Return to New Zealand 2020

New Zealand

Our first long trip after retiring was in 2013 to New Zealand. It was an amazing 5 weeks and we wanted very much to return. So at last we are doing it in 2020. Will post about places old and new!

  • Cafes & Restaurants
  • Dine
  • Gastronomy
  • Outdoors
  • Natural Wonders
  • Eat Takeaway
  • Area
  • Museum

Updated 7 months ago

3

Cook Strait

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Wellington, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

Between North and South Island. One of the most beautiful ferry trips in the World. I thought it would just be getting us from a to b. In fact one of the highlights of my first trip. Booked crossing from South to North this time! UPDATE .. have now done this journey for the second time. The weather was not as good this time, though the scenery remains magnificent. We opted for the premium plus lounge upgrade at 55 dollars each and enjoyed excellent free buffet and drinks including wine throughout. I would suggest deciding this on the day of sailing. On my first trip when weather was stunning, I would not have missed being on deck for a moment! On this second trip it was nice to nip in and out between lounge and deck.

  • Cook Strait, New Zealand

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2

Chiwahwah Mexican Cantina Bar

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

Great value Mexican food in the heart of Christchurch. This. ‘half portion’ nachos was ample for two!

  • +64 3 925 9716
  • 136 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

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2

Christchurch Tramway

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

This is not a necessary form of transport around Christchurch centre as it is really quite small but it is a fun hop on and off experience with live unscripted commentary from the drivers. Children up to 15 free!

  • Christchurch Tramway, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Rutherford's Den

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

Rather a good interactive exhibition about Rutherford and his discoveties inside the old university buildings in Christchurch. Entrance rather hard to spot as it is IN the little shop. Also go through the big archway to see the Great Hall.

  • +64 3 363 2836
  • 2 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand

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4

Christchurch Transitional Cathedral

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

The cardboard cathedral,as it is known,has been built to replace the original cathedral damaged so badly in the October 2011 earthquake. Work on the latter might take a very long time. The white chairs are a memorial to those who died... one for each person

  • +64 3 366 0046
  • 234 Hereford Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

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Tūranga

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

The new library is very impressive and a most civilised place to relax. Go up to the roof garden for good views.

  • +64 3 941 7923
  • 60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

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2

Cafe Verde

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

Beautiful garden cafe in Geraldine (2 hours drive from Christchurch through lovely quiet country) We had a lovely lunch surrounded by roses and a multitude of other flowers. He had salmon with polenta, I had an excellent mushroom and blue cheese quiche with a great salad. All fresh and homemade. Oh did I mention the cakes?

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4

Hooker Valley track

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

A six mile, ten kilometre walk with views of Mt Cook. Pretty easy walking..wear either boots or trainers. The drive there is amazing ( about 20 miles through mountains next to lake on very good empty road). The track itself is totally non commercialised, so take your own food and water. Good fun suspension bridges. Beautiful scenery.

  • Hooker Valley Track, Mt Cook National Park 7999, New Zealand

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2

Lake Tekapo

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

The most incredible blue lake on scenic route between Geraldine and Twizel. Visit the church of the Good Shepherd and go in and sit down and enjoy the peace and the view of the lake from the window behind the altar .

  • Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand

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2

Anchor Restaurant & Bar

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Wellington, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

We were staying in the adjacent Harbourside motel and arrived about 7.30 so did not want to scout far and wide for somewhere to eat. Just popping in to the Anchor was a very good choice. Good food, good views, good ambience. Pictured my husbands lamb, I had a very nice groper and scallop thermidore.

  • +64 3 546 6614
  • 62 Vickerman Street, Port Nelson, Nelson 7010, New Zealand

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2

MK Restaurant

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

What an experience! Seek out this one off restaurant in Hanmer Springs, where the level of food ..taste and presentation ... is down to the passion and dedication of the couple who own it. Place looks so unassuming and the prices are good, indeed extraordinarily low for this level of cooking!

