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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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NZ Summer Getaways that will Surprise


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With summer just begun our minds start drifting thoughts of a summer getaway.  A quintessential kiwi holiday.  A chance to enjoy some lazy days in the sun, a trip to the beach, or just a complete change of scenery.

With 27 destinations nationwide Bella Vista motel accommodation network offers a great number of destinations to choose from.  But popular destinations can quickly book up in the summer months and so we want to highlight 3 alternative destinations that you should consider for a fun-filled summer getaway.

New Plymouth

The city of New Plymouth sits on the far west coast of the North Island, in one of the best surf regions of New Zealand, so we think this is an ideal spot for a summer holiday.  Spend a day cruising Surf Highway 45 picking top spots to while away the day at the beach or book a surf lesson with a local expert for some great fun in the waves.  New Plymouth is known for its coastal walkway that stretches 12.7km along the fabulous coastline.  This is fantastic for walking at your own pace, or hire a bike and feel the sea breeze on your face as you glide along.  There are amazing outdoor art displays along the way, like the iconic Wind Wand or take in the spectacular views of Mount Taranaki from the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.  You can while away time by investigating rock-pools or having a much-needed coffee stop!

There is so much to discover from art galleries to beautiful parks, beaches to restaurants, the subalpine forests and waterfalls of Egmont National Park to the home of seals, seabirds and other marine life at the Sugar Loaf Marine Park.  From kayaking to surfing, walking or biking, relaxing on the beach or taking a tour of the area – there is enough to keep you as busy as you wish, interested, and most importantly to come away knowing you’ve had another brilliant summer getaway.
 

Looking towards Mount Taranaki


Blenheim

Did you know that Blenheim is only 30 minutes from Picton or 1.5 hours from Nelson and so it is an ideal spot for that summer getaway?  Not only will you be close to Marlborough Sounds, Nelson City and neighbouring beaches and the Abel Tasman, but you will be based within the heart of one of New Zealand’s famous wine regions – Marlborough.   The region boasts a rather pleasant sunny climate and therefore offers a wide range of outdoor leisure activities and a relaxed lifestyle on top of the flourishing wine industry.   With over 50 vineyards near Blenheim you can have a great day out tasting and sampling food and wines.  Make it even more fun and do it all on a bike tour!

The Marlborough Flyer is a great way to get a taste of Picton on a day out.  The train operates some Super Sundays which enable you to travel by majestic steam train from a by-gone era to Picton from Blenheim Station and back. The 70-minute journey on the Marlborough Flyer to Picton will include the challenging decent into Picton on a 1-in-37 grade, the 4th steepest rail line in New Zealand.  The journey allows for a couple of hours to explore Picton before the 50-60 minute ride back to Blenheim.

Don’t forget to check out filmmaker Peter Jackson’s collection of World War I aircraft at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. The aircraft are displayed in realistic dioramas created by Peter Jackson's Weta Digital.  It’s pretty awesome and a must see whilst in Blenheim.

 

Blenheim Vineyards

 

Invercargill

Invercargill sits at the bottom of the South Island surrounded by farmland but the gateway to some of New Zealand’s spectacular wilderness areas such as the Catlins, Stewart Island and Fiordland.

The city also boasts a number of exciting must see and dos. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery has live tuatara reptiles that you can see.  Queens Park is a large 81-hectare Edwardian styled city park featuring flower displays, the Observatory, rose gardens, duck ponds, bird aviary and zoo, a children’s playground and sports facilities such as the Queen’s Park Golf Club.  It’s a great place to explore.  Take a picnic and while away an afternoon.  To the southeast, Waituna Lagoon is home to abundant bird life and trout populations and has some easy walking trails.  The Bill Richardson Transport World is a must-see museum for history and automotive lovers as it showcases the transportation history of NZ including vintage motors and old-fashioned petrol pumps.

Exploring outside the city offers several options:  To the north you have the Southern Scenic Route, a magnificent drive through stunning scenery into the mountains and Queenstown.  It’s a 2 hour 15 minute drive each way but makes for a great day out to explore the lakeside resort town.  Time for a jetboat ride or cruise on the lake, a spa or an ice-cream on the lakefront, a gondola ride or a meander round the shops and a leisurely bite at one of the many cafés and restaurants.

Bluff, a quiet little town only 30 kilometres south of Invercargill is famous for its oysters and the Bluff Oyster Festival held each year.  From here, take a 1 hour ferry ride to Stewart Island, where you can experience the wild beauty of bush and beach, a slower pace of life in an unspoilt slice of New Zealand.  Take a guided walk, a village and bays tour or visit Ulva Island, a renowned bird sanctuary.

The Catlins coast offers some dramatic and wild scenery. The drive as far as Curio Bay takes about 1 hour 13 minutes but allow for a few stops along the way.  Visit Waipapa Point’s Historic Lighthouse and the scene of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck, the passenger steamer SS Tararua in 1881.  It is located on a very scenic section of dunes and beach that make it certainly worthy of a visit and sealions and fur seals frequent the beach.  Curio Bay is home to a 160 million year old fossilised forest and one of the major attractions of the Catlins.  Walk among the stumps of the petrified forest at low tide, the remaining tree stumps and logs are exposed and clearly visible.

 

Stewart Island

 

Bella Vista motels welcomes you to these destinations and our friendly hosts at Bella Vista Blenheim, Bella Vista New Plymouth and Bella Vista Invercargill would love to help you start planning your stay.  They offer a range of accommodation to suit your needs, are close to town centres and have free parking along with unlimited free WiFi.

So book now and book direct at www.bellavista.co.nz and get your summer getaway locked in!


