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Hanmer Bakery Cafe

Culinary heaven in Hanmer: The Hanmer Bakery Cafe is a culinary hotspot

Chances are, if you’ve been to Hanmer, you would have been to Hanmer Bakery Café. If not, you’re missing out on some of the best quality eats and drinks in town.

Hanmer Bakery Cafe

Located in the heart of Hanmer Village, Hanmer Bakery Café is the definitive culinary hotspot for locals and holiday makers alike.
Open seven days from 6am to 4pm, customers are served delicious food and provided with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, together with warm and friendly service. It’s the perfect destination for people before or after heading to Hanmer’s thermal pools.
An extensive range of affordable savoury items made on-site means all tastes are catered for and appetites are spoilt for choice. Gourmet pies with flavours like venison and redcurrant; steak, egg, cheese and onion; and even potato-topped beef, mushroom and red wine pies are a good place to start. You can even get a winter warm-up of pumpkin soup and a crusty roll.
Kiwi favourites like lolly cake, ginger crunch and custard squares are on offer too. Plus, a big selection of freshly baked bread, rolls, pastries, homemade donuts, scones and mega chocolate chip cookies are certain to satisfy any craving.
Hot drinks are also a passion and Hanmer Bakery Café serves up Grinders Coffee, alongside a selection of other drinks.
For more information visit
www.hanmerbakery.co.nz or find the café at the Village Shopping Mall, Hanmer Springs.

Queenstown

Thumbs up: Queenstown’s official Facebook page hits 300,000 followers (that’s more than the populations of Hamilton and Rotorua combined!)

Geographically Queenstown may be at the bottom of the country, but it has made its way to the top when it comes to popularity, with fans of the Southern Hemisphere’s premium visitor destination giving the city a big thumbs up on social media.

Queenstown
Queenstown’s official Facebook account recently topped 300,000 followers

Queenstown’s official Facebook account has recently topped 300,000 followers, making it the most popular official New Zealand destination page on the social media platform.
The city’s social media presence continues to resonate with Facebook users, attracting strong engagement from followers dreaming of a visit, or looking forward to their next holiday, and continued growth in followers in the ever-competitive social media environment.
Queenstown’s platforms feature inspiring content including high-quality imagery, video and content from local and visiting creators, photographers and media and user-generated content from visitors to Queenstown.
And with Google research showing that 26 percent of leisure travellers who use the internet to plan travel are looking at social networking sites and apps, Queenstown’s popularity on these channels is vital for the resort town.
Destination Queenstown Marketing and Communication Director Sarah O’Donnell has welcomed this milestone. “We use our social media platforms to inspire travellers to visit with images of our stunning landscapes and compelling content to give our followers a taste of the adventure that awaits in Queenstown.
“We’d like to say thank you to our engaged community of followers and encourage those who are still arm-chair travellers to come for a visit soon.”

Heritage Hanmer Springs

A romantic backdrop: a wedding at the 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.

Heritage Hanmer Springs
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 HanmerConf@heritagehotels.co.nz, phone 03-315 0065 or visit
www.heritagehotels.co.nz/hotels/heritage-hanmer-springs.

The Butcher’s Mistress

A beautiful butchery: The Butcher’s Mistress is the darling of Rangiora

Beautiful and sophisticated may not be the words you would associate with your local butcher, but then there are few similarities between The Butcher’s Mistress and most others of its kind.

The Butcher’s Mistress

Halena Hitchcock opened the doors of the store in Rangiora’s High Street in October last year and, although the physical store is still in a period of transformation, it’s already clear the attention to detail she brings to the commercial table.
Having been in the industry for twelve years, she recognises the part breeding, health and wellbeing play in creating quality, tasty meat, sourcing off the hoof as much as possible and from farms throughout North Canterbury.
“Traceability is important to me – knowing the animal has come from a top local farm and has been well cared for,” Halena says.
Along with a team of butchers, she offers an exceptional array of locally sourced meat – lamb, hogget and beef, old fashioned dry cured bacon, free-farmed pork, South Island venison and goat, as well as organic Washcreek lamb. For the kids, there’s the ever-popular crumbed sausages, but its high quality gourmet sausages is where The Butcher’s Mistress excels.
“To shop at a butchery means personal care,” Halena says.
“We pay close attention to personal tastes and portion control for families of all sizes.”
Homekill and wild game processing are also available. Halena and her team can guide you through the cuts, hanging time and small goods which best suit your needs. “We’re passionate about what we do and if someone comes in the door, we will do what it takes to source what they want.”
The Butcher’s Mistress, 84 High St Rangiora, phone 03-313 7191.

Methven Resort Hotel

The winter wonderland: head out to the country for a wedding at Methven Resort

Whether you’re after winter wonderland bridal party accommodation or a family getaway during the impending ski season, there’s the perfect spot at the heart of Mt Hutt village. Just an hour’s drive from Christchurch, the Methven Resort Hotel can cater for both.

