Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ – Robin Williams.
And New Zealand or Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud as the locals poeticise) is throwing a whole lot of party and you’re invited.
You’re probably impatient to land in New Zealand to take an authentic break, unwind, get your roots or your soul (if you can cope with either of those references) back to nature. You’ll be able to stroll along left-alone, untamed and uncrowded beaches, you’ll be able to fly-fish for fresh water trout, you’ll be able to walk beneath towering kauri trees, you’ll be able to gaze into the turquoise waters of natural springs before sinking into a therapeutic hot thermal pool, all of this for, next to nothing.
Whilst you’re at the end of the earth you may as well participate in its pure tranquility. Go commune with Nature. Walk with the trees till the only sounds you can feel are those of your breath, pnga manu (the birds), and your feet kissing the ground as Thich Nhat Hahn would advise.
You may not have bargained for the provocative cuisine, consistently good coffee, award-winning Pinot Noir, and such an array of boutique beer it’s worth having a waiata and kanikani (song and dance) over.
Everyone will have told you about the friendly faces, the ‘chilled-out’ nature, the ‘can-do’ attitude of the kiwis, especially the further south you ‘campervan’ down the country, after touching down in the City of Sails, Tamaki Makarau, (Auckland) .
And we’re here to give you tahi or rua (one or two) more reasons to come ‘hang with us’ downunder this Spring. Before we kick into some scintillating events you’ll wanna attend, let us whisper the word SKI.
If you love SNOW you can throw that good body of yours into ‘snow activities’ (skiing, snowboarding etc) in both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, with some of the more popular fields being Turoa and Whakapapa (North Island) and Cardrona, Coronet Peak, Mt Hutt, Remarkables (South Island). The season differs each year (of course) but usually mountains are open for skiing early June until mid October.
Spring is officially from the 1st of September until the 30th of November (3 months) in New Zealand, the Southern Hemisphere of planet Earth.
But off the slopes there are more tangata (people) to meet, more kai (food) to taste, and more paradise to experience. You’ll find all that within:
Whitianga Scallop Festival
Saturday 16 September 2017
It’s scallop (scolly) season in New Zealand during Spring.
Who really needs an excuse to eat fresh scallops from the ocean?
Well if you do, get along to the Scallop Festival in Whitianga, Coromandel. And whilst you’re there tiki tour to Hot Water Beach where you can dig your own hot pool in the sand (if you visit when the tides right), or drive to Hahei and do the walk to Cathedral Cove – it’s breathtaking.
At the scallop festival you can taste kai moana (food of the sea) including of course scallops, sample award – winning New Zealand wine and beer, and listen to an array of live music, all set on the edge of the Whitianga Harbour with Pohutakawa bowing down to the water and white cliffs beyond.
BOOK your tickets here: http://www.scallopfestival.co.nz/tickets/
little YOGA festival – Mt Maunganui
15-17 September 2017
New Zealand, as many places around the Globe has embraced conscious living. Kiwis are passionate about health, sustainability, community, and living with more happiness. little YOGA festival kicks off the Wellness Festival season in Mt Maunganui. New Zealand’s top beach known for its surf, its great expanse and its golden sands, on the east coast of the North Island (2.5 hours south east of Auckland).
This family friendly festival hosts over 80 different workshops & talks to attend, alongside popular local musicians live on stage, with an array of global cuisine on offer from Food Trucks and Drink Caravans.
You can stay in the plentitude of Apartments, Backpackers, or Hotels either along the waterfront or within the bustling town, or make the most of the discount for festival-goers and book a cabin, caravan or space for your motorhome at Mount Beachside Holiday Park.
If you fancy learning te reo Maori, how to do a haka, how to make lively compost, play didgeridoo, do aerial or acro or hot yoga, or attend a soundbath, then book your tickets today for Aotearoa’s most handmade and whole-hearted little YOGA festival.
BOOK your tickets here: http://www.littleyogafestival.com/tickets/
World of WearableArts Award Show (WOW) – Wellington
21 September – 8 October 2017
The World of WearableArt®, known as WOW®, is a renowned international design competition that attracts hundreds of entries from all over the world. Finalists compete for over $165,000 in prize money plus internships with leading creative companies such as Weta Workshop.
If you love ART or you love DESIGN or your love FASHION or you love all of the former then WOW is for you.
Wellington, Absolutely Positively Wellington is published in Lonely Planet as the “coolest little capital in the world”. It’s supposedly home to the most coffee houses per capita, and quite possibly the most ‘creative artists’? Wellington has Arts Arts Arts, running through its veins, being the home to Aotearoa’s national museum – Te Papa, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Weta Studios (responsible for Lord of the Rings and other film successes). Flight of the Conchords hail from this capital city sitting at the bottom of New Zealand’s North Island (Te Ika a Maui).
BOOK your tickets here: https://www.worldofwearableart.com/ticket-show-information/
Auckland’s Diwali Festival – Auckland
14 – 15 October 2017
Celebrate the best of Auckland’s vibrant Indian culture at the annual Auckland Diwali Festival! From noon to 9pm on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October, Aotea Square in Auckland will come to life with the sights, sounds and flavours of India.Tens of thousands of people across Auckland of all ages turn out each year for the Auckland Diwali Festival. It’s a celebration of Auckland’s ethnic diversity and a chance to enjoy and experience traditional and contemporary Indian culture in its many exciting forms.The festival is free to attend, alcohol-free, smoke-free and family-friendly. Enjoy dance and musical performances, workshops and kids’ activities, plus sample the flavours of India fresh from a host of street food stalls. The festival finishes with a bang on Sunday night with the Barfoot & Thompson Fireworks Finale.
Queenstown Jazz Festival – Queenstown
20 – 23 October 2017
Crossing over that Cook Strait through those heart-stoppingly beautiful Marlborough Sounds on the InterIslander ferry and continuing in your campervan down the coast, maybe stopping for a feed of crayfish at Kaikoura, you’ll eventually hit Queenstown. What a site ! Pun intended.
A town that never goes to sleep, fizzing with accents, smiling faces, and languages from far away places, here’s a place to keep that party partying.
It could just be your lucky year, and one or two of the Ski Fields may still be open, but if they’re not, perhaps walk a little of the Routeburn Track (which opens 24 October and one end of which starts a mere 68km from Queenstown). The Routeburn Track features within New Zealand’s official Great Walks – as does the Milford Track and Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Whilst you’re at the end of the earth you may as well participate in its pure tranquility. Go commune with Nature. Walk with the trees till the only sounds you can feel are those of your breath, pnga manu (the birds), and your feet kissing the ground as Thich Nhat Hahn would advise.
Then when you can walk no further, or perhaps a little before this point, about turn and voyage back to Queenstown to that picturesque town set along that serene lake to immerse your bush-walked-body in the sound of Jazz.
BOOK your tickets here: http://queenstownjazzfest.co.nz/
Enjoy your road trip. Along the way stop to; watch those baby lambs bouncing around the green lush lands; ohh and ahh at those whales shooting water into the air; photograph those tulips in Christchurch; or stand beneath those Spring Blossoms fluttering to the ground in Alexander, for the Japanese believe if you catch a single petal in your hand, your wish will come true.
However you spend your days, may your nights be full of calm, deep, restorative sleep after all that partying and Nanu, nanu, as Robin Williams used to say.
Ka Kite (see you soon) from the kiwis downunder.