When most of us plan to visit Queenstown we conjure up images of a resort town surrounded by spectacular snow-capped mountains and stunning crystal clear lakes that is renowned for its adrenaline pumping adventure activities. But there is also another element to Queenstown that offers a much more relaxed style of tourism – wine.
Talking with the Queenstown Bella Vista Motel we got to know a little more on how rapidly the wine industry has expanded in this region. From just 11 wineries in 1996 to 75 wineries by 2004, the focus has been on producing quality wines rather than bulk wines. And now Central Otago boasts 200 wineries within 40 minutes from the centre of town, best known for their Pinot Noirs but also white wine varieties as well.
At 45 degrees south of the equator, Central Otago is the southernmost wine region in the world. The cool continental climate, the unique soil conditions and climate conditions all combine to allow talented local winemakers to produce some exceptional award winning wines.
There are many ways for you to explore this wine region and the friendly staff at your Bella Vista accommodation are more than happy to help you organise transport either by self-drive or a local wine tour company. If you are feeling a little indulgent why not be personally chauffeur driven around at your own pace taking in the amazing scenery as you go.
The hardest choice will be deciding on which wineries you want to visit! Gibbston Valley, or ‘Valley of the Vines’ is the perfect location to start, only 25 minutes from Queenstown it’s one the most picturesque wine growing areas in New Zealand. Stand amongst the vines, sip on a Pinot Noir and marvel at the stunning backdrop of craggy schist mountains and the rocky Kawarau River gorge. Here is a little snippet on a few to get you started.
Chard Farm has a spectacular location situated on a terrace above the Kawarau Gorge River and reached by a precipitous road. Specialising in Pinot Noir its Cellar Door is open 7 days a week for tastings.
The Gibbston Valley Winery
One of the area’s founding wineries Gibbston Valley Winery is renowned worldwide for handcrafting premium wines. Its home to the country’s largest wine cave, a tasting room, gourmet restaurant and bike centre. Daily wine tasting and cave tours are on offer where you can visit ‘Home Block’ the regions oldest vineyard. With a variety of wine tasting options available from Varietals to Pinot Noirs its every wine lover’s paradise.
A great pairing to your wine experience is a stop at the Gibbston Valley cheesery next door offering complimentary tastings on their handcrafted European style cheeses.
Peregrine Winery, set out like the sweep of a falcon’s wing in flight, welcomes visitors for tastings and cellar door sales daily focusing on Pinot Noir and also an array of aromatic white wines including Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose and Methode Traditionelle.
Mt Rosa Winery
Located in the heart of Gibbston Valley the Mt Rosa tasting room is in the old woolshed. They produce Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Rose and of course their famous Mulled Wine.
The tasting room at Brennan Wines sits in the centre of the family vineyards surrounded by vines and the mountain scenery. It was converted from the old vineyard shed and has a rustic kiwi charm. The winery is open daily for tastings including examples of Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Rose, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, and Tempranillos.or match the perfect wine with one of their tasting platters.
Book your Queenstown accommodation at Bella Vista Queenstown and you are at the gateway to the Central Otago wine region. We look forwad to hosting you.
Rotorua Bella Vista recently ran a Facebook competition to win a free weekend in Rotorua as guests of Bella Vista Motel. This included two nights accommodation in a Superior Studio complete with full complimentary continental breakfasts.
Tom Parkin, the winner generously gifted the prize to his daughter Dani and her husband Gordon. The winners had a fabulous time and hit the ground running immediately upon check-in. Here's an account of their amazing Rotorua weekend.
From their Bella Vista Rotorua accommodation it was time to start; first on the list was a peaceful and scenic cruise along the shores of Lake Rotorua aboard the Lakeland Queen. They relaxed into the spectacular scenery of Ohinemutu, Mokoia Island and the summit of Mount Tarawera while the chefs prepared them a meal, so they dining in luxury with a delicious lunch.
It was then time to amp things up a bit and off they went to the Famous Redwood forest where they had a complimentary entrance into the Redwood Treewalk. The Redwoods Treewalk is a 553-m walkway that consists of a series of 23 suspension bridges traversing the gaps between 22 majestic 115-year-old Redwood trees. The bridge sections gradually incline from 6-m in height to a stunning 12-m at its peak. Rain or shine, The Redwood Treewalk is a must do activity. From there it was back to Bella Vista Motel.
Time was pressing as they returned to Bella Vista to freshen up before they were collected and whisked away to be hosted by the fabulous Mitai Maori Village. They were met with a warm and personalized meet and greet from one of the beautiful Maori Maidens dressed in the traditional attire.
During the evening they experienced warriors in traditional dress paddling an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream. They were entertained with captivating songs, dances and games in a rich powerful entertaining cultural concert, complete with the spine tingling “Haka” Maori war dance. Then they got to view the uplifting of the hangi from the earth cooked oven (Hangi Pit). The authentic hangi dinner includes a hot selection of succulent New Zealand meats and poultry, delicious vegetables and fresh salads, topped off with tempting dessert buffet style. At the close of the evening, they were delivered home to Bella Vista Motel for a deep and peaceful sleep.
The next morning after a good sleep and a full complementary continental breakfast at Bella Vista Motel Rotorua, it was off to Te Puia for The Day Tour Experience. This kicked off with Te Puias’ famous Haka/ cultural performance and then they came face to face with the Pōhutu Geyser, jumping mud-pools, and live kiwi birds. They got to watch master carvers and weavers at work, and hear the guides share stories passed down from their ancestors.
