Winter is here and this year, visitors should embrace the season instead of resisting it.
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.
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.
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
With no jumping, parachutes or planes required, now anyone can fly like Superman – on a cushion of air.
Arrow International’s team worked in blazing heat and falling snow to get iFLY, Queenstown’s sensational new attraction off the ground this winter. Arrow was involved in the design phase of the $15 million project, giving buildability and programming input before being awarded the main build contract.
The skydiving facility involves an 8m deep basement and wind turbines that sit on top of the building. The turbines blow air around the building, into the basement, and then project it up through the centre of the building to create a ‘flight chamber’. People float on a column of air rising up to 5m above the ground.
The Queenstown building design, drawn up by local Walker Group Architects, is the first of its kind for New Zealand. This iconic build is a joint project between Sky Venture International, which manufactures iFLY vertical wind tunnels and Kiwi residents Emma and Gary Beyer. Emma Beyer was on the British skydiving team winning the 2006 world champs, while her husband Gary is a former world champion and 18-time US champion.
Emma comments that “we originally approached iFLY in 2011 with a view to launching an indoor skydiving facility in New Zealand. Before tendering for construction even started, a huge amount of work went into finding and researching the right location. The consenting process was especially time-consuming and challenging due to the central Queenstown location, and the appearance of the building needed to fit well with the surrounding architecture and alpine backdrop. It’s unique as it is unlike any of the other 67 iFLY sites around the world.”
Nick Hamlin, Arrow’s Southern General Manager says, “The site is wedged between two existing buildings making construction activities incredibly difficult. The site is very tight and steep and on one of the busiest streets in Queenstown for foot traffic, which leads up to the gondola. A major tower crane was used on site to construct the super structure and install all the 12 tonne wind turbines.
“The basement area is approximately 8m in the ground, with the top of the building lifting up to 14m – making it a massive concrete structure that had to be systemic designed for the alpine location.”
The 450mm-thick basement walls required specialised pouring systems brought in from Christchurch and a special free-flowing concrete to pour the massive walls. Highly technical, the wind tunnel and most of the technology for the project have come from Texas.
Construction Project Manager Bruce Halligan, Project/Senior Site Manager Brian Macmillan, Quantity Surveyor Gerry Lyons and Project Administrator Kirsty Tamatea were supported by an enthusiastic team of subcontractors.
“It’s been a tough but very rewarding build, with a lot of very technical details and low build tolerances that add to the challenge – we all can’t wait for the opportunity to try out the tunnel itself.”
Central Otago and the Southern Lakes region are known for their extremes of climate – scorching hot days of more than 30 degrees in the summer and plummeting well below zero in the winter. Such fluctuations call for building materials that perform at the highest level of efficiency, especially with respect to thermal insulation, noise reduction and security.
The largest holes in your house are your windows and doors. Designing window and door frames to prevent heat escaping has reached the highest standard with the use of unplasticised polyvinyl chloride or UPVC. This material, when used in conjunction with low emissivity double glazing, achieves an R-value of 0.8 for insulating effectiveness and thermal performance. To interpret the jargon, that is a very high rating and will help you enjoy a perfectly comfortable atmosphere in your home while lowering power bills. It’s the ideal product for the southern environment.
UPVC Windows and Doors Ltd of Dunedin manufacture and install these UPVC products using the Deceuninck Zendow profile, the world’s largest manufacturer of UPVC window and door systems. The frames come in a range of seven colours and have a 15-year guarantee. Once installed on a house, the frames look similar to the beauty of timber frames but, unlike timber, they are virtually maintenance free. They have other benefits too. They offer high security locking features, as well as high sound insulation and maximum water tightness for areas prone to driving rain and snow.
For more information about UPVC frames, phone UPVC Windows and Door Ltd 0800 455 501.
If outdoor pursuits in the bone-chilling Southern Lakes winter are not your bag, take refuge indoors and discover some of the cultural, historic and artistic gems in Arrowtown. You don’t have to wander far off the beaten track – or the main street – to get a decent dose of intellectual and sensory stimulation.
Take a step back in time at Lakes District Museum. Arrowtown is steeped in rich history, thanks to its fascinating goldmining past, and the museum showcases it well. Jane Peasey – who is
responsible for special projects – says it’s an excellent starting point to get an overview of how the area was developed and who and what shaped this quaint town. Throughout the three
heritage buildings there are working displays illustrating early Maori life and the harsh pioneering times that European settlers and goldminers endured. For winter there’s a display of
historic skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating gear and photos. Lakes District Museum also houses an art gallery, bookshop, archives and a busy education programme. Open seven days at 49
Nadene Milne Gallery is a calm, peaceful space that provides welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the main street. Operated by two of the most experienced gallerists in New
Zealand, Nadene Milne and Jacinta Byron, it shows many of the most collectible, contemporary artists in the country. Its stable of well-known names includes Judy Millar, Shane Cotton,
Fiona Pardington and Max Gimblett. Having carved out a strong reputation within the industry, the gallery attracts serious art collectors nationwide as well as from overseas. A highlight
this winter will be a presentation of new works by Shane Cotton, due in early July. Nadene Milne Gallery is open 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, at 16 Buckingham Street. For viewings
outside these times, phone 0274 401 665.
