as well as benefiting from the airlines' efforts to encourage travel.”

But the Sydney Airport has hit back, saying the ACCC’s report is “outdated” and that since the period on report the site had undergone some $500 million in upgrades.

“Extensive construction works were underway throughout the period covered by the report and may have, understandably, impacted on the customer experience,” said the airport in a statement.

However, the Sydney Airport statement did not address the watchdog’s concerns surrounding parking costs.
“The indications are that car parking prices likely reflect an element of monopoly rent. At least some car parking charges increased at all of the monitored airports during the 2008–09 financial year, or since then,” said the ACCC on parking costs.

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Ibis Hotel Christchurch has won gold in the Best Hotel Award from the Christchurch City Council during the Ellerslie Flower Show this week.

Restaurant & Bar Manager Siobhan Jensen says her team was keen to support the Ellerslie Flower Show and after a ‘love-in’ brainstorming session the 60’s Woodstock Flower Power theme won the day.

“The Ibis transformed itself in keeping with the flower show theme.  We had Joan Baez, the Mamas and the Papas and the twang of Indian sitars as entertainment and staff decked out in an array of paisley, tie-dyed and denim flares.  It was a huge effort by staff to get right behind the whole new psychedelic look this week,” she says.

“Peace, Love and Ban the Bomb badges were everywhere and, without exception, everyone has got into the sprit of Flower Power to support this important event for Christchurch visitors.”

Siobhan Jensen says hotel guests also knew something very special was taking place in the city and they will certainly remember their stay at the Ibis during the Ellerslie Flower Show.

“Our guests received a floral spray on their bed throughout the week and a map of the Flower Show.  The feedback from our guests has been extremely favourable and they are delighted with the way the hotel has brightened up their stay.”

Plans are already under way at the Ibis for next year’s Flower Show theme, which promises to be bigger and brighter than ever.

The Ibis Christchurch is a 155-room hotel, situated just off Cathedral Square, and within walking distance to the venue for this year’s Flower Show, which runs until 14 March.
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wellington Launches Walkway Tour Application for iPhones

Do you know Pencarrow Lighthouse’s two New Zealand firsts and why people on Tinakori Road used to go without dinner?

A free iPhone application designed to help locals and visitors make the most of Wellington’s walkways is now available on iTunes. The ‘Welly Walks’ application features seven walks; it leads users around the capital’s sites using maps and instructions, also featuring facts and information about landmarks, public art, nature reserves and coastline.

Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks says the joint project between the regional tourism organisation and Wellington City Council is a natural progression from the development of the Wellington mobile guide

“The Wellington mobile guide offers details about the top things to see, do and taste in the city right in the palm of your hand. The Wellington Walks application builds on providing information by acting as a guide around our walkways and delving deeper into the sites they take in.”

The application, which features the Southern, Northern, Eastern, Skyline, City to Sea, Explore Waterfront and Explore Parliament and Thorndon walkways, was built by My Tours, a web-based service that converts city walks, museum tours and audio guides into iPhone applications.

“We're now looking at creating our own walks and guides and adding them to the application. Wellington’s so compact and walkable, but you do have to be a bit in the know to make the absolute most of what the city has to offer. In particular we’re thinking of developing trails around boutiques and all the tucked away bars.”

The free application can be downloaded from

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Another birthday, another Christmas, another special event - and with each occurrence, that never ending dilemma. What new, different and exciting gift can I buy for that special person?

They have all the clothing and accessories, the fragrances, the jewellery, the music and the gimmicks that they need.

But have they ever flown an airliner?

New Brisbane-based company “Flight Simulator 737” now offers that amazing opportunity! Based at Archerfield Airport, ”Flight Simulator 737” has just introduced the next generation of airliner training simulators and now offers private use from just $250 for a one hour session.

“This is a gift with a difference, no matter what the occasion may be,” said Ross Farquharson from “Flight Simulator 737”. “We offer an experience like no other, and an experience which can be shared with partners or friends, as the one hour flight session aboard the simulator can be used by one person or divided between several participants.”

Mr Farquharson said one-day group packages and corporate reward and team building sessions were also available with Flight Simulator 737.

Flight Simulator 737 has introduced world-first satellite imaging technology to recreate not only a range of flight experiences and conditions but realistic takeoffs and landings at more than 90,000 airports.

So sophisticated is the new technology that it even offers authentic ground imaging, showing actual runways, taxiways, terminal gates and surrounds at all of the featured airports, and enabling users to replicate a total flight experience from the moment an aircraft pushes back from the aerobridge to the moment it arrives at its destination.