Now it was time for a late lunch compliments of Lovely India Restaurant where they got to try a selection of traditional Indian food from the menu. How to describe this restaurant? Well we'd receommend you go there and be treated to delicious Indian fare from the entrees/ starters and work your way through the menu options. They cater to the traditional vegetarian through to meat and seafood eaters.
After lunch Dani and Gordon enjoyed some free time to themselves for the afternoon to explore Rotorua a little more.
That evening it was time to be welcomed by CBK (Craft Beer & Kitchen) renown as a cosy neighbourhood retreat. CBK brings the best of New Zealand craft beers, ciders and culinary delights, because when you enter CBK, it’s all about you. Home to 60 Craft Beers & stonegrill. Their menu features the best cuts on a 400°C volcanic hot stone, juicy burgers, sensational smoked dishes, amazing steaks, and sensational small plates. Dani and Gordon will remember CBK as a lively and unpretentious sanctuary, where the service is brilliant, the food as exceptional and the craft beer was just for you.
On their last morning and following another complimentary continental breakfast from Bella Vista Motel it was time for the last of their activities…. Polynesian Spa for an early morning relaxing dip in the geothermal therapeutic mineral water pools. There are 28 different hot pools that come from two different natural springs: The Priest Spring is named after Father Mahoney, a Catholic Priest who was ‘cured’ of his crippling arthritis from bathing in the waters in 1878. The slightly acidic water from the Priest Spring relieves tired muscles, aches and pains. The Rachel Spring is a source of alkaline water, which features the antiseptic action of sodium silicate nourishing the skin. It was historically said that those who bathe in the waters of the Rachel Spring are blessed with ageless beauty.
Finally it was back to Bella Vista Motel for a pre-arranged late checkout and then as they left Rotorua one last treat. Skyline Rotorua Gondola is the most spectacular way to take in the 180 degree views of Lake Rotorua, the city and surrounding district. And no visit would be complete without a ride down one of Skyline’s luge tracks. With three different track options and over 5kms of track to ride, once is certainly never enough! Riders have full control, over the 3 wheel, gravity-based luge cart.
As this was the guests last complimentary activity, we can all say, visit completed! There is never enough time to touch, taste, see, hear and do when it comes to Rotorua. Our guests had a full on weekend and barely scratched the surface.
Bella Vista Motel was happy to have hosted our first competition winners and we would like to thank all of the above mentioned businesses and activity operators who contributed to making this a success.
You’ll need to pinch yourself, Te Anau is the epitome of natural perfection. The gateway to Fiordland and a nature lovers paradise, with National Parks, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and world famous walks all on your doorstep. Te Anau is the perfect launching pad for further exploration and a destination in it's right.
For those with the desire to stay somewhere off the typical Queenstown tourist trail, Te Anau is a magical choice, with beauty and splendor everywhere you look. Overnighting in Te Anau also has the added benefit of cutting down travel times, Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound are the well-known heroes of the area and what the majority of visitors will come to experience. Although these destinations can be done as a day trip from Queenstown, it does make for a very long day. Choosing to stay in Te Anau allows a few more hours in the day to explore and enjoy everything on offer.
The picturesque Te Anau township is located on the south-eastern shores of the South Island’s largest lake (344 sq km), Lake Te Anau. In Maori legend, the name Te Anau means: Te: the, Ana: cave, and au: swirling. The name came from the story there were caves located on the lake’s shore filled with numerous glow worms and an underground torrent that ran through the cave. The story was true so read on for more on this story and what else you can do in and around Te Anau.
Te Anau GlowWorm Caves
Rediscovered in 1948 by a local man called Lawson Burrows, the Te Anau Glow Worm caves are an icon of Te Anau tourism both locally and internationally. They are a must do experience if you are staying in the town. A combination of caverns and water holes, the caves have been carved out from the limestone rock and now host a wonderful colony of glow worm's which can be experienced by punt in perfect darkness. To reach the caves you will need to take a 20-minute boat journey from Te Anau town centre. Tours to the glow worm caves operate at least twice daily from Te Anau wharf.
The Milford Road is a 2.5-hour drive from Te Anau and is one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand, with phenomenal sights and short walks dotted along the way. You’ll pass valleys, waterfalls, peaks and onto Homer Tunnel, which has been carved from solid granite. The tunnel signals the steep descent to Milford Sound. This drive can be done as a self-drive or by choosing one of the many coach options that depart from Te Anau daily. Those opting to drive yourself need to know a few things before departing: Te Anau is the last petrol stop before Milford Sound, so make sure the car is full as you’ll need to travel two hours each way, there is no mobile phone coverage between Te Anau and Milford and you’ll need to drive with chains in the winter months.
The drive, however, is only the beginning. When you arrive and are out on a cruise on the fiord you’ll be completely blown away. To attempt to describe the beauty of Milford Sound will never do it justice. Noted by Rudyard Kipling as the Eighth Wonder of the World, rain or shine this place is out of this world.
The most famous of all the fiords in Fiordland National Park, the forest covered mountain peaks, ancient rock formations, sheer cliffs, deep waters, cascading waterfalls and of course the picture-perfect Mitre Peak, are simply stunning.
The Milford Sound cruises on offer vary in their quality and inclusions, so do some research and pick the one that’s best for you or ask at Bella Vista Te Anau’s desk for help when booking.
