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Category Archives: Bella Vista Te Anau

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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Reaching New Zealand Snow


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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.

New Plymouth

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.

Heli hiking west coast glaciers

Arthurs Pass

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

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.

 

Bella Vista Te Anau

 

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!

Ashburton

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. 

Hanmer Springs

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.

Oamaru

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.

Wanaka

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

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 Queenstown

 

Taupo

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.


South Island Easter Getaways


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

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

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

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

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

Hanmer Springs

 

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

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

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

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

 

Bella Vista Lake Wanaka

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bella Vista Queenstown

 

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


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.


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


Take to the Lake with Bella Vista


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New Zealand is blessed with an abundance of beautiful lakes that have been picture perfectly set amongst lush green native bush or with a backdrop of rugged snow-capped mountains.  Many have been carved out by glaciers or created through volcanic activity, some offer awe-inspiring views and others are so blue they take your breath away.  Together they provide a playground for fresh water recreation throughout the country.  Whether for boating or fishing, walking or photography, swimming or pondering, a trip to a lake will inspire anyone.  

Check out our top 5 fabulous lakeside destinations, combine with a few nights at Bella Vista accommodation, and create a wonderful getaway experience.


Rotorua

What better place to start than with the North Island Lakes District surrounding Rotorua.  The region has around 20 lakes mostly formed due to volcanic activity, with Lake Rotorua being its largest. The city of Rotorua sits on the south shore where you will find your Bella Vista accommodation. Your Rotorua motel is central to all of Rotorua’s main city tourist attractions, within walking distance to the CBD, lakefront and ‘Eat Street’ restaurants, and located across the road from Kuirau Park with its steaming lake and bubbling mud pools.

The area is well known for its thermal hot springs such as Whakarewarewa and cold springs of Hamurana, Rainbow and Fairy.  Famous for trout fishing, it’s also a popular resort for boating, swimming and picnics. Cruise the lake on the spectacular Lakeland Queen paddle steamer or have some family fun on a WWII amphibious vehicle.  From your Rotorua accommodation you can explore further afield to Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi (The Blue and Green Lakes), two small lakes lying between Lake Rotorua and Lake Tarawera and nick-named for their brilliant blue and green hues; or to Lake Rotomahana, the deepest of the Rotorua lakes, featuring steaming rock walls and the purest strain of rainbow trout in the world.

 

Lake Rotorua

 

Taupo

The Rotorua region is also part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone in the North Island which has been active for over 2 million years and continues to be highly active. The zone was named after Lake Taupo, a flooded caldera that was created by an ancient eruption to become the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand.  Lake Taupo, according to Maori legend, is the pumping heart of the North Island and this is certainly true when it comes to being a holiday destination. Taupo is popular for fishing, kayaking, cycling, golf, geothermal walks, lake cruises and many other outdoor activities. Your Bella Vista Taupo accommodation is situated on the fringe of the town centre only a short stroll from shops, restaurants and cafes and a 5-minute drive from the mighty Huka Falls, a must-do during your stay!  Your Taupo motel is also a great base for exploring the Tongariro National Park and after a day exploring or adventure you can relax and soothe your body in one of the natural mineral or hot thermal pools in the town.

The Southern Lakes region of the South Island New Zealand, as the name suggests is home to three stunning lake settings: Lake Wanaka, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Te Anau. 

 

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is spectacular.  Set amongst mountains the resort town is the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park in the Southern Alps and close to Treble Cone and Cardrona Ski fields.  Wanaka Bella Vista is only 150 metres from the lakes edge, a perfect location for you to safely park and explore on foot.  Stylish shops, restaurants & cafes, galleries, and wine bars are just a minute’s stroll from your door making it the most perfect Wanaka accommodation choice.  If fishing, tramping and other adventure activities are not your thing then meander along the waterfront, pick your spot, settle in with a good book or contemplate the wonder, beauty and serenity you find yourself in.

 

Lake Wanaka

 

Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu, z-shaped like a lightning bolt, was carved out by a glacier more than 15,000 years ago during the last ice age.  It’s said to have its own ‘heartbeat’ – the phenomenon called a lake seiche, whereby the water rises and falls about 20cm every 27 minutes.  Make sure you find out about the Maori explanation for the seiche, the ‘Legend of the Lake’ and why the beautiful Manata, daughter of a local Maori chief was at the centre of the cause.  Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is the alpine and resort town of Queenstown.  The vibrant energetic town draws in backpackers and adventurers to filmmakers and stars from around the globe.  With warm summers and spectacular winters, it’s a year-round holiday destination offering unlimited adventure. Your 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.

