School holiday travel deals and spring escapes

Far south discoveries on Ulva

Escape to the tranquillity and beauty of predator-free Ulva Island, just off Stewart Island. Opening this Saturday, September 26, the island is alive with native birdsong. Here, bird lovers can go on 45-minute-long guided walks during a 2.5-hour Ulva Island Explorer trip, priced from $99pp (adult). Alternatively, a four-hour Wild Kiwi Encounter, priced from $199pp, includes a two-hour guided forest walk, spotting Rakiura Tokoeka (southern brown kiwi) . These tours begin on October 1 and depart Fridays to Mondays. Two children, through to 18-year-olds, can travel for free with each paying adult on the Stewart Island Ferry, the Ulva Island Explorer and on the Village & Bays Tour. Travel by October 11. If you’re booking a late evening Wild Kiwi Encounter, you’ll need to book accommodation on Stewart Island.
Contact: Stewart Island Experience, freephone 0800 000 5111 or email [email protected] , or check all tours and prices at

Coromandel Festival

The township of Coromandel is really”in the spotlight” this weekend. Come Friday night, the peninsula town will flick the switches on every bulb for its annual winter festival of light, Illumefest; a free family festival with live music, projections, street performers, a parade, lights of every hue and plenty of food and beverage stalls at its night markets. The event coincides with the 200-year anniversary of the arrival of HMS Coromandel to the peninsula town’s shores. The lights are on from 6.30pm to 9pm on Friday and Saturday evening.

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