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Book Cheap Accommodation Deals for Your Vacation 0

Posted on April 15, 2009 by dorisch

Today is my ninth wedding anniversary and I’m negotiating for a travel vacation end of this year. Hopefully I can find some cheap accommodation rates so that my request can be met more readily.

Over these nine years of marriage, we have been to many places including the US, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, China and Thailand. While I hope to visit some of these places again, I need to wait for a better time until the financial crisis is over. For those who are still planning to travel, they would need to find cheap accommodation rates so that they can do more with their money. While traveling to far away countries is never a cheap affair, you can still get good accomodation deals if you search hard enough. Many of these discount and bargain accommodations  offer good rates during off peak seasons so you do need to know your time of travel.

I do wish that we can visit New Zealand again in the near future, I can picture ourselves staying in a holiday farm, picking fruits from the Plum trees and taking bouts of fresh air in the countryside. HOpefully, cheap accommodation rates are still available when the currency is not so strong, otherwise, our NZ trip would be another expensive one.

our queenstown highlights 0

Posted on August 06, 2007 by dorisch

Alex and myself are both adrenalin seekers to some extent. He loves the wild water adventures and me, anything in the air! Alex booked himself with ‘Serious Fun River Surfing’. According to Alex (his exact words), this 4-hour activity at the Kawarau River is for the brave-hearted ones who want to experience the ‘unknown’ of the fast rapids!

Well, it’s definitely not for me! I opt for hang-gliding with ‘Skytrek’, the only company that is licensed to hang glide at The Remarkables. That was an amazing and awesome experience. The views were incredibly beautiful. The best part of it was the ability to control and fly the kite (with supervision of course!) at some point.

Read the rest of this entry →

the road to Queenstown 0

Posted on August 01, 2007 by dorisch

Get ready to marvel at this adventure town of the South Island. Seeing it in a rental car in New Zealand is a totally refreshing experience.

For me, this is also the home of luxury New Zealand accommodation. There are a couple of routes to Queenstown, South Island if you are coming from the West Coast in your rental car in New Zealand.

Highway 6 is a easier drive all the way from Wanaka to Queenstown; the drive is less than 2 hours. You will drive around the edge of Lake Dunstan, bypassing Cromwell, through Kawarau River Gorge, then into Gibbston Valley and then to Queenstown.

Alternatively, you can travel via Crown Range; it’s a winding uphill drive which takes a slightly shorter traveling time. On our way to Queenstown, we stopped by at the A.J. Hackett’s Kawarau Suspension Bridge, the world’s first commercial bungy operation – the ‘original’.

You don’t have to bungy to visit. You get a nice view of the rushing waters of the Kawarau River. It’s equally fun to share the excitement of the jumpers too. Alex did his river surfing here at the Kawarau river! There’s a good selection of A.J. Hackett gear if you like to do some shopping.

Top Lakeside destinations 0

Posted on July 31, 2007 by dorisch

Need some cool suggestions for lakeside destinations? Here are the Top 10 for your pick. Though I do prefer oceans and beaches, some lakeside places can be charming and relaxing too. Among these Top 10 recommended lakeside destinations suggested by TripAdvisor, I am glad that I had been to Lake Taupo, New Zealand… it was truly a romantic and serene place to unwind and relax. So check them out!


1.       Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
2.      Lake Placid, N.Y.
3.      Lake Windermere, United Kingdom
4.      Lake Huron, Mackinac Island, Mich.
5.      Lake Taupo, Taupo, New Zealand
6.      Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
7.      Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah
8.      Lake George, N.Y.
9.      Lake Geneva, Montreux, Switzerland
10.    Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

The Duxton Hotel, Auckland 0

Posted on June 23, 2007 by dorisch

This is the first of New Zealand hotels we stayed in Auckland.

The unique feature about this small business hotel is that the rooms come with a fully-equipped kitchenette, which is why I am attracted to it. You can choose from a deluxe room to a two bedroom apartment. Rates for a Deluxe King Room is priced around $NZ150. The weekday rates is slightly cheaper than weekend rates.

Our room is cosy, nicely furnished with quality touches. It has a balcony that overlooks either the city or Myers Park. We were allotted a room at the second floor and unfortunately, it overlooks a public car park. I suppose that’s considered a ‘city’ view. So make sure you state your request clearly when checking in. There is an outdoor heated swimming pool and gymnasium which we did not have the time to utilize.