 

Lake Wakatipu Sunset

 

Te Anau

Te Anau is the hub of the Fiordland region, nestled on the outskirts of Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage area and the ‘Walking Capital of the World’, and lying on the shores of Lake Te Anau against a backdrop of dramatic and wild scenery.  Lake Te Anau is open all year round for fishing and there are experienced guides who can take you to some local hot spots.  The lake is also great for cruising - take a 2 ½ hour guided trip to the caves and glow-worm grotto on the lake's edge.  Bella Vista Te Anau, located in a quiet street, adjacent to a park, is the closest motel to the town centre and just a few minutes stroll to the lakefront.  It’s a great base to explore lakes further afield and is high rates as an excellent Te Anau motel choice. Take a twilight walk on Fraser’s Beach or stop in at the pub for a drink and soak in the breath-taking views of Lake Manapouri or venture along the road to Milford Sound to Mirror Lakes, a short walk of the road takes you to a set of lakes with lovely reflections of the Earl Mountains. 

 

Your friendly Bella Vista hosts can help book any of your lakeside activities or provide you with local tips to help you have an enjoyable stay.  So head to the lake this summer with your Bella Vista motel accommodation all booked for some unbeatable fun.

 


The Top Things To Do in Te Anau


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You’ll need to pinch yourself, Te Anau is the epitome of natural perfection. The gateway to Fiordland and a nature lovers paradise, with National Parks, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and world famous walks all on your doorstep. Te Anau is the perfect launching pad for further exploration and a destination in it's right.

For those with the desire to stay somewhere off the typical Queenstown tourist trail, Te Anau is a magical choice, with beauty and splendour everywhere you look. Overnighting in Te Anau also has the added benefit of cutting down travel times, Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound are the well-known heroes of the area and what the majority of visitors will come to experience.  Although these destinations can be done as a day trip from Queenstown, it does make for a very long day. Choosing to stay in Te Anau allows a few more hours in the day to explore and enjoy everything on offer.

The picturesque Te Anau township is located on the south-eastern shores of the South Island’s largest lake (344 sq km), Lake Te Anau.  In Maori legend, the name Te Anau means: Te: the,  Ana: cave, and au: swirling. The name came from the story there were caves located on the lake’s shore filled with numerous glow worms and an underground torrent that ran through the cave. The story was true so read on for more on this story and what else you can do in and around Te Anau.

Te Anau GlowWorm Caves

Rediscovered in 1948 by a local man called Lawson Burrows, the Te Anau Glow Worm caves are an icon of Te Anau tourism both locally and internationally. They are a must do experience if you are staying in the town.  A combination of caverns and water holes, the caves have been carved out from the limestone rock and now host a wonderful colony of glow worm's which can be experienced by punt in perfect darkness. To reach the caves you will need to take a 20-minute boat journey from Te Anau town centre. Tours to the glow worm caves operate at least twice daily from Te Anau wharf.

Milford Sound

The Milford Road is a 2.5-hour drive from Te Anau and is one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand, with phenomenal sights and short walks dotted along the way. You’ll pass valleys, waterfalls, peaks and onto Homer Tunnel, which has been carved from solid granite. The tunnel signals the steep descent to Milford Sound. This drive can be done as a self-drive or by choosing one of the many coach options that depart from Te Anau daily. Those opting to drive yourself need to know a few things before departing: Te Anau is the last petrol stop before Milford Sound, so make sure the car is full as you’ll need to travel two hours each way, there is no mobile phone coverage between Te Anau and Milford and you’ll need to drive with chains in the winter months.

The drive, however, is only the beginning. When you arrive and are out on a cruise on the fiord you’ll be completely blown away.  To attempt to describe the beauty of Milford Sound will never do it justice. Noted by Rudyard Kipling as the Eighth Wonder of the World, rain or shine this place is out of this world.
 

Milford Sound

The most famous of all the fiords in Fiordland National Park, the forest covered mountain peaks, ancient rock formations, sheer cliffs, deep waters, cascading waterfalls and of course the picture-perfect Mitre Peak, are simply stunning.

The Milford Sound cruises on offer vary in their quality and inclusions, so do some research and pick the one that’s best for you or ask at Bella Vista Te Anau’s desk for help when booking.
 

