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Village Lake Apartments

The ultimate in luxury: Village Lake Apartments

For the ultimate luxurious getaway, set in the heart of beautiful Hanmer Springs, head to the Village Lake Apartments where exceptional hospitality awaits.


Village Lake Apartments


With spectacular alpine views and premium 5-star accommodation, the Village Lake Apartments are within walking distance to the town’s thermal pools and a myriad of leisure activities. With three and two bedroom apartments, the accommodation is second to none with modern facilities and spacious rooms each comprising of a fully self-contained kitchen, washing machine and dryer, spa bath and gas fire. Each apartment has its own balcony, or patio, and a picture perfect mountain-view backdrop.
The stylish décor oozes opulence and the furniture is designed with comfort in mind. With soft featherbed underlays and pillows, exquisite handcrafted toiletries by Jeymar and original artworks by Christchurch artist Liz Jenkins, the Village Lake Apartments have a true `home away from home’ vibe.

When it’s time to explore, take a short stroll to Hanmer’s idyllic main street for a spot of shopping, or enjoy a meal out and beverage at one of many well-regarded eateries or cafés.  It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway, birthday, anniversary celebration or business retreat and has the Qualmark five-star gold rating. Owners Stuart and Jill Ware will ensure your stay is memorable.


The Village Lake Apartments are giving away two nights’ accommodation for two adults (blackout dates apply).

To enter, head to and put in your details. Entries close on Thursday 25 October and winners will be notified on Friday 26 October



Hanmer’s Fashion Haven: Lifestyles

Lifestyles in Hanmer lures repeat customers from as far as the Gold Coast, with its expansive range of swimwear. Many make a weekend of it, as they can pop across to the pools and show them off!




Bond-Eye’s Sea-level range (formerly Nip-Tuck) suits many different figures, as do Seafolly and Moontide, in sizes up to a G cup. “Ruching across front and sides, or styles that wrap around the body, give a lovely shape to show off all those beautiful figures out there,” owner Alice Stielow says. There’s Piha, Sunseeker, Jantzen, unique-styled JETS and Togs – from a Kiwi designer. “Tankini and pants are also perfect for those long in body, or for mixing and matching. The staff are really knowledgeable with body-types and know straight away what styles are best to try on.”

Forget budgie smugglers, the latest men’s speedo’s come in cool elastic-waisted trunks and there’s also styles for serious swimmers – all chlorine-resistant. Lifestyles’ urban wear includes Billabong, Ketz-ke, White Chalk, Stussy, Tigerlily, RVCA, Element, All About Eve, Levis, VonZipper, and a cool range of shoes. Alice owns two stores, Lifestyles and Fashionworks, and after three decades here, she treats everyone who visits like a local, with competitive pricing and friendly service.

Her second boutique store, Fashionworks, is a designer-label paradise for womenswear, footwear and jewellery. Ranges include the new Molly Bracken, Wish, NoaNoa, Ivy Blu, CooperStreet, Seduce, Zafina, Augustine, Charlo and Stella Royal – and gorgeous shoes to match.


Visit Fashionworks at The Courtyard, Conical Hill Road, phone 03 315 7120 and Lifestyles, Alpine Pacific Centre, Conical Hill Road 03 315 7126, or Facebook.


Alexandra Blossom Festival

Marking winter’s end: Alexandra Blossom Festival

Spring has sprung, and the Southern Lakes region has awoken from its winter slumber. What better way to mark the end of our seasonal hibernation – and make the most of longer, warmer days – than by attending the Contact Alexandra Blossom Festival.


Alexandra Blossom Festival


First held in 1957, it’s the longest-running community event of its kind in New Zealand and heralds the arrival of spring in style. Event Manager Martin McPherson explains that the festival was born out of community spirit and recognition of the town’s special character. “It’s a very traditional and quite old-fashioned event,” he says. The highlight of celebrations is the Grand Procession down Alexandra’s main street, on Saturday 22 September. It features eight colourful, handcrafted floats decorated with paper flowers, with a ‘princess’ in all her regal finery atop each float.

