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Southern Destinations: March 22, 2018

10 | southern holiday

10 | southern holiday destinations tekapo | MarCh 2018 stargazing From a mountain top WitH eartH & sky Earth & Sky operates its unique Stargazing and Observatory Tours at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory and Cowan’s Observatory in Lake Tekapo. Providing guests the only tour option where horizon to horizon views of the spectacular night skies across the vast Mackenzie Basin can be seen from mountaintop locations. The township of Tekapo sits 750m above sea level and Mt John 1035m. Situated between two mountain ranges, the Southern Alps and the Two Thumb Range, the Mackenzie Basin is protected from most weather systems. The higher altitude of Mt John gives rise to cooler mountain air making it New Zealand’s leading location for a Research Observatory. The small resident population contribute to minimizing the impact of light pollution. The Mackenzie District Council’s lighting ordnance’s introduced in the 1980’s, enforces all lights to be shaded preventing light lake tekapo cottages Lake Tekapo Cottages offers self contained holiday accommodation in one of the South Island’s most scenic settings. Nestled in a large garden amid mature trees, a selection of charming cottages of varying size, accommodate between 2 and 8 guests. Well sited for both mountain views and privacy, the cottages allow independent visitors to enjoy a countrystyle stay with modern comforts and village amenities close by. Tekapo has become a year-round destination with water sports, hot springs, skating, ski fields, scenic flights to Mt Cook and a World Heritage Night Sky attraction at Mt John. As well as their self contained cottages, the company also manage a number of well appointed holiday homes that are also available for rent. For further information and bookings visit www.laketekapocottages.co.nz emitting upwards into the sky, allowing researchers, locals and visitors an appreciation of our spectacular nightscape for generations to come. The region of the Mackenzie Basin was recognized as the ‘Aoraki- Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve’, in June 2012. It was the first to be awarded a Gold Status for its quality of darkness and today remains the largest of all the eleven International Dark Sky Reserves in the world. Mt John and Cowan’s Observatory’s provide an awesome location with a truly magical astronomy experience provided by Earth & Sky. As the founders of astro-tourism, Earth & Sky prides itself on offering an award winning premium night time star attraction to visitors from all around the world. Showing first-hand why an Earth & Sky stargazing tour provides the nation’s best and most outstanding ‘window to our Universe’. Tour bookings – 03 680 6960 Web – www.earthandsky.co.nz (online booking available) PROUD TO SERVE MEALS PREPARED WITH LOCALLY SOURCED INGREDIENTS NZ WINES, MONTEITH’S CRAFT BEERS, ALLPRESS ESPRESSO Casual café-style meals for breakfast and lunch and a relaxed atmosphere for evening à la carte dining. For the guaranteed ‘hottest meal in town’ select from the Stonegrill menu! Dine alfresco over summer and stay cosy and warm by our fire in winter. Our menu changes seasonally, but you can always expect to find a great Mackenzie Country Steak and Alpine Salmon on offer. LAKE TEKAPO VILLAGE CENTRE PHONE 0800 806 886 OPEN DAILY FROM 10AM. DINNER SERVED FROM 5PM. RESERVATIONS ESSENTIAL FOR DINNER. EARTH & SKY Observatory & Stargazing Tours, Lake Tekapo Earth & Sky operate Stargazing and Observatory tours in the ’Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve’ in beautiful Lake Tekapo. Visitors find enjoyment and entertainment through a ‘hands-on’ experience as knowledgeable astronomy guides share the wonders of space while exploring the southern night sky using powerful telescopes. Tekapo’s renowned as the best site in New Zealand to view the Universe. Email: info@earthandsky.co.nz | Phone: 03 6806960 | www.earthandsky.co.nz | Booking advised take yourselF to tekapo Tekapo is a lakefront jewel tucked into the folds of the Southern Alps. Half way between Christchurch and Queenstown, the vivid turquoise of Lake Tekapo is the result of finely ground rock particles in the glacial water and ensures it’s a dazzling destination whether it is dusted with snow or sparkling with sunshine. HIStoRy MyStERy oR ActIvIty Visit the magnificent lakeside Church of the Good Shepherd and the Mackenzie sheepdog memorial. Learn about the mystery of astronomy on a tour of Mt John Observatory or zip and zap on a Segway tour of the township. gAZIng cRUISIng oR ExPLoRIng Go stargazing to view the World LAKE TEKAPO COTTAGES LAKE TEKAPO COTTAGES Cottage and holiday home style accommodation Spectacular mountain views | Excellent restaurants Affordable accommodation rates | Free Wifi Friendly, personal service for our guests Central location close to shops and church 12 Sealy St, Lake Tekapo | Ph: (03) 680 6865 laketekapocottages@gmail.com | laketekapocottages.com Heritage Mackenzie skies at night and be dazzled by what you see with the naked eye. Take a cruise to Motuariki Island, Godley Valley and the hydro intake of Tekapo’s power station. Join a scenic flight to the glaciers or Mt Cook, a 4WD tour to the Tasman Valley or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre at the Hermitage Hotel close to where he did much of his mountaineering preparation. WInIng dInIng oR tAStIng Diverse dining in Tekapo ranges from bakery and takeaway convenience to restaurant and café fare. Pizza, pasta, Japanese, Chinese and Koran cuisine vies with resort menus and a café with spectacular views atop Mt John. Indulge in the taste of fresh or smoked salmon and sashimi at the Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Farm between Tekapo and Twizel. But for gastro-pub goodness treat yourself at Mackenzie Café, Bar and Grill. Offering casual café style dining during the day with relaxed pub atmosphere in the evening, you can choose from the a la carte or specialty stonegrill menu. StAy PLAy And PAMPER In Tekapo you can enjoy a tranquil holiday or stopover at accommodation ranging from camp ground, motels, holiday homes, B&Bs or resort facilities. Local activities include fishing, hiking and horse trekking while the Tekapo Springs complex offers year-round enjoyment of hot pools, plunge pools and spa treatments. In winter there is ice skating and the popular ice slide, while nearby are the local ski resorts of Round Hill, Ohau and Mt Dobson.

