Friday, July 23, 2010


Two new faces, appropriately found through Facebook, are launching Toast Martinborough 2010 today.

New Zealand’s premier wine food and music festival, Toast Martinborough innovatively used a social media search to find a guy and a girl to be its 2010 faces on posters, ads, the festival booklet, web and social media sites.

“We were delighted with the response as Facebook fans got into the spirit. We whittled photos down to a final four, and asked for comments from fans before choosing Wynne Pirini and Jenn Shelton,” said Kaylene Moore, Toast Martinborough General Manager.

Wynne is a local Wellington lad who loves to spend his weekends surfing in the Wairarapa. "Toast Martinborough is an event that I try never to miss - one year I came all the way back from Canada just to attend!” When he's not drinking good Kiwi wines, he increases internet sales for local businesses.

Jenn Shelton is a Wellington-born singer and songwriter, who was the Rugby Sevens Star in 2008 and sang for the crowd. Multi-talented, she has also worked in local theatre.

Toast Martinborough will be held on Sunday 21 November 2010. Tickets go on sale at 9am Wednesday 6 October 2010, only at 0800 TICKETEK or
As 2009 tickets sold out in just 13 minutes, similar interest is expected this year.

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Introducing Bruce Tyrrell’s wine dinner and lunch

29th July 2010 at Riccarton House

An invitation from Tyrrell’s Wines (Voted Australian Winery of the year by James Halliday)

On Thursday 29th July, Bruce Tyrrell the Managing Director and 4th Generation owner of Tyrrell’s Wines from the Hunter Valley is hosting a lunch and dinner at Riccarton House the historic Deans’ family home.

Chef’s Jamie Bennett and Sam Marchant have prepared both a degustation lunch and dinner menu to compliment a range of Tyrrell’s award winning wines. Some sample fare below.

Roasted Akaroa salmon with sweet dill cucumber and lime crème fraice matched with Belford Hunter Valley Semillon 2004
Pepper cured beef fillet with roasted eggplant, walnuts, olives, pumpkin, mint and walnut pesto matched with Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz 2008.
Macaroon selection, Licorice, chocolate and black pepper, plum and shiraz matched with DB24 Shiraz 2005.

Following both the lunch and dinner, guests will be able to taste a range of exclusive award winning Tyrrrell’s wines which are listed below. Tyrrell’s through their New Zealand agent (Kahurangi Estate) have partnered with Christchurch’s fine wine retailer Vino Fino (188 Durham St, 3655134) to offer all the wines that either accompany the dishes or tasted after the respective meals at special prices for all orders placed at the time on the official order form that will accompany the menus on the day.

Spaces for both the lunch and dinner are limited so interested guests are urged to make early bookings direct with the team from Taste at Riccarton House.

Wines served with meals 2004 Belford Semillon (3 x Trophy, 6 x Gold’s, 96 James Halliday, 96 Huon Hook 2007 Old Winery Cabernet Merlot (87 points Big Red Wine Book) 2008 Rufus Stone Heathcoat Shiraz (Gold London International Wine Challenge 2010) 2006 Vat 47 Chardonnay (90 Robert Parker Wine Spectator 2005 DB 24 Wines to taste after the meals 2002 Vat 1 Semillon (13 x Gold medals, 96 James Halliday, 93 Robert Parker) 2004 Vat 8 Shiraz (1 x Trophy, 1 x Gold) 2007 Vat 47 Chardonnay (96 James Halliday) 2007 Vat 9 Shiraz (95 James Halliday, 94 Robert parker) 2007 Old Winery Shiraz (87 points Big Red Wine Book)

Lunch $55 per person
Dinner $85 per person includes matched wines

Bookings Taste at Riccarton House,16 Kahu Rd, Fendalton
Ph 3486190

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A new wine centre based in Greytown is set to become a cellar door for the entire Wairarapa region.

The Wairarapa Wine Centre, which will be located in the Old Library Building in Stella Bull Park, will give visitors the opportunity to taste a variety of local wines and gourmet food products, as well as the chance to meet the personalities behind them.

“The Wairarapa Wine Centre will be the cellar door for the region,” says Johner Estate winemaker Karl Johner. “This is a place where local wine makers will work together to showcase their products and give visitors the opportunity to not only sample their wines but also meet the people who create them.”