  • +64 3 315 5323
  • Village Shopping Centre 3/24 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand

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2

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa

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Christchurch, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

An amazing complex of geothermal pools to suit everyone. Rock pools, hydrotherapy pools, swimming pools, lazy river, slides etc etc. Fun for old and young alike.

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The Sands Fish and Chip Shop

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Wellington, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

New Zealand is very good at fish and chips and this cafe is an excellent example. The fish was not familiar to me but I asked Bruce’s advice and he suggested the gurnard. This was hot tasty and wholesome and remarkable value at $10 each for fish and chips.

  • +64 3 539 6161
  • Shop 1 The Sands Complex, 623 Rocks Road, Tahunanui, Nelson 7011, New Zealand

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2

Oxley's Bar & Kitchen

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Wellington, New Zealand • Memory • 

Oxleys has been a Picton institution since the 1880s. Building and location are striking and it is VERY popular. Arrive early if you have not booked. The food was fine but not especially memorable.

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Nelson Provincial Museum

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Wellington, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

This is an excellent museum for a wet day in Nelson. Good exhibits, well presented and put into context. OK not as good as the Abel Tasman National Park which we would have visited if it had not been raining but fair enough it was not competing!

  • +64 3 548 9588
  • Cnr Trafalgar St and Hardy Street, Nelson 7040, New Zealand

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Cafe Ninety Nine

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Tauranga, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

Excellent cafe in central Taupo serving fare rather different from the typical New Zealand establishment. Caters for vegetarians and vegans but also meat and fish eaters. Imaginative, tasty, well priced.

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3

Huka Falls Walkway

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Tauranga, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

Drive to the Spa Park in Taupo and then walk 3 km along the Waikato River to the Falls. Magnificent ! You could cheat and drive all the way to the Falls but it is nicer to walk. Afterwards drive to the nearby Aratiatia Dam. Time your arrival to about 20 minutes before they open the dam. And watch what happens in 5 minutes! Check times for dam opening. Four times a day in Summer.

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3

Pelorus Mail Boat Ltd

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Wellington, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

A highly recommended trip. The mail boat leaves Havelock at 10 am and spends about six hours sailing around the beautiful Pelorus Sound delivering mail and other goods to remote homesteads. There are no roads, no electricity, no Internet. You can go for the ride. We declined the lunch option and went instead to a sheep farm, we were shown mussel farming and also had a half hour swim break. A faultless trip, beauty and peace throughout plus a little eccentricity.

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Serenity Cafe

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North Shore, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

Nice fresh pan-seared prawns on salad in the ‘town basin’ of Whangarei. Do the gentle Hatea loop walk ( 4.2 km) to give you an appetite.

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Gengys Restaurant

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North Shore, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

A fun place to eat. Mongolian restaurant! Concept is that you choose your own meats, fish, veg and seasonings and hand to one of the very hardworking chefs to cook. You can do this as often as you want for a very reasonable set price. There are also soups and salads and fruit and pancakes and ice cream, again as much as you want, all included. While we were there, there was a large party of South Korean schoolchildren, who were having a wonderful time. This all added to the experience. Great for families and the young at heart!

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2

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

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North Shore, New Zealand • Recommendation • 

Well well worth a second visit. Loved it last time we came to New Zealand and they have added two state of the art galleries since. The history is essential to understanding New Zealand and it is presented so accessibly and in such stunning surroundings. The included guided tour is great but the ‘cultural show’ is the highlight. Factor in enough time.. it is nice to wander round on your own too. And as you all love your food, I would recommend the on site cafe.

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Abel Tasman

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Wellington, New Zealand • Wishlist • 

This is on the north of the South island. Not Wellington as Google seems to suggest! It was the only thing which we had planned to do this trip which we could not do because of the weather. On the day we envisaged, it rained a lot and it really needs to be dry. NB You cannot access the park by road ; you need to go by boat! And then walk, one day up to four day trips available. Another time!

  • Abel Tasman National Park 7183, New Zealand

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