New year, new short breaks …

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Hi everyone,

We are now halfway through January, the end of the school holidays is nearing, and we still have some pretty sharp places teed up for you to take a look at.

The Auckland and Wellington anniversary holidays are upon us, so we’ve profiled some popular getaway destinations to make the most of the long weekends.


Anniversary weekend getaways


Pohutakawa-lined beaches are synonymous with the Coromandel, and by late January the crowds are thinning out. This seaside town makes a great base to explore the region and is a stone’s throw from Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. Boat and snorkelling trips leave daily from Whitianga too.


New Zealand’s largest lake is a summer hotspot you’ll enjoy, whether it’s fishing, boating, soaking in hot pools, a round or two of golf, or hiking the Tongariro Crossing. Consider taking a boat tour to check out the Maori rock carvings too, either on a sailboat, steamboat or catamaran – oh, the options!


Aside from great food and wine, Wairarapa has a load to offer. The coastline of the Wairarapa is rugged and beautiful, the coastal village of Castlepoint enjoys a safe swimming beach, Pukaha Mount Bruce is home to the only white kiwi in captivity, and no trip is complete without a visit to the Tui Brewery.

That’s all from us for now. Enjoy the rest of the month ahead and here’s to an excellent 2018!

The Travelbug team


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Arrowtown and Wanaka – hidden gems of New Zealand

Last month I visited Arrowtown and Wanaka for the first time. All for work but it was hard to miss the amazing scenery and even in meetings, spectacular views were found from almost every office window.


Arrowtown is a charming riverside town steeped in gold mining history. Well-preserved cute cottages and overhanging shop fronts reminiscent of an old western town is the main drawcard but the best way to explore this area is to hire a bike from Arrowtown bike hire and discover both the town and surrounding nature at a leisurely pace.


arrowtown bike hire Read more…

Fancy a spring break?

Take a break and enjoy spring

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Hi there,

There’s a lot going on around the country and it’s high time for a spring break. If festivals are your thing, check out our events section below.

Whatever you fancy doing over the next couple of months, we’ve got your accommodation covered!

Find the perfect accommodation now

Explore the wine regions in the north…

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Mangapapa Petit Hotel Peppers Parehua Waiheke Central Apartments
Havelock North Martinborough Waiheke Island
From $450 From $139 From $299

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Watea Boutique B&B Fossil Bay Lodge Food Forest Organics
Napier Waiheke Island Greytown
From $245 From $85 From $140

And in the south…

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Tanglewood B&B Walmer Apartment Matahua Cottages
Marlborough Sounds Nelson Mapua
From $195 From $180 From $135

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Heritage Lake Resort Rewa’s Cadole Nelson Holiday Homes
Central Otago Central Otago Nelson
From $140 From $400 From $169

Wherever you’re heading for your next trip away, have a great time. See you next month!

The Travelbug team


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Top destinations for your next getaway

Time to book accommodation for Labour weekend

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Hi there,

Need a little pick-me-up while waiting for some warmer weather to kick in? Check out our top six holiday destinations, perfect for a lazy getaway over Labour weekend.

And, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start planning your summer holiday. If you’re keen on something affordable, great for groups and near the beach, one of our holiday parks might be just what you’re looking for.

Book a break!

Plans for Labour weekend? 

Here are our top six holiday destinations from last month – check out what all the fuss is about.

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Millbrook Resort Manuka Lodge Belle Mer Apartments
Queenstown Ohakune Mount Maunganui
From $265 From $195 From $265

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Riverrun Booklovers Cottage The St James
Wanaka Waiheke Island Hanmer Springs
From $380 From $345 From $199

Roll on summer!

There are plenty of options that are all great value for money. Ranging from camp sites to cottages, there’s something for everyone.

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Picton Top 10 Holiday Park Opunake Beach Holiday Park Orongo Bay Holiday Park
Picton Opunake Russell
From $22 From $25 From $42

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Pounawea Accommodation Centre Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park Lake Taupo Top 10 Holiday Resort
North Catlins Queenstown Lake Taupo
From $13 From $55 From $60

Happy holiday planning!

See you next time.


Daniel & the Travelbug team

Indulgent holiday or something out of the ordinary?