Bella Vista & Go Rentals - The perfect holiday match


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Planning your next adventure?  Well now that you have locked in your accommodation at one of our 27 motels across New Zealand, your next step might be to hunt for a way to get out and about exploring our beautiful country!

Self-Driving holidays are one of the most popular ways to explore NZ, allowing you the freedom to choose where and when you go, and at your own pace.  We know that planning a holiday can sometimes be a big task, so we wanted to make it that bit easier by teaming up with our friends at GO Rentals!  The Kiwi owned and operated car rental company is our top pick when it comes to booking the perfect car for your Kiwi road trip.

 

Go Rentals Self Drive

 

Our partnership with the team gives us a chance to pass on some great savings to you, in the form of a great 10% discount off your hire!  GO Rentals has been helping kiwis and travellers explore NZ since 1997 and are committed to providing their customers with the ultimate car rental experience. Their emphasis on service is one of the many reasons Bella Vista has chosen to partner with them.  Their level of service was recognized by their recent win of the 2018 CanStar Blue Award for Most Satisfied Customers in the Car Hire Category, being the only car rental company to earn perfect five stars across every category. 

In 2017, GO Rentals became the first Qualmark Gold certified car rental company in NZ and in 2018 received the certification for the second consecutive year.  The Qualmark certification recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand and is a great endorsement for the team!

 

Go Rentals car hire

 

And don’t just travel NZ… experience it!  Every customer who hires with GO Rentals receives a Free GO Play card. The GO Play discount program offers over 200 discounts to help you see and do more during your New Zealand holiday!  From Bungy jumping to Wildlife encounters, find out what activities are discounted through their program by visiting their website - GO Play with GO Rentals 

Needing inspiration for the best cities and towns to visit during your stay? GO Rentals has road trip itineraries and complete guides to help you make the most of your journey – just visit the GO Rentals website to learn about what our great country has to offer.

Itching to get going? To book using our exclusive Bella Vista 10% discount, click here to get started!

 

Helpful links:

GO Rentals home page 

GO Rentals Discount Link 

GO Play

GO Explore 

Go Rentals New Zealand


10 Day Ultimate Queenstown Holiday


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Queenstown was once a delightful endpoint to many a tourist’s journeys when travelling New Zealand from north to south. The lakeside resort revelled in its quiet popularity, many a tourist wondering how they hadn’t heard of this southern gem sooner.

Some say the town started to shout too loud about its relaxed lakeside living, abundant wineries, quite remarkable mountains, the collection of premier Queenstown ski resort’s right on the town’s doorstep or the incredible walks and activities at hand. In the digital age, a picture tells a thousand words and soon Queenstown’s secret was out. What do you think?

Queenstown

As word spread, so demand grew. And it grew a lot. Over 2 million passengers now arrive into Queenstown airport every year seeking to holiday in this wonderful paradise. Thankfully, Queenstown accommodation has also grown to meet the needs and proudly include’s Trip Advisors’ No.1 rated motel, Bella Vista Queenstown.

As Queenstown has developed into a destination where millions come each year to holiday, we thought we’d give you our run-down as to how you can fill your time and create an incredibly memorable 10 day holiday to the resort of Queenstown.

Milford Sound

No trip to the South Island is complete without visiting New Zealand's most famous tourist destination, Piopiotahi or more commonly known as Milford Sound. A fiord in the southwest of the South Island and a 4 hour drive from Queenstown, its cliffs rise vertically from the dark waters, the towering Mitre Peak spellbinds photographers, lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls plummet down its sheer sides. And when it rains its beauty is only magnified. The fiord also is home to fur seal colonies, penguins, and dolphins. This spectacular natural attraction can be reached on a day trip from Queenstown by coach or plane including a cruise on the fiord. If you can, why not coach in and plane back, that way you get to stop enroute at some of the scenic highlights along the way such as Mirror Lakes and admire the breathtaking beauty from the air. Rudyard Kipling had previously called Milford Sound the eighth Wonder of the World and I reckon that’s spot on. Milford Sound is a full day trip.

Te Anau

If you are heading to Milford Sound, adding a stop in Te Anau is well worth it. It’s a picturesque town nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island, and gateway to the Fiordland National Park. It’s the beginning point for two of NZ’s Great Walks – Milford Track and Kepler Track. Whilst visiting take a boat trip across the lake to do the glowworm grotto in Te Ana au Caves. If you decide to overnight in Te Anau, let Bella Vista Motel Te Anau host you. Only one block back from Te Anau lakefront, they'd love to host you. An overnight stop in Te Anau including a trip to Milford Sound would fill two days.

Queenstown & Gardens

Pick a day and spend it wandering around the township, browsing through shops and art galleries, riding the gondola, taking in the scenery and listening to the vibe. Check out the café scene, Bespoke is a firm favourite for lunch or a coffee shop with a cabinet full of delicious treats, and The Bathhouse on the lakefront is a good spot to watch the activity on the lake and while away an afternoon. Or take a stroll through the Queenstown Gardens ending in a nice Pinot Noir and tapas at The Bathhouse as the sun goes down. The botanical gardens were planted in 1867 and are now a tranquil place to wander amongst the exotic and native plants and trees. To do Queenstown and it's wonderful gardens justice and even a spot of shopping, you'd need to allocate a full day.

Walter Peak and TSS Earnslaw 

Take a memorable trip on board the iconic TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship across to Walter Peak High Country Farm. You can just do a return cruise or add a farm tour and scrumptious barbeque lunch and make the most of your day. You won't want to rush this day out to take a full day.