“The wine centre is also designed to increase the accessibility of northern Wairarapa growers to the public because at the moment many of these wineries do not have cellar doors.”

Scheduled to open in early September, the Wairarapa Wine Centre will specialise in the very best local wines and delicatessen style products.

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Change on a Plate in Wellington

A new head chef and a new menu will soon greet diners to Plate Restaurant at Holiday Inn Wellington.

Gareth Walker took up the position of Head Chef in mid July and is looking forward to enhancing New Zealand produce and flavours with contemporary international twists.

Originally from the Waikato, Gareth trained in cuisine and hospitality in Dunedin before joining the five-star Jumeriah hotel group, based in London for three years. Gareth then returned to New Zealand in 2007, working as a Head Chef and then Food and Beverage Manager.

“Through my travels I’ve had the chance to observe and be inspired by the simplicity of various cooking methods and the quality of flavours that international cooking brings to the food.”

Gareth particularly enjoys cooking Mediterranean dishes and believes this is a style and taste-range that would be popular in New Zealand. “Plate’s Chef de Cuisine Jozsef Szekely has done a brilliant job with the present menu. I’m really looking forward to working with Jozsef and the rest of the Plate team to build on that work, developing new dishes our diners will find exciting and irresistible.”

General Manager Heather Idoine-Riley says Plate Restaurant has enjoyed popularity with the same Head Chef since the 4+ Star, design award-winning Holiday Inn Wellington opened in 2007. “However, a new kitchen leader always brings a certain freshness and creativity to both the menu and the atmosphere. We’re really delighted Gareth is joining our team.”

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208 Duecento Otto restaurant and bar now open

Hong Kong destination creating a buzz with its menu of New York-inspired rustic Italian cuisine

208 Duecento Otto is a buzzing neighbourhood restaurant and bar inspired by the New York-style Italian culinary tradition. Located on Hong Kong's art and antiquing Hollywood Road in the up-and-coming Sheung Wan district, the concept is the creation of Yenn Wong, founder of JIA Boutique Hotels.

“208 is set to be a lively new venue in Sheung Wan – an area I feel is akin to New York’s Meatpacking District in its early days with its working-class connection and heritage, and now a blooming art and design scene. To me, 208 represents the trend towards more unpretentious, comfortable dining– where tasty food, good wine and a great atmosphere blend together to create a charming and inviting neighbourhood hangout,” says Yenn.

Set in a two-storied venue, 208 Duecento Otto combines an energetic Bar downstairs with a more intimate upstairs Restaurant, both with outdoor seating that overlooks Hollywood Road. Formerly a meat storage warehouse, 208 Duecento Otto is named after its street number at 208 Hollywood Road.

Running the kitchen is Executive Chef Vinny Lauria who comes to Hong Kong from the renowned Babbo New York - consistently heralded as one of New York's favourite restaurants.

Vinny brings a New York interpretation of rustic Italian cuisine to the tables of 208 Duecento Otto. His love and passion for cooking comes from his grandfather, an Italian immigrant to the USA from Trapani, Sicily. Following in his family tradition, Vinny prepares dishes from scratch, using the freshest ingredients, practicing sustainability and not using anything pre-made. He believes that good food is about enhancing the natural flavours of the ingredients, not overruling them.

“At 208, I’ve created a menu of dishes that I love to eat frequently – rustic, traditional, tasty dishes that are made for casual relaxed modern dining,” says Vinny.

Upstairs in 208’s Restaurant, Vinny’s a la carte menu starts with a wide selection of Italian Salumi alongside unique Antipasti, such as Insalata del Testaccio – testa with warm potatoes and oregano mustard and Uovo e pomodoro – a poached Japanese egg, ‘nduja, pecorino romano, and garlic fett’unta.

Pasta dishes are fantastic as a starter, main or to share. Signatures include Bucatini al amatriciana - guanciale, charred onion, spicy tomato sauce, fresh Italian parsley, and pecorino romano, Linguini vongole with white wine, pancetta, oregano, and pepperoncini, and Spaghetti bottarga with fennel, toasted garlic, slow roasted tomatoes, and bottarga di muggine.