Ever thought about staying in a jailhouse or teepee? Now’s your chance!

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Hi travellers,
In the mood for an indulgent weekend away? Ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a teepee or an old jailhouse? Whatever accommodation you’re into, you’ll find it on Travelbug.
Read on to start exploring hotels, motels and more for your next mini-break.

Time to indulge…

Chatterley Manor Peppers Bluewater Resort Hereweka Garden Retreat
Christchurch Lake Tekapo Dunedin
From $220 From $110 From $280

Chic Vacation Homes The Dome The Martinborough Hotel
Waiheke Island Napier Martinborough
From $129 From $300 From $150

Jailhouse? Caravan? Wagon? Take your pick!

Jailhouse Accommodation Wacky Stays Warwick House
Christchurch Kaikoura Nelson
From $33 From $199 From $139

Classic Caravan Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort The Woolshed
Martinborough Taupo Cambridge
From $80 From $85 From $165


Wherever you end up travelling to over the next month, take it easy and we’ll be back in touch soon with more inspiring getaway ideas.


Daniel & the Travelbug team

Taupo – great for a quick winter family holiday

Do you ever have those moments where you realise you’re turning into your parents? When I was a lad, I remember holidays where we visited museums and learned things. As I took my kids around the National Trout Centre outside Taupo a couple of weeks ago it struck me that I was forcing the same sort of holiday on my kids: I am officially turning into my Dad. Here is a short summary of what I made my kids do on our recent break when I was heading there for a slow plod around the half marathon course.


We arrived at midday on a chilly but fine Saturday after an unsuccessful attempt to transplant the kids from their beds and into the car still asleep for a quiet car trip north. The iPad provided us with a welcome respite to questions, fights and general discontent from the two in the back. (I can highly recommend Read more…

Our guide to Auckland

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Hi everyone,

It’s on with the show in Auckland this winter. Why not treat yourself to a night out or a weekend away?

Dine at one of Metro magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants in Auckland, splurge at the city’s most stylish shopping districts, watch an All Blacks test match at Eden Park, or see the latest designer collections at New Zealand Fashion Week.

There’s plenty more on the events calendar too – catch a concert, discover the city’s buzzing arts scene or dress up for a night at the theatre.


Retail therapy

Update your winter wardrobe with a shopping spree at one – or more – of Auckland’s best shopping precincts.

Get to Britomart

Britomart is home to the flagship stores of many of New Zealand’s top designers, including Karen Walker, Trelise Cooper and WORLD, as well as up-and-comers. Get delicious health and beauty goodies from the likes of Bobbi Brown, M.A.C. and Jo Malone, find the perfect shoes or check out the city farmers’ market on Saturdays.

Check out Ponsonby

Browse the boutiques in Auckland’s hippest suburb. Ponsonby’s stylish shops offer everything from the latest fashion and accessories to upmarket homeware and interiors. Refuel afterwards with a coffee, chilled wine or lunch at one of the great cafés and restaurants lining Ponsonby Road.

Splurge in Parnell

Parnell village’s shops offer a range of high-end fashion, exquisite jewellery, leather handbags and gorgeous gifts. With a number of galleries, Parnell is also a great place to choose a unique piece of art to take home with you.

Shop in Newmarket

With so many shops, Newmarket covers every style, every age and every budget. Designer boutiques carrying the latest season’s collections and affordable fashion favourites combine in Newmarket. As well as fashion, you’ll find footwear, interiors, furniture, beauty products and much more.

Jeremy Corbett’s top 5

Find out what Kiwi comedian Jeremy Corbett loves about the place he calls home, from climbing volcanoes and exploring the islands in the Hauraki Gulf to the city’s fantastic cafés, restaurants and bars.

Read Jeremy’s top 5

Auckland is a true wine destination

What better way to spend a few hours than sipping on fine wine overlooking the vines? Boutique wineries and vineyards dot the beautiful landscapes of Auckland’s four wine regions, including Waiheke Island, New Zealand’s very own ‘island of wine’. Join a wine tour for group tastings or explore at your own pace and indulge in a long, lazy lunch.

