Category Archives: A Good Read!
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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As the weather warms up and puts a spring in our step it’s time to pull out those walking shoes and venture into the great outdoors. And what better place to visit than Queenstown!
Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the longest lake in New Zealand, and surrounded by majestic mountains such as The Remarkables, Queenstown is renowned for its scenic beauty, adventure sports, wineries and amazing walks. The surrounding mountains insulate Queenstown from much of the weather that impacts New Zealand allowing for a dry and sunny climate. Although cold in the winter, there are very few days in the year when a walk of some sort is not possible. In fact, it’s a walkers paradise!
Of course, there are the ‘Great Walks’ that we have all heard of like The Routeburn Track and Milford Track, but there are many day walks around the Wakatipu basin that have spectacular views of Queenstown and the stunning scenery that surrounds this patch of paradise. For many of the best walks you don’t even need to go far from the town centre, making your Queenstown Bella Vista accommodation a perfect base to set out exploring from.
Being one of the closest motels to the CBD, our Queenstown motel is only 5 minutes’ walk from the start of many trails such as the lakefront, Queenstown Hill and Bobs Peak.
Here the team at the Bella Vista motel have shared some of their favourite walks and not all them require an uphill slog.
1. Queenstown Hill Loop
This moderate three-hour walk starts and finishes on Belfast Street, climbs up through pine forest to the ‘Basket of Dreams’, a favourite lookout spot. Continuing through tussock to the summit of Queenstown Hill for magnificent views over The Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu, central Queenstown and surrounding mountains.
2. The Frankton Arm Walkway
The Frankton Arm walkway is a relatively wide flat trail that leads all the way to Frankton alongside the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu. From central Queenstown cross through the beautiful Queenstown Gardens to the start of the walk. There are numerous small beaches to stop at, lake-side houses and gardens that you pass. And a rewarding coffee break can be had at the historic Boatshed Café at the marina.
3.Queenstown Tiki Trail
Starting at the bottom of the Skyline Gondola the Tiki Trail is an iconic trail that winds its way through pine forest towards the lookout at the top. Once there you can relax, enjoy a coffee whilst taking in the magnificent view, or have an exhilarating luge ride before making your way back down, either by the trail or there is an option of journeying down in the Gondola!
A climb of Ben Lomond is not to be missed on any keen walker’s visit to Queenstown. The Tiki Trail, is just the warm up before continuing along the Ben Lomond walkway, heading for the summit, or saddle. At 800m you break out from the pines and walk amongst the alpine tussock and shrubs. Then it’s a steep uphill mission to Ben Lomond’s 1748m summit. Allow 5-8 hours to reach the summit and be prepared for snow above the treeline. On a clear day Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring are visible and a brass plane table identifies the surrounding mountains. The tradition is to climb Ben Lomond before dawn on New Year’s Eve to witness the sunrise. Anyone up for it?
5. Lake Hayes Loop
Situated just 15 mins drive from Queenstown lies the beautiful Lake Hayes, a popular spot for picnics and swimming in the summer, the home to a population of Australasian crested grebe, and the setting for many a wedding. The 8km Lake Hayes loop track is popular with locals and the undulating path circles by its shores or above on a ridgeline with picturesque and stunning views. The best time to walk the track is in the morning when you have a chance to catch the calm reflections of the willow trees, mountains and lakefront houses on the water which is magical.
6. Twelve Mile Loop Track - Mt Creighton Scenic Reserve
Located just 11km from central Queenstown along the Glenorchy Road is this 2-4 hour loop walk that has a great mixture of interests from a beautiful stream, beech forest, historic goldmining, beautiful birdsong and extensive views. The track follows along the floor of an extensive sluiced gully and up to Sam Summers Hut, built by a prospector in the 1930s, crosses a deep gorge on a bridge before climbing to a ridge and descending through beech forest back to the carpark.