For Secondi, Vinny’s rustic Italian style is showcased in the Pan roasted whole mullet served with braised artichokes, charred lemon and chili “citronette”, the Dry rubbed ribeye served with crispy Prosecco potatoes, garlic anchovy aioli and the Citrus oregano marinated chicken with balsamic onions, brocolini and heirloom “salsa pomodori” – all presented on wooden cutting boards. For seafood lovers, the Saffron basil brodetto is a saffron broth with langoustines, cockles, fett’unta, and melted leek aioli.

Dolci include Bomboloni - sweet Italian fritters with currant jam and Roasted figs in saba - gorgonzola dolce, caramelized figs, and almond cookie crumble, and a wide range of quality Italian cheeses.

“Think delicious rustic dishes from a modern perspective -- and authentic Napolitana pizzas that we know you’ll love,” says Yenn. The pizzas at 208 follow in the tradition of Yenn’s award-winning Italian restaurant at JIA Shanghai, Issimo.

208’s pizzas are created by Enzo Carbone, a seasoned chef and Napolitana pizza specialist, and implemented at 208 under the watchful eye of Chef Vinny Lauria. Enzo comes from a family of trattoria owners in Naples. The pizzas are prepared to the specifications of The Association Verace Pizza Napoletana – using only buffalo mozzarella from Campana and the freshest ingredients and baked in a custom-designed pizza oven shipped in from Naples – ensuring that the aromas of Italy penetrate the venue. The signature is the D.O.C with cherry tomato, mozzarella and basil.

At the Bar, award-winning Chris Boersma, 208’s Man About the Bar has created a unique beverage direction with a dynamic menu of cocktails and wines that reflect the personality of this buzzy New York-style restaurant and bar. The dynamic list of wines complements the rustic Italian cuisine – with more than 20 wines by the glass, and a further 45 by-the-bottle. The selection tells a story of new vs. old, matching a vibrant new take on old world products, against carefully selected “will-be-classics” from the new world - a bold and refreshing cross-over.

Having specialized in cocktails at notable venues like The Lark and Café Vue, an offspring of the renowned Vue de Monde, Melbourne-born Chris backs up 208’s wine list by a 20 strong cocktail list, again adding subtle surprises. Reintroducing the Sherry Cobbler, Gibson, New York Sour, Bronx and Old-fashioned, along with coolers, fizzes and the unashamedly full-bodied 208 Manhattan, it injects a sense of class and “adult” back into drinking cocktails. “Cocktails began life as aperitifs and we try to keep that much intact. Vermouths, Bitters, Sherries, wines, small batch Bourbons, 100% Agave Tequilas, freshly squeezed juices and only imported Mexican limes, set the tone here” says Chris.

The Bar is a destination in itself for evening entertainment and casual dining; drinks are paired with a full menu of salumi, pizza, antipasti and gelati.

The interior design of 208 contrasts with the local architecture of the old building in which it is housed. In their first Asian appointment, Turkish design company Autoban has created inspired interiors. Autoban was named “Best Young Designers" by Wallpaper* in 2004 and awarded “Best Restaurant” design by the same in 2006. They are more recently known for their design of Witt Istanbul Suites, a Condé Nast Traveller Hot List hotel in 2009.

“We were inspired by the district surrounding 208, and used that and the New York-style Italian menu to create the design story within the space. Art and design play a large part in the make-up of the restaurant’s surroundings, creating a fresh Bohemian energy that we hope to have captured,” says Autoban’s Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar.

A natural and genuine feel is imbedded in the design direction. Raw materials are featured throughout the space - steel pillars, marble table tops and solid walnut floors and ceiling. The interior walls are covered in specially designed blue and white ceramic tiles printed with Chinese illustrations. Playful and interesting Autoban furnishings add a whimsical element to the space. On the bar table, Italian words narrate the traditional recipe for Italian pizza. An interior staircase leads up to the restaurant.

“The story told throughout the restaurant gives it a unique signature style - the ceramics on the wall provide it a personal identity, and the chosen primary raw materials offer warmth and a human touch to the design,” says Seyhan and Sefer.

The 4,000 square foot space seats 52 people in the Restaurant and 32 for dining at the Bar. There is also a cosy private dining room for up to 18 people on the lower floor.

