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Experience the magic: Amuri Estate


 

Amuri Estate is a special luxury destination where you can relax and unwind or take in some of the excitement of Hanmer Springs Winter Festival this July.

 

 

At night be captivated by the moonlight dancing on the snowy mountains, by day stay toasty-warm in the lodge or pop into the nearby Hanmer township.

The lodge is small, giving it a feeling of exclusivity and general manager Vanessa Orr says there are never a lot of people around. All the rooms have king-size beds and the views are spectacular from all of them. And it is adults only. The welcoming atmosphere is highlighted by a beautiful cheese board and bottle of wine waiting for you when you check in.

 

 

Vanessa says winter is a particularly magical time at their place. “The sunsets and sunrises are really special this time of year. The light is amazing. You should have seen the super blood moon!” Maybe you will need to book ahead for the next one?

In the meantime, Amuri Estate is hosting the Winter Festival masquerade ball on July 3, so make sure you book your room and get your tickets by calling Vanessa 027 554 4056 or (03) 3155 351, emailing amuriestate@gmail.com or visiting www.amuriestate.co.nz

 


 

School holiday heroes


Keeping the kids entertained can be a trying task at the best of times – let alone when the school holidays roll around with a two-plus week stretch of entertaining to be done. Here are Metropol’s pick of ideas for things to do with your school-aged sweethearts these upcoming school holidays.

 

 

LOCAL LIBRARIES
Every parent knows public libraries are a magical place full of free events, activities and excitement (and not just for kids, actually). Beyond the plethora of fantastic books, there is music, live storytelling, holiday programmes and games at most libraries – just waiting to be discovered. Check out christchurchlibraries.com for your local options.

HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES
There is an array of school holiday programmes on offer. Perhaps your young one has a hobby they would like to finesse, or an older teen/young adult has some career aspirations they want to gain some insight into. From mountain biking to graphic design, photography and adventure activities – a quick Google reveals options a-plenty (but you might want to get in quick).

ACTIVITY CALENDARS
Why not get the kids on board to help plan out the break? Ask them what they would like to do these holidays, and then work out what ideas are achievable and when they can happen. Then, list them on a calendar so they can see what is on the agenda. They could even earn the more special occasions like a tram ride or trip to Orana Wildlife Park by doing extra chores, or modelling certain behaviours.

SHARING THE LOVE
Arrange play dates for your kids, and host their friends in return. This way, you can share the childcare with other parents, while also outsourcing the entertainment to the littlies themselves. Kids can play for hours, using just their imaginations – so with their powers combined, they have the fun all covered off!

HOME HOBBIES
There is plenty of fun to be had at home. From baking to playing games, doing puzzles and getting creative with arts and crafts – the options are as endless as your child’s imagination. Why not build a hut to watch a movie in, turn the recycling into a new invention or get messy with some paint? If you’re stuck for ideas, Pinterest has you well and truly covered!

VOLUNTEERING IS CARING
Why not teach your child about community by signing up to volunteer at local organisations – this could be helping out at an animal shelter, cleaning up at an early childcare centre or park, or simply helping out neighbours with household chores and tasks. This not only keeps them busy, but gives them the gift of giving back, too.


 

Holiday flow: Hot Flow Yoga


“Tangata ako ana i te kāenga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana”, is a Māori proverb that when translated into English reads, “A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society’. This mantra is proudly affirmed at Flow Hot Yoga.

 

Flow Hot Yoga’s beginnings took root in February 2011, in response to a city badly in need of a sense of community – a place where people could gather and regain a sense of calm, balance and stability in their lives through yoga.

The team learnt a lot from that time, so that when the Covid-19-induced lockdown happened, free Zoom classes were quickly put in place to ensure the community continued to be nurtured during yet another stressful period. Those Zoom classes were gratefully received.

Flow Hot Yoga closes December 23 and reopens January 4 – just one-month shy of their 10th anniversary – but the great news is that Zoom classes are again offered over the Christmas holiday period.

Join the 60-minutre Zoom yoga classes on December 27, 29, 31 and January 2 at 9.30am with a current membership or purchase an online pass.

Phone (03) 348 8889 or email info@flowhotyoga.co.nz to find out more.


 

A luxury holiday at home: Dreamwool Beds


The whole world would agree: New Zealanders are some of the luckiest people on earth. With our national lock-down deemed a global success and our lives now mostly re-opened for business, we are enjoying a much more normal life than most these days.

 

 

But all that safety and security has not come without sacrifices from our team of five million.

Many of us are now longing for that annual mid-winter journey to the high summer of the Northern Hemisphere, or a cheeky beachside holiday to an idyllic island paradise in the South Pacific.