It uses actual images to replicate not only flight operations but a realistic perception of movement. Image resolution on the simulator is accurate to one metre – 15 times sharper than the imaging available through on-line products such as Google Earth.

“Flight Simulator 737” is located in the Simulator Centre, Hangar 3, Qantas Avenue, Archerfield Airport. For more information or to make a booking visit , call 07 3371 5737.

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Ultimate Ride Team to Jet-ski from London to Auckland

Adventurer, pilot and author, Jeremy Burfoot, is set to lead a group of New Zealanders in an attempt to break the world personal watercraft record by riding from London to Sydney to Auckland. The 32,000 km epic journey, The Ultimate Ride, sets off from London in August to boost awareness of healthy living, cancer prevention and to raise funds for cancer research.

The Ultimate Ride is the fresh challenge Burfoot needed after being the first to circumnavigate New Zealand in a personal watercraft, commonly known as a jet ski, to raise funds for cancer research. Burfoot and his team are well advanced in the planning needed to break the current personal water craft distance record of 18,400 km.

“We’re tackling one of the world’s most iconic routes; the London-to-Sydney journey has been made famous by all kinds of intrepid travellers – though none have tried it on a personal watercraft,” says Burfoot. “The eyes of the world will be on this attempt. The ultimate joy for me would be to get the message about early prevention of cancer, and the need for regular health checks, out to as many people around the world as possible.”

Burfoot is motivated by his own battle with cancer and his desire to ensure funds are put into researching the one disease that both the developed and developing world are struggling to combat. The team will be working with cancer organisations in each country they pass through to help raise the profile of the event and its goals.

The Ultimate Ride will set off from London on August 1 for one of the world’s most difficult water routes. The team will travel more than half-way around the globe, enduring challenging weather and treacherous oceans with piracy, shark infested waters, language barriers and bureaucratic nightmares just some of the hazards along the way. The journey will culminate in Auckland at the end of November.

In 2006 Burfoot and Brad Burton took their personal watercraft on a 5,000 km, 19-day “warm up and shake down” ride around New Zealand. A number of organisations, including the Cancer Society of New Zealand, got on board with the ride as a means of drawing publicity to their cause. Burfoot wrote a book, The Ride around New Zealand, about the experience.

Planning is now well advanced for this year’s journey. The organisers have set up a trust and are seeking further sponsors to assist them with the journey, as well as gaining attention in the international media on the goal of raising funds for cancer research. A major naming rights sponsor for the Ultimate Ride challenge is still available. A website has also been launched and will be used to track the progress of the journey before, after and during the event.

The Ultimate Ride is also offering opportunities for individuals to join the team on parts of the journey. See ‘Join Us’ on the website for more details.

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Boys Day Out is bringing back the Man Shed

Boys Day Out Mystery Creek, in association with its sponsors, will be building the Ultimate MANSPACE this weekend.

All profits from the sale of the Boys Day Out MANSPACE will be going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

No longer will MAN be forced into the dingy spare room, or having to fight with the kids to get to the TV. Do you need your own pad away from the craziness? Your own place to chill out with your mates and have a beer and watch some sport?

Whatever you want to do you can, in your own MANSPACE!!!

This is the Ultimate Man Shed - crammed full of thousands of dollars worth of Boys Toys. Features include a steel framed 10m2 MANSPACE made from Eco Ply & Aluminium Joinery, Panasonic Plasma televisions and stereo sound system, Playstation, a new TiVo home entertainment system and some fantastic bar furniture from Black Dog Furniture.

And more things are being donated every day to the "MANSPACE".

You can bid on this Ultimate MANSPACE on Trade Me right now on our $1 reserve auction.

All profits from the sale of the Ultimate "MANSPACE" will be donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

So get to bidding and help out this fantastic charity and take back your "MANSPACE"

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Easter family fun at Thunderbird Park

Head to Tamborine Mountain's Cedar Creek Lodges at Thunderbird Park on the Easter long weekend for a fun filled family holiday. This rainforest destination offers a welcome escape from city stress. The mountain climate is cool and comfortable, the rainforest surrounds and crystal clear rock pools set the scene for a wonderful weekend with nights spent in front of roaring log fires.

Go for the day, or stay and play. The range of accommodation styles suits every budget and there is plenty to do for children and adults. Take the Adventure Parc ropes course challenge, go horse trail riding or hunt for gemstone filled thundereggs. Meet local gem expert Rockodile and learn about the hidden treasures. In-house guests can swim in the resort pool or natural rock pools, explore the rainforest along the walking tracks and play mini golf.