Lake Hayes Walk

With an abundance of mountain scenery every which way you look in Queenstown, the walk around Lake Hayes captures the scene magically. The best time to do this is in the morning when the lake is still, and the mountains are reflected in the glassy waters. Just head towards Arrowtown from Queenstown and you will won’t miss it. The circular walk takes around 2 hours to complete with seats dotted around the track so that you can pause and reflect. Look out for a population of Australian crested grebe who have made the lake their home. Your walk around Lake Hayes will take half a day with no need to rush.

Lake Hayes

Arrowtown

After a refreshing walk around the lake keeps heading to Arrowtown, a quaint, historic gold-mining town. Replenish your soul in one of the many little eateries and then hit the Arrowtown Museum and attached special exhibitions gallery that shows a changing display of art and history related exhibitions. Delve into the history of the Maori, the early European settlers and gold mining era and what life was like. Explore the recreated grog shanty, Victorian Schoolhouse and blacksmith's workshop. Once you have contemplated life for these miners stroll down to the Chinese Village where you will see remnants of their shops and huts. Brrr! It must have been cold in the winter. Today gold panning is still very much alive. Hire a gold pan and try your luck in the Arrow River - there's still plenty of gold there to be found. Take a full day in Arrowtown.

Wine Tours

Central Otago is renowned worldwide for its luscious Pinot Noirs, so we recommend taking a wine tour out to the Gibbston Valley to sample a few. Gibbston Valley Winery also has a wine cave purpose built into the rock face and a cheesery that offer tastings for free. Other renowned wineries in the Gibbston Valley are Chard Farm, Mt Rosa, Brennan, Peregrine and Waitiri Creek Wines who offer craft beer tastings too. You're going to need a full day to do these wineries justice.

Glenorchy

Location of the british television series “Top of the Lake” and home to many middle-earth scenes in the ‘Lord of the Rings Trilogy’, Glenorchy is an hour’s drive away around Lake Wakatipu, set on the edge of the Mt Aspiring National Park. It’s a small village, popular for trampers and gateway to the Routeburn Track and other spectacular walks. Jetboat rides and horse trekking are among some of the other activities available in Glenorchy. If you have time drive further out to Paradise but only if you're giving this a full day.

Wanaka

The quaint township of Wanaka with a spectacular backdrop of snow-capped mountains, sheep stations and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wanaka are a haven for young and old at any time of the year. Whether for fishing, hiking, skiing, biking or a relaxing getaway you will be spoilt for choice in the many activities, funky bars, quirky cinemas, galleries, spas and seriously good coffee! If you wish to overnight in Wanaka Bella Vista offers a great choice, centrally located right in the middle of town and only a stone's throw from the lake. A trip to Wanaka is one full day, or two days if you stay.

Lake Wanaka

Mt Cook

Whether as a separate 1-2 night trip from Queenstown or a part of a roundtrip to Christchurch then Mt Cook is a must see. Its New Zealand’s highest mountain and a popular destination for tourists and climbers. One of the best day walks is the Hooker Valley Track, wind up the Hooker Valley over swing bridges, past alpine streams and glaciers in the shadow of Aoraki/Mount Cook.

So there you have it. 10 days filled and you've barely scratched the surface. If you're thinking of heading to Queenstown get a booking because Bella Vista is waiting to host you.


Oamaru Family Getaway


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Ever wondered why Lonely Planet named Oamaru “the coolest town in New Zealand”!  Well pack up the kids and come and find out with a fantastic family weekend away.  

Oamaru is the largest town in the Waitaki district and its only 1.5 hours drive North from Dunedin or 2 hours drive South from Ashburton. There’s a lot here to keep the family entertained offering everything from quirky fun family activities, steampunk curiosities, adventure, natural attractions, and wildlife right on its doorstep.

Start your journey by booking your Oamaru accommodation with Bella Vista motels. The Bella Vista Oamaru is the closest motel to the town centre, including cafes, restaurants, shops and the historic Victorian Precinct. The motel offers different room options including one bedroom family units with full kitchen facilities and bath - perfect for families of up to 3 children. The Bella Vista Oamaru also has safe off-street parking, so you can leave the car and explore on foot or bring bicycles or kids scooters – a great way to get around having an adventure at the same time.

Here are our top 10 things to do and see around Oamaru. Check them out and start planning your visit!

1. Steampunk Playground

No trip to Oamaru with kids is complete without visiting the Steampunk playground, located down on the Esplanade by the waterfront.  It’s a fantastical playground with art and sculpture incorporated into the play equipment.  Watch your children delight whilst on swings that have a giant penny farthing as part of the frame or whooping as they come down the twisting tube slide or flying fox, climbing on the armoured elephant hut or getting dizzy in the giant hamster wheel. There is also a newly constructed learners’ bike park there too.  Both toilets and The Galley café are next to the playground, so you can grab a coffee to go, or a bite for lunch when hunger starts to reel the kids in.

2. Oamaru Victorian Precinct

Step back in time as you wander through the historic Victorian precinct, containing NZ’s largest and best-preserved Victorian architecture. Today they house a mix of fascinating vintage clothing shops, galleries, cafes, new and traditional crafts, a bakery, bookbinders, an old-fashioned lolly shop and a great ice-cream shop for a little indulgence.

For a bit of fun, get the whole family dressed up in Victorian clothing and have your picture taken!

On Sundays, the precinct is buzzing with the Oamaru farmers market. You can pick up some yummy treats for a picnic lunch in the gardens.

Oamaru Victorian Precinct

3. Oamaru Public Gardens

The Oamaru Public Gardens are among the oldest in the country and are well worth the visit. There are many features to interest anyone including a children’s playground, a wonderland garden, fountain, display house and fernery. Find yourselves an idyllic spot for a picnic lunch and where the kids can enjoy the space.