Friday night’s Mardi Gras includes a freestyle extreme motocross show followed by a fireworks extravaganza. For kids, the weekend offers all the fun of a country fair: magicians, clowns, jugglers, balloon artistry, a ghost train and ferris wheel. There’s also a classic car show, a line-up of big-rig trucks, pipe bands, marching teams, wood-chopping displays and garden tours.

Two bands, The Nukes and RED, take to the stage at Saturday in the Park, playing “songs perfect for taking your shoes off and dancing on the grass in the sunshine,” Martin says. He also promises that festival-goers won’t go hungry or thirsty, with plenty of food, wine and craft beer on offer.


Contact Alexandra Blossom Festival runs 21-23 September. For the full programme, visit


Red Post Café

Hurunui Pleasures: Red Post Café

Spring is upon us and the pleasures of North Canterbury’s delights await, not only its beautiful vistas but the pleasures of the Red Post Café’s delicious food and coffee.


Red Post Café


On the journey to Hanmer there is a great place to stop in Culverden. It has a fantastic cathartic old-style cottage garden which is coming to life at this time of the year with spring colours thanks to the owner, Carolyn’s, green fingers.

Relax and partake in some wonderful home baking that make it one of those unique, special places you find on your journey. Pair the famous Carrot Cake with an outstanding coffee, or the Salmon Soufflé is always a treat. Perhaps you’re after something heartier, in which case the Big Breakfast will hit the spot.

With new items on the menu like house made Granola, Belgian Waffles with Streaky Bacon and Blueberries or Field Mushrooms on Ciabatta, this is a plethora of North Canterbury fare on a plate, not forgetting the famous seafood platter. With a cabinet full of fresh treats for the weary traveller, there is something for everyone, including gluten free options.

If you’re visiting North Canterbury, you can immerse yourself with the locals and find out where all those special places to see and visit are from Carolyn or Trent.
North Canterbury has so much to offer and Red Post Café is a great place to start your adventure. Make it part of your itinerary.


Open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, weekends until 5:30pm and Friday until 8pm.


Isaac Theatre Royal

Unforgettable Experience: Isaac Theatre Royal

Many people aren’t aware that the Isaac Theatre Royal is available for hire for private performances, weddings, corporate events, functions and so on,” says Freya Alexander, Head of Commercial Events.

Isaac Theatre Royal
There are stunning spaces throughout the venue.


There are stunning spaces throughout the venue which lend themselves to a variety of events. The Ravenscar Dress Circle Foyer is perfect for a classic cocktail event, the plush lounge style Grand Circle Foyer lends itself beautifully for private dinners or a special birthday celebration and the purpose-built Gloucester Room can be transformed from a corporate meeting setting to an entertainment venue.

The auditorium seats up to 1,290 over three levels; ideal for a conference plenary, with the stage itself being the perfect setting for a welcome dinner, awards ceremony and even a wedding reception. Looking out to the majestic heritage dome ceiling, the opportunities are endless.


For bookings phone 03-260 5252 or email


Chateau Pritchard

A glorious haven: Chateau Pritchard

From the moment Barbara and Neville Pritchard throw wide their doors in welcome and old English sheepdog Fergus gambols a happy hello, visitors to Chateau Pritchard immediately sense that here reigns blissful luxury.

Chateau Pritchard

Having lived in many countries, most recently Hawaii for the past 23 years, Barbara and Neville have mingled with the famous, so expect some fascinating chronicles!
Located just 20 minutes from Christchurch Airport, the 32-acre chateau boasts three magnificent bedrooms, of which the largest, The Oxford, has an ensuite – a heavenly retreat for honeymooners.

With six golf courses within a 15 minute range, and nearby Lincoln village offering superb cafés, restaurants and must-see art galleries, your day is splendidly filled.
That just leaves the nights. “How does sipping bubbly in the spa pool while gazing up at the stars sound?” asks Barbara.
Barbara, book us in!

For more information, phone 022 358 1690 or visit


Drifters Inn

Hospitality and ambience: Drifters Inn

Location, location, location – you really can’t say it any other way when you’re talking about the Drifters Inn. Located straight across from the thermal pools and close to the town centre, it’s ideally located for your event in the idyllic Hanmer Springs.