7. Kelvin Grove Walk – Kelvin Peninsula
Another popular locals’ trail, this well-formed easy 1-2hr walk is on the sunny side of the Frankton Arm and is the more attractive of the two Frankton Arm tracks. The track passes several beaches and attractive rocky shelves and is a great opportunity for a close-up view of some of the finest private homes in the Wakatipu. The Earnslaw slipway is a notable historic feature to look out for as you circle around the golf course at the tip of the peninsula.
At the Bella Vista Queenstown, you'll also enjoy the convenience of being located near to shops and restaurants during your stay and whilst central, the motel is also very quiet allowing you a good night's sleep after your invigorating walk in the mountain air.
Book now by phoning 0800 BELLA VISTA or visit our website www.bellavista.co.nz to secure your Queenstown accommodation and start planning which walks you are inspired to explore.
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Who’s planning to get away this spring or summer? A weekend break or maybe that long awaited and talked about road trip around New Zealand! Our Bella Vista Motel accommodation will be the perfect match for your spring break or summer vacation. Check out these reasons why staying with Bella Vista is a great choice.
With over 27 locations nationwide Bella Vista has welcomed visitors from right across New Zealand and the world. Whilst Bella Vista has been open for business, we have established a strong reputation for convenience and quality becoming a preferred choice enabling tourists to visit New Zealand’s beautiful scenic locations and by offering a quality overnight stop along the way. Be reassured by the familiarity and consistency of our distinctive design and quality of service! Trust Bella Vista because you know what to expect - it's like a home away from home.
The geographic spread of the Bella Vista chain throughout New Zealand ensures that not only do most major towns and cities feature Bella Vista motels, such as Bella Vista Wellington, New Plymouth or Bella Vista Christchurch, but so do popular tourist destinations such as Bella Vista Franz Josef and Bella Vista Queenstown. Even locations which you wouldn't necesarrily consider first time as a destination offer a great overnight option such as Bella Vista Mosgiel, Palmerston North Bella Vista or Ashburton Bella Vista. All our motels are conveniently placed in central locations, close to local amenities, and with free car parking on-site for all guests making it easy to unpack for your stay and come and go as you please to explore the local attractions.
Each property has a choice of several room types to suit your needs or budget, from singles, couples and families. All rooms come equipped with kitchenette, ensuite bathrooms, television with a range of channels and free wifi. Most of our motels also have a BBQ area for you to crank that summer sausage sizzle and relax into the summer evenings with a well deserved glass of wine.
Your friendly Kiwi hosts live on-site offering a safe and secure accommodation option and peace of mind. All Bella Vista motels also offer additional services like guest laundry, continental breakfast and luggage storage. A travel booking service is available and your hosts can offer local knowledge and tips to make your stay more enjoyable. Your hosts will happily book your onward journey to ensure you can stay at your preferred New Zealand accommodation option.
What is certain is if you have stayed at every 27 Bella Vista’s or even just a small handful - whether it is for accommodation in Hamilton, Napier accommodation or accommodation in Fox Glacier to name just three destinations, you are going to experience a four star Qualmark endorsed level of comfort and be entertained by some of New Zealand’s very best hosts.
Having flexibility with your accommodation reservation process can also make your travel planning for this summer a lot less stressful. A tempting option when booking on the Bella Vista website is the convenience of our Book Now, Pay Later offer, which allows you to make your booking and only pay when you arrive at your motel. Another good deal when booking direct is our Best Price Guarantee deal. Refer to our Best Price Guarantee page to find out more and how to take advantage of this offer only available at bellavista.co.nz.
At Bella Vista we understand how to meet our customers’ expectations every day, are proud to offer a high quality standard of accommodation, facilities and service at competitive pricing and delighted to provide genuine kiwi hospitality at every one of our 27 motels nationwide.
So book now at www.bellavista.co.nz and get your spring and summer off to a cracking start.