4. Whitestone City

Nestled in the heart of Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct, Whitestone City offers a unique, fun and interactive heritage experience for all the family. Get a glimpse of what life was like in the early colonial days by strolling down the replica Victorian streetscape, check out the merchants of the day, a schoolroom complete with slates and schoolmistress, play old-fashioned games in the dimly lit saloon, and take a ride on a penny-farthing carousel.

5. Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony

The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony is Oamaru’s largest tourist attraction. Back in the early 1990s, a colony of penguins moved into the disused rock quarry not far from the historic precinct. This prompted a group of volunteers to set up and help make the area a suitable breeding habitat and provide guided tours.

Come and see the penguins in their natural habitat!  Tour the facility during the day learning more about the penguins, play and discover in the brand new children’s area, before heading outdoors to explore the penguins’ nesting environment. Come back for the night viewing and watch the penguins returning home from their day fishing. From a seated grandstand with a live commentary, you can see the Penguins make their way onto the beach, up to a stony ramp, and cross into the Colony.

6.  Oamaru Steam Train

If you happen to be in Oamaru on a Sunday, then a must do is a trip on the steam train that runs between the small railway station in the historic precinct and a terminus at the harbour close to the little blue penguin colony on Sundays.

Oamaru Steam Train

 

7.  Steampunk HQ

From the moment you enter this crazy, quirky museum you are immersed in a futuristic version of 19th century Victorian England, a dark post-apocalyptic vision of an alternative future. A full-scale train engine sits proud at the entrance ready to spit fire and billow smoke. Inside you are met with an array of contraptions, sculptures and bizarre machinery from vintage dentist chairs to a flickering doomsday clock whilst accompanied by audio-visual installations. There are plenty of hands on exhibits to fascinate the kids and parents alike – have a go on the metagalactic pipe organ and checkout The Portal, a mirrored room of glowing lights. Stepping out into the yard you are met with a collection of old planes, trains and automobiles, in various states of steampunk conversion. The kid’s imaginations can go wild in here!

8.  Moeraki Boulders

When staying in Oamaru, it is worth a visit to these famous large spherical “stones” that are scattered on a stretch of stunning Koekohe Beach near Moeraki just 30 minutes’ drive away on the Otago coast. These boulders are concretions, which have been exhumed from the mudstone enclosing them and concentrated on the beach by coastal erosion. Local M?ori legends explained the boulders as the remains of eel baskets, calabashes, and kumara washed ashore from the wreck of Arai-te-uru, a large sailing canoe.

9. Oamaru Lookout

Head up to the lookout park and enjoy the spectacular views over this beautiful seaside town. If you are feeling adventurous there is a walkway. If’s it’s a fine day pack some morning tea or picnic lunch.

Oamaru Lookout

10.  Totara Estate

A historic farm situated in beautiful North Otago countryside just south of Oamaru, Totara Estate played a significant role in New Zealand’s history. Birthplace of the frozen meat industry, it changed the course of farming in NZ forever.  Open from September to May, the farm consists of men’s quarters, stables, granary, cookhouse and slaughterhouse. Displays recollect farm and domestic life on the estate during Victorian times. Hear stories of swaggers, farm hands, the Chinese cook and a cartoonist.  The kids will love to feed the sheep, dress up in Victoria costumes or play old-fashioned games. Top this off with 'smoko' in the cookhouse of tea and scones , then browse through the gift shop. 

We look forward to hosting you in Oamaru! Search now on the Bella Vista website.


Ski New Zealand with Bella Vista


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With temperatures starting to cool and our mountains beginning to attract a beautiful dusting of snow, we realise that we're rapidly approaching the long winter months. But with winter always comes the much-anticipated ski season.  So, if you think you would like some added excitement this winter, you must consider a ski holiday!

New Zealand has great skiing options available at world-class fields such as The Remarkables, Cardrona, Coronet Peak, Mt Hutt, Turoa, and Whakapapa, there’s something to keep everyone happy from novices through to seasoned pros.

With 27 locations in New Zealand, the Bella Vista accommodation network is well positioned to meet your ski holiday needs.  Each of our properties is conveniently placed close to local amenities and attractions and includes free car parking and free wifi – great for when you want to download or send those awesome shots from your day on the mountain!

Here we have teamed up some great skiing destinations with your Bella Vista Motel accommodation to show you how easy it is to get out on the slopes this winter:

Cardrona Skifield

Queenstown

Queenstown provides endless opportunities for your ultimate skiing holiday. The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Cardrona ski fields will delight with both on and off-piste skiing by day. And by night the alpine resort buzzes with plenty of dining and entertainment options. All set in one of most picturesque places in the world!

Thirty-five minutes from downtown Queenstown, The Remarkables ski field offers something for all – from beginners and families through to expert skiers and snowboarders. There are numerous off-piste runs, varied trails, and terrain parks and dedicated freestyle areas, including the Southern Hemisphere's only Stash, a Burton signature terrain park. Plus, cafes & an on-mountain bar – a great spot to take in the magnificent view whilst sipping on a mulled wine or Corona!

If you have kids in tow The Remarkables offers two fantastic kids clubs that will see your children progress with their skiing, make new friends and ensure they are fed and happy allowing you to get out and explore the mountain!

Coronet Peak is only a 25-minute drive from the centre of Queenstown and this mountain has it all. Awe-inspiring views, expertly groomed runs, rollercoaster terrain and Skiwiland for kids from 3 months to 15 years. Plus, Coronet Peak has the added benefit of being the home of night skiing and lights up its slopes on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Coronet Peak is the only mountain in New Zealand that offers a night skiing option, and it’s a fabulous experience.

