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Kick it in Kaiapoi


Just a 20-minute drive north of Christchurch, Kaiapoi is a picturesque town on the banks of the mighty Waimakariri river and just waiting to be explored. Here’s Metropol’s picks of what to do in Kaiapoi.

 

ON THE WATER
Get amongst Kaiapoi’s aquatic activities. Try a river cruise on the replica paddle steamer, go at your own pace with a kayak or paddleboard hire, or, get the adrenaline pumping with a jet boat ride. If a slower pace is what you’re after, take or hire a fishing rod and park up on the riverbank for your chance to snag a trout or salmon.

RIVERSIDE DINING
The quaint town’s dining precinct has many hospitality offerings along the riverbank. Grab a coffee and bite to eat from hidden gem Red Eight café, or Park up at popular The Port and Eagle Brewpub for some craft beers brewed onsite – often accompanied by live music.

SUPPORT LOCAL
Peruse the local retail precinct and browse the local boutiques and stores stocking a wide range of apparel, gifts and more – many from local makers. Or, absorb some culture and learn about the area’s history at the Kaiapoi Museum and community art gallery, Art on the Quay.


 

Best local food delivery service: Delivery Express


Over the last month or so, takeaways and food delivery services have been working hard to try and safely feed the hungry mouths of the locals. Make your next purchased meal a breeze by ordering from Christchurch’s very own Delivery Express and in the process support local. We caught up with founder of the company Himanshu Sharma to discuss the latest in the food delivery service.

 

 

Has Delivery Express seen an increase in local restaurants signing up since the virus?
Yes, we have doubled the number of restaurants compared to pre-Covid days and above all restaurants are satisfied with services.


What type of food can customers order from you?
Customers can order a variety of cuisines ranging from Thai, Indian, Mexican, fast food, burgers, street food, Chinese, Afghani, vegan, healthy, French crepes etc.


How are you getting the meals to the customers?
Delivery Express has created a one of a kind local ecosystem with #supportlocal as its core value, we feel proud about the fact that an iconic local company like Gold Band Taxis is among our delivery partners, getting hot food delivered to hungry locals quickly.


We’re encouraging everyone to #supportlocal. How is Delivery Express supporting local?
In various ways – No setup charges for restaurants, restaurants keep more money with them compared to any other service. And we do not mark up the food prices of restaurants.


Is there anything exciting coming up for the company?
Same day liquor delivery is in pipeline and would be available soon for our customers!


 

Live, shop, love local: Coco Gifts


‘Support local’ are the current buzzwords right now and we are betting that they’ll stick around for a while. We caught up with Liz Bloomfield from Coco Gifts who is arguably the queen of supporting local.

 

She employs locally, with both of her teammates (Andrea and Blossom) living in St Albans.

She also donates to local schools and organisations and buys stock from local people and wholesalers.

But whilst it’s commendable everything that Coco Gifts are doing, it is also important to remember to share your support with them.

Go in, have a browse, shop around and say hello – the friendly team will welcome you in with open arms (and a safe distance).

Liz also adds, “Thank you so much for all the support over the lockdown period”.

“I appreciate all the messages of encouragement, the online orders, and community love we have received over this difficult time.”


 

Quest for Queenstown


With travel overseas being postponed or cancelled, it’s important to remember what we have in our own backyard. Just a few short hours away, Queenstown has always been an international tourism hub for New Zealand, but it might be high time we put on our tourist hats and explore what this southern spot has to offer. We’ve pulled together some year-round attractions that are worth checking out.

 

 

  1. TAKE A HIKE! Queenstown offers a range of walking tracks and trails for all levels of fitness. Whether you prefer a short local, day long or even a multi-day walking adventure, a guided hike or an independent walking trip, there is a Queenstown walking or hiking option for you.
  2. DON’T BE A LUGER: The benefits of Queenstown being a tourist-centric location is that you’ll often find more than one attraction together. The Skyline Queenstown luge is conveniently placed at the top of the gondola. So, you can get gondola and luge packages!
  3. ALL THE EATS: With more than 150 bars and restaurants, the food scene is always buzzing in Queenstown. Whether it be new craft beer bars, cafes or restaurants popping up, food tours, or inventive new dishes, there’s always something new, creative and exciting to try.
  4. ICE, ICE BABY: Something that was worth highlighting was the fact that Queenstown has not one, but two ice bars. Yes.. that is bars entirely made from ice – from the seats right down to the glasses.
  5. BOTTOMS UP! Queenstown is brimming with craft beer bars and breweries. Why not jump on a local craft beer tour? If wine is your thing, the wineries in Queenstown and nearby Gibbston, the ‘Valley of Vines’, have a reputation for producing some of the world’s best pinot noir and you can find your favourite vintage taking in local cellar doors and restaurants. Even cocktail lovers can get their fill, with inventive and unique cocktails available at most restaurants and bars.
  6. GET ON YOUR BIKE: Cycling tours and mountain biking trails in Queenstown are a great way to explore and discover remote parts of this beautiful region! The Queenstown Trail has more than 130kms of off-road trails taking you from Queenstown to Gibbston via historic Arrowtown. Cross-country, trail riding, heli, downhill… whatever your cycling or mountain biking style, Queenstown’s got the terrain, rental and guides to suit everyone’s kind of ride.
  7. GET UP THE GONDOLA: Providing panoramic views of Queenstown, there’s only one way to really see the infamous resort town – from above!

