New Zealand MAY be the best place to play

by Dominic - 5/2/2012 3:20:00 PM
Britain must be the only country in the world where you can stand wearing wellingtons, under an umbrella in the pouring rain, for a bus to splash past you with a sign on the side saying 'We're in a drought'.

As summer is on its way, and by on its way we mean way out, we Brits begin dreaming of barbecues, of balmy nights on balconies and lazy days and cool nights. It's not likely that we're the only nation of people that do this when summer rolls round, but we must be the only one that dreams of having all those things, anywhere else but here.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, New Zealand is slowly rotating its way through autumn, the difference being, when it's supposed to be autumn in New Zealand, it's autumn. That means beautiful hues and shades and tones and tints of green, red, orange and brown and lovely smells of bonfires while crispy dry leaves crunch underfoot.

In other countries, seasons keep their promises.

So, if you happen to be lucky enough to be in New Zealand this May, then you'll need some stuff to do. Here's a look at some of the best things going on this month.

New Zealand Music Month

May in New Zealand is Music Month, what originally started as a neatly written letter to the local radio station asking them to play a few nice ditties has grown into an entire month of gigs, festivals and more gigs.

With a myriad of performances from a range of musical styles and influences, no matter what your particular forte is, you'll definitely be able to find it during NZ Music Month. Head on over to the site to scrawl through the pages and pages of top class performances across New Zealand, you won't be disappointed.

If this is all you've seen so far in NZ,
you should get out more.

Food Show - Wellington - 11th to 13th

If you're working holiday has so far consisted of drinking, a bit of drinking, looking at some scenery and then just generally getting a bit of drinking done then two things are pretty clear, one you already know that New Zealand has some decent booze and two, you probably haven't eaten all that well.

Well NZ might have some of the best wine but if you're just engorging yourself on cheap takeaway simply to mop up the booze once in a while then you're missing out.

Head on down to Wellington between the 11th and 13th to engorge yourself on some decent food at the Food Show instead. It also happens to be a wine show too so if you're really adamant about the drinking thing then you won't be missing out.

This was seriously the least rude picture
of people covered in UV paint we could
find.
(c) houseofrave.com

Paint Party - Wellington - 19th

What can possibly go wrong with copious amounts of vodka, a couple of strobing UV lights and enough UV paint to cover an Airbus?

Nothing right?

That's why the Vodka Cruiser Illuminate party might just be the party to be at this month. So if you're in Wellington make sure you head down there to end up causing panicked calls to UFOwatch.com as you drunkenly stumble down the road at 3am whilst glowing luminous pink.

Normally if you missed a party of this magnitude you'd have no other choice but to live in shame for the rest of your life, constantly retreating into a little cell of loneliness every time your friends brought it up.

Thankfully, there will be another party in Hawkes Bay on the 26th of the month which promises to be just as insane, go crazy now otherwise you might do later.

Comedy Festival - across NZ until the 20th May

New Zealand was never traditionally associated with comedy, but then it was never really associated but a scary dance and a furry fruit until Peter Jackson and his 17 friends all called Oscar had their say; now we're finding out plenty about New Zealand.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy showed the world that it had scenery like the English countryside, but good, as well as mountains to rival the Alps and plains that the Americans would never get tired of chasing Indians off of.

And then the Flight of the Conchords got here and showed us the Kiwis know how to have a laugh as well, that just left us wondering why they were so keen on the fruit and the dancing for all these years.

So if you're in New Zealand, no doubt you'll already be blown away by the natural beauty and if you tear yourself away from the scenery for just a minute, you can catch some of the best comedy in the country right now with the New Zealand Comedy Festival.

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

April activities in New Zealand - Jazz! Easter! Comedy!

by Dominic - 3/26/2012 3:59:00 PM
While Spring once again shines bright in the UK, taunting everyone that for once maybe it won't chuck it down all summer, on the other side of the world where the weather keeps its promises, New Zealand is cooling down for autumn.

British Summer:
"D'you wanna flake in that love?"
"Ta"
 

The brief appearance of a warm sun in the UK might mean you can go and sit on the patch of grass in the park in the UK, using the blanket your dog sleeps on to cover up the broken glass, but we all know it won't last.

