Monday, April 24, 2017

7 ways New Zealand might surprise you‏

There’s the picture-postcard beauty, but New Zealand is so much more than the sum of its varied landscapes. Take the time to embrace the country’s incredible diversity – from surfing at its golden beaches to terrifying thrill rides and be surprised by this exciting island nation. 


Here are 7 reasons to plan a visit to New Zealand. You may never want to leave.

Discover a world of contrasts 


The main city of Auckland has more than 100 surf beaches. Choose between the country’s rugged black (west) or pretty golden (east) sands. In July and August, you can ski or snowboard in the stunning Southern Alps that can be accessed from Queenstown or Christchurch.


Take a thrilling leap 


Bungy jumping, started by clever Kiwi A.J. Hackett in the 1980s, is a rite of passage for many visitors. Throw yourself off spectacular structures throughout New Zealand, from Auckland landmarks to rail viaducts, bridges and ravines. There are a gazillion other options too – from rope swinging to ziplining, from bridge climbing to zorbing down a hill in Rotorua in a giant inflatable ball.


Explore diverse new worlds


Experience the indigenous Māori culture, learn the local language, try doing the haka war dance, visit a marae and eat food traditionally cooked in a hangi (underground oven) or geothermal pool.


Make friends for life

Kiwis are incredibly warm, laid-back and hospitable people who will go out of their way to make sure you’re safe, heading in the right direction, and don’t miss the best part of town. They’re keen for the world to realise what a great place New Zealand is and want you to go home raving about what a lovely time you’ve had.


Eat and drink really well


New Zealand has its own style of innovative cuisine and café culture. Think seafood right off the boats, fusion cuisine and plenty of options for vegetarian, vegans and those with other dietary needs. Visit one of the many farmers’ or seafood markets nationwide to experience farm/ocean-to-table produce first-hand. Visit world-renowned wineries across the country. Try boutique beer at the eight breweries in Wellington.


Reboot yourself in glorious surroundings


New Zealand has a host of health and yoga retreats and meditation centres. The geothermal city of Rotorua has many facilities that harness the therapeutic properties of its hot mud and natural hot springs rich with minerals. Else, stumble across hot springs out in the bush and immerse yourself in picturesque, peaceful surrounds in a stretch of steaming stream for free.


Fill your social media feeds

You’ll find enough photo-ops to make your Facebook and Instagram accounts the envy of your friends, whether its lying on the gleaming golden sands of the Coromandel; climbing one of the glaciers in South Island; sitting atop a volcanic cone in Auckland, covered in thermal mud in Rotorua, or swimming in one of its crystal-clear lakes or picture-perfect oceans. New Zealand won’t stay your delicious secret for long.


How to get there?


Travelling to New Zealand is very convenient. Air New Zealand's alliance with Singapore Airlines provides access up to four flights a day between Singapore and New Zealand, seven days a week. Three non-stop flights a day depart Singapore to Auckland and Christchurch, and four times a week to Wellington, connecting to over 20 domestic destinations in New Zealand.

Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

5 Must-Do Experiences In North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s North Island offers a diverse expanse of landscapes revealing a never-ending backdrop to a huge line-up of experiences.

New Zealand’s North Island offers a diverse expanse of landscapes. The north-south journey travels from towering sub-tropical rainforests and endless picturesque beaches to Auckland’s populous cityscape, then southwards through rolling green pastures, across lakes, rivers and epic volcanic marvels, into the rural towns of heartland New Zealand and on to a capital city that’s renowned for arts, culture and coffee.
In New Zealand, every day is a different journey.

Film Tourism:  Hobbiton


It's no secret that New Zealand is the home of Middle-earth and its stunning landscapes are at centre stage for movie lovers worldwide. Filmed entirely in New Zealand, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies film locations can be discovered in many parts. The most famous, and most visited, is Hobbiton – the village home of the hobbits – near Matamata, in the Hamilton Waikato region of the North Island. The Hobbiton film set occupies a sizeable slice of a New Zealand farm, and is one of the largest outdoor film sets in the world. Visitors to Hobbiton experience a two-hour fully-guided tour of the village hearing about the books and behind-the-scenes stories of film-making.