Doubtful Sound

You become acutely aware of the remoteness of Doubtful Sound as soon as you arrive.  To reach Doubtful Sound from Te Anau you take a short drive to Manapouri where you’ll jump aboard a boat to travel across Lake Manapouri, from there a coach will meet you to travel NZ’s most expensive road (over Wilmot Pass) and onto Doubtful Sound.

Doubtful Sound is approximately ten times larger than Milford Sound and the deepest of all the fiords. It offers quite a different experience to the better known Milford and is celebrated for its wilderness, wildlife, stillness and mystery. Visitors to Doubtful Sound are often overcome by a sense of quietness, the ‘place of silence’. When the boat engines are turned off for a period of time this magnified ten-fold.

Doubtful Sound has three distinct arms to it, through your journey you’ll experience mountain peaks, deep coves, plunging waterfalls, wildlife and native flora and fauna.
 

Doubtful Sound


Great Walks

Three of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks are situated close to Te Anau. Two of the Great Walks start at Lake Te Anau plus there are plenty of local Te Anau walks. 

Great Walks

Milford Track

The Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s best-known walks and hikers come from around the world to walk its paths. The 53.5 km track starts at Glade Wharf (at the tip of Lake Te Anau), where you walk to the finishing point of Sandfly Point in Milford Sound. This track can only be walked in one direction and will take 4 days to complete; each night is spent at a pre-booked hut. You’ll trek through magnificent scenery - mountains, forest, wetlands, waterfalls, and wonderful bird and animal life. The Milford Track is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that is highly recommended.

Kepler Track

This 60km loop track can be walked in both directions, it starts/finishes at the Kepler Track car park at the southern end of Lake Te Anau.  It will take between 3 – 4 days to complete and requires advanced bookings for campsite and hut accommodation. The Kepler Track will introduce you to stunning Fiordland scenery: the fiords, Lake Manapouri and the Murchison Mountains, plus much more, It’s a highlight for everyone that walks it.

Routeburn Track

This 32km track (one way) will see you walk over valleys, travel through mountain ranges and take in some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery. There are two starting and finishing points and the track can be walked in either direction, one track end is at the Routeburn Shelter (near Glenorchy and 68 km from Queenstown). The other is at The Divide (on the Milford Road, 85 km from Te Anau), or you have the ability to make this a circuit by linking up with the Greenstone and Caples Tracks. Most walkers will take 3 days/2 nights for this walk and there are huts and campsites enroute.

Accommodation in Te Anau

Staying at the Bella Vista Te Anau motel puts you in close proximity to these amazing locations, walks and attractions. We are the closest Te Anau accommodation option the township and literally, a stone's throw from the Te Anau lakefront. Owners Ray & E-min are passionate and knowledgeable about the Fiordland area and are happy to talk you through the various cruise, walking and tour options and help find the right fit for you.



Te Anau accommodation

Getting to Te Anau

For those Kiwis that have never travelled to this part of New Zealand, we recommend you take the step and book a few nights in Te Anau. Only this way will you get a real appreciation for the outstanding beauty our country offers.  For those overseas travellers, Te Anau and the Fiordland National Park region is a must-do inclusion for your New Zealand itinerary.

We hope the Te Anau weather turns it on for you so if you know when you want to travel, call the Bella Vista motel today and we’ll help you take care of the rest!


Bella Vista's '27 Club'; An Exclusive Membership


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Founded in 1998, the Bella Vista Accommodation Network quickly spread across the country creating a comprehensive motel chain of 27 quality motels from Bella Vista Invercargill in the scenic south to Bella Vista Whangarei in the winter-less north.

Over the following 18 years, tens of thousands of guest nights and a good number of hearty breakfasts delivered, Bella Vista motels have welcomed visitors from right across New Zealand and the world. Whilst Bella Vista has been open for business, it has forged a strong reputation for convenience and quality becoming a preferred choice enabling tourists to visit New Zealand’s beautiful scenic locations, facilitating business travellers a convenient place to stay when criss-crossing the country for work and in all cases, a trusted overnight stop.

Whilst the Bella Vista story continues to unfold, a question was recently asked which stopped us dead in our tracks; “Has anyone stayed at all 27 Bella Vista motels?” A quick delve into our records was unable to offer any conclusive results. Even a poll amongst the Bella Vista team came up short. The record for the most Bella Vista motels stayed in by any one individual was 24. Only 24, that can’t be right!! As you can imagine, we’re now on the hunt for anyone who can claim to be part of what we imagine is a very exclusive group. Have you stayed at all 27 Bella Vista’s?