Cardrona Alpine Resort is a great mountain to explore and enjoy and only a 60-minute drive over the Crown Range from Queenstown and close to Wanaka. It’s New Zealand's most popular ski area, attracting all kinds of snow enthusiasts – from beginners and families to Olympic and X Games athletes who come here to train. Freestyle Snowboarding and skiing are well catered for with 2 half pipes and 4 terrain parks and with wide open trails Cardrona offers some of NZ's best and most reliable snow conditions.

There is a range of options for children at Cardrona. From Ski Kindy, through to the Cardrona Kids Adventure Program, and Ride Tribe, which teaches over 10-year-old intermediate skiers a range of snow disciplines, venturing both on & off piste.

You can drive to all the ski fields yourself, although snow chains are needed, use the drop zone at the top for your passengers, then you can park in the lower carparks and catch a free shuttle back to the base area. Or hop on the Remarkables Ski bus that departs from the Queenstown Snow Centre downtown.

You can rent everything you need on the mountain; a great value for money option is renting a clothing and accessories bundle – as this gets you sorted. Plus, if you hire off the mountain you can store overnight for free.

There are also many other rental places around town that can help fit you and see you ready for the mountain.

Queenstown accommodation can start to get a little crazy over the ski season, but there’s a room with your name on it at Bella Vista Motel Queenstown, it’s central to town, modern, well priced, includes a ski drying room and storage, and offers studios, one, two and three bedroom unit options. So, book in early and secure your pick of dates for the upcoming skiing season!

Wanaka

Wanaka is a winter paradise for all snowsports from fun family ski holidays to the exhilaration of the largest heliskiing terrain in the Southern Hemisphere. Three of New Zealand’s best skiing locations are less than an hour’s drive away – Cardrona, Treble Cone, and Snow Farm.

Treble Cone is the closest ski area to Wanaka and largest in the South Island. Its famous for its long-groomed uncrowded slopes and boasts the longest vertical rise in the Queenstown Southern Lakes District. Treble Cone’s off-piste is legendary and the views over Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring are second to none. Its steeper slopes make it an excellent option for more experienced skiers and boarders and there is a free beginner ski area for those who want to learn.

The Bella Vista Wanaka couldn’t be in a better location close to the ski shops, shuttle bus, the supermarket, restaurants and the bars for happy hour!   With convenient parking and a ski drying and storage room its set up for all your ski holiday needs.

Lake Wakatipu


Christchurch & Ashburton

There are several ski fields within close proximity to Christchurch, the hub of the Canterbury region and the perfect base for anyone looking for snow-fuelled fun and adventure.  From Porters Ski Area, a local favourite and popular with both families, advanced skiers, and boarders, to the most popular being Mt Hutt, just 90 minutes from Christchurch, it has been voted NZ's Best Ski Resort.

One of the largest and highest ski areas in the South Island Mt Hutt ski area boasts wide open terrain for all ski and snowboard ability levels plus kids 10 years and under ski for free!  It also has a quick and easy on-mountain rental system and supervised kids’ programmes and Early Learning Centre for children age 3 months & up.

After your day up the mountain, you can depend on our Christchurch or Ashburton motel for a warm welcome and comfortable stay.  Our rooms vary from studios and one to three bedroom units and apartments with cooking facilities and we offer continental breakfasts for those who want to hit the slopes earlier. If you still have the energy for some Après Ski our location is an easy walk to the city centre, restaurants, bars, and entertainment.

Our friendly team at the Bella Vista Christchurch can also point you in the direction of ski shops in Christchurch city who hire out ski gear and sell ski passes and if you don’t want to do the driving yourself they can help you book a door-to-door shuttle service.

Taupo

Taupo is nestled on the shores of Lake Taupo and is the perfect retreat for a ski holiday. There’s a lot to do in this region and winter skiing is the first choice for many visitors. Ride the volcano in the heart of the North Island and experience NZ’s two largest ski areas - Whakapapa and Turoa – in nearby World Heritage Park of Tongariro.

Mt Ruapehu ski areas are home to the most awesome natural skiing and snowboarding terrain in New Zealand and Australasia. Offering huge snow filled basins, numerous groomed beginner areas, natural halfpipes, lift-accessed backcountry, steep chutes, drop-offs and secret powder stashes.

Don’t forget to take a breather in The Knoll Ridge Café in Whakapapa Ski Area! Its NZ’s highest café at 2020m above sea level and worth grabbing a pie, coffee or longer lunch to linger over the breathtaking views of the Pinnacles and valley below.

Bella Vista Taupo is situated on the fringe of the Lake Taupo town centre. This location means it is just a short stroll to the lakefront, cafes, restaurants and shopping district for all your après ski needs. The Taupo motel offers 1 Bedroom, Studio, and Twin, safe parking, complimentary wifi, and activity booking service.

And if you need to ease away those aches and pains from your day up the mountain our friendly hosts at your Taupo accommodation can point you in the direction to the thermal pools and spa complex where you can enjoy a dip in the therapeutic hot pools, a Maori Cultural experience or a spa treatment.

We’re lucky enough in New Zealand to have some of the best skiing right here in our own backyard. People travel from near and far to ski and board on our beautiful mountains. If you’ve never been skiing in New Zealand before, we challenge you to join us at Bella Vista this winter and see what all the fuss is about.


Queenstown in Autumn


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Come to Queenstown in Autumn and live like a local!  You won’t be disappointed, and you don’t need to spend a fortune in this resort town to have a good time. 

We liken Queenstown in Autumn to a very sublime cocktail as it is blessed with the most beautiful and spectacular surroundings of mountains and lakes, mixed with those stunning autumnal colours of the South and stirred up with the town’s great vibe. It’s cool!

