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.

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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

It’s time to ski downunder

Did you know you can go skiing in Australia and New Zealand? Well we’re guessing you knew about the Kiwi part where they have awesome slopes, but there are ski resorts in Australia too. And the ski season is underway with some good falls already! So where can you go? Read on…
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Five warm places to spend winter in New Zealand

As per the previous blog on warm places in Australia, here are some places you won’t feel the cold too much if you head to New Zealand this year.

1. Hot water beach, Coromandel Peninsula
The one beach you won’t feel the cold in New Zealand is this one near Auckland. Come here at low tide and dig a hole in the sand to form a hot pool and bask to your hearts content.

2. Thermal springs, Rotorua
To avoid the winter chills you spend a day in warm water in Rotorua. With geysers, mud pools, hot springs and various steaming activities it’s definitely a good place to keep warm. The water is very therapeutic although it may leave you a little smelly afterwards.

3. Hastings, New Zealand
Hastings is officially the country’s warmest urban area. It has lots of sunshine hours and low rainfall. Go in March to watch the annual NZ Horse show.

4. New Zealand’s volcanoes
For a real warm, smoky experience of New Zealand’s geothermal activities visit Ruapehu, Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, White Island and Raul Island. The Tongariro Crossing is a hike that allows a particularly up close and personal experience with a volcano.

5. Hanmer Springs, South Island
This is another popular winter destination with thermal pools but this one is on the south island. The area also offers jet boating, fishing, rafting, sking, hiking, horse riding, hunting and mountain biking – all activities guaranteed to raise the temperature and heart rate!

Of course there is also first rate skiing, snowboarding and other winter pursuits across the country should you choose to embrace the best winter has to offer!

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

New Zealand the world’s safest country

The 2010 Global Peace Index ratings came out this week, putting New Zealand on top of the list for the second year in a row.

For those of us that have been to the fabulous nation, this will come as no suprise. Not only are there no biting snakes, spiders, ants or other predators as there are across the ditch in Australia; but there’s really very little to worry about at all.
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