The Easter weekend program runs from Good Friday April 2 to Easter Monday April 5. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a barbecue buffet breakfast with the birds on the terrace or in the Rainforest Bistro from 8am to 10am each day of the holiday. The bistro will serve snacks from 10am and lunch from noon to 4pm every day of the long weekend

Families can explore the range of onsite adventures throughout the day and adults can relax in the bar at cocktail hour. Complimentary canap├ęs will be served from 4pm to 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.

Spend the evening in style in the Rainforest Bistro and Bar. Dinner will be served from 5pm to 9pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening. Be prepared to be impressed with the menu of modern Australian cuisine.

Parents who plan to relax and dine without the children can send younger members of the family to the supervised Rainforest Rangers’ Movie Night on Friday evening from 7pm until 9pm. The $5 per child entry fee includes popcorn and drinks for dinner guests’ children

On Easter Saturday (April 3) book a table for dinner from 6pm to 9pm. Parents can enjoy a superb meal in a romantic atmosphere while children have fun at the supervised Rainforest Rangers' Disco Night. The $15 per child disco entrance fee includes a buffet dinner and drinks for restaurant guests’ children

Be ready for a big surprise on Easter Sunday (April 4). The Easter Bunny will deliver a gift to every room and lodge. The licensed Rainforest Bistro will serve snacks and lunch from 10am to 4pm. Book now for the Easter Sunday spit roast from 5pm to 9pm. The spit roast dinner is priced at $16 per adult and $8 per child. The will be entertainment by a top local DJ.

Guests can enjoy a breakfast will the birds feast on Easter Monday from 8am to 10am. The Rainforest Bistro will serve lunch and snacks from 10am until 4pm. For further information and bookings visit or phone 07 5545 1468.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kiwi icons lead global landmarks in worldwide Earth Hour switch off

What do Te Puke’s kiwi fruit and Paeroa’s L&P bottle have in common with the world’s tallest building - the Burj Khalifa, London Eye and Table Mountain? They are all taking action against climate change in the biggest environmental event the world has seen.

The giant statues will be among a host of “world famous in New Zealand” landmarks plunging into darkness for Earth Hour 2010. Due to the international dateline, the Kiwi symbols will be the first of many iconic landmarks around the world to switch off their lights, as hundreds of millions of people across every continent commit to resolve the issue of global warming.

Earth Hour takes place at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 27 local time, and will be celebrated as some of the world’s most recognised symbols of hope, peace, human endeavour and natural wonder plunge into darkness for Earth Hour as a powerful sign of the unrelenting resolve of the global community to respond to the threat of climate change.

The Kiwi icons will join CN Tower in Toronto, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Grand Palace in Bangkok and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in going dark for Earth Hour. US landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Mount Rushmore and even the lights of Las Vegas will also switch off.

New Zealand landmarks that will be switching off include:
Auckland: Sky Tower, Chelsea Sugar Factory, Vector Arena, National Bank, PWC and Sentinel Towers
Hawkes Bay: Opera House
New Plymouth: Wind Wand, Clock Tower
Palmerston North: Clock Tower
Wellington: The Beehive, Parliament Buildings, Railway Station, Majestic Centre and Civic Square
Nelson: Clock Tower
Dunedin: Octagon and Railway Station

As Earth Hour has grown from a one-city initiative in 2007 to a global phenomenon in 2009, renowned icons, including the Great Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, the Coliseum, Christ the Redeemer statue, Buckingham Palace, Beijing’s Olympic Stadium and many more world-famous landmarks have joined the global community in showing leadership on a resolution to climate change.

WWF’s Executive Director Chris Howe said: “WWF is calling on other Kiwi landmarks large or small to also show their support by switching off for Earth Hour. We may not have the world’s tallest building or world famous historical attractions but we do have a strong national identity which includes a passion for protecting our unique country for future generations to enjoy. Participating in Earth Hour is a fun way to show the world that New Zealanders are leading the global movement to tackle climate change. Small actions repeated by many add up to a big difference.”

The recently released Earth Hour 2010 video, viewed at, provides a powerful and inspiring montage of the world’s most recognised landmarks contributing to the greatest display of civil action the world has ever witnessed.

Check out our new google map to find out more about local Earth Hour events in your area at

Earth Hour 2010 is set to be a landmark moment on global warming, showing the world what can be done.
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