Latest newsletter now online: Christmas destinations

It’s Christmas and that means holidays! With that in mind we designed our latest newsletter featuring some of the very best destinations you could consider for your holidays this year, utilising all the best of the savings with VIP Backpackers on hostels, tours and other products. Here are some highlights from the newsletter to wet your appetite featuring some of the destinations, hostels, events and products you could use this Christmas:

DESTINATION FEATURE

AUCKLAND (NZ)
Pic: aucklandnz.comAuckland made the Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities list this year and for good reason. It’s funky, it’s fun, there’s good food, the climate is brilliant and there’s plenty to do. While it’s a great place to visit any time of the year, Christmas brings fabulous weather to the capital. Of course you can take in all the major sights such as the harbours, the off shore islands, Mt Victoria, North Head, Sky Tower, the museums, galleries or even travel to the Coromandel Peninsula, but there are also plenty of Christmas events such as Christmas in the Park at the Auckland Domain (14 December), the Christmas Parade (24 November), the Queen Street Christmas Lights, live performances in Aotea Square (7-21 December) and markets (14-16 December), Silo Park’s Night Market (Fridays in December) followed by the outdoor cinema, and the Christmas Tree in Victoria Park. Continue reading

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5 winter hostels in New Zealand

Pic: Cardrona Alpine Resort

Pic: Cardrona Alpine Resort

In our May newsletter we outlined all the fun to be had on a ski holiday in New Zealand. We also listed some of the hostels you could stay at that would give you ready access to the slopes. So you can continue to “save money and do more” here’s some more details about winter accommodation we offer near snowy places. Remember if you sign up to be a VIP Backpackers member you’ll get discounts in all these places.

NORTH ISLAND

Tongariro National Park
For access to the slopes of the incredible Mt Ruapehu look no further than Park Traveller’s Lodge and Station Lodge all within an easy drive to the action. The Station Lodge in Ohakune at the southern end of the park provides ready access to the Turoa ski field (20 minutes) but is not far from Whakapapa ski fields either (40 minutes) .  Park Traveller’s Lodge is closer to the Whakapapa ski fields which has 65 trails. If you’re not here in winter you may wish to consider the Tongariro Crossing at other times of the year, considered one of the best day walks in the world, or some of the excellent cycling and mountain bike tracks in the area. These include the Ohakune Old Coach Road, 42 Traverse and Mountain to Sea cycleway. See both hostels for details.

Continue reading

New newsletter now online: Winter in New Zealand

Pic: Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Pic: Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Our latest newsletter is now online featuring all the sweet things winter brings to New Zealand.

Not only are the winter months in NZ a great time to get your boarding/skiing legs pumping into action, but it’s also a great time to see world class events such as the world heli championships, the North Face Freeski open, some gnarly BMX action and even a Jaffa race down the steepest street in the world – we kid you not! (Jaffas are orange coated chocolate balls made by Cadbury).

For all this and more check it out here.

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact Jo at viplounge@vipbackpackers.com

February newsletter: 2013 festivals and events in Australia and New Zealand

Hot off the press is our newsletter roundup of festivals and events happening in Australia and New Zealand in 2013.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of them:

FEBRUARY

Drag queen, Sydney Mardi Gras - www.visitedplanet.comSt Kilda Festival – Head to one of the hippest parts of Melbourne for this week long free street festival featuring Australian artists and talents.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – Plenty of razz and dazzle hits Sydney for this event celebrating all kinds of sexuality. It in the parade on the first Saturday in March with floats, parties and performances. Continue reading

Top 2013 travel destinations

A new year is all about planning exciting new things. Consider some of these amazing destinations for your travels in 2013 and enjoy the savings of a VIP Backpackers membership card in all these locations.

To see the full list, click here to see the January newsletter.

HOBART, TASMANIA

Salamanca markets, Hobart - www.visitedplanet.comThe harbour city of Tasmania has become one of the hippest towns to visit downunder. Not only does it lie along a lovely waterfront but there’s the famed Salamanca Market with the best of Tassie produce, plenty of good restaurants and cafes and now the world class MONA museum that should impress and shock. Those into more outdoor pursuits can climb nearby Mt Wellington, enjoy bike and walking tracks around the harbour or sail the Derwent River.

VIP Backpackers: Accommodation | Tours

KANDY, SRI LANKA

Elephants bathing, near Kandy - www.visitedplanet.comWith the civil war an increasingly distant memory, there’s been no better time to visit Sri Lanka in the last 20 years than now. Prices are still affordable in Sri Lanka too. Kandy is a great place to visit in the highlands for a real experience of local culture – there are plenty of orange cloaked monks, the amazing Kandyan dancers, a tooth relic of the Buddha at the UNESCO listed Temple of the Tooth, wonderful mountain vistas and even elephant orphanages nearby. It’s also a lot cooler up here than along the coast, making it the perfect place to escape the Asian heat.

VIP Backpackers: Accommodation

PATAGONIA, ARGENTINA

This region in the far south of Southern America is one of the most rugged and isolated on earth but don’t let that stop you. We have hostels and tour packages to keep you safe, busy and absolutely enthralled with what you’ll see. There are glaciers, ice falls, treks and even the end of the world to explore in this part of the globe. Don’t miss it.

VIP Backpackers: Accommodation | Tours

PARIS, FRANCE

Notre Dame, Paris - www.visitedplanet.comOoh la la! If you haven’t visited the French capital it’s time you went to this old favourite. It’s also a good chance to consume as much croissant, pain au chocolat, crème brûlée, crepes, fromage (cheese) and baguette you can stomach. There’s also a few famous sights to see too – make sure you get your photo taken by the Eiffel Tower, the gargoyles of Notre Dame, the River Seine and the Moulin Rouge in the Latin quarter. Then sip on champagne and snack on cheese platters at any of the fine bars and cafes around the city. Très bien!

VIP Backpackers: Accommodation | Tours

NZ's thermal activity - www.visitedplanet.comROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND

If you can handle the sulphurous air of Rotorua on the North Island you’re in for a treat. Hot springs, geysers and mud pools are the order of the day in this area that boasts thermal activity. But relaxing in a spa is not the only thing to do. There are plenty of adventure activities in Rotorua from excellent mountain biking to fabulous white water rafting on grade 5 rapids. The other attraction are the Maori cultural events including their incredible hangi dinners guaranteed to fill even the hungriest traveller’s stomach.

VIP Backpackers: Accommodation

Add your own recommendations here or click to see the full list in the January newsletter.

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact Jo at viplounge@vipbackpackers.com