Drifters Inn


With a welcoming environment, people come from all over New Zealand to enjoy the relaxed ambience and hospitality here. Catering to birthdays, work events, special occasions and much more, the friendly, knowledgeable staff customise your event.
Catering can be arranged, but with barbecues, a well-equipped kitchen area, as well as a spacious open lounge/function area and courtyard, there’s plenty of scope to create your own bespoke function. With 18 rooms available to suit couples to families, you can relax by the open fireplace after a day of events.

So, make your way to the Drifters Inn, 2 Harrogate Street or contact Adele or Andy to discuss your requirements 03-315 7554 or

A romantic backdrop: Heritage Hanmer Springs

When it comes to New Zealand wedding destinations, the romantic mountain views and landscaped gardens of the Heritage Hanmer Springs provide an amazing ceremonial backdrop.

A landmark venue just 90 minutes from Christchurch, it’s a world away from the ordinary, in a stunning alpine retreat that will captivate you and your guests.
The venue can arrange everything, from tailormade menus, to beverage and staffing needs. There is a fabulous ballroom, complete with open fireplace, or enjoy a stylish and unforgettable lawn wedding in the picturesque gazebo set amongst beautiful gardens.

A range of accommodation is available, including three-bedroom villas located around a charming lake. Guests can enjoy all Hanmer Springs has to offer, including the world famous thermal pools, a short walk across the main street.
If you are looking for elegance, a spectacular location and personalised service, choose Heritage Hanmer Springs.

Email, phone 03-315 0065 or visit

Hanmer Springs

Something for Everyone: Hanmer Springs

Winter is here and this year, visitors should embrace the season instead of resisting it.

Hanmer Springs

What better way to welcome the cold temperatures than by grabbing the warmest clothes and adventure gear and equipment to head roughly two hours north of Christchurch to the ideal spot for a trip. Hanmer Springs is the go-to winter getaway destination and has something to offer you or your family this season.

With its beautiful alpine scenery, this winter wonderland has activities for all to enjoy. Thrill seekers can embrace the adrenaline rushes from skiing or snowboarding at the affordable Hanmer Springs Ski Area on Mount Saint Patrick. Snow sports aren’t the only outdoor activities for visitors.

There are also ample opportunities for tramping, walking and mountain biking to enjoy Mother Nature.
Travelers who aren’t a fan of the outdoors can let their worries wash away as they indulge and soak in the thermal sulfur or aqua therapy pools, which help relieve pain from sore or achy muscles and joints. Families can frolic and have a good time at the water playground, two large activity pools and hydroslides. After a nice soak, they can pamper themselves with a massage or beauty treatment at the spa.Whether you seek adventure or you simply fancy a relaxing holiday, you’re bound to find an activity you enjoy at this holiday location. Sit back and savor every minute of it.

Explore Christchurch campaign

Explore the City’s Heart: Explore Christchurch campaign

The city’s central heart is changing at an unprecedented pace, as new people, places and events breathe life into the four avenues. Now, city leaders have launched a campaign to encourage residents to reconnect with the city centre and stimulate economic activity throughout the winter months.

Explore Christchurch campaign

The Explore Christchurch campaign encourages residents to get out and about and explore the latest events and offerings within the heart of the city.
ChristchurchNZ General Manager – Marketing, Brand & Communications Tim Loftus says the campaign was launched in response to requests from local businesses to help stimulate economic activity within the CBD.
“The Explore Christchurch campaign is part of our strategy to profile Christchurch globally, by starting at home,” Tim says.
“Winter can be a challenging time for our newest retail and hospitality operators in the central city. We’re hoping to help change that by inspiring our residents to get out and explore our vibrant and evolving city centre.”

ChristchurchNZ launched the Explore Christchurch CBD Winter campaign last month as a collaborative initiative between the public and private sectors to help drive residents back into in the central city.
The umbrella campaign aims to engage and inspire residents by using the popular ChristchurchNZ Pockets of Awesome channel to highlight special events, merchant offers and activities across the city.

Residents are encouraged to include the hashtag #ExploreChristchurch when sharing what they love best about their CBD with friends and across their social networks