MARCH 2018 | moeraki soutHeRn HolidAy destinAtions | 11 a piece oF paradise Just 50m from the beach, Moeraki Village Holiday Park enjoys an idyllic setting close to the famous Moeraki Boulders and colonies of penguins and seals. Hosts Kristina and Robbie Mitchell welcome visitors from all over the world to their “piece of paradise” and provide a variety of accommodation to cater for all budgets. As well as 6 self contained motels, 3 self contained tourist flats, 3 cabins and 30 tent/caravan or motor home sites, visitors will also appreciate modern well equipped communal kitchen and dining facilities, clean shower blocks and guest laundry, a TV lounge with Freeview TV, internet and wireless access, barbeques and children’s play equipment. Located on a curve of faultless beach, there’s ample opportunity for fishing and boating, deep sea charter fishing, while wonderful walks take you to Moeraki’s unique rock formations and wildlife including New Zealand’s rare Hoiho or yellow-eyed penguin. The area is also historically significant and once boasted a Maori village and pa in addition to the pretty Kotahitanga Church and a lighthouse in continuous use since its establishment in 1878. Visitors to Moeraki can enjoy restaurant meals at the Moeraki Tavern or the award winning world class taste sensation of Fleur’s Place or the services and amenities of Oamaru just 20 minutes drive away. moeraki boulders caFé, bar & giFt sHop Some 60 million years ago, the concretions we know as the Moeraki Boulders started forming on the ocean floor. Centuries of coastline erosion have revealed a spectacular view of these curiously large spherical rocks. Maori legend refers to the Moeraki Boulders as the wreckage from a large Waka (sailing canoe) and are said to represent the fishing nets and calabashes that were washed ashore and then turned into stone. The larger Moeraki Boulders are as big as 3 metres in diameter and weigh several tons whilst the smaller boulders can resemble an over inflated football. With so much natural interest on Koekohe Beach, (located between Moeraki Village and Hampden), the Moeraki Boulders Café, Bar and Gift shop was built. With a pleasant walk through regenerating native bush, visitors can rest inside with a drink or have a meal on the sunny deck enjoying the magic coastal vista. The Moeraki Boulders Cafe, Bar & Gift Shop is a 7 day a week family run business, operated by Scott and Sarah Johnston. The Cafe & Bar and Gift Shop are perched on top of the hill directly above the famous landmark and are shaped to look like large boulders. The Cafe has seating capacity for 120 people inside and 40 outside on the large deck overlooking the Boulders. Large bi-folding doors open up onto the deck which is popular on a warm sunny day, while the café’s large open fire provides cosy warmth on a cold winters day. The facility is designed to cater for large groups as well as individuals and couples looking for a bite to eat. The Gift Shop located adjacent to the Cafe has a wide variety of quality stock for both locals and tourists alike, including the beautiful Evolve range of jewellery, clothing, giftware and souvenirs. moeraki Haven oF vieWs and Hospitality The Moeraki Tavern has plenty to boast about; it’s the only pub in the village, it’s under new ownership, it prides itself on a warm welcome and good food and it provides spectacular harbour views for free! In October 2017 Craig Brett, Abbie Murrell and Stew and Jackie Beach forsook Nelson for a new lifestyle as the new owners and business partners of the tavern in Moeraki Village. Their vision was to give visitors a hospitality experience they would remember, whether they lived locally or were visitors to the region. The light, bright, premises is further enhanced by outdoor tables for savouring both the menu and the harbourside venue. Offering a range of beverages, main meals, bar snacks and takeaways, customers are assured of prompt, friendly service, quality food and generous quantities. There is a selection of local beers and regional wines as well as great coffee, while menu highlights include seafood chowder, blue cod and succulent ribeye steak. A children’s menu is also available and large groups can be catered for, although booking ahead is advisable. Moeraki Tavern is open daily from 11am until late. A warm welcome awaits all customers whether it’s a stop over to discover the famous Moeraki Boulders nearby, a stay in the village to discover local fishing and wildlife attractions or simply the reputation for good food at the pub with a view. For further information visit www. waitakinz.com, find them on Facebook or phone them on 03 439 4705. moeraki Open 11am - 7 days a week 144 Haven Street, Moeraki Phone (03) 439 – 4705 publife@moerakitavern.com moerakitavern.com ‘A Little Slice of Paradise’ Try our Juicy Ribeye Steak, Moeraki Seafood Chowder or Delicious Blue Cod meals Restaurant Cooks all day from 11am till Late Family friendly, stunning sea views, Free WiFi Bookings for large groups Moeraki Village Holiday Park • Moeraki Boulders • Yellow-Eyed Penguin Colony • Beautiful Views • Motel Units • Tourist Flats • Cabins • Caravan Sites • Tent Sites 114 Haven Street, Moeraki, North Otago Phone/Fax 03 439-4759 moerakivillageholidaypark@xtra.co.nz The Moeraki Boulders Cafe, Bar & Gift Shop nestled directly above the Famous Moeraki Boulders • Fresh Seafood Meals • Quality Meals, Snacks & Beverages served all day • Gift Shop with extensive range • Free Wifi • Feed the Alpaca and Deer Direct on State Highway One (76km North of Dunedin, 38km South of Oamaru) www.moerakiboulders.co.nz info@moerakiboulders.co.nz