We are now halfway through January, the end of the school holidays is nearing, and we still have some pretty sharp accommodation deals on offer. There are also some excellent family-friendly activity deals throughout the country, and a special family giveaway for one of Christchurch’s leading activities.
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.
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.
Welcome Aboard have just unveiled their latest activity. The Triple Pass includes three iconic Christchurch attractions: the Christchurch tram, Christchurch gondola and punting. A Triple Pass ticket allows unlimited hop-on hop-off travel on the tram for one day, a return gondola trip, and a 30 minute punt ride.
Travelbug has a family pass worth $130 up for grabs. Just email and tell us the name of the river that Welcome Aboard punt on, and you’ll go in the draw to win! Enter by 26 January.
Southern Discoveries run some amazing specials for kids over the school holidays, including kids travelling free on a selection of Milford Sound cruises! If taking the kids to one of NZ’s most iconic attractions is on the cards, then book and travel by 6 February to get the specials.
Fancy some cheap thrills? If bungy, rafting, quad biking or jet boating are your thing, then Hanmer Springs may need to be on your travel plans. Book online to enjoy any of these activities and save 10% by booking a week in advance with Thrillseekers.
Think you know Auckland? Well for the month of January, premium coach tour operator GrayLine are offering 20% off Auckland city tours! Choose from tours taking in Kelly Tarltons or the Sky Tower, or indulge in a bit of wine tasting on Waiheke with GrayLine.
Rightio, we are in the thick of winter now and the ski fields are off to a roaring trade – Mt Hutt and Treble Cone both have 3+ metre bases! We have some sweet all-inclusive ski packages on offer this month.
And if the cold isn't your thing, there are some half price hotel deals going in Australia currently. We've listed five of our favourite foodie events in and around Aotearoa over winter and spring. But wait, there's still more – you could win an iPad Mini simply by telling us a bit about your travel patterns.
Stay three nights in the 'GC' and save 40% at this 4.5-star aparthotel. Enjoy sweet facilities like an indoor & outdoor pool, spa tub, gym and sauna. Book by 28 July. Valid for travel until 17 October.
Package includes three nights with breakfast at the 4.5-star Kawarau Hotel (the closest hotel to the Remarkables), two 2-day NZSuperpasses valid for skiing and riding at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. From $489 pp.
A number of ski areas around NZ have teamed up to make it easier to hit the slopes. With all the great snow around, there's never been a better time to get out there for the first time, or to give it another go!
Check out the site, lovethesnow.co.nz and go into a draw to win an awesome weekend for four to Queenstown and Wanaka that includes almost everything! Competition ends 2 August.
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.
This Dunedin Central City 3-star hotel offers free parking and a $20 discount on dinner at the restaurant from just $85.
Save 20% on accommodation in the Coromandel
We've teamed up with the great guys at Destination Coromandel 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.
We have ten properties on Travelbug offering a 20% discount for stays of two nights or more until 31 August. From lodges and resorts to holiday parks across the Coromandel, we have you covered. Just enter "CORO" in the discount code box when booking these properties.
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.)
Win a road trip in the Coromandel
Who doesn't like a roadie? Our friends at Destination Coromandel have a winter road trip to give away. Simply pick your favourite road trip of the six on offer and you are in to win! Whether fishing, a boys weekend, a romantic getaway or a family trip appeals – the Coromandel has everything you could want.
Now's as good a time as any to visit. Less people, great deals and a temperate climate make it the perfect time to escape.
Rendezvous Christchurch reopens – win a night away
A warm welcome awaits you at the reopened Rendezvous Christchurch, located just moments away from historic New Regent Street which also recently opened. Book their Rediscover Christchurch deal and you will save 10% off their best available rate. Even better, you could win a night including breakfast and a bottle of wine!
To enter, let us know how much you would be charged at Rendezvous Christchurch for the internet. Find out here!
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 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.
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.
We are pretty lucky here at Travelbug to work in an exciting industry. Each month our aim is to unearth an activity to showcase something that is a little out of the ordinary.
The West Coast and mining go hand in hand. But for most of us non-coasters, the industry is unknown to us. The Denniston Experience launched last year, a 2-hour tour that takes visitors into an original 1880's coal mine where visitors are allocated a role to play – 1880 styles. The experience includes a guided tour into an original 1880's coal mine, plus a train journey to the ghost town of Denniston.
If pioneering history is of interest, then this tour 25 minutes north of Westport will hold a lot of appeal.
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.