The average Briton's wait for summer is the same as the average 5 year old's wait for Christmas, a permanent state excitement. However, like Christmas, it lasts for just one day and then your dog drops dead on Boxing Day for sleeping in too much broken glass.

However, around the world in New Zealand, the weather is like a favourite grandparent, always waiting with a giant box of chocolates which you can never get sick of.

New Zealand is a land of astonishing beauty and when the summer wraps up, the colours come out to play, leaves turn from green to some slightly reddish shade of green (I think it's called 'gred'), to some slightly greenish shade of red and then brown.

While that description may not have done it quite justice, the kaleidoscope of colours which brings out the intrinsic beauty of New Zealand's incredible landscape really needs to be seen to be believed.

ANYWAY, now you've got the idea - your dog's not dead, you know what gred is and you're in New Zealand looking for some stuff to do this April. Here's some of the best things going on across NZ this April.

Royal Easter Show - Auckland - 5th - 9th.

Nobody knows how we got from Jesus on a cross to an egg laying rabbit and that's because when there's chocolate involved, you can get away with anything if you've got a couple of Milky Ways handy:

"Did you kill my wife?"
"Well, I could tell you, or you can have this Crème Egg"
"I never liked her anyway."

So, in line with that, if you're in Auckland over the Easter weekend, head on over to the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane for the Coca Cola Royal Easter Show. Taking place across the Easter weekend, there's plenty to do including a Carnival, a Circus, fireworks AND '100% Kylie', the world's most FAMOUS Kylie Minogue tribute act (although how much better would the name Kylie Min-faux-gue been?).

That towel was to stop the trumpet from
shattering at his ice cold touch.

The New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival - Christchurch 11th - 15th

The word 'jazz' meant cool before 'cool' did. Jazz is so cool it even has an age named after it, the Jazz Age, which lasted from the booming '20s (when J Edgar Hoover was running the FBI in a dress and Gatsby was getting his Great on) right up until the 30s, when the Great Depression struck and ruined EVERYTHING.

However, the spirit lived on and Jazz remains one of the most popular genres of music today (right behind pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, rap, soul, folk, metal, nu-metal, classical and polka).

If you're a fan, or even if you're not but need to prove to some cooler kids you're cool (or to some jazzier kids you're jazz, right?) then the New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival takes place between the 11th and 15th when a new generation of jazz talent will show off their talents as 21st century (or Teeny-Bop Age, no?) updates mix with tributes to Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong.

Gred sky at night, traffic light's delight

Arrowtown Autumn Festival - Arrowtown - 20th - 29th

Thanks in large part to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, New Zealand's landscape is now almost as famous as New York's skyline, Sydney's harbour or Paris' Shomps Elle-E-zay. Of course, the difference is that New Zealand's is 100% natural and, just like nose jobs, fake tans and wonder bras, we all know natural is better.

So if you want to see the best of New Zealand's landscape, at its best, the Arrowtown Autumn Festival could be for you.

While just standing around trying to see how many different colours you can apply the description "sort of brownish" to might be enough, the festival has a plethora of events to get involved in, everything from 'Arrow Ambles' walking tour with guides Ray, Rupert, Rita and Russell (yes, really) to a stone carving workshop and Blues shows.

There's also a Pint & Pie Festival and a fancy dress pub crawl. Sold? Thought so.

International Comedy Festival - Auckland, Wellington, nationwide - 27th April - 20th May

The Flight of the Conchords did wonders for New Zealand's comedy scene and everyone is waiting with baited breath for the arrival of comedy's next best thing.

Whether or not this will happen is another matter, so no whining for a refund if they're all rubbish. However, with shows in Auckland and Wellington as well as spread across the rest of the country, a trip to the NZ International Comedy Festival could easily land you with a chance of seeing what could be the next big world star in comedy.

This will then allow you to rave to all your friends about the hot new comedy act you discovered, brag when they get big and then be the first to turn on them when they get too successful.