You become acutely aware of the remoteness of Doubtful Sound as soon as you arrive. To reach Doubtful Sound from Te Anau you take a short drive to Manapouri where you’ll jump aboard a boat to travel across Lake Manapouri, from there a coach will meet you to travel NZ’s most expensive road (over Wilmot Pass) and onto Doubtful Sound.
Doubtful Sound is approximately ten times larger than Milford Sound and the deepest of all the fiords. It offers quite a different experience to the better known Milford and is celebrated for its wilderness, wildlife, stillness and mystery. Visitors to Doubtful Sound are often overcome by a sense of quietness, the ‘place of silence’. When the boat engines are turned off for a period of time this magnified ten-fold.
Doubtful Sound has three distinct arms to it, through your journey you’ll experience mountain peaks, deep coves, plunging waterfalls, wildlife and native flora and fauna.
Three of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks are situated close to Te Anau. Two of the Great Walks start at Lake Te Anau plus there are plenty of local Te Anau walks.
The Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s best-known walks and hikers come from around the world to walk its paths. The 53.5 km track starts at Glade Wharf (at the tip of Lake Te Anau), where you walk to the finishing point of Sandfly Point in Milford Sound. This track can only be walked in one direction and will take 4 days to complete; each night is spent at a pre-booked hut. You’ll trek through magnificent scenery - mountains, forest, wetlands, waterfalls, and wonderful bird and animal life. The Milford Track is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that is highly recommended.
This 60km loop track can be walked in both directions, it starts/finishes at the Kepler Track car park at the southern end of Lake Te Anau. It will take between 3 – 4 days to complete and requires advanced bookings for campsite and hut accommodation. The Kepler Track will introduce you to stunning Fiordland scenery: the fiords, Lake Manapouri and the Murchison Mountains, plus much more, It’s a highlight for everyone that walks it.
This 32km track (one way) will see you walk over valleys, travel through mountain ranges and take in some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery. There are two starting and finishing points and the track can be walked in either direction, one track end is at the Routeburn Shelter (near Glenorchy and 68 km from Queenstown). The other is at The Divide (on the Milford Road, 85 km from Te Anau), or you have the ability to make this a circuit by linking up with the Greenstone and Caples Tracks. Most walkers will take 3 days/2 nights for this walk and there are huts and campsites enroute.
Accommodation in Te Anau
Staying at the Bella Vista Te Anau motel puts you in close proximity to these amazing locations, walks and attractions. We are the closest Te Anau accommodation option the township and literally, a stone's throw from the Te Anau lakefront. Owners Ray & E-min are passionate and knowledgeable about the Fiordland area and are happy to talk you through the various cruise, walking and tour options and help find the right fit for you.
Getting to Te Anau
For those Kiwis that have never travelled to this part of New Zealand, we recommend you take the step and book a few nights in Te Anau. Only this way will you get a real appreciation for the outstanding beauty our country offers. For those overseas travellers, Te Anau and the Fiordland National Park region is a must-do inclusion for your New Zealand itinerary.
We hope the Te Anau weather turns it on for you so if you know when you want to travel, call the Bella Vista motel today and we’ll help you take care of the rest!
Bella Vista network is unique amongst New Zealand motel providers in that every one of our 27 locations across New Zealand provides a similar, consistent design, guaranteeing our customers piece of mind that you know what you are going to get.
What you may not know is that many of our Bella Vista accommodation locations are happy to host meetings, gatherings, interviews, showcases and alike. Fully equipped apartment units with kitchenette's can easily be set up to match whatever style event you are holding. Full catering options are provided and rooms can be hired as part of a package for overnight stays.
Bella Vista Christchurch
With a set of five town-house style apartments as shown in the photo below, there is endless opportunity to operate a small numbered delegate meeting on-site. Situated a short stroll from the historic CBD and set amongst a significant choice of eateries on and around Bealey Avenue, this is a great Christchurch accommodation option to consider using if you need to meet.
Bella Vista Motel & Conference Centre Palmerston North
Unique to the Bella Vista motel network, Palmerston North Bella Vista has an onsite conference room. All the relevant details can be found on the Palmerston North accommodation page. Shown below is the dedicated meeting space which can accommodate up to 30 people in theatre style or 18-20 people in boardroom style. The room is available to hire on a daily rate of $150.
Bella Vista Ashburton
Bella Vista Ashburton is very active in the meeting space. Located at the north end of the township, Ashburton is one hour's drive from Christchurch Airport. Ashburton Bella Vista corporate customers come from across the region to hold team meetings, board meetings and consultations. The meeting spaces are welcoming, modern, meticulously clean and can be configured to your requirements whether it is a boardroom, U shape or lounge style. The rooms are accompanied with kitchen facilities and if your team need to take a break from time to time during a meeting head out to the gardens.
Ashburton Half-Day Meeting - Duration: 4 ½ hours, max 10 people | $120.00 includes complimentary WiFi, tea, coffee and orange juice on arrival, pads, pens, mints, whiteboard and fruit. Morning tea with 2 food 3 choices is $8.00 per person.
Ashburton Full-Day Meeting - Duration: 8 ½ hours, max 10 people | $160.00 includes complimentary WiFi, tea, coffee and orange juice on arrival, pads, pens, mints, whiteboard and fruit. Morning tea and afternoon with 2 food choices is $8.00 per person per setting. A light lunch is available -$15.00 per person.
Ashburton Overnight Meeting - Pricing as per the full day option. | Accommodation starts from $125.00 per room.
Paul & Michelle pictured below would be happy to host your meeting so we encourage you to make contact and book your next meeting in now.
