Category Archives: Bella Vista Queenstown
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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If you are searching for a holiday that includes snow, New Zealand is very definitely for you. Every winter and often into late spring, New Zealand can guarantee a whole swag of the white stuff in both the North and South Islands. And we’re not talking about measly quotas that leave you feeling short changed. We’re talking about infamous New Zealand snow dumps that can bring the chills right through every self-proclaimed beach lover.
Winter time southerly winds racing up from the Antarctic are cold enough to frighten even hardened rain into beautiful New Zealand snowflakes and once they fall, our stunning landscape is taken to a whole new level of awesomeness as New Zealand proudly shows off its seasonal white winter blanket. Blessed with major mountain ranges that reach above and beyond 2,500 metres tall, New Zealand naturally attracts snow to those highest peaks. In some cases, such as with Mount Cook at over 3,700 metres high, the snow tends to hang around all year.
Winter sports enthusiasts have long held New Zealand in high regard for its high quality ski-fields and the variety of its snow-covered mountain terrain, but it’s not just ski and snowboard aficionado’s that New Zealand snow attracts. It may be hard to believe but for many visitors travelling to New Zealand from distant tropical countries, the opportunity to touch snow for the very first time is a very exciting part of their journey.
So read on for our detailed guide to where you can find New Zealand snow.
Perhaps not the most obvious place to start, but New Plymouth sits adjacent to New Zealand’s largest stand-alone mountain, Mt Taranaki. During winter and often extending well into later seasons, the upper slopes of the mountain which reaches 2,518 metres will be snow clad. Taking a hike in Egmont National Park is a popular activity and a winter time walk to the snow line is quite easy to achieve with three main access roads allowing you to get you part-way up the mountain. We definitely wouldn’t recommend a summit hike during the winter season however! New Plymouth is a great city to visit and our down-town New Plymouth accommodation option can give you all the information you need for your time there.
West Coast Glaciers
Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier are world famous for the nearby glaciers from which the settlements take their names. And naturally, a glacier experience is what most people visit these townships for. The best choice to get up and personal with those glaciers is a heli-hike and this includes touching down on the top of the glaciers and being able to actually walk amongst virgin snow. It really is quite an experience to not only take a scenic flight up and around Mount Cook, but then to land and tread on these massive snowfields at the top of the glaciers. It is quite a wondrous experience. Franz Josef Bella Vista and Fox Bella Vista can give you all the details you need to make this a really memorable visit.
If you intend to travel from Christchurch Bella Vista across to the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Bella Vista has a great value Hokitika accommodation or Greymouth motel facilities available to book. But it’s the journey that crosses up and through the Southern Alps and through Arthurs Pass township itself that we are interested in, as this presents a strong chance of accessing some winter snow. With several good walks there is every chance of getting amongst the snow line and probably meeting some Kea’s, NZ’s very unique mountain parrot..
Te Anau itself will get snow to the ground a couple of times of year, but being on the edge of the Fiordland National Park means getting close to the snow line in winter isn’t too difficult. If you are undertaking one of the New Zealand’s Great Walks, Te Anau is a great base to use as a start or finish point and these walks will invariably enter the snow line. Perhaps the most accessible snow is on the road to Milford Sound. As the road climbs to a height of 925m where it enters the Homer Tunnel, there is always a good level of snow by the adjacent car-park to play in. It’s quite special watching tourists who have never seen snow before experiencing it for the first time. The team at Te Anau Bella Vista have a lot more detail on these options.
Of course New Zealand’s ski fields are an obvious place to head to access to snow even if you are not intending to ride skis or snowboards, as most have well-formed access roads to the snow line. Be sure to travel with snow-chains and if your car is only a two wheel drive, this may prevent you from getting as close to snow as you might like!
The team at Bella Vista Ashburton have a secret and it’s time to let you know. Ashburton is a great place to base yourself for skiing Mount Hutt whilst enjoying some great value Ashburton at the same time. Understandably, Mt Hutt accommodation prices increase quite considerably for the towns that are closer to Mt Hutt Ski Field, so being just under an hour’s drive from the mountain, it makes sense to try and take advantage of the cheaper rates staying in Ashburton accommodation offers. A weekend and school holiday ski shuttle from Ashburton takes care of the driving for you so you can relax and enjoy the snow.
Dotted around the South Island of New Zealand are lots of club ski-fields, including Hanmer Springs Ski Area. There is a chairlift, a tow rope and the club offer groomed trails with lots of space. A shuttle will take you to the ski field from Hanmer Springs and our team at Bella Vista will ensure you have an enjoyable stay at their quiet Hanmer Springs accommodation.