I managed to prepare some food for Clayton in the little kitchen. We had a good sleep on the comfortable king bed. On the overall, this is a good place to base yourself if you don’t like the hustle and bustle on city living. It’s about 5-10 minutes walk to Queen street though it is not close walking distance to the main attractions located in the city.

tips for a New Zealand Motoring Holiday 0

Posted on June 22, 2007 by dorisch

Here are 10 tips for a New Zealand Motoring Holiday, courtesy of Mike O Brien: Read the rest of this entry →

Bolton Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand 0

Posted on June 18, 2007 by dorisch

We are now at the southern end of the North Island. This is our last stop before moving on to the South Island. If you are a minimalist, you will fall in love with this New Zealand Hotel. This apartment-style hotel is elegant, contemporary, modern, stylish and professional. Read the rest of this entry →

organic travels in New Zealand 0

Posted on June 10, 2007 by dorisch

joyagardenandvillastudios.jpg kaikouralodge.jpg

If you are an organic advocate like me, you may be keen to know that there are organic places to stay when you are on a vacation. I stumbled upon this finding when we were planning for our first New Zealand trip 2 years ago. These organic stays boast the use of organic or natural produce in their foods and cooking. Most of them are situated either in organic farms or near one. So out of curiosity, I picked Joya Garden and Villa Studios, a Bed and Breakfast located in Nelson in the South Island. The studio is surrounded by a nice garden of herbs and fruit trees. It was relaxing to walk around the garden and lazing at the gazebo.

Another one we stayed was Hapuku Lodge situated in Kaikoura, South Island. This one was a real treat for families, honeymooners and simply anyone who loved comforts in the natural surroundings. Hapuku has a cafe that serves organic and fresh produce. They are well known for their organic beers in the island.

A reliable car rental company is crucial if you are planning to see New Zealand on wheels. You can even save on rebates or get cash coupons when you book with car rental companies at EBates. With the wide selection of fleets, you can compare prices before deciding on the right one for your travel needs. For me, this is the best way to enjoy the scenic wonders of this land of the long white cloud.

Taupo – Home to New Zealand’s largest lake 0

Posted on June 01, 2007 by dorisch

On our way to Lake Taupo, we stop by at the Huka Falls. We were amazed at the speed on which the water move from the Waikato River to the drop!

This is sunset at Lake Taupo

It was raining during our two nights in Taupo. But then again, the poor weather didn’t spoil our fun in Taupo either. We had a great time in Baycrest Lodge. Our room came with a private courtyard and private thermal tub. We can then fill to our requirements with 50 degree C thermal water extracted from the ground. It is so relaxing soaking in the tub in the moonlight… yep! And you don’t even have to bother about swim gear. It is so private. I’m sure you can star gaze on a clear night.

Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in New Zealand.

Take a nice stroll and enjoy sunset by the calm lake. This town seems less busy than Rotorua. There are some nice shops to browse around so start shopping for a New Zealand gift. Don’t miss out on the many cafes if you like a lazy afternoon. Taupo in the North Island is serene and quiet during our time of travel but this lakeside town can get very busy during summer months.

For food in Taupo, you ought to check out Replete Café. For some reason, the queue is endless during lunch. The food is quite tasty with a touch of Asian but the menu selection may be a little limited. I like the quirky store next to the café. You can find lots of nice- looking kitchenware and selected gourmet condiments on the shelves. Few restaurants have opened up on the lakefront but unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to try any of them due to wet weathers on both the nights.

Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty 0

Posted on May 29, 2007 by dorisch

On our way to Rotorua, we decided to stop at Mount Maunganui for a night. Commonly known as The Mount, this small town resembles a little of Surfers Paradise at the Gold Coast, Australia, except that it is less crowded and not so commercialised. The Mount is a popular place for joggers and climbers.

Doesn’t this look like a great place to retire?

Ocean Beach is a great place to lay back… The sidewalk cafes along Marine Parade are a favourite hangout for the locals. Unlike the Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast, you get more locals here than tourists. Take a drive and check out the grand, luxurious houses along Ocean beach, some of them are the most impressive in the North Island.

For sumptuous breakfasts, tasty sandwiches, fresh salads and aromatic coffee, we recommend the award-winning café, SideTrack Pacifica. This is definitely a favourite among the locals all-day long, you can simply tell by the regulars relaxing in al fresco style along the walkway. Don’t leave the town without savouring a double cone from the famous Copenhagen ice-cream parlour along the Marine Parade. If you are deprived for some retail therapy or can’t wait to buy your New Zealand gift, take a short drive in your rental car to Tauranga.

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