Address: 208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: +(852) 2549 0208

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Qantas Next Generation Check-in

Qantas says it has worked closely with Australian designer Marc Newson in the design of its new Next Generation Check-in experience, which will launch in
Perth next week.

It will feature product elements including a new Qantas Frequent Flyer Card, Q Card Reader and Bag Drop facility. The Q Bag Tag, a world first, was designed exclusively for Qantas by Newson.

The new Qantas Frequent Flyer Card features an “intelligent Q” smart chip and will act as a permanent boarding pass, replacing eligible customers’ existing Frequent Flyer cards. The card will be used at various points throughout the experience, including at check-in, at bag drop, and to board the aircraft. Customers arriving at the airport who have not yet checked in online or via their mobile device, will be able to simply touch their card at an all-new Q Card Reader located throughout the check-in hall. The simple and clean design of the Q Card Reader will provide both visual and audible recognition of successful check-in.

All customers travelling with bags will be able to use the new Bag Drop service at Next Generation Check-in airports. The Bag Drop injector has been designed to ensure the Bag Drop process is simple and quick for all customers and will eliminate queuing for those travelling with bags.

Throughout the Perth trial of Next Generation Check-in, construction and training will continue in Sydney, which will be ready to launch later in 2010, followed by
Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra in 2011. The program is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2011.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Family of missing Britain abroad launch appeal on his birthday

London - The family of missing British journalist ...Michael Dixon has today launched an awareness campaign to mark his first birthday since going missing abroad. Michael, who will turn 34 on the 19th July 2010, vanished without trace after leaving his hotel while on holiday in Tamarindo, Costa Rica last October (the same town where Australian tourist, Brendan Dobbins went missing in 2005).

To mark his birthday the family has launched T-shirts featuring "Help Find Michael Dixon" with some facts about his disappearance. This t-shirt can be purchased for £12.00 on the webpage.

People buying the T-shirt are being asked to support the search by wearing the T-Shirt on Michael's birthday and sendng a picture of themselves to The campaign is supported by several celebrities including Grace Jones and Kiss FM DJ
Shortee Blitz.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of Michael's disappearance and to help the family fund what is now a 10-month-long effort to find out what has happened to him.The funds made from selling the T-shirt will support expenses to find Michael such as the hiring of Personal Investigators and professional search teams.

David Dixon, Michael's brother said: "We will never give up looking for Michael, but we can't do this alone. Please support us by wearing this T-shirt. By wearing the T-shirt we hope to raise awareness Michael's case and remind the world about the many people who go missing abroad without a trace. There are many families like ours who go through the pain of not knowing what happened to their brother, sister, son or daughter."

Michael Dixon, a British journalist based in Brussels, disappeared while on vacation in Costa Rica. He was reportedly last seen on October 18th leaving his hotel in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. To date there are no leads as to what may have happened to Michael, it is thought he has fallen victim of a crime.

David Dixon
Please help find my Brother Michael Dixon!

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Kai to Pie: A Taste of Russia this Weekend

World on Your Plate: Russian
This Saturday, 11am - 3pm
Free (gold coin donation for tastings)
Join chef Olga Podtikanova, and Iryna Zhemchugova of Vintage Café for a demonstration of Russian cooking followed by food tastings. They will prepare Siberian Pelmeni (Siberian meat dumplings) and Pierogi. In addition, enjoy performances of Russian children's songs, folk music and a performance from soprano Viktoriya Dodoka, singing songs to Rachmaninov.

Pierogi: An Eastern European Icon
At this weekend's Russian World on Your Plate, you will have the chance to taste Pierogi. Pierogi are semi-circular dumplings of unleavened dough stuffed with a variety of fillings such as mashed potato, cheese, sauerkraut, spinach, meat and even fruit fillings such as strawberry, raspberry and cherry depending on the cook's preference.
Pierogi are popular in Russia, Eastern Europe, and America due to the large Eastern European immigrant population - there is even a Pierogi Festival held in Indiana.
Make your own pierogi with a recipe on our blog from Iryna Zhemchugova of Vintage Café.


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P&O Cruises Makes a Splash on Dravuni

P&O Cruises has made a splash on Fiji’s Dravuni Island with the launch of a new landing pontoon for cruise ships.

