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Monthly Archives: April 2019

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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North Island Easter Getaways


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Hot cross buns, Easter egg hunts, oodles of chocolate and catching up with friends and family are likely on everyone’s calendars this Easter.  But how about making it extra special by combining all these things with an Easter getaway.

Our 4 top pick destinations in the North Island this year will have you hopping mad with excitement.

And remember once you are there ask around and see if there’s any local Easter Hunts, special music or other events happening over the weekend that you can join in on. 

Take the hassle out of getting away by staying at our Bella Vista motels where you and the kids will enjoy a relaxed and enjoyable stay.  Your Bella Vista hosts are friendly and will enjoy giving you some great local tips and there’s free parking so you can get out and explore by foot or bicycle.

Be the first to see the sunrise on Easter Sunday on the sun-kissed East Cape. Gisborne is well known for its wineries and beautiful beaches and makes for that perfect escape for the Easter break.  Take the family for a surf lesson, find some time to hide some Easter treats and before they are totally exhausted from catching waves, send the kids to go hunting for eggs amongst the dunes or under driftwood.  While they are occupied you can relax, listen to the waves crash and soak in the last days of warmth before the cooler months settle in.

A great place to go for a wander at this time of year is the Eastwoodhill Arboretum, its only 30mins out of Gisborne and a popular must-see attraction.  It’s at its most magnificent in Autumn and the trees put on a spectacular show of colours from oranges to purples to bronzes and reds.  You can take a guided tour or walking tour. There’s a Visitor Centre and Gift Store and Discovery Centre along with a playground with some of the biggest swings in the country. And if you begin to get a little peckish visit the Homestead Tea House that’s open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10am to 3pm where you can get a warm cuppa with scones, jam and cream or delicious cake whilst listening out for the Kereru or Tui.

Besides the beaches, there are numerous walks both historic and nature based.  Or check out the Morere Hot Springs. These natural mineral pools are one of New Zealand's off-the-beaten-track thermal bathing sites.

At the end of each day you’ll come back to the comfort of the Bella Vista motel.  Your Gisborne accommodation is an easy walk to the town centre, shops and restaurants and the nearby beach.

Gisborne town centre

 

Napier, the self-proclaimed Art Deco Capital of the World, is strikingly different from other towns in New Zealand. After the devastation of the 1931 earthquake Napier was rebuilt in the Spanish mission style architecture that we see today.  Step back in time as you wander in and out of shops, browsing 1920’s style costumes and paraphernalia.  Do a walking tour around the historic buildings and hear some stories of characters of that time.

Napier has a fantastic boardwalk that meanders around the coastline.  It's loved by locals who make the most of the amazing sunshine!  You can hire bikes and ride along to Westshore or amble along past the port to Ahuriri.  Ice-cream stops are a must along the way, along with playgrounds, skateparks, restaurants, cafes and New Zealand’s National Aquarium.  It’s a great way to while away a day.  The Marine Parade is a bustle of activity over the weekends but whether you want to beat the family at mini-golf or laze in the sunken gardens for a picnic, there is something for everyone.

Your Napier accommodation is perfectly located on Hastings Street that runs parallel to Marine Parade with its majestic Norfolk Pine Trees.  The Bella Vista motel is within walking distance to the shops and restaurants, the art deco buildings and of course the ocean-side walkway.  They have plenty of parking so there’s no excuse to get out and explore by foot!

Bella Vista Napier Art Deco

 

Taupo sits nestled on the edge of the mighty Lake Taupo looking across to the Tongariro National Park.  It owes its beautiful scenery to the active volcanic zone that it lies within.  Adrenaline and adventure-based activities are plentiful making it a fantastic location for the kids to let off steam and the adults to forget about their daily routines and get amongst it.  Start with a thrilling Hukafalls Jet Boat ride along the Waikato river, past nature bush, sheer rock cliff faces, hot water streams and feel the power of the Huka Falls as you get up close to it.  From here visit one of the regions top geothermal attractions like Craters of the Moon or wander the ‘Hidden Valley’ of Orakei Korako exploring the bubbling mud pools and gushing geysers along some of the largest and most amazing silica terraces in the world.

Take a cruise or kayak out to see Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. These 14m high carvings took 4 years to complete and are only accessible by water.  And finish off your weekend with a hot soak in hot pools at Debretts Hot Springs, the Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa or the AC Baths and Thermal Hot Pools.

You Taupo motel accommodation at the Bella Vista is situated on the fringe of the town centre and just a short stroll to go out for dinner, browse the shops or wander along the lakefront at sunset.

Huka Falls

 

And last but not least of our Easter Getaway locations in the North Island, is Rotorua, a place of wealth for Maori history and culture amidst New Zealand’s most lively geothermal area.  But let’s not forget that Rotorua is also home to many adventure activities including Rotorua Canopy Tours – an eco-adventure deep in to the forest including a zipline ride that will have the whole family squealing with delight - an experience not to forget!!

Take in a farm show at the Agrodome, see the sheepdogs in action and feed the animals.  Kids and adults love the interaction with the cute and cuddly baby animals. At Rainbow Springs the interaction with nature continues as its home to the Kiwi Burrow and the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, the world's largest kiwi hatchery!  Once you’ve finished discovering about the birds and the bugs take a thrill ride on the “Big Splash”.

