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Monthly Archives: August 2017

Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!  

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Earlybird Booking Inspiration


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Do you like going away for the odd long weekend for a change of scenery or have you been considering making plans for the summer?  Don’t wait - now is the time to get motivated and lock in the great prices offered by Bella Vista Motels.

Bella Vista makes it so easy!  Make your reservation directly on the Bella Vista Motels website and only pay on arrival. By booking early you guarantee your room at the best price for destinations that can often get expensive if you try and book at the height of summer.

Bella Vista Motels have comfortable and convenient New Zealand accommodation options for you. Get inspired by the following destinations and book your getaway now for your next long weekend or summer holiday. Then while away your time and enjoy counting down the weeks with peace of mind that your summer plans have been taken care of.
 

Whangarei

What better place to stay and immerse yourself in the north’s laid-back lifestyle! Pack your jandal’s because with over 100 beaches in the area it’s the perfect spot to relax, build sand castles and dig your toes into the warm sand. There is a myriad of attractions to explore such as spectacular diving at the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, beautiful walks and exotic plants at the Whangarei Quarry Gardens or getting up close and personal with Kiwi’s at Kiwi North, Kiwi House and Museum.  Staying at the Bella Vista Whangarei accommodation means you are the closest motel and within walking distance to the CBD to amble away some time exploring the Basin Marina with its shops, cafes and galleries.

Whangarei Town Basin
 

Taupo

Taupo is situated in the centre of the North Island and nestled on the shores of the beautiful Lake Taupo, Australasia’s biggest freshwater lake. Surrounded by volcanic mountains and lush forests it’s an adventure and nature lover’s paradise. Explore the local geothermal phenomena such as bubbling mud pools at the Craters of the Moon, feel the power and fury of the mighty Huka Falls, hike through the Tongariro National Park, get out on the lake for a spot of trout fishing or discover the many cycle trails. 

Just 10 mins walk from the centre of town and the lake’s edge in a quiet location is our Taupo accommodation option providing a great base for visitors. A local tip is to take a soak in your own hot pool along the Lake Terrace – just ask the friendly Bella Vista Taupo motel staff to point you in the right direction!

Lake Taupo New Zealand

Gisborne

On the east coast of the North Island lies Gisborne “the first city in the world to see the sun”. Forested and hilly inland with beautiful sandy beaches along the coast the region has a reputation for great surfing, fishing, a strong Maori culture and many boutique wineries.

The Bella Vista Gisborne is conveniently located close to the CBD for shopping, restaurants and entertainment and your hosts Marise and Frik have provided us with their top pick to help while away your stay:  “You must take the drive from our Gisborne motel to the historic East Cape Lighthouse on New Zealand’s most easterly point for stunning views.  But don’t forget to stop at Te Araroa and see New Zealand's oldest and largest pohutukawa tree - it's around 600 years old.”
 

Nelson

One of the sunniest spots in New Zealand, Nelson is renowned for its beautiful surroundings.  Situated close to the famous Tahananui Beach and 10 minutes’ drive from the central city, Nelson Bella Vista is the perfect place to relax and unwind, stroll on the beach and explore the region.   

Your hosts Bruce and Nadine are happy to point you in the right direction with their top recommendations being a look through the World of Wearable Arts Museum, a visit to the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park, and touring the local vineyards to discover the region's intensely flavoured Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as vibrant Pinot Noir. This is a great destination and an excellent Nelson accommodation choice.
 

Abel Tasman National Park


Hanmer Springs

Need a quiet getaway destination to relax and unwind or craving adventure away from the noise and rush of city life? Then make the picturesque alpine village of Hanmer Springs your next weekend away or holiday spot.

Only 1.5 hours from Christchurch, Hanmer Springs is nestled amongst the mountains and forests of the Southern Alps.  This small spa town is famous for its Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, the best place to indulge and soothe, float along the lazy river or have some fun on the water slides.  Your Hanmer accommodation is an easy 10-minute walk to the pools and a great base for many activities from walking or biking the many trails to jet boating, kayaking and quad biking.
 

Dunedin

Dunedin is a vibrant and energetic city with a rich Scottish and Maori heritage.  From its well-preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture to its dramatic landscape and abundant wildlife topped with great shopping, restaurants and a buzzing nightlife this is a city full of character and you’ll come away with some memorable holiday experiences. The Bella Vista Dunedin is located near to the city centre with ample parking making it a perfect base for your adventures. Your hosts Robyn and Garry have provided some must do’s when visiting: Visit Larnach Castle (photo below), New Zealand’s only castle, that has been carefully restored to its Victorian grandeur; visit Orokonui EcoSanctuary 20km north of Dunedin and hear the wonderful birdsong, home to 17 native bird species; take a glimpse into the life of an early 1900s family with a visit to Olveston Historic Home; or depart from the historic Dunedin Railway Station for a trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway.

Larnach Castle


Whatever your destination of choice, Bella Vista has 27 quality locations around the country happy to host you, your friends and family. Book now for the best deal at www.bellavista.co.nz


The Best Wineries in Queenstown


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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.

Wine Tours Queenstown

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

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.

Gibbston Valley Winery

Peregrine Wines

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.

Mount Rosa

Brennan Wines

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.


Bella Vista Rotorua Weekend Winners!


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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.

Rotorua Winners

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.

Mitai maori village

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 complimentary 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. 
 

Lady Knox Geyser

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 recommend 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.

Polynesian Spa

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 a track to ride, once is certainly never enough! Riders have full control, over the 3 wheel, gravity-based luge cart.

As this was the guest's 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. 

Come and stay and play with Bella Vista Rotorua - we'd love to host you.

Bella Vista Motel Rotorua