Find out more

Metro Top 50 Auckland Restaurants

When it comes to dining in Auckland, you’re spoilt for choice. If you’re having trouble deciding where to go, take a look at Metro magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants in Auckland.There’s something for everyone, from five-star eateries to cosy cafés. Spanish tapas or succulent seafood, fancy or casual, city centre or wine country – this Top 50’s got them all.

Check out the Top 50

If you’re an Aucklander, hopefully this has inspired you to see more of your amazing region. If you’re not an Aucklander, you should check out the variety that our biggest city has to offer.

Whatever you do, stay warm and dry and we’ll catch you next month.


Daniel and the Travelbug team


South Island ski deals & the Coromandel

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Ahh May. It’s one of those months: the days are shorter and the temperature is dropping, but not enough to ski – yet. We are past the glut of public holidays and have winter to look forward to.


It’s not all doom and gloom though! This month we have some sweet deals in the Coromandel (a brilliant spot to escape the winter blues), great ski packages in the South Island, and we celebrate the re-opening of another Christchurch hotel.


You’ve also got another fortnight to nab some sweet secret sale deals, and Queen’s Birthday is just a few weeks away.


Have a great weekend ahead!


Two Coromandel gems

We want to celebrate the onset of winter, and what better place to escape it. Coromandel has topped the Travelbug poll of Kiwi’s favourite getaway locations for the past two years.

Check out these two beauties below!

Wairua Lodge, Whitianga

Wairua Lodge, Whitianga

Rates at this firm favourite, just 12km from Whitianga, include breakfast and use of the Treetop bath house and night sky spa pool. 100% positive Travelbug reviews too.

Hot Water Beach Holiday Park

Hot Water Beach Holiday Park

What a way to warm up over winter! Choose from dorm, cabin or villa style accommodation at the TOP 10 Holiday Park. (And don’t forget your spade.)

Ski deals in the South Island

Snow Excuse

Snow Excuse – South Island ski deals

Snow Excuse has some incredible deals this winter, from beginners packages to deals for the “hard core”. Packages include transport, airport shuttles, lift passes in Queenstown & Wanaka, and in most cases rental kit. Starting from $359 per person.

NZSki ski pass and accommodation packages

NZSki have paired up with accommodation providers to offer some sweet deals for all levels of budget. Starting from only $319 for two nights & two days skiing at Mt Hutt, or $540 for five nights accommodation & four days skiing in Queenstown.

Methven Travel

Methven Travel – to and from Mount Hutt

Mt Hutt had a good dumping of snow last week so fingers crossed a good season beckons! The guys at Methven Travel have great rates for transport to and from Christchurch, but also return shuttles from Methven to Mt Hutt. Shuttles from $20 per day.



And that’s all for May. Have a great weekend ahead – keep warm and keep an eye in your inbox over the coming weeks for some sweet Queen’s Birthday deals.

Cheers from the team at Travelbug.


Steam trains & luxury destinations

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Hi travellers,

There are lots of amazing travel options in store for you this month, including last minute bookings for ANZAC weekend, a special steam train excursion, some luxury destinations for those of you in the mood for something a little different, and a deal on rental cars! But first, a competition…

Book accommodation now

Last minute ANZAC weekend bookings

There’s still time to book a weekend away over ANZAC weekend. Check out these great options:

Decks of Paihia The Cove – Lake Taupo Southpacific Motel
Paihia Taupo Whangamata
From $175 From $160 From $144

Joya Garden & Villa Studios The Hermitage Hotel BreakFree The Point
Nelson Aoraki Mount Cook Village Queenstown
From $90 From $245 From $99

Featured activity: Steam Incorporated, Paekakariki

If you’re looking for something special to do on ANZAC Day and happen to be near Palmerston North, Steam Incorporated are running a special excursion from Palmy to Wellington. It also coincides with the opening of the new National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

Book your steam train excursion today

In the mood for a little luxury?

Have a look at these beauties:

The Sounds Retreat Azur Lodge Tihi Retreat
Picton Queenstown Rotorua
From $750 From $1265 From $850


That’s it for another month. Happy travels and we look forward to receiving your feedback in our survey!

Daniel and the Travelbug Team