 

Honeymoon Staycation


Honeymoons may be thought of as an opportunity to head off to a far-flung corner of the world, but sometimes a fancy overseas trip may just not be on the bridal cards. We’ve put together our own how-to guide for solidifying a magical marriage on the home turf.

 

 

  1. BOOK A LOCAL ROMANTIC HOTEL OR AIRBNB
    While your honeymoon accommodation doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, you do deserve to indulge in some relaxing amenities like a mini bar and a jacuzzi to ease the post-wedding tension. Cosy up at a lakeside log cabin, treat yourself to some well-deserved R&R at your local spa resort or get that foreign-city feel by booking an apartment in a skyrise hotel.
  2. TURN OFF YOUR PHONES
    If there’s ever a time to switch off and disconnect from the outside world, it’s for your honeymoon. This is a time to revel in your newly-wed life, so take a break from social media and dedicate your time to enjoying each other’s company.
  3. SPLURGE ON THE FOOD
    There’s never been a better excuse for getting fancy with the food. Why not order in room service or snag a reservation at that fancy new restaurant you’ve had your eye on? Oh – and don’t forget the bottle of bubbly. You’re celebrating, remember?
  4. PAMPER EACH OTHER
    Whether you take a trip to your nearby day spa or conjure up your own spa paradise at home, what better way to decompress the post-wedding stress than with a pamper package? After all, it wouldn’t be a honeymoon without a couple’s massage!
  5. GET OUT AND EXPLORE
    Creating an informal itinerary certainly cultivates the getaway feel. Perhaps your city has a food or wine tour you could take advantage of? Hit up your local theatre, hike a mountain and enjoy breathtaking vistas, enjoy a lakeside picnic or take a cooking class – the options are endless!
  6. CAPTURE THE MOMENT
    Just like you would if you were honeymooning in Hawaii or Mexico, take pictures – and share them on social media later when you emerge from the honeymoon cocoon. Bring your camera or buy a disposable one so you’re not tempted to use your phone.
  7. BUST OUT YOUR BEST ATTIRE
    Just because you’re not holidaying abroad doesn’t mean you can’t dress to your very best! Now’s the time to don that nice dress and heels to dinner or splash out on a new bikini or lingerie.
  8. RELAX AND HAVE FUN!
    This is the most important step! Forget about work, family, friends and post-wedding responsibilities. Break out the boardgames, binge-watch your favourite TV series or curl up on the couch with a good book. This time is yours – so enjoy it.


Foodie favourites: Bangers ‘n’ Bacon


Bangers ‘n’ Bacon was born organically when Pete Nolan decided to create additive-free meat products for his children, whose food allergies meant sausages and bacon were banned in their household.

 

 

Not wanting to face a life without some of his favourite foods, Pete began producing different recipes, with the challenge of not using any gluten, dairy, wheat, soy, corn, egg, tomatoes, artificial preservatives, nitrates, colourings or flavourings.

The end result – after four years of trialling and testing – was a delicious range of low allergy products the whole family could enjoy.

Minimally processed and created using only top quality, locally sourced meat, herbs and special homemade seasoning blends, the low carb products are also a popular choice for those on keto or similar diets.

Pete’s family and friends were also very impressed with the products, with some commenting that the sausages ‘taste so good you don’t need sauce’ – which became the business’s tagline.

“If any product we create doesn’t meet this one simple criteria, then it won’t make the cut,” say Pete and his wife Angela, who opened for business in December last year.

Sausage products to choose from include Original Pork, Peppered Pork, English breakfast, Italian Pork and Beef (in mild or hot ‘n’ spicy), and Chipotle Pork and Beef.

The nitrate-free bacon products, available in streaky and loin cuts, are cured using just salt and raw sugar (one percent), then beautifully smoked on a charcoal barbecue with a blend of apple and hickory woods.

With an array of additional products and more in the pipeline, Pete says they are always open to feedback.

“We constantly have the customer in mind, with everything we do.”

Deemed an essential business, Bangers ‘n’ Bacon continued operating throughout the lock-down.

Produced from a factory in Ferrymead, customers can order online, pick up, or find them at a range of markets.

For more information, check out the website, email orders@bangersnbacon.com and follow on Facebook.


 

How & why you should support local


It’s time for us all to band together and help Canterbury get back on its feet. That means buying, eating and traveling local. We’ve put together a few ways you can get behind the cause.

 

 

SOS Café is a not-for-profit initiative set up for local businesses in New Zealand during the pandemic.

You can support your favourite bars, restaurants, cafés and services by purchasing a voucher to redeem once everyone is back up and running normally.

Check it out at www.sosbusiness.nz.

You might have seen Air New Zealand showcasing some of New Zealand’s greatest scenery in their safety videos on your way to some exotic location.

Maybe it’s time to experience some of that scenery for yourself? It’s easy to forget what we have in our backyard because we’re so used to it always being there.

Now is the time, more than ever, to travel around the North or South Island or even take that weekend away to Queenstown.

So why not get planning? It’ll give you something to look forward to for the rest of the year.

Finally, one of the best ways you can #supportlocal and show you really care is by supporting them online.

Some local businesses are used to having customers physically come into their stores and even having a chat with you while you’re browsing.

Remind them that you’re there, that you care and that you’re excited for their return.

Follow them, like and comment on their updates, maybe even flick them a message. Something so small can make the world of difference to someone.