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

New Zealand's Midsummer March Madness

by Dominic - 3/2/2012 11:03:00 AM
While the British sun is still trying to make its first feeble appearance, peeking out behind a rain cloud before being blown back in by a bitter wind, New Zealand's summer is still keeping the days long and the nights warm.

While summer may be starting to wind down, there's still plenty to do across the country, here's a couple of things going on this month:

 

"Funny, it didn't seem that painful when you
did it to the horse."

Gee-Gees

Chances are you're a fan of fashion, horses, posh stuff or money so why not head on down to Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland this weekend and indulge in all four? Auckland's most popular racing site hosts three of the poshest, most stylish and most lucrative races south of Hong Kong during March, and you could be there to stick a dollar or two on each way.

First up this Saturday (the 3rd) is Derby Day which features three races, including the NZ$750,000 (£400,000) Telecom New Zealand Derby. Next up is one of New Zealand's most prestigious events: the Auckland Cup Day on the 7, March. The Auckland Cup hosts more people with more money than most countries' deficits, although there are still plenty of general tickets still on sale for us commoners.

Lastly is the Diamond Day which needs no explanation as it couldn't sound more ridiculously exclusive if it was called the You'll Never Be Good Enough to Get in Here Day. The advertised tickets range in price from NZ$10 (£5), for people with two jets or less, to NZ$200 (£105) for those who get to eat the horse if it doesn't win.

Hee-Hees

Everyone likes a laugh, whether it's a joke you just told or a person you hate getting punched repeatedly in the face, it always brightens your day. If you want 11 days brightened this March, head on down to Dunedin on the South Island for the Dunedin Fringe Festival between the 15th and 25th.

Spread across the city the festival takes in everything from internationally renowned comedy acts to bizarre experimental stuff which could cause you to have an epiphany and change your life for the better by moving to the underside of a bridge somewhere and asking everyone to call you 'Whelp'. Or it could just be something worth seeing for its weirdness.

Row-rows

If you're British, rowing is the sport of people who aren't rich enough to do nothing at all with their lives but too rich to risk ruining their coif with a contact sport. Everywhere else however, rowing is a fun, team sport where you don't need to be Oxford educated to know how to put a stick in some water.

The Wellington Dragon Boat Festival is the perfect example of this egalitarian event which everyone can enjoy and not just wish they'd worked harder in school at. Taking place over the weekend of the 17th and 18th, the festival not only involves races with up to 75 participants but includes plenty of things to do on shore including food stalls, games and music.

 

Criticise him and we're gonna have words.

Top Shows

Show me a person who doesn't love David Attenborough and I'll show you a liar or a freak (but most likely just a lying freak), the man could explain to you the subtleties of paint drying while a supermodel narrowly escapes a six car pileup in the background and you'd still come out listing the fascinating differences between the viscosities of emulsion and gloss.

So now we've established that you're a diehard Attenborough fan, if you're in Auckland on the 8th, head on over to Henderson for a documentary entitled 'Death of the Oceans' which, as David Attenborough is narrating, will leave you in no doubt the errors of humanity's ways.

Rock shows

Festivals are to family camping holidays what unrestricted internet access is to the Beano; an unadulterated and uncontrolled weekend of craze where no one sleeps, everyone is best friends and no one remembers anything - you DON'T remember right?

So, if it's been a while since you got your last festival fix, WOMAD New Zealand could be just the dose you need. Taking place from the 16th to the 18th in Taranaki, WOMAD has acts from all over New Zealand and Australia as well as Europe, Africa, the UK and America.

Nose goes

If you're one of the poor unfortunate souls who are permanently bunged up then not only are you missing out on the most evocative of sense, but everybody hates you for your continuous sniffing as well. If you know your bouquets from your buckets though, your lemon zests from your orange zests and your Shiraz from your chardonnays then New Zealand is the place for you.

New Zealand is almost as famous for its wines as it is for its rugby team, its Lord of the Rings scenery and its citizens' annoyance at people always assuming they're from Australia so why not indulge in New Zealand's most sophisticated of exports at the Hilltop Wines Sunset Concert?

Held at the Hilltop Vineyard in Hamilton on the 24th of March, the concert not only offers the chance to sample some of New Zealand's most delectable delights but also enjoy some relaxing jazz and blues music while the sun goes down. What else do you want from an evening sniffy?