Not the most obvious base to use for snow adventures, but if you are using Bella Vista Oamaru accommodation as an overnight stop on your New Zealand journey, there are a couple of ski-fields which you may pass and are worth a try to get in touch with snow. An hour’s drive up the Waitaki Valley will bring you to the small township of Kurow where a small ski-field called Awakino is located. At the top of the valley and into the foothills of the Southern Alps is another relatively un-commercialised ski-field called Ohau. Located above the picturesque Lake Ohau this is a great area to enjoy the snow.
If you intend to continue your journey onward to either Wanaka or Queenstown, you will be required to cross the dramatic Lindis Pass which at a height of 971 metres is often covered by a layer of snow during winter. There is a car-park and look-out which will allow you to stop safely.
When it comes to ski holidays, the southern lakeside resort of Wanaka is an obvious choice to head to get amongst the snow. It boasts two fabulous local ski-fields in the technically excellent Treble Cone and the popular all round favourite Cardrona ski resort. With your Bella Vista Wanaka accommodation set in the heart of town you are never far from your ski transport, ski retail outlets, eateries and bars. After an enjoyable day on the slopes, you can quickly change and fall into any number of evening outlets safe in the knowledge that you are hardly a stone’s throw away from a good night’s sleep.
Queenstown needs no introduction as a place to head for winter snow and in particular skiing or snowboarding. Two major ski-fields - Coronet Peak and The Remarkables - lie within a 30 minute drive and if you drive over the Crown Range road, you’re only a short distance from another significant ski centre which hosts international competitions called Cardrona Skifield. Bella Vista Queenstown is perfectly positioned to take advantage of these winter sports with free parking, a drying room, and an easy five minute stroll into town to take advantage of Queenstown’s famed après ski hospitality. Even if you don't ski there are terrific facilities on offer and room for the kids to have a play. Queenstown will often experience between 1 or 2 major snow storms through the winter that will bring snow to ground level. They are often very memorable days as the surrounding countryside is blanketed white – as long as you can look beyond the inconvenience of snowbound cars and the potential of flight cancellations.
Ski fields are not the exclusive preserve of the South Island. The North Island also offers some impressive ski fields, the three main options being located on Mount Ruapehu which is within striking distance of the popular lakeside town of Taupo. Bella Vista has a highly rated motel located just a few blocks back from the lakefront and they are a very good Taupo accommodation option to consider as a ski base
If you are travelling in snow conditions, please ensure you have snow chains in your vehicle and above all, travel safe! Bella Vista New Zealand Accommodation Nationwide looks forward to hosting you.
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For any one heading on holiday or taking a journey a sunrise or sunset can be an iconic part of your experience. Some may argue that it is an essential element to any great trip and we can assure you that when travelling to New Zealand you will have a great time.
Watching dawn break and the sun follow shortly after is always memorable, particularly if you have got up early to see it. Finding the perfect spot in the evening to share and enjoy with friends and family as you watch the sun go down can also be very special. If you record the occasion with a photo there is no doubt it will take pride of place in both your photo album and memory. Recollections of spectacular colours dance together as sounds all blur into an occasion of happiness and wonderful memories.
Being an island nation and surrounded by oceans stretching to infinity both east and west, New Zealand is uniquely well-placed for this experience. The Pacific Ocean gives the days first light to New Zealand along the east coast whilst the Tasman Sea swallows the sun in the west at the end of the day. Being a relatively small nation, it is not difficult to traverse between coastlines and capture both the sun rising and setting across the sea in the same day. Not that we would necessarily advise that, however, because it would create an unnecessary rush between coasts.
Any well-planned itinerary should definitely allow time and so it may be that you choose a different option to capture the sunset or sunrise and that is to get amongst the mountains. With the spine of New Zealand carried by the Southern Alps in the South Island and the Volcanic Plateau in the centre of the North Island, there are lots of options here to obtain your perfect first light or sundowners experience.
With 27 locations through the country, Bella Vista has motels which are well-placed to help you achieve your ‘sun time’ goal. Have a read of the following suggestions and plan your travels accordingly.
The most obvious place to start is Gisborne, commonly known as the first city to see the rising sun – every day! Gisborne Bella Vista is well placed to access not only the heart of the city by car or by foot, but it is a great location to head a little bit further out of town and explore more of the East Cape. But where is the best place to see the sunrise we hear you ask? Wainui Beach often takes the headlines but one recommendation is to head further up to Makorori Beach, a lovely locals beach north on State Highway 35 with great views of the coast from the lookout. It is popular with surfers but also those wanting to see the start of the day. Sunsets aren’t too shabby here either as the light of the day disappears behind you creating a wonderful warm glow. If you want something closer to town, Kaiti Hill is a look-out point which you can reach by walking, biking or by car. With views out to sea and right across Gisborne, you’ll be well set to see the new dawn. Gisborne Bella Vista will be more than happy to help you with the local knowledge that you need, including heading further around the East Cape where there are some other terrific sunrise spots including East Cape lighthouse and Anaura Bay.