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Spring has arrived and there is a buzz in the air. From the twittering of the birds to longer daylight hours it's a terrific time of year. And it’s always exciting when the daffodils come into flower to brighten up our days!
Spring is a time of rejuvenation, to brush off those winter cobwebs and excite the senses with the sounds and sights that springtime offers. It’s also a great time to get away before the crowds of the high summer season. With 27 locations, the Bella Vista accommodation network are all conveniently placed close to local amenities and attractions, have rooms to suit couples and families, and include free car parking and free wifi.
So, pack your suitcase and discover and experience some of these destinations that are perfect for your spring break.
Spring Skiing in Wanaka
Wanaka in spring is wonderful, from the sparkling lake to the glistening snow there is so much on offer to explore. With longer days and more settled weather you can also enjoy it at a more relaxed pace as spring is generally a quieter time.
Spring skiing is Wanaka’s best kept secret. The slopes are quieter, the lift queues shorter and you may even get to ski in a t-shirt! Check out Cardrona Ski Field as it also extends its last chair till 5pm. Combine this with the many biking or walking trails, 4x4 farm adventures, scenic flights, indoor rock climbing, activities on the lake, jet boating on beautiful rivers, picnics at fantastic parks, whiling away your time drinking coffee or eating ice-cream along the lake front or by indulging in a rejuvenating spa treatment at the luxurious Sanctuary Day Spa.
Bella Vista Wanaka is located just 150 metres from the lakefront and is a great Wanaka accommodation option just a one-minute walk to shops, restaurants, galleries and wine bars - you couldn't ask for a better location and your hosts will gladly offer local advice and help you organise any of the many attractions.
The nesting of the Gannets in Napier
The Hawkes Bay is an area that embraces spring with its many blooms and delightful spring festivals. Our Bella Vista motel in Napier, is in a central CBD location, opposite the RSA Napier, four minutes' walk from town and only a matter of metres away is Marine Parade which fronts onto a sweeping stretch of the Pacific Ocean. From your Bella Vista accommodation, you can stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the playgrounds, aquarium, hot pools, coffee stops and a great little ice cream shop. The Marine Parade is a show of colour in spring with many blooming spring flowers bringing the promenade to life during this time of year. The Marina Parade Garden, the Sound Shell flower beds and Sunken Garden all add a rich array of colour that are lovely to walk around and delight in.
Spring in New Zealand is also ‘waterfall season’ - a time to get out and explore our local waterfalls at their peak. Shine Falls, located about an hour’s drive from Napier, are stunning; up with the best in NZ and are a great day out. Pack a picnic lunch as it’s a 35 – 40 minute walk in to the falls across farmland and bush. Bring your togs and towel if the weather is favourable.
Of course, Hawkes Bay is also famed for its many vineyards and with its warmer climate many hours can be spent in the wineries wine tasting and dining on the regions fresh produce. But another attraction not to be missed in spring is a trip out to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony - the world's largest, most accessible Gannet nesting place. The season opens in spring with the birds returning from their winter escape to build their nests ready for the arrival of their chicks during December and January. Trips can be taken by 4WD adventure tour, helicopter safari, tractor and trailer along the beach or you can check out the tide times and do the 10km hike yourself. It’s a chance to get within a few feet of the colony at top of the Cape’s sheer and barren cliffs.
Talk to your friendly hosts at your Bella Vista Motel Napier and they will provide you with some great tips to ensure you enjoy your day out.
Hamilton in Bloom
Within 2 hours drive of Auckland is the city of Hamilton, renowned for its gardens, cafes, Maori culture, walks, nightlife and sporting events. It’s located on the banks of the mighty Waikato River and the Bella Vista Hamilton is a great base to explore springtime Hamilton and the wider Waikato region. There are several walking tracks and cycle trails to explore or try one of the many activities on the river from fishing to boat cruises or kayaking. Just remember to pack a raincoat in case of the odd spring shower!