So why waste important time running between your hotel and the meeting space? Bella Vista Accommodation Nationwide can offer you and your team well appointed meeting spaces, affordable accommodation plus breakfast options. Contact any of our 27 locations for more information or call 0800 235 528 to speak to one of our team about your requirements. We look forward to hosting you.
When these cold temperatures head our way there is nothing quite like soaking our bodies in a heaven sent hot pool. Easing away all our aches and pains and taking some time out to relax from our busy lives.
We’ve searched high and low to put together our pick of the top ten hot pools in New Zealand using the best recommendations of our Bella Vista moteliers. For all you need to know of the best places to soak, where to stay and how to get there – take a read below!
Kerosene Creek – Rotorua/Taupo
We’re going to let you in on a bit of a secret with this one, located on the road between Rotorua and Taupo is a very special place – Kerosene Creek. To get there head south from Rotorua, about 0.5km past the Murupara turnoff is Old Waiotapu Rd, it’s approximately 2.2km down this road.
Waiting for you when you arrive is an unbelievable hot springs experience, a basic corrugated iron shed has been built to accommodate bathers changing and once you’re all sorted you’ll jump into a natural hot pool in a surreal bush setting. It doesn't get much better than this, so relax and take in the raw back country beauty of this little gem.
When heading to Kerosene Creek, take your pick of either our Taupo accommodation or Rotorua motel accommodation. Or perhaps make a weekend out of it book into both! Check out Bella Vista Motel Taupo and Rotorua Bella Vista for some fantastic deals.
Polynesian Spa – Rotorua
Treat yourself to some luxury and indulgence at Polynesian Spa. Two natural springs feed into the 28 hot mineral pools at Polynesian Spa. Allow the thermal properties of this water to work its wonder on your skin, aching muscles and body.
This is also the place to go for a spot of pampering, with the Polynesian Spa offering a comprehensive spa therapy menu including geothermal mud wraps, massages, facials. Take some time to unwind and let Polynesian Spa work its magic.
Book into Bella Vista Motel Rotorua when you’re thinking of visiting the Polynesian Spa, its central location sees you only 7 minutes from the spa complex.
AC Baths – Taupo
This one is ideal for the whole family, in fact, AC Baths are almost a rite of passage for kiwi kids young and old. AC Baths offers an awesome all-weather, family-friendly pool complex. There are hours of fun to be had with a large outdoor pool, two toddler areas, two 25-metre lane pools, an indoor learn to swim pool, two hydroslides, a Tarzan swing, four private thermal mineral pools, a sauna and a delicious café. All of the pools in the complex are thermally heated using natural hot water. It’s a wonderful day out for all, so put this one on the to-do list for sure.
The perfect place to book your Taupo motel is Bella Vista Taupo, it’s an easy 4 minute drive to the AC baths and wonderfully central to Taupo activities and dining.
Te Aroha Mineral Springs – Te Aroha
The waters of Te Aroha have played a famous role in health and healing for over 100 years. The mineral spring flowing from beneath Mt Te Aroha provides the source to these magical hot springs, and this relatively unknown hot pools complex offers a quieter, more intimate soak. The mineral salts in the natural spring water are therapeutic, and for bathing, you have the choice of porcelain claw-foot baths or one of the many traditional wooden tubs. If you have a special occasion check out the romance packages, massages and beauty therapy treatments are available here.
Staying at Bella Vista Hamilton allows you to make a day trip out of a visit to Te Aroha Mineral Springs, pack a picnic and be there in less than an hours driving. Bella Vista Motel Hamilton offers a superb choice, positioned slightly out of the CBD in a quiet neighbourhood.
Glacier Hot Pools – Franz Josef Glacier
If you’re looking for something that’s next level memorable, you’ll need to visit the Glacier Hot Pools in Franz Josef Glacier. This has to be one of the most unique hot pool experiences you can get, set in a rainforest on New Zealand’s West Coast these pools are a haven of tranquillity. Three pools weave their way through the lush forest where nature has set the temperature between 36 – 40 degrees centigrade. Buy a single entry or a day long pass depending on your mood and head along to discover Te Puna Mahaki – The pool of calmness, Te Puna Makoha – The pool of tranquillity and Te Puna Marino – The pool of serenity, all named by the local Maori tribe.
Bella Vista offers two great options in this part of the world - the wonderful Franz Josef accommodation just a short stroll from the hot pools and Fox Glacier accommodation if you want to be based further south. Try either Bella Vista Franz Josef or Bella Vista Fox Glacier and book your home away from home.
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa
People come from near and far to relax in this beautiful setting. Take some time to appreciate the views around you, as every which way you turn it’s postcard like mountains or native forest. Hanmer is the epitome of relaxation and these pools go a long way to contribute to this. There’s something for everyone here with private pools, rock pools, sulphur pools, kids pools, hydroslides, you name it!! The natural beauty of this location allows you to escape from reality and enjoy the healing waters of these pools.
When you’re on the lookout for Hanmer Springs accommodation, book into the Qualmark 4 star rated Bella Vista Motel Hanmer Springs for an exceptional stay - it's as good as any Hanmer Springs hotels!
Morere Hot Springs – Gisborne
Soaking in the heated ancient seawaters of Morere Hot Springs is something pretty magical. Set amongst 364 hectares of lush rainforest, the hot springs are piped to a series of private and public pools for all to enjoy. Therapeutic, medicinal and unforgettable, make sure you BYO BBQ food to make a day of it and don’t forget to try out the spectacular rainforest walks in the area when you need a break from the water.