The geographic spread of the Bella Vista chain ensures that not only do most major New Zealand towns and cities feature properties, such as Bella Vista Christchurch or Bella Vista Dunedin, but so do popular tourist destinations such as Bella Vista Franz Josef and Bella Vista Queenstown. Do you travel for work and have decided to use our chain to cater for your accommodation? Perhaps you’ve decided to undertake a New Zealand road-trip similar to these itineraries and whilst touring, you have used our motel accommodation network? Possibly a mixture of both work and pleasure at different times?

What is certain is if you have stayed at every 27 or even just a small handful - whether it is Bella Vista Hamilton, Bella Vista Queenstown or Bella Vista Fox Glacier to name just three, you are going to experience a four star Qualmark endorsed level of comfort and be entertained by some of New Zealand’s very best hosts.

So tell us, how many Bella Vista motels have you stayed at? With 27 in the network it takes a certain type of loyalty and commitment to tick them all off.  

If you have stayed at all 27, we want to hear from you!

Bella Vista '27 Club'

 


3 Great Places for a New Zealand Autumn Escape


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Autumn is a great time to travel New Zealand. The colder nights give way to crisp mornings leaving the famous New Zealand landscapes refreshed. At this time of year you’ll often witness a scattering of low hanging but atmospheric morning mist reaffirming why this beautiful country is called Aotearoa or “the land of the long white cloud”.  A sunny autumnal day can often be as good as any summer’s day with the added benefit that the maddening summer crowds have disappeared. Occasionally, you might even feel like you’ve got the entire country to yourself.

Here’s three ideas for your next Autumn break...

Explore Fiordland from Te Anau

Beautiful Lake Te Anau acts as the gateway to the Fiordland National Park and there is genuinely no better time to explore the brilliant wilderness of New Zealand’s southwest and the country’s largest national park. There are plenty of outstanding day excursions on offer including a visit to Te Anau glowworm caves with Real Journeys, lakeside walks or tramps, a journey to the famous Milford Sound and a cruise on the fiord, or perhaps even an overnight trip on Doubtful Sound. Each of these trips works equally as well in autumn as they do in summer and the lack of tourists makes them more personable and often more enjoyable. 

Of course, your getaway will only be complete by basing yourself at Bella Vista Te Anau where you will enjoy the warm southern hospitality. Spend a long weekend or just a few days but we guarantee you’ll return home from your trip refreshed!

Lake Te Anau


Catch the first sunrise at Gisborne

Way out east and somewhere you always thought you’d like to visit? Well, what are you waiting for! Autumn is possibly one of the best times of year to go. Bella Vista Motel Gisborne would love to host you for a long weekend break, or even a couple of nights as you pass through on your road-trip around the East Cape.

Please be aware that if you don’t stop for more than two nights, you’re doing this great city a disservice. Famous for being the first city in the world to see the sun each morning, there’s a whole lot more to experience including great food and wine, some of NZ’s best surf beaches and a deep cultural connection to early Maori settlers. And don’t forget to add a breakfast to your stay at Bella Vista Gisborne which includes the “best freshly baked croissant in Gisborne”(!)

Gisborne sun rise


Find all year summer in Nelson

Another location for a perfect autumn getaway is Nelson. Tourism New Zealand sums up the town perfectly as, “One of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, Nelson is the perfect spot to base yourself while you spend some time exploring the Abel Tasman National Park.”

There are in fact three National Parks within a 90 minute drive of the Nelson Bella Vista motel so you’re absolutely spoilt for choice if you want to get out and about. The Kahurangi National Park and Nelson Lakes National Park are an easy drive from a stay at our Nelson accommodation, but the Abel Tasman National Park is probably the more well-known park with spectacular sandy beaches and an excellent destination for day-trips including walks and boat excursions. 

If the great outdoors doesn’t entice you, then there is plenty to do in and around the city including strong art and culture scene, as well as sumptuous local culinary delights. Despite the theme of this blog promoting autumn escapes, our Nelson motel owners will remind you that ‘in Nelson, it’s summer all year round!’

Nelson Lakes National Park


Wherever you decide to go to get away this autumn, Bella Vista has got 27 excellent placed motels offering plenty to see and do!