Wellington is another great North Island destination to watch the sunrise. An early start from the Wellington Bella Vista to head up Mount Victoria that stands closely behind your Wellington accommodation will bring brilliant rewards. As the sun eases up behind the hazy shadowy outlines of distant mountains, you’ll watch the city catch the light and come to life in the dawn sunlight. With views of the city, the harbour, planes and ferries arriving and leaving, you really get a sense of the day beginning. Mount Victoria can be a challenging walk but the team at your Bella Vista motel will know the best way to go and critically the best time to ensure you make the most of this peaceful time of day.
For terrific sunsets in the North Island it might sound too obvious but we would point you to New Plymouth, New Zealand’s most westerly city. With our Bella Vista accommodation set right in the heart of town, you have the most perfect location to enjoy the highlights of the region and you’re also not too far from a popular sunset spot. Back Beach overlooks Sugar Loaf Marine Park and is a short 10 minute drive from your New Plymouth accommodation. Taking in the sunset at this spot seems to be the highlight for many visitors and comes highly recommended. Take your time to end the day and enjoy a wander or just
Heading to the South Island, we’re going to take you straight to Bella Vista Hokitika accommodation, a motel set in the most delightful West Coast town that happens to be directly adjacent to the beach. Not only that, but Hokitika has a beach called Sunset Point which is a 3 minute drive from the hotel or a 15 minute walk. As the name suggests, it is a great place to watch the sunset and a quick look at Trip Advisor confirms this with a 5 out of 5 star rating.
“This is the place to watch the sunset each day as the sun kisses the ocean and disappears into the water. Plenty of photo opportunities with drift wood sign spelling out the towns name.”
Photos from previous travellers instantly draw you to want to visit the town so don’t delay. If you hadn’t heard of Hokitika previously be sure to add it to your itinerary and book for two nights, not just one. Our Hokitika motel has handy maps to guide you the right way and will also be able to tell you what time you need to be there by to enjoy the most of the sun descending into the sea.
Set in the heart of the mountains in the southern region of New Zealand, Queenstown may be completely landlocked but here you can view a wonderful sunset, sunrise and see the southern nights stars in between. For the early risers, a trip in the car up the public road to Coronet Peak will position you perfectly to watch the first light of the day cast itself across the Wakatipu basin. As the sun comes up in the distant west, you will see bands of light rising behind mountains and the reflections of early sunlight casting shadows which create wonderful effects on the valley floor far beneath you. It is a magical time of day and the beautiful views keep growing as the new daylight chases down the Remarkables and onto Lake Wakitipu. Queenstown Bella Vista will advise you on the best timings to head out and the which route to take to capture these views. The team at the centrally located Queenstown accommodation motel will also point you toward Queenstown lakefront in time for a perfect sundowners. The beach at Queenstown Bay can become very busy during the evening on a warm sunny day but it is very much worth finding a spot after purchasing some fish & chips and sit there as the sun sets behind Ben Lomond. Some would say this is the best show in town but wait, have you looked at the stars?
Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier
It might sound strange, but another perfect sunrise spot is actually on the West Coast near Fox Glacier and within a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier. Lake Matheson takes pride of place as the sun rises above the snow-capped mountains perfectly reflect in the still lake waters. It's a special spot and close to both Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier accommodation and Bella Vista Fox Glacier motel.
Dunedin, Mosgiel & Christchurch
Two other favourite spots we have in the South Island for sunsets are Dunedin’s St Clair beach and New Brighton Pier in Christchurch. Luckily both have Bella Vista’s nearby, Bella Vista offers a great Mosgiel accommodation option just 10 minutes’ drive from Dunedin or you can stay at the Dunedin Bella Vista itself. Bella Vista Christchurch apartments and motel is located on Bealey Avenue, a 15 minute drive from New Brighton. If you happen to be spending your last night in New Zealand before flying home from Christchurch Airport, take time to head to the pier in the late afternoon and enjoy a memorable end to your holiday.
We’d love to hear from you where you have enjoyed your most memorable New Zealand sunrise or sunset so feel free to leave your comments on the Bella Vista Facebook page or share your photo on Instagram with the tag #bellavistanz
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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.
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!
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!
Book now at www.bellavista.co.nz and secure your Easter break.
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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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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:
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 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.
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 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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:
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
So book now at www.bellavista.co.nz and secure your Easter break.
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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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.
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.
- Visit www.bellavista.co.nz
- Call 0800 235 528
- Email [email protected]
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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.
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.
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
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.
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