Swimming-oes

If you've indulged perhaps a little too much on your travels, the backpacker diet of nothing and beer hasn't quite taken its toll just yet then maybe a little exercise is just what you need.

The New Zealand Ocean Swim series holds its next event on Saturday 10th March in Mount Maugnaui, one of the most idyllic places in the world to push yourself to the physical limit and swallow too much saltwater, or just have a nice relaxing swim round one of the country's most beautiful bays.

The State Sand to Surf includes the 'I'm Going Long' event which is over 2.5km long and is for the most competitive while the 'Give it a Go' 300m course is for those who quite fancy taking a stab at ocean swimming.

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

New Zealand February fun - that doesn't involve Valentines Day!

by Dominic - 2/9/2012 1:23:00 PM
What's the point in February? The shortest month of the year, still cold and broke from Christmas, the only thing of note in February is Valentines Day, and that's hardly great. If you're in a relationship you have to spend more money for a Hallmark holiday on soppy pink stuff that won't see March and if you're single you have to stomach couples rubbing their happiness in your face everywhere you look.

So just what is the point? Well, if you happen to find yourself in New Zealand during February then, single and lonely or involved and bored, there's plenty to do this month. 

Here's a look at some of the best things going on. 

The guy at the other end of this
picture just yelled "Go on then,
I DARE you to shoot!"

Taking place until the 12th of February, New Zealand's largest sporting event with over 6,000 participants, the New Zealand Masters Games has already been underway for a few days but there are still plenty of events left in the biennial event including archery, basketball, snooker, ice hockey and clay pigeon shooting as well as the closing ceremony on the last Sunday.

If you're in Auckland on the 15th then you can get involved with a bit of beer tasting, that's right, you heard correctly - beer tasting. 

Auckland's newest brewery, located right in the heart of the city, offers you the chance to come and enjoy beers for a range of tastes and styles and learn how to sound like a massive show off as you explain to people the subtle differences between Carlsberg and Carlsberg Export.

This isn't really up for debate sorry.

If you like beer but you can't make it to Auckland, or if you REALLY like beer and are prepared to get to Christchurch by the 19th of February then the Belgium Beer Festival should be plenty to getting on with.

While the range of Belgian beers on tap might be enough to lure most people, the festival also has plenty of Belgian chocolate, fritters and the king of food full stop, Belgian waffles (yes they are).

Fringe Festivals are known for
their very traditional performances,
nothing out of the ordinary by
stable, well balanced performers.
Honest

Just because you may be about as far away from the Edinburgh Fringe as it's possible to get, that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy everything the festival represents in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Fringe Festival between the 10th February and 3rd March offers punters the chance to enjoy everything from to experimental dance, theatre to jungle music; the only rule is, there are no rules.

Well, there are plenty of rules, including no wearing bowler hats, no combining socks and sandals and no sideways looks at other people's food, but any SHOW can be put on at the Fringe, that's the whole point - it's on the fringe!

If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere in your leisure time, perhaps a more refined way of life then Devonport Food, Wine and Music Festival in Auckland between the 18th and 19th is definitely for you.

Held on the edge of Waitemata Harbour in Devonport, north of Auckland's centre, the festival boasts wines from over 20 New Zealand wineries as well as a plethora of different foods. And while you're enjoying your delicious cuisine and looking out over Auckland's CBD, you can be entertained by some of New Zealand's top music and comedy acts.

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Extra Extra! New Zealand working holiday makers wanted to audition for parts in The Hobbit!

by Dominic - 1/19/2012 4:45:00 PM
An open casting call has gone out to anyone in the Wellington area to go and audition for parts in the upcoming two part epic The Hobbit, the prequel to the phenomenally successful The Lord of the Rings trilogy.


Peter Jackson will be filming both
parts of the Hobbit back to back.

Featuring the Sherlock Holmes star Martin Freeman (and a nice cameo from his co-star Benedict Cumberbatch), filming of the long awaited adaptation of one of the most children's books of all time is now well underway in New Zealand.