When looking Gisborne motels, our recommendation is the friendly and welcoming Bella Vista Motel Gisborne - a very highligy rates Gisborne accommodation option.
Onsen Hot pools – Queenstown
Queenstown has exceeded itself yet again with an out of this world hot pools facility in a breathtaking location, with views out over the Shotover River Canyon. You’ll find true relaxation calling, as you take a break from the hustle bustle of exploring and partaking in Queenstown adventures, or perhaps it’s an evening trip to the pools after a day skiing on the Queenstown mountains. The cedar hot tubs at Onsen each comfortably seat four people, and once you’re in you’ll not want to get out ever again! Don’t forget to book in advance for this one to ensure you don’t miss out.
There are many Queenstown accommodation options; if you’re looking for one that’s central to town and highly ranked on Trip Advisor, Bella Vista Queenstown is for you.
Ngawha Springs Hot Pools – Kaikohe
Another well-kept secret that only a few are privy to is the tranquil Ngawha Springs in the Northland region. Located in an area rich in culture, kind locals and peaceful surroundings, the hot springs in this area are top notches. Slightly acidic and rich in ammonia, bicarbonate, boron and mercury (which is not typical of other springs in New Zealand) every one of the 15 pools is sourced by an individual spring, dictating its own temperature (some hot, some cold). The pools also vary in colour and clarity, determined by the mineral composition and individual underground source. When one of the pools is called ‘The Doctor’ you get a real understanding of the health and well-being properties available here.
If you book in and stay at Bella Vista Whangarei you can be changed and sit in one of the Ngawha Springs Hot Pools in just over an hour.
Maruia Hot Springs – Lewis Pass
As far as boutique hot pools are concerned, this one’s got it in the bag. Utilising the 100% pure geothermal spring water of the area and generating all of their own hydro-power, the mind and body will slip away into utter relaxation. Maruia offers views of the surrounding Southern Alps and an eco-wellness experience like no other. With 19 Wellness Stations situated across both the indoor and outdoor areas to enjoy, for a complete ‘wellness journey’ allow at least 2.5 hours.
Take your pick of Bella Vista accommodation options for a visit to Mauia Hot Springs – Bella Vista Nelson, Bella Vista Christchurch, Bella Vista Hanmer Springs or Bella Vista Greymouth are all within driving distance.
For further information about hot springs and thermal pools refer to a terrific website called NZ Hot Pools which we found. It offers smart facts about every hot pool and thermal spring in the country.Or check out our latest video update below.
As New Zealand becomes more accustomed to a future that will be dominated by electric powered vehicles (EV), Don & Sharon Macmillan at Bella Vista Whangarei have taken note and installed the first electric charging point of any Whangarei accommodation provider.
The Government’s target of 64,000 Electric Vehicles by 2021 will mean growth in EV usage across all travel sectors including Private, Corporate and Leisure travllers. Furthermore, it is understood a number of leading New Zealand car-rental companies are now considering introducing EV's into their fleets. Those vehicles will need accommodation providers who are able to offer, at the minimum, an overnight charging station.
"It was a little bit of a no-brainer" said Mrs Macmillan. "There was very little hassle involved and we are now able to offer charging facilities for two EV's every night." "Health and safety legislation has effectively ensured, and quite rightly, that you couldn't take shortcuts to offer this service"
Mrs Macmillan commented that whilst take-up has been limited to date, they wanted to stay ahead of the game and future-proof their business. "Our corporate booking agents in Auckland and Wellington are already asking if we have EV stations, so it is only a matter of time" When asked about the cost to her customers, Mrs Macmillan said "We'll be applying a nominal amount on top of our room rate to ensure any overnight charging covers our cost. It's primarily about service and added value for our customers."
Whangarei Bella Vista is a Qualmark endorsed four star plus rated motel. The property offers 18 superior units, is conveniently situated close to the CBD and the main Auckland-Northland highway and caters to every type of traveller needing an overnight break in Whangarei and to those using the town as a base to explore other local destinations.
Bella Vista General Manager Rob Burnell said he was delighted that Bella Vista Whangarei have taken this step. “Bella Vista Accommodation Nationwide will be extending the provision of overnight EV charging across its network of 27 motels in the coming year. We’ve been encouraging our business owners to think ahead in all areas of their business to ensure they are meeting the needs of an ever evolving market place”
For further information contact Bella Vista Whangarei on 09 438 6990
Living life in 2017 can sometimes take its toll, whatever your stresses – work, children or busy lives, a weekend getaway can help make all these worries seem like a distant memory (if only for the weekend!).
If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation weekend, then it’s hard to go past the alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs. Located in the South Island of New Zealand, only an hour and a half scenic drive from Christchurch, Hanmer Springs is one of New Zealand’s most picturesque settings. Offering nature, relaxation and some pretty sensational scenery.
Hanmer is a very special place that we’d love to share with you. So if you’re serious about needing some time out, then this is the spot for you! You’ll enjoy staying at the Bella Vista Hanmer Springs; Steve and Julie are the hosts with the most and previous guests rave about this Hanmer Springs accommodation option - that’s why we see so many repeat visitors year after year! We consider the Bella Vista as the very best of Hanmer Springs motels offering great value for money, comfortable, quality rooms are guaranteed and the location is spot on, close to town the hot pools and world-class dining options.