A joint effort between P&O Cruises and local authorities, the modular pontoon was assembled by local residents and contractors over two weeks. Almost all of Dravuni’s 80 residents - including its children who were given time off school - gathered to mark the completion of the pontoon as P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel became the first ship to use the island’s new addition last month.

New Zealand based superliner Pacific Pearl - which arrives in Auckland in late December - will also use the new pontoon during the 2011 cruise season. The pontoon is important to the island’s operational needs as a tender port and also signifies P&O Cruises’ commitment to the South Pacific.

Jenny Lourey, Senior Vice President of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said the modular pontoon was the first of its kind for the cruise line’s South Pacific ports. “It is very important to us that we work with local communities and contribute to the destinations that we visit and the pontoon is evidence of this,” Ms Lourey said. “The pontoon arrived at Dravuni like a Lego set and the local people had the task of helping to assemble it. Everyone is very proud of this new piece of equipment.”

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Up close with the migration shuttle is a 2 night / 3 day road safari with daily
departures to the Mara. The shared transport brings down the cost significantly and
you get to choose your ideal accommodation. Starts from USD more

Two nights wings over the Mara Migration Special - an ideal safari
for those who love their comfort with little time on their hands. A
variety of accommodation is available. Starting from USD 690.... read more

The Wildbeest Migration Special is a 7 night seat in a bus safari, with a
fixed departure date - 21st July 2010. A basic camping tour that besides
the migration,takes to other wildlife rich areas of Kenya like Samburu
Starting from USD 1,325 more

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Auckland Museum Library Throws Spotlight on Food

The Auckland Museum Library, one of the country’s most significant research libraries, is throwing its doors open in a series of food-based talks examining its rarely seen collections of menus, archives and recipe books.

The Food For Thought talks, which run for half a dozen Saturdays starting this weekend, will introduce participants to fascinating treasures all around the theme of food. The July 24 discussion - A Century of Recipe Books - is already booked out. Spaces are limited on these popular talks, so make sure you book in advance.

On Saturday August 14, Perrin Rowland will talk about her soon-to-be-published book Dining Out: A History of the Restaurant in New Zealand, based on research in the Library’s collections. Perrin will discuss what it was like to dine out in 19th and 20th century New Zealand and lead participants on a gustatory journey through the decades.

There will be tales of luxurious dining during the golden age, to the effects of licensing and the Depression years, to the rise of ethnic restaurants and the coming of age of modern New Zealand fine dining.

The talks will also examine the Library’s extensive historical research resources on the bee and the food it produces (31 July), an exploration of the Spice Islands (7 August) and an explanation of how sugar has been obtained and used in and around New Zealand (21 August). See the WEBSITE for more information.

The talks are part of the Museum’s wider Kai to Pie – Auckland on Your Plate exhibition, which runs until October 24. Bookings for these free talks are essential and can be made through or phone 09 306 7070 ext 681.

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Detox and Weight Loss Holidays

Spa in Spain

Detox and Weight Loss Holidays are a trend. SIS - Spa In Spain notices an increasing demand in these type of holidays. They have become an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. SIS - Spa In Spain is re­sponding to this trend by adding the new category ¨Detox and Weight Loss¨ to their website.


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Girlfriend Getaway - Samoa!

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3 day sale - fares to Aussie on Emirates from $199 return!!!

These fares are return per person (airfare, tax total)
Sydney from Auckland
Travel 21 July - 30 Nov 2010*
$199 $162 $361

Sydney from Christchurch
Travel 01 August - 30 Nov 2010*
$219 $159 $378

Melbourne from Auckland
Travel 01 August - 30 Nov 2010*
$239 $138 $377

Brisbane from Auckland
Travel 21 July - 30 Nov 2010* $219 $165 $384

*Blackouts in the school holidays (dammit!)

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Wi-Fi a No-Go unless free reports that travellers used to getting a free wireless Internet connection on land aren’t willing to pay for one at 30,000 feet.

It says wireless Internet service on airlines hasn’t caught on, mostly because of the price. Travellers already paying US$25 to check a bag and $20 for a roomier seat don’t want to fork over $5 or more for Wi-Fi unless it’s necessary. They’re
saving their Web surfing for solid ground, where “hot spots” offer the service at no charge.