With New Zealand’s borders closed for a while longer, how can we treat ourselves to some world-class pampering from the comfort of home this winter?

David from Dreamwool Beds has just the solution. “Swap the luxury holiday for a luxury bed,” he says.

“It’ll last longer and make a bigger difference to your life!”

Just think how wonderful it would be to have that top-end resort experience every night.

The best sleep you’ll ever have starts with the highest quality merino wool, sourced directly from select South Island farms.

New Zealand made and natural in all the right ways, Dreamwool mattresses have been handcrafted in Christchurch for nearly 100 years.

Dreamwool’s breathable merino wool adjusts to changes in body temperature to maximise comfort and create perfect balance – never too hot or too cold.

And with four customisable pocketspring models and three all-natural Latex models, David says there really is a perfect Dreamwool fit for everyone.

“Your bed is the most important item in your house,” David says.

“You spend more time there than anywhere else in the home. And with the quality and craftsmanship of Dreamwool, you’re investing in the most luxurious sleep of a lifetime.”

So stop daydreaming about faraway destinations and pop down to Dreamwool’s showroom to test the superior quality and craftsmanship for yourself.

David and his team can’t wait to help you find your perfect Dreamwool fit. You can even complete your experience with resort-quality organic cotton sheets.

Enjoy a luxury holiday experience from the comfort of home this winter.

With Dreamwool’s slimmer, European style mattress and flexible slat base, you’ll be dreaming that you’re on the Riviera in no time!

For more information, visit the Dreamwool Beds showroom at 96 Disraeli Street, Sydenham, search www.dreamwool.com or call 0800 753 754.


 

Luxury in Hanmer: Village Lake Apartments


For the ultimate luxurious getaway, set in the heart of beautiful Hanmer Springs, one simply cannot overlook Village Lake Apartments, where exceptional hospitality awaits.

 

The modern spacious apartments are the perfect place for any occasion, whether a romantic getaway, family escape or even a corporate meeting.

 

Village Lake Apartments provides you with luxury and refinement which is second to none.

All apartments feature a fully self-contained kitchen, full laundry facilities, spa bath (the accessible apartment has a tiled walk in shower), under floor heating and gas fire.

Comfort is prominent, with luxurious beds in all the apartments ensuring the best night’s sleep and stylish décor to match, Village Lake Apartments truly has a ‘home away from home’ vibe.

Within a few minutes’ walk of the Hanmer Hot Pools and other local amenities, Village Lake Apartments should be the only choice for those wanting the best.

Check online for their amazing mid-week deals or treat yourself to that special weekend away.

 


 

 

There is more to see! – Crowne Plaza


There has never been a greater time to re-connect with the powerful landscape of Queenstown.

 

 

Renowned as the Adventure Capital of the World, it is the Southern Hemisphere’s premier four-season mountain and lake destination.

With its wide range of attractions, you will never run out of things to do.

It’s time to re-discover our own NZ backyard and Queenstown has it all – from the best ski the country has to offer, to breath-taking hiking trails; from world-class cuisine to sophisticated wineries; from indulgent spas to thrilling adventures.

Right in the heart of it all is Crowne Plaza Queenstown, proving that location really matters for a hotel.

It sits on a privileged site, just opposite the historic Steamer Wharf and prime lakeside eating, drinking and entertainment destinations, with the great Coronet Peak ski field just a mere 25-minute drive away.

Regardless of the season, Queenstown is unique, stunning and guaranteed fun. And what better way to experience them than by staying in close proximity?


 

Time for a Queenstown staycay! – The Rees


It’s important not to ignore all of the amazing little getaway hotspots that we have in our backyard, especially now that the country is trying to get back on its feet. Make The Rees Hotel Queenstown the destination of your next holiday.

 

 

It’s easy to see why this hotel has a Qualmark five-star tick of approval; all you have to do is look at what it has to offer.

“Sixty hotel rooms, 90 apartments and five private, three-bedroom, three-bathroom lakeside residences, all with terraces, showcasing spectacular views across Lake Wakatipu to the alpine panorama of the Remarkable Mountain range,” Director of Operations Roman Lee-Lo says.

Not to mention the notable amenities: free parking, free Wifi, family rooms, airport shuttle, non-smoking rooms and a fitness centre.

Queenstown is calling and there’s a room at The Rees with your name on it. Book now via the website and check out their highly discounted rates on the STAY NZ page of their website.


 

A Queenstown getaway: Highview Apartments


Whether you are looking for an action-packed adventure or a more leisurely holiday, Highview Apartments is a fantastic base for your Queenstown holiday.