Have you been to Queenstown before and ticked off most of the attractions or do you like to immerse yourself in the local scene and mingle with the locals and experience a place as they do? This list of experiences from our hosts at our Bella Vista Queenstown accommodation will have you discovering Queenstown just like a local!

Arrowtown displays the red and gold splendour of Autumn like no other place in the South and this year kicks off its 34th Festival.  A time when the community gets together in a fun-filled event of activities, food, and wine, crafts, children’s workshops, exhibitions, shows, and music. A highlight of the festival is the free street parade featuring fabulous floats and colourful characters. Visit the Arrowtown Bakery for some picnic treats and you are set. 

Arrowtown in Autumn

Autumn in Queenstown is still a great time to get out and about and you’ll see lots of locals out on their bikes or walk the many trails. There are many options for hiring bikes and your hosts at the Bella Vista Queenstown can point you in the right direction depending on where you would like to explore. If walking is more your thing a popular trail is the Lake Hayes Loop Track or if the snow hasn’t arrived yet, drive up the Remarkables access road and walk up to the glacial waters of Lake Alta or the Lookout for fabulous views over the Wakatipu Basin.

Lake Hayes and Remarkables Mountain

Another of Queenstown’s popular free activities is Frisbee Golf. There are now 2 courses, one scattered through the beautiful Queenstown Gardens and another located by the Shotover River near Quail Rise. This is a great activity to get out and experience the beautiful outdoors and have some fun.

If you need that coffee hit each day or fancy a leisurely lunch, then check out these recommended places Bob’s Weigh or Bespoke in central Queenstown or out of town, try The Boatshed overlooking the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.

The local Saturday morning Remarkables Market, open till mid-April, located in the Red Barn down from Remarkables Park Shopping Centre has a great vibe. Pick up some fresh seasonal fruit or veges, pastries or other local delicacies along with art and crafts and while away some time listening to a local performer.

Remarkables Market

If the rivers are still low, taking a 4WD along one of the many local tracks and river crossings is always a fun day out and a favourite is to 4WD through Skippers Canyon.

If you are after that sweet treat then head on into the Remarkables Sweet Shop for some fudge tasting or the delectable Patagonia ice-cream parlour. So rewarding after a day out! Both of these great outlets are in downtown Queenstown and Arrowtown.

And when you slow down into the autumnal evenings, grab some Fish ‘n’ Chips from Erik's or a legendary burger from Fergburger and head down to the beach for a picnic dinner at Lake Wakatipu. Local’s tip: Ring Fergburger and pre-order if you don’t like waiting in queues. If the weather is starting to get the chilly head inside to one of the many outstanding restaurants – they may even have that cozy fire going!

Check out a Quiz Night and mingle at a local pub or head back to Arrowtown to catch a movie at the boutique cinema, bar and bookshop Dorothy Brown’s.

So, get your Autumn in Queenstown started. Firstly, book your Queenstown accommodation with Bella Vista Motels. You can do this at www.bellavista.co.nz and take advantage of the ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ option. The Bella Vista Queenstown is centrally located with free parking and WiFi and all room options have kitchenettes. The friendly team is there to help you experience Queenstown like a local.

Enjoy!


Easter Getaways


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With Easter, and the excuse to over indulge in delicious chocolate just around the corner, why not start thinking about where to head to next!

It’s our last long holiday before we start heading into the cooler months, so we’ve taken all the hard work out of it and uncovered your next exciting escape with Bella Vista! Here's a few ideas:

New Plymouth

A great place to explore this Easter holiday is New Plymouth - one of New Zealand’s best surf regions with a spectacular coastline for a great beach getaway.  Our New Plymouth motel is ideally situated just a few minutes’ stroll to the fabulous coastal walkway track. The track stretches 12.7km along the picturesque coastline offering amazing views, great beaches and outdoor art displays such as the iconic Wind Wand or the Te Rewa Rewa bridge.  

 

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge New Pymouth

 

Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes and while away some time exploring rock pools, or head out to Sugar Loaf Marine Park, home to seals, seabirds and other marine life. You can snorkel, dive, swim, kayak or take a tour.  A top tip from our Bella Vista New Plymouth hosts is to make sure you also visit Giles Chocolatier to indulge in artisanal chocolate tastings or a decadent hot chocolate – I hear the Star Anise Hot Chocolate is yummy!

Wellington

Whilst we are spoilt for choice on locations in our beautiful country, we concluded that it’s hard to go past our capital, Wellington.  The vibrant feel to this city is obvious as soon as you head out for a stroll, with its sophistication, quirky corners and cosmopolitan mix of cafes, restaurants, bars. Wellington very rarely disappoints. You also have plenty of options to pick up an Easter treat. Take a tour at the Wellington Chocolate Factory who produce delicious organic artisan chocolates, or visit Butler’s Chocolate Café, specialist chocolatier and coffee chain, serving handmade sweets, pastries and sandwiches.

Our Bella Vista accommodation in Wellington is perfectly situated in Evans Bay, only a few minutes’ walk to restaurants and 5 minutes’ drive to beaches such as Oriental Bay. Our Wellington motel is a fantastic option as it provides a quieter location with a bit more space to relax.  Wellington Airport, Wellington Waterfront, Te Papa Museum, the Ferry Terminal and Westpac Stadium are only minutes’ drive away.

The capital city ticks all the boxes!