Spring is always a wonderful time to visit gardens and Hamilton Gardens is among the best in the world with an abundance of colour, birdlife and butterflies. You will be guided on a journey of discovery as you explore over 20 themed gardens from the Italian Renaissance Garden to the grandeur of the Indian Char Bagh (‘four quartered’) Garden.
If you are a Tolkien fan then a visit to the Hobbiton Film Set is glorious in spring with its lush pastures of the Shire and the enchanting bluebells and Middle-earth gardens which are in full flower. Only 45 minutes away if you want to self-drive or you can book a tour package including return trip from you Bella Vista Hamilton accommodation.
10 minutes north of Hamilton is the Zealong Tea Estate is New Zealand’s only tea plantation and home to the world’s purest tea. A guided tour is a fantastic option if you want to experience tea picking, tasting, a tea ceremony or their famous signature high tea.
Waterfalls are scattered throughout the region, from the spectacular 55m high Bridal Veil Falls near Raglan to the Wairere Falls, the highest waterfall in the North Island, near Matamata. These hidden gems are well worth the visit in spring.
As far as accommodation in Hamilton or Hamilton motels specifically, Bella Vista will meet your every need. The motel offers a great selection of rooms set within a secure courtyard with ample car-parking and free WiFi. Li and Rowena will offer you a warm Waikato welcome and be happy to host you.
Wherever you decide to go to get away this spring, Bella Vista has got 27 excellent placed motels offering plenty to see and do!
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Stewart Island or Rakiura is New Zealand's third Island and is absolutely unique. With only 381 inhabitants it is a quiet and tranquil place where native New Zealand wildlife can be found in abundance. The island is predominantly given over to the Rakiura National Park covering about 85% of the island, which limits human incursion to the small settlement of Oban.
For the majority of travellers, Invercargill is the main gateway to Stewart Island and Bella Vista Invercargill provides a great stopover option before and or after the amazing experience you will encounter across Foveaux Strait
Many travellers choose Bella Vista as their preferred Invercargill accommodation option before heading south. Not only is Bella Vista the closest Invercargill motel to the town centre but its central location is ideal for a short transfer to Invercargill airport (10 minutes) for a 20 minute flight to Stewart Island or as a departure point for the 20 minute drive to Bluff where travellers can then catch the Foveaux Express, a custom-made catamaran which takes an hour to cross the notorious Foveaux Strait.
From hunting to tramping to fishing to relaxing, Stewart Island is like going back in time. From the moment you set foot on the island, you’ll get the sense of a different way of life. Even the 6 hole golf course is located in a breath-taking setting on the Ringaringa cliffs.
Enjoy watching the changing skies of Rakiura, boasting world-class sunsets and sunrises, the magical sight of the Aurora Australis, or the twinkling stars across a clear night sky. It is something very special and the team at Invercargill Bella Vista can personally testify to that.
Conservation, birds and other wildlife are second to none on the Island. Of particular note, Ulva Island, a small island sanctuary is a dedicated bird reserve set within Paterson Inlet within Oban Harbour is a must visit. Stewart Island is also unique in that viewing the Kiwi in its natural habitat is an amazing experience.
For those of you who are the trampers, Stewart Island is home to New Zealand's southernmost Great Walk - the 3-day Rakiura Track which is only one of many and varied walks and tramps available.
Bella Vista Invercargill has provided hospitality for many tourists on their return to Invercargill. A great shower and comfy bed to help relax the body after some fairly arduous tramping or exploring and ensure Bella Vista is the preferred overnight accommodation in Invercargill for Stewart Island.
Whether it is your first visit or 10th visit to Stewart Island you will never tire of this beautiful part of the world and we here at Bella Vista Invercargill are lucky enough to hear of some of those tales on return stays.
For more information on our 4-star quality, Southland Invercargill accommodation and trips to Stewart Island contact us on 03 217 9799. We look forward to hearing from you and hosting you.
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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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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 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.
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
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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.
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.
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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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!
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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.