 

 

Earning its name from its unrivalled views looking out high from Thompson Street, it’s a striking location.

Imagine waking to views of rugged snow-capped mountains rimming the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu and seeing the Earnslaw steam her way past, listening to bird song while you enjoy your morning coffee on your own private balcony.

Situated close to restaurants and bars you can sample the night life or bring local produce and regional wine back to your self-contained apartment to enjoy.

For active relaxers there is a fitness room, outdoor spa and BBQ area, along with a complimentary sports locker for golf clubs, bikes or ski gear to suit the year-round activities that this alpine playground has to offer.

Whether it is a studio or lake view apartment (one or two bedrooms available), there’s an exceptional option for everyone


 

The case for doing nothing


Out of our ‘the busier the better’ bustling world arises a welcome rebellion that is switching off phones, brains and the eternal to-do list.

 

 

“I’ve done nothing today” is often a statement of shame-ridden guilt.

However, that very nothingness can be a productive, even lucrative, something. It’s just in disguise. A new movement to purposely slow us all down is fast taking over the globe.

Busyness has been attributed to success and worthiness – while doing ‘stuff all’ often holds the stigma of being lazy, unmotivated or unproductive.

If only we could see the measurable physiological anti-anxiety benefits that our mind and bodies get from gazing glassy-eyed out the window in the midst of a hectic day.

There is a good reason that many of the best inventions, songs and ideas are born in the middle of the night. The mind is empty, quiet and still. We are just lying there in the dark – doing nothing. Enter creativity.

Some cultures are better than others at embracing the health-enhancing art of nothingness.

The Dutch have a catchy succinct word for the concept – Miksen. It is a verb, a.k.a a doing word, that means to ‘do nothing’.

The Italians indulge in a concept known as ‘la dolce far neinte’ translated as ‘the sweetness of doing nothing.’

The Chinese have mastered the concept of ‘wu wei’, meaning inaction, which is seen as central to living a life harmoniously.

Mid-afternoon snoozes are a time-honoured tradition in the heat of the Mediterranean, but we shouldn’t need global warming to nudge us to nod off.

The concept of allowing 40 winks in the middle of a work day is being discussed as a productivity-boosting bonus in the office – to recharge batteries and counterbalance chaos.

Our minds need to empty out the old in order to refill.

Enjoying doing nothing doesn’t mean checking emails, chatting or watching TV while flopped catatonically on the couch.

That’s cheating. It can take a while for wound-up minds to wind-down and get comfortable with the habit.

We innately know when to switch off. It just takes a little neuron rewiring to make it easier, with practise, to tap into our inner timetables.

This sweet neutral state of ‘effortless being’ is a natural trait to all living things.

Observe animals both in the wild, and the ones chillaxing on our carpets or wandering nonchalantly in the garden – they have it sussed!

The nothing experience needs to be guilt-free to be of real benefit.

Imagine not achieving everything, or indeed anything, on your daily agenda.

Are there any adverse consequences? Doing zilch and zoning out can create momentum, motivation and more energy for the hours and days to follow.

When a person stops and does absolutely nothing for a moment, or two, or three, the benefits can be empowering and enlightening. Add in some nature – and that equals bliss.


 

South Island Summer Escape


Looking for a break away with plenty to see and do this summer? Then explore the South Island where you’ll find majestic landscapes, golden beaches, loads of interesting activities, and fabulous food and wine.

 

 

For the ultimate summer experience, the Nelson Tasman region will blow you away with its natural beauty and range of attractions on offer.

Local hotspots include Kaiteriteri Beach, Mapua & Ruby Coast, Motueka, Moutere, Murchison and Stoke, home to Pic’s Peanut Butter, the National World of Wearable Art & Nelson Classic Cars Museum and McCashins Brewery.

Your itinerary should include a trip to Farewell Spit, the stunning Te Waikoropupū Springs, the markets at Takaka and Golden Bay, and the Lord of the Rings film locations dotted around the area.

After exploring what Nelson and its surrounds have to offer, take the time to visit the Marlborough Sounds; the perfect destination for boating, fishing and diving.

Marlborough is wine country and you’ll find 30 cellar doors available to visit in the region, along with the award-winning Renaissance Brewing, Boom Town Brewing Company, and the first dedicated gin distillery in Marlborough, which opened in May at The Vines Village.

At the head of Queen Charlotte Sound you’ll find Picton, the picturesque little seaside town where you can explore New Zealand’s maritime heritage and marvel at the gorgeous surroundings and wildlife.

A summer escape in the South Island is a must-do this holiday season, with delightful weather, friendly hospitality, heaps of attractions and beautiful sights just waiting to be discovered.