With such a massive scale of production, more and more people are being drafted in to be dressed up and made up as any one of the many races featured in the books.

What they're looking for

Those with "character faces" are particularly being encouraged to go along but almost anyone qualifies; men must be under 163cm and women under 155cm is the only criteria.

Along with "character faces", men with large biceps or slim athletic bodies are also sought while women between 165 and 203cm tall could be in with a great shot.


Eager fans got their first look at
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

A cautionary tale

If you're a fan of the series, no doubt you'll already be on your way down there but make sure you've got your New Zealand Working Holiday visa handy as only those who are eligible to work in the country will be allowed to audition

Remember you need to be over 16, and have a working visa. You don't want to end up like one ineligible fan, who has to resort to smearing his face with green boot polish and smashing around town wearing old dustbins to get attention.

Where to go

The casting call is at The Belmont Hall on Saturday 28th January between 1 and 4pm and anyone over 16 can audition so grab your Elven bow or your Goblin axe or whatever other medieval deadly weapon is your personal preference and head down there. Who knows, we might be seeing you an IMAX screen by Christmas!

Good luck!

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

New Zealand’s New Year zest

by Dominic - 1/9/2012 5:22:00 PM
If you missed the New Year celebrations in New Zealand, don't worry as there's still plenty of things to do across the country in January, from comedy to cuisine and plenty in between, you'll be hard pressed to find nothing to do in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

David Ferrer
David Ferrer will look to defend his title at
the 2012 Heineken Open in Auckland.

If you can't quite make it to Melbourne for the Australian Open, the Heineken Open in Auckland is the premier men's tennis event in New Zealand. Held from the 9th to the 14th of the month, some of the biggest names in tennis grace the hardcourts. Current world number 5 David Ferrer is the reigning champion after beating Argentine David Nalbandian in straight sets in the 2011 final.

If you're looking for a little exhilaration and exercise this January, (possibly part of a faltering New Year's Resolution) the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series comes to Wellington on the 29th of January. The State Capital Classic Wellington takes places on Freyberg Beach and Oriental Bay Beach and features a new 'I'm Going Long' swim which takes swimmers out to a lighthouse in the bay while the 'Step It Up' swim for the more advanced swimmer takes you out around a giant fountain. If you're not the most confident swimmer, you can take part in the 'Give it a Go' swim or alternatively, not swim at all and instead participate in some of the more relaxing spectators' walks around the area.

If just the thought of watching sport tires you out, let alone taking part and you prefer the tastier things in life, the Auckland Seafood Festival held right in the end of the month should be more than enough with not just the best seafood but also musical acts and competitions set in the heart of Auckland's fishing industry.

Slowing things down a little, the incredible rise to fame of New Zealand folk-comedy duo the Flight of the Conchords has seen the New Zealand folk music scene explode in popularity. The Auckland Folk Festival takes place between the 27th and the 30th of January at the Kumeu Showground, a large flat camping area which makes for the ideal festival site. Folk acts from around the world come to the festival and, with tickets only on advanced sale until January 13th, fans need to move quick to secure their place.

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

In need of rugby detox? Plenty of soothing events this November in NZ

by Aleksandar - 11/2/2011 4:52:00 PM
The Rugby World Cup may be over but all reports suggest the party is continuing. You may wish to spend your time in New Zealand joining the Kiwis in celebration and re-watching matches, but for those of you who need a break from rugby (or were barracking for a different team) there's plenty going on this November to take your mind off the All Blacks.

  
The New Zealand domestic Plunket Shield
cricket competition kicks on on Nov 7 

And what better way to forget about rugby than get stuck into some domestic Kiwi cricket? The Plunket Shield domestic competition kicks off on November 7-10, with the Central Stags taking on the Wellington Firebirds in Napier, the Northern Knights play the Auckland Aces in a North Island derby in Whangerei and the Canterbury Wizards facing the Otago Volts in Rangiora. Get a picnic together and get down to any of these Round 1 matches and see New Zealand's best cricketers in action!

If you prefer games of a less strenuous kind, Auckland's Cock and Bull English Pubs host subtly-named 'Wii at the Cock' nights on Mondays in November, where punters can try their hand at Nintendo Wii games. Plenty of good British pub food on offer to stave off the homesickness.