Many choose this location to do absolutely nothing - possibly apart from a game of tennis on the onsite court - just rest up, read a book and stroll around the village. If that’s your ideal relaxation then boxes are ticked, if you need a little more to see and do, take a read below:
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Award winning Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is set in a fairytale like surroundings. In every direction you look, it’s native forests or mountains. The minerals and thermal properties of the water will work wonders on your body, easing away your stresses and providing your body with some much-needed attention.
The pool complex offers an array of spa treatments for those wanting additional pamper time, and the children are kept busy with family pools, a water playground, activity pools and a hydroslide.
An added bonus to your visit to Hanmer during winter is the spectacular snow-capped mountain backdrop.
The Great Outdoors
Getting back to nature can reap all kinds of de-stress rewards, there are no bosses, deadlines or meetings, just forest and birdsong as far as the eyes and ears can reach.
You’re spoilt for choice with walking trails around Hanmer, from short walks through to full day hikes or longer. A couple of popular ones are: Conical Hill Short Walk (1 hr) A great option for visitors as it offers spectacular views when you reach the top, the trail is pretty and well maintained and there is a picnic table at the summit where you can unpack the sandwiches and take it all in.
Another enjoyable walk is the Waterfall Track (2.5 hrs return) this is a medium fitness level walk that sees you climbing steadily through the forest towards the impressive 40+ metre high Dog Stream Waterfall. This walk is a little harder, but the spectacular falls when you get there to make the effort worthwhile.
The terrain of Hanmer Springs basin makes it ideal for those interested in mountain biking. There are a number of cycling trails through the forest from beginners through to experts and also options for those keen on doing some backcountry tracks. If you pop into the i-SITE when you get there, they’ll be happy to provide all the information you need and also point you in the right direction for hiring bikes and gear.
People find relaxation in all kinds of different ways, for those, a bit more adventure focused Hanmer has it all – jet boating, quad biking, rafting, canoeing, bungy jumping, extreme paintball, the list goes on and on.
There’s nothing like a spot of retail therapy to help calm the body and mind, from clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts or souvenirs, Hanmer Village offers a lovely collection of boutique shops to keep even the fussiest of shoppers happy. p.s. the fudge at the Decadent Fudge Co is out of this world!
This small village of only about 1,000 permanent residents offers a phenomenal amount of places to eat and drink. From take away options and casual dining through to fine dining experiences there’s something to keep everyone happy. Here’s our pick for dining:
Best Takeaways: Coriander’s Restaurant - If you want delicious Indian food to take back to the motel, this will hit the spot.
Best Café: The Powerhouse Café - A café situated in a historic hydroelectric power station, with a fun vibe and great menu.
Best Bar: Monteith’s Brewery Bar Hanmer Springs - Great food, friendly service and a wonderful place to sit back and relax.
Best Restaurant: Malabar Restaurant - people sing the praises of this Asian fusion restaurant; you’ll want to go back again and again.
As you can see, Hanmer Springs is the ideal choice for those that want an escape from day to day life, just for a little while. Give us a call on 0800 BELLA VISTA and we’ll help arrange a relaxing getaway that will give you the boost that you need. But be warned, you may find yourself coming back again and again. Bella Vista Motel Hanmer Springs would love to welcome you.
Beat the wintertime blues this year and explore one of New Zealand’s best visitor locations, Rotorua, during the winter months!
When the calendars move to June, July and August and the temperatures drop, Rotorua turns up the charm and offers something very unique to visitors. Gone is the chaos of the summer months, the activities and attractions are less crowded and you can spend your time taking it all in. The highlights of Rotorua are still as fantastic as ever, with the geothermal activity, tourist attractions, spas, relaxation and Maori culture ready and waiting to impress you.
If you’re thinking of travelling to Rotorua this winter, pack your merinos and warm jackets and book your Rotorua accommodation at Bella Vista Motel Rotorua. The motel location is ideal for a Rotorua getaway, close to town, great restaurants and all the activities you could wish for and it’s directly across from Kuirau Park – NZ’s only geothermal public park. Bella Vista rooms are all wonderfully heated and available in a range of room options and all guests enjoy FREE Wifi.
We’ve taken all the hard work out of planning your winter escape and put together some ideas for your Rotorua winter holiday.
A Geothermal Good Time
There’s something about a chill in the air that draws you towards the warmth of geothermal activity– Whether this be to take in the geothermal sights, a bubbling geyser or treating yourself to a relaxing mud spa treatment. There are not many places in the world where the geothermal activity is as good as this, so come and be awed by what nature has gifted upon the city of Rotorua. Check out a few of these options:
A wonderland of geothermal activity thousands of years in the making, Wai-O-Tapu is a comprehensive and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction where you’ll be amazed by the bubbling mud pools, geysers, sulphur pools and of course, the hero of the park, Lady Knox Geyser erupting at 10.15am each day.
One of Rotorua’s most famous attractions, Hells Gate offers a geothermal overload. Boiling hot pools, erupting waters, 100+ degree temperatures, hot water lakes and even a hot waterfall. Appropriately named by Irish Playwright, George Bernard Shaw "Hellsgate" he truly believed he had arrived at the gates of hell when he first laid eyes on the area. You’ll see for yourself a wealth of geothermal delights and if time allows book into one of the mud bath or spa options and lets nature work its wonder with its health and healing properties.
For over 200 years this living Maori Village has opened its arms and welcomed visitors to experience and view the phenomenal geothermal activity in the area. You’ll be in awe of the geysers, hot springs and mud pools all working in harmoniously with the village way of life. This is rightly one of Rotorua's most popular attractions and offers a unique combination of geothermal activity and a traditional Maori living.