Maori Culture:  Rotorua


Rotorua has been visited by tourists since the early 19th century making it New Zealand’s oldest tourism destination – renowned for Māori cultural experiences and spectacular geothermal attractions.
Māori culture and history infuse Rotorua life. The town of Rotorua, on the shores of Lake Rotorua, is home to the Te Arawa iwi - one of New Zealand’s larger Māori tribes. A third of Rotorua's population is Māori. Te Puia, an important Māori culture centre, has visitor experiences covering traditional art forms, carving and weaving, story-telling, and authentic cultural performances.

Food & Wine


New Zealand has some of the best quality food and wine in the world. North Island’s Hawke’s Bay region produces beautiful syrah while nearby Martinborough has a reputation for fine reds. Waiheke Island, in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, was named on Lonely Planet’s top regions to visit in 2016. The island is a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland city and produces some of New Zealand’s best wine.
Throughout New Zealand fresh seafood, artisan products and incredible farmer’s markets are always nearby. Whether it is manuka honey or oysters, the food in New Zealand is an incredible experience in itself and goes exceptionally well with the aforementioned wine.

Recreational sports: Golf & sailing


New Zealand is a hub for many popular recreational activities and offers some world class experiences and facilities.

Golf courses can be seen everywhere in New Zealand. World-class courses like Cape Kidnappers (Hawke’s Bay) and Kauri Cliffs (Northland) provide unique, unforgettable golf in stunning environments.
Auckland is known as the ‘city of sails’ and the sheltered waters of the Waitemata Harbour make it an ideal location for sailing. Visit one of the many islands around Auckland including Waiheke. Four hours’ drive north of Auckland is the Bay of Islands, a beautiful sub- tropical destination with more than 140 islands waiting to be discovered.

Flight seeing in New Zealand


One of the best ways to see New Zealand is from the sky and there are plenty of opportunities for a bit of ‘flight seeing’. Auckland Seaplanes offer an exciting trip to Waiheke Island, taking off from Wynyard Wharf in downtown Auckland and landing in gorgeous Man O’ War Bay after a flight over the Waitemata Harbour. The Man O’ War vineyard awaits offering a first-class wine-tasting experience and a spot of lunch before returning to Auckland.

How to get there?


Travelling to New Zealand is very convenient. Air New Zealand's alliance with Singapore Airlines provides access up to four flights a day between Singapore and New Zealand, seven days a week. Three non-stop flights a day depart Singapore to Auckland and Christchurch, and four times a week to Wellington, connecting to over 20 domestic destinations in New Zealand.
Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Resorts World Sentosa Singapore – Asia’s Ultimate Destination

Located on the island of Sentosa at the southern tip of Singapore is a destination that has it all: Resorts World Sentosa. From world class attractions to amazing shopping experiences, from fantastic dining to fabulous hotel and spa indulgences, a great time awaits you at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore.

World-class attractions like Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island are within walking distance to one another, and dining options abound, ranging from Michelin-star restaurants to famous Malaysian street food. An unforgettable experience also awaits at the Asian flagship of ESPA and the Royal Albatross, the only luxury tall ship in Asia. With affordable, family-friendly accommodation and more thrills and spills than you can possibly enjoy in one holiday, a great time awaits one and all – whether you’re young... or young at heart.


Universal Studios Singapore


Go beyond the screen and Ride The Movies™ at Universal Studios Singapore™. Experience cutting-edge rides, shows, and attractions based on your favourite blockbuster films and television series, including Puss In Boots’ Giant Journey, Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs. CYLON™, TRANSFORMERS The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle, Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure™, Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase and more!


