New Zealand

Hotel & Flight Reviews, New Zealand, Travel

Review of Valley Views Glamping in New Zealand – Glamourous Camping


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Glamping is a concept becoming increasingly popular in many parts of the world as travellers are looking for something a little more comfortable than camping; in other words “Glamorous camping”. Having experienced the rugged outdoor camping in Yellowstone National Park, luxurious campervan-ing through New Zealand, and also seeing the dancing auroras above our heads living in Finnish igloos, none of them are quite like the glamping experience we had with Valley Views Glamping.

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As travel trends become more experience-based, creating that unique experience becomes immensely important so as to cater to the new generation of travellers. We drove into the mid-section of South Island – Otago to check this wonderful place out. 

Patrick and Amber greeted us personally at the wooden house on top of the hill. It is decked out with a fully-equipped kitchen and dining area as well as shared bathroom facilities. This house turns out to be the main area for lounging, cooking and having a cuppa next to the fireplace. There is a lovely swing where you can sit and simply relax and zone out with a beautiful view right before your eyes. Not forgetting there is a secluded area behind the trees where you can soak in bathtubs after a long day of travel. The tents are carefully and thoughtfully designed to have an unblocked view of the valley – hence the apt name “Valley Views”. Occasionally, we could hear the moo-ing of cattle in the valley. I thought to myself that sunrise and sunset would be absolutely breathtaking from our lodge – and so it was.

Inside the dome tent, it was hot in the day due to the summer sun. It would be perfect for non-summer season. The bed was super comfortable and would guarantee almost everyone with a luxury hotel feel. A porch area is available right outside to sip on tea under the sun. There was also an outdoor tub area to soak up the views while you enjoy the tub with a glass of wine.

There are plenty of hiking and outdoor trails around the area. Waitake river is nice and famous for salmon and trout fishing. Check out Benmore peninsula track for a magnificient view of the surrounding and it is one of the best hiking trail around Waitake valley.

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If you are looking to experience glamping in New Zealand, I would definitely recommend a stay with Valley Views during your road trip around South Island.

This trip is made possible with the hospitality of Valley Views Glamping, special thanks goes to Amber and Patrick for hosting us for this experience. All opinions and contents remain our own.

 

New Zealand, Travel

True Mud Therapy in Rotorua, New Zealand – Hells Gate Geothermal Park and Mud Bath Spa


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The smell of rotten eggs engulfed us once we drove into Rotorua. Located within the geothermal areas of the North Island, Rotorua is the place to go for an authentic mud adventure. The muds are famous for their bathing, relaxation, healing and overall well-being. It has been used by the Maori for more than 800 years.

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Spot the face!

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There are plenty of parking spots on site right outside the entrance. We chose to have the geothermal walk to explore the park first and enjoy the mud bath and spa later. It was right in the middle of winter which makes the experience even better – less crowds and having a hot spa in winter is just perfect.

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There is a path that leads off the the hot water fall, looking like a scene out of fairytale

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We had the opportunity to try out the Wai Ora Mud Bath & Spa package (NZD105). It includes the geothermal walk, private mud bath experience and the sulphur spa.

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Public mud bath area

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Sulphur spa pool area for you to relax in after the private mud bath experience

The private mud experience is wonderful because of the privacy that comes with it. Especially if you are going to get ‘mugly’!

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We left Rotorua, longing for that familiar rotten egg scent which had turned pleasantly soothing and wonderfully experienced Hells Gate!

Thanks to Hells Gate for the unique experience and making this trip possible! As always, all opinions are my own to provide my readers unbiased content.

New Zealand, Travel

White Water Rafting in New Zealand – Tongariro River


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Thinking of where to get your first white water rafting experience? You need to read on.

My first white water rafting experience happened in New Zealand. Of all the places around the world, this is one of the most gorgeous place to raft at. There are plenty of white water rafting spots in North Island but I zoomed in towards the Tongariro River since we were doing a road trip around North Island.

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Being a freshie to white water rafting but with a love for water sports, my natural instinct went toward the Grade 3 Tongariro River adventure by Rafting NZ. I did some research online and found the company to have one of the best trip experiences by adventurers. To top it off, they have won a couple of tourism and safety awards. It was in the middle of winter but was assured that the wet suit would do its job of keeping warm. We chose the meet-up point at Turangi as our rafting base.

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It is a 4 hrs base to base journey with about 2- 2.5 hours on the river. 

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We started off in the hanger-lookalike warehouse to change into our rafting suit. It came with hot showers and heated changing rooms.

There was an area to safe-keep your belongings. At this point, bring only what you need during the rafting trip with you such as a GoPro camera. Each raft is assigned to a license rafting instructor and they did a great job in ensuring the team members coordinate their moves well.

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A mandatory group shot!

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During the bus ride to the river, the guide gave a good history of region, including some very interesting mountain tales.

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Gorgeous scenery along the way

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Halfway through, we came to a spot where we were able to ‘cliff jump’. The water was cold but I thought to just try since we it was my first time rafting. I could not forget the feel of cold water rushing into the suit! Freezing good! Shortly after, we took a break along the river. We were given some River Dog (hot dog) and hot chocolate, what a perfect combination to keep us going!

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Spot the heaps of people lining up for the jump!

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Navigating through rapids was the fun portion of the rafting trip. 14kms of 60+ rapids.

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Row, Row, Row your boat. Gently down the stream.

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Plenty of rest stops along the way for selfies like this

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Thanks for Luke at Rafting NZ for making this adventure possible. This is definitely my first rafting experience and not the last! As always, all opinions are my own to provide my readers unbiased content.