 

Wellington Bella Vista

 

Blenheim

Blenheim is the hub of the Marlborough region, gateway to the Marlborough Sounds, and our Blenheim motel accommodation is the perfect base for your Easter adventure in the Marlborough district. Marlborough's varied attractions include its wine industry, the waterways of the Marlborough Sounds, gourmet foods, adventure activities, museums and heritage centres, relaxing recreational opportunities and so much more. Enjoy the walks along the banks of the Taylor River or catch the Delta Queen paddle steamer for a journey on the river. Take a drive to the outskirts of Blenheim to Riverlands Cob Cottage, an early Marlborough dwelling furnished in the original pioneer style. Or for the more adventurous visit the Wither Hills Mountain Bike Park, a 40-hectare mountain bike park crisscrossed with tracks and offering visitors loads of fun for all levels of rider.

From the moment you arrive you'll enjoy the convenience that our Blenheim motel has to offer.  The Bella Vista Blenheim is near to the town centre for shops, business, entertainment and other activities, and just minutes from the many well-known Marlborough vineyards. There are an enormous number of vineyards to explore in Blenheim, either on your own or as part of a tour: Saint Clair, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay, Allan Scott, Spy Valley, Lawson’s Dry Hills, are only but a few.  Our hosts at the Bella Vista Blenheim will happily offer local advice on any of these activities and help you make any reservations.

 

Blenheim Vineyards

 

Queenstown

Queenstown always inspires when considering a holiday.  Whether for the adventurous at heart, those seeking solace in the beauty of its surrounds, getting together with friends or family, its possibilities are endless.

Our Bella Vista Queenstown motel accommodation is in the heart of Queenstown and only 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre or the mesmerising lake where you have many options to get out on and explore including the TSS Earnslaw steamship, jet boating, cruising, fishing or a thrilling and ultimate ride in the Hydro Attack.  Don’t forget kids and big kids alike can have fun freestyle trampolining at SITE, or visit Game Over, home to the Grand Prix Indoor karting track and laser tag.  Right next door is the Remarkables Park Market on Saturdays, a great place to relax, taste the local delicacies and enjoy the vibe. 

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 get yourself a finger-licking chocolatey treat from Patagonia and watch the world go by on the Queenstown waterfront.

The attractions that are going to bring you to Queenstown really are endless the team at Bella Vista Queenstown look forward to hosting you!

 

Queenstown. TSS Earnslaw and the Remarkables

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

 


Top 10 Motel Tips. Know Before you Go!


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If you are travelling to New Zealand or are a resident Kiwi, there is a good chance you're already aware that New Zealand motels offer a great option for your overnight accommodation needs.

With 27 motels nationwide, Bella Vista is well placed to cater for anyone requiring a motel stay. They are affordable, comfortable and convenient plus in most instances, you will get a better feel for your locality. Whether you stay at Bella Vista Oamaru, Bella Vista Hamilton or Bella Vista Queenstown you will enjoy the hospitality of your Bella Vista host and be assured that each motel is Qualmark endorsed.

Unlike hotels, motels in New Zealand are not big complexes, will not have an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, lobby area, nor different staff for each department. But then you don't have to pay for these extras either! By comparison, Bella Vista Motels will have a welcoming reception area, a convenient carpark, some public spaces such as a garden or BBQ area and guest units within a secure courtyard. 

As Bella Vista's are managed by the owners/operator, you will certainly enjoy Bella Vista's genuine kiwi hospitality; a laid back and down to earth style and attitude.

Up to this point, if you have now decided to make a reservation with Bella Vista Accommodation Nationwide, here are 10 light-hearted tips you really should know before you arrive at the motel

1. There's no slippers

Yep. So there it is. We thought we'd get this out of the way first. Bella Vista nor New Zealand motels in general offer complimentary slippers. We understand you're disappointed so do make sure you pack your own.

2. Bella Vista motels are two storeys tall and do not have an elevator

Requests cannot always be guaranteed, but if you'd prefer to be on the ground floor please make sure you book with the motel and place your request directly rather than via a booking websites.
 

Bella Vista Motel

3. Please don't dry your clothes on the heater

Be very careful as it will create a significant safety risk. Covering a heater can cause fire.

4. Leave your luggage in the car

On your arrival, relax and leave your belongings in your car. Save your time and energy so that you only have to carry your luggage once, from your car to your room, after you have checked in.

5. Bella Vista Motel reception is not open 24/7

Bella Vista owner operators live on-site and do go to bed at night. They need their rest to ensure they can be bright and look after you during the day. So if you are going to check-in later than the advertised office hours, please make sure you let your host know.

6. Check-out time is 10 o'clock

For Bella Vista and most motels in New Zealand, check-out time is 10am. You can request a late-check out from your host which may be available.

7. Drying Dishes

In New Zealand we dry the dishes with a tea towel after being washed and then put them back in the cupboard. Just a friendly request not to put wet dishes back in the cupboard!

 

Bella Vista Motel Cupboard

8. Enjoy an electric blanket

Electric blankets are terrific inventions and it seems that many hotels don't even know they exist. They are particularly useful in winter. Simply turn it on at least an hour before go to bed to get your bed warm and then turn it off once you're in bed before you sleep.

9. Make your own breakfast

Every Bella Vista room features a kettle and toaster, complimentary tea, coffee and milk. So feel free to add some extras and put together a half-decent breakfast before you leave.

 

Bella Vista Continental Breakfast

10.  Be Aware of the T&C's

Terms and Conditions sound so tedious but they are there for a reason. So it is important that you understand them once you have completed your booking. Look specifically for cancellation and amendment policies so you can be sure your booking won't become problematic. 

With these tips now safely stored, head to www.bellavista.co.nz and book your next stay.


