Quarantine measures and cases of Covid-19 still spreading in popular overseas winter destinations means that some travellers will be spending winter in New Zealand for the first time in a while. So how can you make the most of a chilly situation?
Head to Northland for a Winter Retreat
Although Northland may not offer the tropical winter warmth of Port Douglas, or the appeal of the South of France, by New Zealand standards it has a warmer and drier climate than many parts of the country during winter.
The drive north from Auckland can sometimes just be about getting to a final destination, passing well known New Zealand businesses like the Puhoi Valley Cheese Shop and Cafe with the thought "we should stop in there one day". Northland presents the opportunity to slow down and explore quality cuisine based destinations like Matakana, the bustling markets of Kerikeri or the dramatic beauty of the Bay of Islands.
On clear days, outdoor experiences like world class golf at Kauri Cliffs, visiting Tāne Mahuta or a stroll along 90 mile beach can provide variety and a long list of new experiences.
Northland also boasts some of our most internationally sought after luxury lodges and properties. Names like Kauri Cliffs and Eagles Nest are well known, but Northland also offers a range of top quality self contained villas, Bed and Breakfasts and Day Spas with dramatic views and memorable locations.
How we can we help
For travellers not familiar with Northland, or too short on time to prepare a comprehensive itinerary, we can work alongside you to prepare a flexible and personalised self-drive itinerary (with car hire if needed), including accommodation, suggested day trips and pre-booked activities.
For travellers familiar with Northland, let us see if we can find a way to surprise you. Whether that is with an experience you hadn't considered, or an amazing special offer at a luxury lodge you've always wanted to experience.
Snow angels and skiing aren't for everyone and if you're reading this because you normally escape winter (although if skiing is on the cards we can help with ski holiday packages), then the idea of shooting down a mountain in borrowed ski gear that doesn't quite fit trying to avoid an ACC claim probably isn't on the cards for 2020.
In 2020 embracing a winter holiday can instead be about what we can do to nourish ourselves until spring arrives. Ranging from relaxing in front of a crackling open fire with a good book, through to a wellness focussed itinerary with yoga, spa treatments and warming meals made with locally sourced ingredients.
Destinations like Wharekauhau Country Lodge (pictured above) are offering 4 and 5 day family focussed itineraries during the school holidays with activities like nature walks, traditional farming experiences and cooking schools.
How we can help
If you're considering a wellness or family retreat this year, chances are your time leading up to it is going to be precious. Rather than spending time researching different properties, checking availability and comparing prices, the Fine Travel team is available to take this off your hands and work alongside you as your single point of contact. Send us your wishlist and budget and we can get started.
Hunker Down and Plan for the Bubble
Details on the potential expansion of a travel bubble to include Australia and the South Pacific become more difficult to pin down by the day. Inter State tensions in Australia and a commitment from the New Zealand government that Australia will be the first bubble member (i.e. before the Pacific) means that all eyes are on Australia.
For "flop and drop" Winter / Spring Escapes, holiday packages combining airfares with accommodation and transfers will be popular - and like New Zealand, Australia will have no international tourists (other than us) so we may see some enticing prices.
Although international tourists may be absent from popular tourist hot spots, Australian quarantine measures will also encourage more domestic travel. Bucket list trips that had been pushed down the list, like the Ghan or Kimberley Region may not be front and centre.
If you're looking for a holiday to be more than just sitting by a pool for 10 days, and Australia is looking to be the only overseas destination where compulsory quarantine isn't required, we can help you start to sketch out and price up a flexible itinerary based on some estimated dates later in the year.