Methven Resort Hotel
Skiing may be the principal activity for daytime, but what could be better après ski than a soak in one of the resort’s three heated outside spas?
The menu offers a classic taste of New Zealand, with all dishes freshly prepared using locally sourced lamb, beef, salmon and venison when possible.
Select from the a la carte menu or a buffet is available offering everything from soups, salads and Asian dishes to carvery roast meats, vegetables and desserts. Enjoy drinks before or after the meal by the open fire in the Piano Bar.
The Methven Resort Hotel is located at 51 Main Street, Methven. Phone 0800 224 440 or email
booking@methvenresort.com. Visit www.methvenresort.com.

Southern Lakes

An exciting upward trajectory: the Southern Lakes are on the up and up

Adventure capital of the world; winter wonderland; jewel in the tourism crown. The superlatives trip off the tongue when describing the Southern Lakes region, which has long been lauded for its jaw-dropping scenery, adrenalin-inducing activities and fine wine and food.

Southern Lakes

Whether you get your kicks bungy jumping from a great height; hurtling down a river at break-neck speed in a jet boat; sampling a glass of Central Otago pinot noir at a winery; skiing or snowboarding at one of the four mountain resorts; marveling at the majestic waterfalls in Milford Sound or discovering the quaint charm of Arrowtown in all its autumnal glory, it never fails to impress.
With Queenstown and Wanaka leading the charge and neighbouring towns (Te Anau, Cromwell, Arrowtown and Hawea to name just a few) nipping at their heels, the Southern Lakes region is riding a wave of growth and development that shows no sign of abating.
While more and more domestic and international tourists flock to the region and pour money in to the economy, its permanent population is increasing at an unprecedented rate. A number of Cantabrians moved to the area – particularly Wanaka – in the wake of the earthquakes. Others bought baches, or a piece of land with an eye to relocating in future.
Now the rest of New Zealand is following suit. Kiwis are starting to shun the big-city hassles and expense for a better quality of life in the regions, and many of them are choosing the Southern Lakes to live in, holiday in, or do a mixture of both.
Residential and commercial construction is booming as builders and developers frantically try to keep up with demand. Tradesmen are certainly a sought-after commodity in these parts. New subdivisions are coming on to the market thick and fast, with sections at Bridesdale Farm (between Queenstown and Arrowtown), Northlake (Wanaka) and the high-end Bendemeer (near Lake Hayes) being snapped up. Te Anau has also benefited from the Southern Lakes housing shortage as homebuyers and investors have increasingly looked for affordable opportunities there.
Businesses are doing a roaring trade too. The ever-expanding Frankton Flats industrial and retail precinct – handily situated on the main road between Arrowtown and Queenstown – is a hive of activity for both locals and tourists. Five Mile shopping centre, with its supermarket and a range of big-box stores, has filled a much-needed gap. The new kid on the block is Queenstown Central. Billed as ‘a premium retail environment’, stage one is due for completion later this year.
Young workers continue to gravitate to the bright lights of Queenstown and Wanaka to ply their trade in the hospitality, tourism and ski industries – and, of course, to enjoy the nightlife. At the other end of the spectrum, Queenstown Country Club is being built for retirees. With world-class golf courses nearby, lakes and rivers for fly fishing and boating as well as kilometres of mountain biking and walking trails on the doorstep, it’s easy to see the attraction.
Watch this space: Southern Lakes is on an exciting upward trajectory.

Kaikoura

A coastal paradise: Kaikoura is an international destination (that you won’t need a passport to visit)

If a stunning peninsula town encircled by majestic mountains and life-filled craggy coastlines takes your fancy, a weekend getaway to Kaikoura is pure paradise – for all senses in all seasons.

Kaikoura

A $1.3 billion-dollar rebuild after the 2016 quakes returned its infrastructure and accessibility. However, the community’s vibrancy never really faded. Visitors are its life blood.
Kaikoura boasts world-class close encounters of the sea-life kind. Lonely Planet sites our fur seal community as second to none. Basking or frolicking, they are the cutest most fascinating creatures to watch. And swimming with smart, inquisitive dolphins has been life changing for many.
Sperm whale and dolphin viewing, by boat or air, astonishes millions of tourists and is the bucket list on many a travel itinerary. Its only 2.5 hour’s drive from Christchurch – how lucky are we!
Kaikoura translates ‘to eat crayfish’. Seafood lovers will be in heaven. Restaurants and cafés serve abundant fresh local fare, while accommodation ranges from hospitable B&Bs, to luxury beachfront hotels.
Kaikoura Museum, resembling a crayfish basket, houses collections of whaling history – and even antique telephones. While Fyffe House, home of the first settlers, has foundations built from whale backbones. Stunning walks now show a slightly different landscape, measuring in parts a coastal uplift of over a metre. There’s a lavender farm, a Maori tour, scuba diving, snorkelling, eco tours – the list is as endless as the panorama.
Literally breathtaking, by deeply inhaling both the bracing mountain air and the energising scent of sea spray, a trip to Kaikoura can renew jaded souls, rekindle romance, or offer the ultimate adventure explosion.