Keeping with the British theme, come listen to two of the greatest British rock albums of all time as the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium in Auckland play Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' and 'The Wall' accompanied by a psychedelic light show and the wonder of the Southern sky! The Pink Floyd Double Header is showing from November 8-13 with tickets at $35. Sure to be a romantic one with two free glasses of wine upon entry. 

But then again you may be seeking an authentically Kiwi experience. If so, there's none better than the Toast Martinborough festival on Sunday November 20.  This famous food and wine festival will showcase New Zealand's best proudce. Tickets are quite steep at $70 a head but you can win free tickets just by picking out your favourite Toast Martinborough promo poster. Find out more here.

The World Cup will be a distant memory before you know it.

- Aleks Vickovich is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

New Zealand events for October

by Aleksandar - 10/4/2011 6:25:00 PM
The Rugby World Cup is in full swing and New Zealand is brimming with tourists and working holidaymakers suffering from 'rugby fever'. But there are plenty of other events going on in New Zealand in October to entertain you between matches, from an attempt at the world's biggest haka to a champagne picnic in landscaped gardens.
Rugby World Cup

The Cup quarter finals start on Friday 7 October, and a number of tickets are still available. Beware though, some of the tickets are upwards of $500!

But if you can't get to a World Cup match (or your suffering from an especially severe case of rugby fever) you can still get up close and personal with a piece of history.  The Webb Ellis Cup will be displayed at the Auckland Museum in Purnell from 15 - 22 October, when it will be handed over to the winners of the 2011 World Cup. You can even get a photo with the cup!

There are also a number of non-rugby-related events going down in NZ over October (who would have thought?). For something a little more sophisticated, get down to the Ellesmere Spring Fling, a garden party with champagne, jazz music, art exhibits and theatre performances in the lovely Broadfields New Zealand Landscape Garden in Prebbleton on Sunday 16 October. Tickets are $25 but proceeds will go to a local community care organisation.

The Indian Diwali Festival of Lights will be celebrated with a bang at Queens Wharf in Wellington. Fireworks displays, delicious Indian foods and, according to Hindu belief, the "triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the renewal of life", all point to a great night out.

For foodies, the Taste of New Zealand festival puts the country's greatest chefs, dishes and cuisines on display. Internationally renowned chefs like Rick Stein, Gary Rhodes and Josh Emett are heading down to NZ to take part in the deliciousness. The festival runs from the 19th to the 22nd of October.

 - Aleks Vickovich is Online Editor at the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

New Zealand events for July

by Tom - 7/11/2011 11:10:00 AM
Think you're a tough guy or gal? Then New Zealand in July's the place for you to prove it! Of course, if an army assault course isn't quite your cup of tea, there's plenty of other things for you to do in NZ this month!

Te Taumata Exhibition Series 2011 - Rona Ngahuia Osbourne - AUCKLAND
21 June - 9 July
Admission: FREE
w: www.matarikifestival.org.nz/events/detail.asp?ID=584
As part of the Matariki Festival 2011, the Te Taumata Exhibition Series 2011 celebrates excellence in Maori visual arts in galleries across Auckland. Rona Ngahuia Osbourne will be exhibiting at Artstation Toi Tu. Te Taumata Exhibition Series features four different artists and is curated by Karl Chitham.

Jacky Pearson & Eugenea: Their impressions of Wellington - WELLINGTON
01 July - 09 July
Admission: FREE
w: http://www.ngaiofinearts.co.nz/exhibitions.htm
Jacky & Eugenea are both immigrants to New Zealand and we are very pleased they chose Wellington as their new home. Jacky comes from England and Eugenea from Russia. Both have made a major contribution to the Wellington art scene over the last 15-20 years.

New Zealand International Film Festival - AUCKLAND
11 July - 14 July
Admission: From $12.50
w: http://www.nzff.co.nz/
The annual New Zealand International Film Festival continues to be the premier film event of the year, and the cultural highlight of the New Zealand winter. The Festival commences in mid-July, lighting up central Auckland. The line-up will feature more than 140 titles including key titles from the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.