For a unique experience that is so much more than just a standard trip to ‘the flicks,’ check out Dorothy Browns boutique theatre, bar and bookshop. The atmosphere in the main cinema is all
romantic charm, with floating pink chiffon decorating the walls and glass-beaded chandeliers setting a scene of opulence and sophistication. Cheeseboards and wine glasses are easily
accommodated by the armrests on the huge seats and, if you need more sustenance half-way through the movie, there’s a very handy intermission. The den is a smaller, more cosy environment,
with seating for 20. Screening both mainstream and arthouse films, Dorothy Browns is at 18 Buckingham Street.
Blue Moon Rummage is a treasure chest filled with an eclectic mix of furniture, lamps, chandeliers, ornaments, jewellery and rustic clocks made from wine barrel ends. Specialising in
vintage skiing memorabilia, it has an impressive display of vintage skis, snowshoes, cushions, reproduced signs and shirts. Pam Lawrence – who calls herself “Head Rummager” – has owned the
shop for nine years and injects her own quirky style and passion in to the business. She makes regular trips to gift fairs in Canada and the United States so she can hand-pick her favourite
items. Visitors will chuckle over what must be the best collection of witty and naughty gift cards to be found in the Southern Lakes. Find Blue Moon Rummage in The Arcade, Buckingham
At face value, winter is that time of the year when we hunker down at home. But the jewel in North Canterbury’s crown – Hanmer Springs – offers a great winter escape, right at our northern front door.
Just 90 minutes from the city, Hanmer Springs is one of those cliché ‘world away from home’ type of places, the difference being that this really does feel that far from home.
Framed by snow-capped mountains from July through to August, there are plenty of outdoor pursuits for travellers to engage in.
• Skiing and snowboarding
• Walking / tramping
• Biking or mountain biking
• Swimming in the world famous thermal pools
• Quad biking
• Bungy jumping
• Jet boating
• Team-building activities
• Spa treatments.
This alpine paradise even has its own local ski field just 20km from the village, run by the Amuri Ski Club Inc. One of the most affordable and friendly ski areas in New Zealand, it has daily lessons and full ski hire for beginners through to the most advanced skiers, as well as boarders.
When the ski fun is over for the day, who can resist a soak in the Thermal Pools to stretch and take away those aches and pains.
From a conservative post-Victorian city to a bold and innovative urban hot spot, Christchurch has emerged as a province that packs a proverbial punch.
The exciting new spaces that continue to open up in the heart of the city are driving this exciting change and commanding attention, not just on a national level but also an international one as the central city plays prestigious host to increasing tourism numbers.
Yes, it’s true; Christchurch has a long way to go, but the metamorphosis at street level is palpable as we witness the rebirth of a cosmopolitan city characterised by buildings and businesses with personality.
We’re certainly not short of inspiration when it comes to finding something to do within the Four Avenues and even more so closer to the city’s heart. The internal courtyards and winding alleys that are emerging within the greater developments, such as the BNZ Centre, are packed with incredible offerings, both large and small, the operators of which are putting heart and soul into reinvesting in our city.
The Crossing developer Philip Carter has played an integral role in this evolution, now his development The Crossing is one of the strongest drawcards within the central space, with more than 60 retail tenancies, combined with hospitality, office space and a 630-space onsite car park.
One of Christchurch’s largest private developments, the $140 million project covers 44,000sqm across different levels within a hectare block between Cashel Mall, and Colombo, Lichfield and High streets. And it continues to grow.
Now two of Christchurch’s most popular modern Asian restaurants are joining the development and returning to the central city seven years after the Canterbury earthquakes, marking almost 25 years of friendship for two local men.
The Crossing is the new home to Alfred Wong’s refurbished Cookai (situated pre-earthquake in Cashel Street, with former sister restaurant Blue Fish in nearby Cathedral Junction), returning to town after operating from premises in Riccarton. Adjoining 80-seat Cookai and its renowned sushi train is Joyful Express, both designed by Alfred’s best friend Jimmy Hsu.
It marks the beginning of the next exciting era for Alfred and Jimmy, who have been friends since the serial entrepreneurs met in the early 1990s as Papanui High School students.
During Canterbury’s rebuild period, the pair made sure they got away each year travelling and gathering ideas for the eventual move back into the city. Jimmy also worked with other restaurant entrepreneurs, designing their refits in Christchurch, Queenstown and South Canterbury, including The Camden Restaurant and Bar in Riccarton Road’s Clyde Building.
When choosing the central location for their new businesses, Alfred says he wanted to get away from what he saw as “vanilla mall culture” parts of Christchurch which had developed during the rebuild, instead yearning for a dynamic space back in the city that matched the vibrancy of the food.
“We’d been offered a number of potential locations, but it wasn’t until we saw the vivacity of The Crossing that we felt that the timing was right for Cookai to return to the city, joined by an adjacent and energised Joyful Express,” he says.
Cookai opens this week followed by the smaller neighbouring Joyful Express, opening in August 2018.
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.
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.
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’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.”
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 HanmerConf@heritagehotels.co.nz, phone 03-315 0065 or visit www.heritagehotels.co.nz/hotels/heritage-hanmer-springs.