Airlines have offered promotions, including some free service, to draw attention to their Wi-Fi. But experts say only about 10% of pax on Web-enabled flights have taken

Airline technology consultant Michael Planey thinks Wi-Fi will be free as early as mid-2011, and carriers will work on ways to cover the cost, perhaps through sponsorship by big companies who would make money through advertisements.

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Oculus: An Eye into St Paul’s

St Paul’s Cathedral in London this week opened a 270-degree film experience, the first project of its kind in a cathedral.

Oculus: An Eye into St Paul’s uses projection technology to immerse visitors in the stories and 1,400-year history of the cathedral. It shows visitors what Saxon London and the first St Paul’s building must have been like in AD604. The story
includes the Great Fire of London in 1666, after which the existing cathedral was built by Sir Christopher Wren. Visitors will also see London during the Blitz, when for many people St Paul’s became a symbol of strength, survival and hope.

Two virtual access films open up areas of the cathedral that visitors with mobility issues might not otherwise be able to reach. The first film flies visitors through the dome, the Whispering Gallery and the Golden Gallery with its panoramic views across the city. A second film reveals Wren’s room-sized Great Model. Four-metre high projections take visitors into the interior of the model to show it in close-up

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First the Zorb, now the Zurf reports that, after a number of years of finetuning the design, ZORB has announced the launch of its latest product, the ZURF. A 3m x 3m inflatable cylinder with two open ends, the Zurf allows riders to climb inside the 1.8m interior and roll the ZURF around. The ZURF can safely hold three adults or up to five children.

Designed using similar technology and manufacturing processes to that of the ZORB globe, the ZURF is a durable, quality, NZ-made product. Its design enables a wide range of uses. The ZURF is a versatile amusement device available to the public for use as a fun activity on flat ground, or sheltered bodies of water. It is not designed for rolling down hills.

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Queens Wharf battle over

The Government and the Auckland Regional Authority have thrashed out a deal that will see the Rugby World Cup fan zone based on Queens Wharf, as originally announced by PM John Key, but his plan for a cruise ship terminal has been stymied.

Shed 11 at the harbour end of the wharf will be dismantled and removed to make way for the temporary steel, glass and PVC ‘Cloud’ structure. This will be the RWC2011 “Party Central” fan zone with festival events, industry showcasing, and international media and VIP hosting.

Shed 10, the one closest to land and on the eastern side of the wharf, is to be given a cosmetic tart-up and its ground floor will also be used as part of the fan zone. NZPA reports that passengers arriving on chartered cruise ships for the event will be processed at other ports before berthing in Auckland, obviating the need for Customs and Immigration facilities.

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully says the intention is to leave decisions relating to the wharf’s long-term development as well as the future of Shed 10 in the appropriate hands of the new Waterfront Development Agency, which will take over from the ARC on 01NOV.

Auckland mayor John Banks says this makes it possible to stand back and take a long-term view, with the new agency delivering an integrated plan for the whole of the waterfront from Westhaven to Bledisloe.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Cunard Line Announces 2012 World Voyages

Cunard Line has announced details of its 2012 world voyages on the new Queen Elizabeth and legendary flagship Queen Mary 2, marking a 90-year legacy of annual circumnavigations.

On sale in New Zealand from Friday July 16, the new program features a 107-day journey around the globe on Queen Elizabeth and a 108-day voyage on Queen Mary 2, which will include the liner’s first circumnavigation of Australia.

Queen Elizabeth makes her way to New Zealand in February and will be in Auckland on February 20, Napier on February 21 and Wellington on February 22.

Between them, the two liners will visit 60 ports across 33 countries, with their voyages including a host of maiden visits such as Queen Mary 2’s first call to the spectacular sand dunes of Namibia’s Swakopmund.

Early booking savers are available on the full world voyages with fares starting from $32,369 per person twin share for Queen Elizabeth’s journey which departs Southampton on January 10, 2012.