Tough Guy and Gal Challenge - PALMERSTON NORTH
16 July
w: http://www.toughguyandgal.co.nz/
Admission: $70
Think you're tough? Well, how about you provie it at the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge! Based at the Linton Military Camp, Camp Road, 10km from the CBD of Palmerston North, this is a great opportunity for civilians to experience some of the NZ Military facilities including the assault course.

The course will include water trails, crawl under barb wire obstacles, swamp crossings, steep bush rope grab, open paddock running, plus numerous parts of the NZ Army assault course. A six kilometre (one lap) or 12 kilometre (two laps) options are available. Try it out!

Silverdale Market - AUCKLAND
Every Saturday until 30 July
w: http://www.silverdalebusiness.co.nz/
Silverdale traditional market. Each Saturday 8am to 1pm. Lots of bargains. Fresh vegs, plants, flowers, jewellery and much more. While here, visit the Pioneer Village. Have coffee and sample locally made baking. Silverdale for that something a little different.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

New Zealand events for June

by Tom - 5/26/2011 1:54:00 PM
June in New Zealand means Māori New Year, as well as plenty of winter festivals and some of the best spots for winter sports and snowy good times in NZ!
Auckland Matariki/Maori New Year Festival

Auckland Matariki/Maori New Year Festival – AUCKLAND
4 June to 4 July
Admission: Largely free, varying fees dependent on event
W: www.matarikifestival.org.nz
Matariki is the unique cultural festival celebrating the dawning of Māori New Year. Auckland's Matariki Festival promises to be better than ever this year, with more than 100 special events and activities across Tamaki Makaurau. From musical concerts and cultural performances, to a Māori business symposium and a Kai Wānanga / food forum, organisers say the aim is to provide Aucklanders and visitors with the chance to experience a living cultural tradition with tangata whenua / people of the land - celebrating the unique Māori heritage, nature, creativity and expression.

The Last Great Lake Tekapo Mountain Bike Pursuit – LAKE TEKAPO, GERALDINE,
5 June
Admission: $100
W: www.mtbpursuits.com
Cafes and restaurants on and around “eat street” in the CBD will be host to a variety of blues acts, with a variety of music styles from 11am every day. Plus there is a Hot Club concerts at Novotel Rotorua and the Blues Cruise on the Lakeland Queen!

SBS Marathon – CHRISTCHURCH
5 June
W: http://www.sbsmarathon.co.nz
The South Island's premier marathon event. A fast, flat tour of the spectacular Avon River and Hagley Park with something for everyone. Options include marathon (42.2k), half marathon (21.1k), 10k, kids' Mara'Fun. More than 5000 entrants expected.

Matariki Festival – WELLINGTON
9 June to 26 June
W: www.tepapa.govt.nz/WhatsOn/Matariki/Pages/Matarikifulleventsprogramme.aspx
Don't miss an amazing range of artists, Star Lab sessions, and special activities for children. The programme features a weaving symposium, arts and crafts workshops, fashion shows, a ‘Seven Sisters Day’ and ‘Seven Brothers Day’, storytelling, Māori language, film and music events.

Banff Mountain Film Festival – CHRISTCHURCH
11 June
Admission: $25
W: www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/
The Banff Mountain Film Festival (BMFF) World Tour brings the excitement, the spectacle, and the richness of the mountains and mountain culture to Christchurch. Featuring spectacular, inspiring, funny, exciting, and thought-provoking mountain films from around the world, the BMFF is an exhilarating exploration of the mountain world from remote landscapes and cultures to adrenaline-packed action sports. Don't miss it!

Queenstown Winter Festival – QUEENSTOWN
24 June to 3 July
Admission: From $39
W: www.winterfestival.co.nz
Already sporting a reputation for being fun, outrageous and one of the top 10 'must-see' festivals in the world, the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival’s 2011 is a 10 day celebration of Queenstown's unique culture and community with street parties, fireworks, international and local acts, jazz, comedy, a Mardi Gras, family fun, Masquerade Ball, an Invitational Slopestyle event and plenty of Mountain Mayhem.

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