There's nothing quite like warming up on a cool winter’s day in a naturally heated hot pool. Polynesian Spa offers geothermal wellbeing benefits at their best! From bathing in their range of pools to treatments utilising the geothermal properties for health advantages - mud wraps, massages and facials are only a few of the options available. If a bit of pamper time is in order, you won’t go wrong here!
The winter months are the perfect time to visit Rotorua’s attractions. The experiences on offer are always top class; winter just has the added benefit of avoiding the busyness often associated with Rotorua’s peak season. There’s so much on offer in this tourist town: Zorb, Rotorua Luge, Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest, Agroventures, Paradise Valley, we couldn’t possibly list everything, but wrap up warm and get out to try a few of these:
Warm up on a mountain bike
Rotorua is quickly developing quite a reputation for being one of the best mountain biking locations in the world, Red Bull Magazine recently named Rotorua in the top 8 Mountain Biking Destinations on Earth. The winter seasons bring in an array of beautiful colours and layers to the forest areas and there’s nothing like feeling the crisp air on your face as you're zooming along the tracks. From family friendly tracks through to expert trails and the New Zealand Cycle Trail – there’s something for everyone. PS if you don’t have a bike or the gear, it’s no problem as there are many places to assist with rentals.
Wintertime on the farm, you’ll experience the life of a NZ farmer with a visit to the world famous Agrodome. This working farm offers so much to those that visit, a baby animal nursery (about as cute as you’ll ever see), climb aboard an all-terrain vehicle for a farm tour where you’ll feed animals, explore fruit orchards and learn about the land, and not to miss are the sheep dogs and sheep in action at the legendary farm show. You’ll come away with a wealth of farming knowledge and the desire to get your very own Swandri and Red Band gumboots!
Skyline Rotorua – Gondola
The best view on a cool, winter’s day is undoubtedly from the top of Mt Ngongotaha. Take the leisurely gondola ride up and watch the sights of Rotorua and all its beauty stretch out in front of you.
Once at the top you have numerous options to explore, many opt for the thrilling luge ride back down (and do it again and again) other choices include zipline, Skyswing, mountain biking, star gazing (night) or one of the many walking tracks. If you are looking for dining, you’ll enjoy Stratosfare Restaurant or Market Kitchen and something newly added for the adults is the Volcanic Hills Winery and Tasting Room.
Tamaki Maori Village
An authentic Maori cultural experience that will surprise and delight everyone that attends. Tamaki offers an insight into the traditional ways of life, ceremonies, and of course the traditional dances, haka and waiata (songs). The night concludes with a belly warming hangi (meal from an earth oven). It’s a great way to get an insight into New Zealand’s Maori culture and heritage.
Rotorua is a year round destination, however visiting this marvellous city over winter can introduce a completely different side. The fresh weather conditions only add to the experience, making you want to rug up and get out to explore. Plus when you’ve decided what you want to do you’ll find the staff are relaxed, the queues are nonexistent and you might be lucky enough to come across one or two ‘winter specials’ for the activities and attractions.
For us, Rotorua in winter is a winning combination, so make Bella Vista your first choice for Rotorua accommodation option, stay a couple of nights and see for yourself!
Mount Hutt is Canterbury’s very own “big mountain” offers ski and snowboard fans everything you need for an amazing ski holiday in the South Island. The ski field is only 55 minutes drive from Ashburton and there, Bella Vista Ashburton will cater for your every day winter needs.
Whether you are passing through or looking to ride the slopes, Michelle and Paul at Ashburton Bella Vista Motel warmly
welcome you. We have ample safe parking so you can leave your car, avoid parking issues on the mountain. Our superior 4 star smoke free accommodation includes a variety of studios and one bedroom units. You have a choice of king, queen or single beds with electric blankets for those cooler nights.
Wifi is available with a spacious work desk in every room. Units vary from just tea and toast making facilities to those with cooking facilities. We offer continental breakfasts and evening meal charge back facilities, dine in or dine out. You can certainly be assured of a warm welcome at reception where we will assist you in every way possible.
The town of Ashburton offers a perfect base to stay. If you need mountain transport, we can get you up and down the mountain each day safely at $35 per person return right from Bella Vista Ashburton’s front door. And remember, kids under 10 ski for free at Mount Hutt!
Ashburton offers great services and amenities including cinema, theatre, cafes, restaurants, shopping, the Art Gallery and much more. Not to far away from your Ashburton accommodation you’ll find the popular ice skating rink at Staveley, a gorgeous small village with its own little cafe and winter wonderland experience. The drive up to Lake Clearwater is also spectacular.
So dig out the winter woolies and come and learn to ride the slopes! There are some great ski pass deals at Mount
Hutt or if you fancy the day off from skiing, there is plenty to do for all the family in and around Mid-Canterbury region. The season runs from June to October so get in now to grab one of these great packages.
MT HUTT EXCLUSIVE COUPLES DEAL - 2 Adults
Queen Standard Studio with microwave and kitchenette, 10% discount at Robbies Bar & Bistro, 2 free coffee vouchers at Robert Harris Café, buy one – get one free pool pass at the Aquatic Centre, free Wifi and laundry
NZD$110.00 per night
MT HUTT EXCLUSIVE FAMILY DEAL – 2 Adults & 2 Kids
A one bedroom apartment with with a king bed and 2 singles, add a third single on request. Fully equipped kitchen, 10% discount at Robbies Bar & Bistro, 2 free coffee vouchers at Robert Harris Café, buy one – get one free pool pass at the Aquatic Centre, free Wifi and laundry facilities.