Meanwhile, Cunard is offering a host of line voyages and sectors on both liners including:
o 67 nights sailing on Queen Elizabeth from Auckland to Southampton visiting ports in Australia, Asia, India, the Middle East and Europe, priced from $20,689 pp twin share
o 15 nights sailing on Queen Elizabeth from San Francisco to Auckland via Hawaii, Samoa and Fiji, priced from $5,419 per person twin share
o 19 nights sailing on Queen Mary 2 from Sydney to Hong Kong via Papua New Guinea, Japan and China, priced from $5689 per person twin share
o 24 nights sailing from Sydney to Singapore on Queen Elizabeth visiting Malaysia, China, Vietnam and Thailand with fares starting from $7469 per person twin share

Onboard credits of up to US$1,500 per person are also available to guests booking liner or full voyages.

Launching in October this year, Queen Elizabeth’s complete circumnavigation will see her sail from the UK to New York, Fort Lauderdale and through the Panama Canal to Costa Rica and Mexico before visiting San Francisco and sailing south to New Zealand and Australia. She then heads north to Asia and through the Suez Canal to visit the Mediterranean before returning to Southampton.

QM2 will leave Southampton for Madeira and the Canary Islands before visiting Namibia and South Africa enroute to Australia where she will complete a historic circumnavigation of the continent. After sailing north to Asia she will visit ports throughout the Middle East and Europe before returning to the UK.

For more details on the 2012 world voyages visit a licensed travel agent, call Cunard on 0800 543 431 or visit

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Autumn is one of the best times of the year to enjoy Europe.

The summer crowds have gone home, the summer heat has died down, but it’s still warm and sunny and some of Europe’s sights, such as the Alps, are at their best with cooler, crisp air making it the ideal time to see Europe’s highlights.

With its massive panoramic windscreen, few cars are better suited to seeing the sights and travelling around Europe than the Citroen C4 Picasso and for the European autumn, Citroen DriveEurope, the best way to get behind the wheel in Europe, is offering seven free days, a 50 per cent discount on pick up and return outside France and special deals for customers who have enjoyed the Citroen DriveEurope experience during the last five years.

For travelers looking for the unique luxury of a large Citroen sedan or wagon, the Citroen C5 is available with nine free days and a 50 per cent discount on pick up and return outside France.

Both offers, which represent savings of up to $450 plus the free days, are available on vehicles booked by 15 October delivery from 1 September until the end of the year subject to availability.

The Citroen DriveEurope programme beats conventional rental cars not just because of its lower costs, but also because all the arrangements are made in New Zealand in New Zealand dollars, so there are no hidden charges. Citroen DriveEurope not only guarantees that the booked car is what is waiting for you in Europe, it is also possible to specify equipment such as SatNav, child seats and snow chains. Also, unlike rental cars, Citroen DriveEurope cars may be used right across Europe, as far afield as the Ukraine, Iceland and Morocco.

Full details are available on 09 573 7788 or Citroen’s DriveEurope web site,

The Citroen DriveEurope programme includes:

· A brand new "Tax Free" car.
· New Car Factory Warranty.
· Comprehensive vehicle insurance (including fire, theft and third party).
· No insurance excess payable.
· Unlimited kilometres.
· Free pick up and return at over 20 locations in France. (Additional European locations available with surcharge.)
· All paperwork and payment completed prior to travel.
· No hidden extras.
· No extra charge for additional drivers.
· Special student arrangements.
· Minimum driver age of 21 years old with a full driver's licence.
· No upper age limit.
· Service support at over 15,000 centres throughout Europe and UK.
· Assurance of 24 Hour Assistance in over 40 countries

The Vehicle may be used in the following countries:

San Marino
Serbia & Montenegro
Balearic Islands
(ex Macédonia)
Spain (including the Canary Islands)
Czech Republic
Islamic Republic of Iran
United Kingdom

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Its festival season in Cairns and to celebrate, the five-star Pullman Reef Hotel Casino has accommodation packages on offer for those who want to visit the top end for an artistic and cultural adventure in Tropical North Queensland this August.

The annual Cairns Festival celebration will also take place from 20 August until 5 September, hosted by Cairns Council and the local community for the past 48 years. Highlighting the cities unique top end culture, tropical lifestyle and multicultural diversity, this year’s event features some 60 diverse projects at venues and locations all over Cairns.

Some of the home-made Cairns creative projects slated for the 2010 season include a musical dinner theatre production exploring the legend and wonders of Paronella Park, several diverse jazz programs, and a classical music event presented by Cairns Civic Theatre and directed by noted local violinist Leigh Paine. Local foodie Nola Craig has organised our culinary celebration, Taste Paradise, from Palm Cove to The Pier.