S.E.A. Aquarium


Enter and explore the marine realm of S.E.A. Aquarium, Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium. It is home to more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species, across 49 different habitats, each one as fascinating as the next. It’s an experience you won’t forget.


Adventure Cove Waterpark


Thrilling slides and encounters with marine life – all in one place. Zoom down Southeast Asia’s first hydro-magnetic coaster, laze the day away drifting on a lazy river, snorkel with 20,000 tropical fish over a colourful coral reef and feel the magic of wading and interacting with dozen of rays.


Dolphin Island


Meet the magnificent Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins – some of the most fascinating marine mammals of the oceans! Dolphin Island offers a range of programmes that will give you the opportunity to meet them up-close and give you the chance to interact with the dolphins. It will give you a deeper understanding of marine life, and to discover more about dolphins through “engagement learning”.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Rediscover your sense of wonder at Gardens by the Bay

Featuring more than 1 million plants from over 5,000 species, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore has blossomed into a must-see destination that has been named as one of the ‘Top 10 Indoor Gardens of the World’ and is among the world’s top 20 most checked-in places on Facebook.


Flower Dome

Enter a world of perpetual Spring. Awarded by Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Glass Greenhouse – Flower Dome houses 9 different gardens with unique plants from across Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe. 

Take in the cool and dry Mediterranean climate as you wander amongst thousand-year-old olive trees and unusual African Baobabs. Stop and smell the flowers in the colourful changing displays of the Flower Field, which reflects the season, festival and themes.

See art blossom before your eyes at the ‘Tulipmania’ floral display at the Flower Dome from 1st April to 7th May. The Tulipmania.display takes inspiration from one of the Netherland's most celebrated artists, Vincent van Gogh. Be enthralled as the Flower Dome transforms into a floral gallery where Van Gogh's self-portrait and famed art piece "The Starry Night" come to life with the vivid hues of tulips. More than 100 varieties of tulips and hyacinths - including Darwin hybrid tulips often appreciated for their large blooms - will be on display in a palette of colours.

The ‘Blue Beauties’ which follow from 19th May to 30th June inspire you to rediscover inner peace amidst beautiful agapanthuses and plumbagos. The ‘Orchid Extravaganza’ from 14th July to 20th August is an extravagant display of orchids and rhododendrons in hues of roaring red and elegant white.


Cloud Forest

The Cloud Forest is a mysterious world veiled in mist, surrounded by over 60,000 plants. Explore the highlands amidst orchids, pitcher plants, ferns and floral gems from the Tropical Montane regions.
Be amazed as you come face-to-face with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at 35 metres! Go on a trek behind the waterfall and enjoy the refreshing cool air and majestic views of the waterfall below. Descend through the surreal mist-veiled Cloud Walk and Treetop Walk.

Explore the 7 discovery zones for an interactive educational adventure – Lost World, The Cavern, Waterfall View, Crystal Mountain, Secret Garden, Earth Check and +5 Degrees.


Supertrees & OCBC Skyway

Stand in awe of the towering Supertrees – vertical gardens that are home to over 150,000 plants from more than 300 species.

Take in panoramic views of the Gardens and the surrounding Marina Bay skyline. At a height of 22 metres, the OCBC Skyway which is a 128-metre long aerial walkway is an experience not to be missed. During the day, a stroll along the OCBC Skyway presents glorious photo-taking opportunities to capture the scenic beauty of the surrounding flora.

As dusk falls, the captivating Marina Bay skyline emerges and the entire area comes alive nightly with the Garden Rhapsody – a free light and sound show at 7.45pm and 8.45pm.


Heritage Gardens

Experience the diverse history and culture of Singapore’s main ethnic groups during the Colonial period at the outdoor Chinese Garden, Indian Garden, Malay Garden and Colonial Garden.

Come and explore Gardens by the Bay. It will awaken explorers and inquisitive minds alike.