10 Reasons to Book Direct with Bella Vista


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Today, Wednesday 7th February is global #bookdirect day. It’s the one day in the calendar year where the hospitality industry including the 27 nationwide Bella Vista Motels would like to remind our valuable customers that you can Book Direct with Bella Vista New Zealand and that you don’t have to book via an Online Travel Agent.

But why Book Direct we hear you cry. Well here’s a few reasons:

1. The Best Price.

Don’t always believe what you read and hear! You will always get a better price booking with your host. It costs them less to receive your booking over the phone, on the Bella Vista website or by email as they don’t have to pay agent commission  - so ignore those annoying adverts and visit www.bellavista.co.nz or dial our Freephone reservation number 0800 235 528. Quite often you might even receive a special offer.

Book Direct with Bella Vista

2. Flexibility.

Enjoy the most favourable booking conditions with no hassle of having to work through a faceless intermediary. Phone your host and they are going to be more than happy to assist every single time. Surely that has to be better than contacting an offshore call centre and finding out no one really wants to help you amend your booking.

3.  Local Knowledge.

Whilst making your reservation, your host will answer all your questions about your stay without hesitation and no doubt offer some friendly advice at the same time. Take your time to pick their brains to make the most of your visit.

4.  Secure your favourite room.

By booking direct and talking to your host, you can request your preferred room. Whether it’s a garden view, an upstairs or downstairs studio, make your request and fingers crossed the room is available.  This simply isn’t possible to do with an online travel agent.

5. Help is at hand!

Have you ever had a booking with an online travel agent go wrong? Let’s just say the booking engine has a failed and you have booked a room that you think is available when in actual fact it isn’t. It’s not your fault. It’s not the motel or hotels fault but you’re the one left to pick up the pieces. If you want to avoid this disastrous scenario, book direct every time.

6. Book Now, Pay Later.

Secure your booking and pay when you arrive. That’s always going help with the holiday cash-flow

7. Earn Bella Vista Rewards.

Only customers who Book Direct are entitled to collect Bella Vista Rewards. If you Book Direct you will earn 5 points every time you stay which can be saved and then cashed in against a future stay. So booking direct is not only cheaper but we give you something back – how good is that!*  *available at participating Bella Vista's only

 

8. Support the New Zealand economy!

Every time you book via one of these monolithic online travel agents, your money is leaving the country and only a small portion gets returned to your host when you stay. It may be you don’t care whether the government is able to capture it’s GST slice,  but why should other countries profit either.

9. Put a smile on your hosts faces.

There is nothing your host will like more than a booking that has come directly to them. You making them happy will in turn increase the likelihood of them making your stay even better!

10. Free Continental Breakfast.

If you Book Direct on the Bella Vista website today, Wednesday 7th February, we’re going to give you a free breakfast when you stay. Just as a little way of saying thanks.

Bella Vista Continental Breakfast

So whether it’s Bella Vista Queenstown you’re heading to, Bella Vista Hamilton, Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier or Bella Vista Christchurch here are your Book Direct options:

  • ­   Visit www.bellavista.co.nz
  • ­   Call 0800 235 528
  • ­   Email [email protected]

#bookdirect   #trustbellavista


When Quality Counts


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In the modern digital age, every person travelling with a smartphone, iPad or other device has the opportunity to both read and post reviews and ratings on their overnight experience.

Whether they choose to leave their thoughts and opinions on Trip Advisor, Google, or a booking agent’s website, this very public feedback has guaranteed that New Zealand accommodation standards must remain high and guest expectations are met every time.

The evolution of user-centric feedback is an overwhelmingly positive development for the travel and tourism industry and ensures the general public can be fully informed about their purchasing decision by peers rather than by some clever marketing words or sales pitch. It’s the way things should be.

Customer Reviews

The digital feedback revolution is something that the Bella Vista Accommodation network fully supports. All positive feedback allows our terrific motel operators to take comfort that they are delivering a great experience. Of course, no motelier wants to receive a poor review but when that does occasionally occur, more often than not, it’s an easy fix and we are able to improve our offer.

One critical point that the customer seems to miss when using peer-to-peer reviews, however, is that these ratings are really only scratching the surface and are simply a superficial overview. Important questions that all New Zealand motels should be able to answer often get left unasked. Those question should include:

  • How robust are your health and safety policies and practices?
  • What does your businesses environmental footprint look like?
  • Do you engage and give back to your local community ?
  • Do you have an emergency plan to ensure I can rely on you in the unlikely event of a natural disaster?
  • What do your cleaning schedules and systems look like and do they meet not just international standards by my standards?

This is where Quality really comes into the equation of deciding where you want to stay. In Bella Vista’s opinion, only accommodation operators who have been audited by a recognisable external and independent organisation can really promote their accommodation business with any kind of credible quality or star rating.

Qualmark a mark of quality

Bella Vista works closely with Qualmark, New Zealand’s official quality assurance
organisation who provide a trusted guide to quality travel experiences in New Zealand.  Qualmark's business advisors visit Bella Vista motels at least once a year ensuring we
are checked against best- practise operating standards and the optimum customer
experience delivery.

There is a huge amount of evidence that business planning, good management and
solid processes as audited by Qualmark result in a better product. Furthermore, research
shows that an identifiable mark of quality is an important deciding factor when customer’s
etermine where they book. Certainly, any motel promoting itself as ‘self-rated’ does not
provide the necessary credibility any guest to New Zealand deserves.

From 4 Star rated Bella Vista Queenstown in the south to 4.5 Star rated Bella Vista Whangarei in the north, Bella Vista takes pride in the fact that we are the only motel chain in New Zealand that is Qualmark endorsed across each of our 27 comfortable and convenient locations.

Bella Vista Motels

#trustbellavista