In addition, Festival event partners will be presenting a new theatre work intended for the Botanic Gardens, the popular Big Band Extravaganza offered by CairnsBands with the Australian Army Band, and a multi-site photographic installation.

A highlight of the 2010 Cairns Festival will undoubtedly be the Cairns Indigenous Arts festival takes place on Friday the 20th of August, showcasing the best contemporary and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. The display and art sale is on at the Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns (46 Collins Street), and entry is free.

This is a unique and special event which invites first-time buyers, investors and the curious to seek out exciting new artists and view paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography, new media art, works on paper and fibre art, while enhancing their understanding of Queensland's Indigenous arts.

Priced from A$395 per coupe per night twin share, Pullman’s Cairns Festival package includes:

Accommodation in Junior Suite at the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns
Access to a luxurious Audi A4 car for up to four hours to drive at leisure and enjoy the best that the Festival has to offer
A gourmet hamper and sparkling wine on arrival
Expert assistance from the Pullman concierge team to assist in finding out the best that Festival Cairns has to offer

The offer is available for stays and sale from the 1st of August until the 5th of September 2010 when the festival concludes.

To book, call the hotel on (07) 4030 8888. Visit

With its contemporary style and décor, choice of bars and award winning restaurants an boasting its own Rainforest Dome experience, the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns is the perfect holiday hotel situated in the heart of the city, overlooking tranquil Trinity Bay.

The hotel is the most prestigious accommodation and entertainment complex in Cairns and features 128 rooms and suite options for those who wish to upgrade to enjoy an indulgent Jacuzzis-style spa bath and private garden balcony.

35-41 Wharf Street
Cairns QLD 4870 Australia
Ph: +61 (0) 7 4030 8888
Fax: +61 (0) 7 4030 8777

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Club Med Cherating Becomes Eco-Certified

Club Med Cherating and its hard working staff have been awarded two important eco-certifications for their involvement in sustainability.

The resort has been awarded the Green Globe Silver and Earth Check Silver awards which support Club Med Cherating’s position as an Eco Resort.

Club Med Cherating is located in the heart of a protected natural site on the eastern coastline of Malaysia. The resort rests in the jungle – a unique natural site which Club Med is eager to preserve. Guests at Club Med Cherating Beach can enjoy their experience of holidaying close to nature with the knowledge that Club Med is helping preserve the area.

Club Med Cherating Beach and the surrounding forests are home to a number of special animals including rare birds and endangered sea turtles. Club Med has a partnership with the Turtle Sanctuary and supports the release of turtles back into the wild.

The resort has an extensive social and environmental sustainability program as well as a sustainable purchasing policy where local and environmentally friendly suppliers are preferred. Recycling and compost procedures are in place and they are also trialing the use of biodiesel in their shuttle. Solar panels have been installed to produce hot water for the staff to save energy.

The restaurants at Club Med Cherating Beach provide food with a focus on healthy, natural choices. A selection of the buffet offerings use organic product and there is also extensive anti-oxidant and low G.I food options as well as a vegetarian corner. Club Med Cherating Beach is one of 12 “Table Coup de Coeur” status resorts which guarantees delicious, creative cuisine and immaculate service.

Club Med holidays are all inclusive so guests can enjoy the fabulous food and beverage offerings as well as activities and entertainment without worrying about an additional bill at the end of their holiday. Kids club facilities are also included in the package price at their family friendly resorts.

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A relaxing getaway gift for the special ‘dad’ in your life or a treat to celebrate the coming of spring!

The Bay of Many Coves Resort will celebrate Craggy Range Wines with a special luxury weekend escape package that runs from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 September.

The luxury weekend will be highlighted by a full degustation dinner on Saturday night when Resort Executive Chef Jonno Rogers will outline the dishes he has prepared and winemaker Steve Smith will tell you the story of the Craggy Range Wines you will be enjoying.

The package includes two night’s accommodation in the Resort’s luxury apartments, a welcome glass from the Craggy Range cellar, a three course arrival night dinner, and transfer to and from Picton. Each evening, guests will have the chance to win a Makoha Spa treatment for the following day.

Reservations are limited. To find out more see

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