In the evening make sure that you visit one of the fantastic Maori Cultural Villages and shows and enjoy the return journey back to your Bella Vista Rotorua accommodation.

Tamaki Maori village

 

It's not too late to book now at www.bellavista.co.nz for the best rate and instant availability and secure your Easter break.


South Island Easter Getaways


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Easter is nearly upon us and we’d like to feature four fantastic destinations in the South Island where you can have some fun with the kids together with a relaxing, cozy, autumnal break for Mum and Dad.   It’s just what the doctor ordered along with, of course, over indulging in some delicious chocolate treats along the way!

Why not make Easter extra special for the family this year and create an Easter hunt in one of these amazing locations. Or ask around and see if there’s any local Easter Hunts happening over the weekend that you can join in on.  The kids will be delighted and will talk about it for years.

Take the hassle out of getting away by staying at our Bella Vista Motel accommodation where you and the kids will have a warm and comfortable stay.  The hosts are friendly and on hand to offer some great local tips and there’s free parking so you can get out and explore by foot or bicycle.

Hanmer Springs is a great destination for an Easter getaway.  Only 90 minutes from Christchurch and you are in the picturesque resort town.  Your Bella Vista motel accommodation is easy to find on the way into the centre of town and within easy walking distance. Surrounded by mountains, Hanmer Springs has a laid-back vibe that will have you shaking off the “busyness of life” that encompasses most families these days.  Activities abound with forest walks and bike trails, fishing and 4WD tours or take the kids on a family rafting trip – a must for the photo album!  The owners, Julie and Steve will be happy to give you advice about the different walking trails in the area to find one that best suits or point you in the right direction for other activities.  At the end of the day head to the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa Complex where you can go crazy with the kids down the hydro slides or relax in a one of the many thermal pools.  There’s a café on site for when the family get ravenous. Enjoy a pizza and beer al fresco style or an ice-cream to celebrate an Easter full of adventure and surprise.  But hey who ever needed an excuse for an ice-cream though! 

For your Hanmer Springs accommodation book direct with Bella Vista Hanmer for the best price.

Hanmer Springs

 

Next up, let us recommend Wanaka.  Nestled on the edge of Lake Wanaka this place has great appeal for an Easter getaway.  Not only for its beautiful surroundings, its people, its walks or bike trails but also for its epicurean delights and activities to enthral both adults and kids alike.  Take the family to Puzzling World – challenge your perception of reality in the allusion rooms or try your luck in the multi-tiered maze. Hours of fun and laughs to be had.

This year Wanaka will hold ‘Wheels at Wanaka’ over the Easter Saturday and Sunday.  This is a great show for all that includes a Vintage Farm Fair, a Car, Motorcycle and Truck Show, and an Earthmoving Extravaganza. Entertainment galore! 

Look out for the locally made chocolate and other treats that Wanaka offers, and if you are starting your Easter weekend on Thursday then check out exquisite local artisan products at The Wanaka Artisan Market from 3pm until 6.00pm right in town centre alongside Bullock Creek. The doughnuts are a favourite!

Your Bella Vista Wanaka motel accommodation is right in town and only 150 metres from the Lake.  The perfect spot really!

 

Bella Vista Lake Wanaka

 

Queenstown is another top pick for an Easter getaway this year.  At this time of year, the trees are starting to turn those vibrant autumnal colours and what better place to see this than at one of the many vineyards whilst sipping on a Pinot Noir or wandering around neighbouring Arrowtown, a charming, historic goldmining town. 

Take the kids for a ride on the TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship where they can watch the stokers add fuel to the fire or visit the engine room as the ‘lady of the lake’ gracefully cruises across to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you can all embark on a guided tour of the farm or indulge in a scrumptious BBQ buffet. 

Queenstown is the adventure capital of NZ and full of activities to entice our young ones into the great outdoors. Travel up the gondola for an exciting luge ride or ziptrek whilst taking in the breathtaking views.  Or take them for a bike ride along the Frankton arm before treating them to a finger-licking chocolatey treat from Patagonia while you watch the world go by on the Queenstown waterfront.

Our Bella Vista Queenstown accommodation is in the heart of Queenstown and only 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre.  It’s a quiet location where you can put your feet up at the end of a busy day.

Our final destination in the South Island is Te Anau, gateway to the Fiords and home to the endangered Takahe birds.  Bring the family on an Easter getaway here and create some wonderful memories to take home.  Nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau with a spectacular backdrop of mountains and lush ‘virgin’ forest, the town is a serene place to wander and explore.  Make sure you hop on a boat for a cruise across to the Western shore to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.  The fascinating limestone caverns are incredible to see before reaching the glowworm grotto of shimmering luminous lights – a magical experience to behold.

Breathtaking in any weather, Milford Sound is a must do day trip from Te Anau. With its sheer cliffs, cascading waterfalls and the towering Mitre Peak, the best way to discover Milford Sound and all its grandeur is by a boat cruise.  Listen to the kids squeal with delight as waterfall spray rains down on them and help them spot dolphins, penguins and fur seals as you cruise the fiord. Get a boat cruise that stops in at the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory which offers views of rare black coral and other marine life.

Whatever you decide to do, the team at Bella Vista Queenstown look forward to hosting you!

Bella Vista Queenstown

 

Book now at www.bellavista.co.nz and secure your Easter break.