NZD$320.00 for a 2 night stay
NZD$170.00 for a 1 night stay
• A Mt Hutt ski pass must be shown to access the exclusive deals.
• The Mt Hutt bus service from the Bella Vista operates on weekends and New Zealand School holidays only
• All bookings MUST be made direct with Bella Vista Ashburton.
A few months back we featured a blog post on Glacier Country and what there was to do in this beautiful part of the world. The feedback took us by surprise and we had a number of people contact us asking for further information. As a result of this we’ve put together a special feature focusing on the various options for those wanting to get out and experience the glaciers first hand, take a read to find out more.
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier are two phenomenal natural attractions on the West Coast of New Zealand. They are a sight to behold and their presence is awe inspiring to everyone that visits. Here in NZ we are privileged to have these glaciers easily accessible and in our own backyard. It’s a fact not many countries get to boast, so make the most of this and embark on a glacier adventure for your next holiday.
First things first, book your Franz Josef accommodation or Fox Glacier accommodation at either of the Bella Vista glacier motels. Bella Vista Motel Franz Josef Glacier and Bella Vista Motel Fox Glacier are both ideally located for glacier adventures, close to the glaciers and guiding companies, handy to the townships and Qualmark 4 star rated to guarantee a quality and comfortable standard of accommodation. Plus there’s plenty of safe parking and free WiFi so you can stay connected to the world.
Next you’ll need to decide on what kind of glacier experience you want to take part in:
Glacier walks are a fantastic option for those wanting to see and learn about the glaciers, but not get out onto the ice itself. Ideal for those with limited time in the area, or those that endure unfavorable weather conditions to partake in one of the helicopter options.
You can venture out on your own, following the Department of Conservation walkways and make your way to the glacier viewing areas. These are easy to moderate walks but do require good footwear and knowledge of the conditions. Your best bet is to call into the DOC office or Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre first and get all the information you require.
Alternatively you can join a guided excursion; here you’ll learn the history, legends and how these glaciers have changed over time. Your group will follow the glacier path and get close to the terminal face for some fantastic views and photo opportunities.
Franz Josef Glacier Guides - Glacier Valley Walk
Fox Glacier Guiding: Fox Trail: Terminal Face Walk
Also check out Glacier Valley Eco Tours
Glacier Heli Hike:
The opportunity to participate in a glacier heli hike is one of those memory keepsakes and something we can’t recommend highly enough.
The heli hike sees you boarding the helicopter where you’ll fly high above the glacier to get a real understanding of the sheer size and rugged nature of these beautiful formations. The experienced pilot will then complete an ice landing on the glacier, it’s here you’ll disembark and prepare for your guided glacier hike.
The hike will take you out to some of the most unspoiled scenery you’ll ever experience, climbing beneath towering ice peaks, experiencing blue ice, maneuvering through ice caves and crevices and so much more.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if you get the chance (and good weather conditions) grab it with both hands.
Heli Hike options are available on both Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. Fox Glacier also has a seasonal overnight option.
Heli Ice Climb
If you’re looking for something that next level challenging, then this is the option for you. A day filled with excitement, exhilaration and an absolute sense of pride once you’ve conquered some extraordinary climbs and encounters.
Ice Climbing on either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier is as good as it gets, you’re in for an adrenaline overload and bucket loads of fun. Believe us if you’re this way inclined, you’ll not be disappointed with a Glacier Ice Climb.
With the assistance of expert climbers, you’ll learn the skills and techniques you‘ll need to climb this spectacular terrain. All equipment is provided and the climb will be tailored to your skill and level (no experience necessary). The helicopter transfer will take you to the upper parts of the glacier where ice walls and climbing are at their best.
Using crampons, ice axes and other specialist equipment you’ll advance quickly, by the end of the day you’ll have vertical climbs, overhanging ice walls and pinnacle climbs under your belt.
The Glacier Lowdown
We’re undeniably huge fans of the West Coast glaciers and know that you will be too! Here’s a little more information that may help you with your adventures.
The safe and responsible way to get out onto the glaciers is by going through a local company with the knowledge, familiarity and the correct equipment. Unless you have exceptional mountaineering skills and local experience we recommend going through Fox Glacier Guiding, Franz Josef Glacier Guides or Glacier Valley Eco Tours.
It can get cold out on the glaciers so we suggest layering up and wearing 2- 4 warm upper body layers. Wool or polypro is ideal for the glacier conditions and layering means you can remove items when you warm up.
But what else do you take? You won’t want to take too much up on the ice, the essentials are: camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, water and a light snack.
Insider’s tip: If you want to beat the crowds get up early and after a big breakfast at your Bella Vista Motel join one of the first glacier tours (call to book this a day or two before).
There’s nothing like seeing Blue Ice for the first time, it’s purity and beauty really is something else! You have a very good chance of seeing some if you take part in one of the helicopter options.
At the end of the day you’ll feel a real sense of pride and achievement for getting out there on the glaciers, but you’ll also have worked up an appetite! Celebrate with a delicious meal at one of the fabulous cafes and restaurants dotted around both Franz and Fox – We’re huge fans of Snake Bite Brewery in Franz Josef Glacier and The White Pub Café and Restaurant in Fox Glacier.
We also know that you’re likely to be a little tired and achy, the best remedy we have for that is taking some time out to relax at the wonderful Glacier Hot Pools.