NEW ZEALAND BY CURREN THAKKAR – PRISM GROUP OF COMPANIES

globalmovie     01 Mar,2016         No Comment

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NEW ZEALAND by Curren Thakkar – Prism Group of Companies

New Zealand – Youngest Country and Adventure Capital on this planet Earth has to offer you exactly what you want from it. From Leisure and Relaxation to Breathtaking Scenic Beauty and Hardcore Adventure, it has all to offer.
There aren’t many places on this lovely planet where travellers are so well catered for – in terms of both man-made enticements and splendours of the natural realm.
There’s no chance of ever getting tired of the scenery in New Zealand. No other nation in the world packs so much jaw-dropping diversity into such a small space. The country’s coastline conceals many beaches, from the lazy days coves of the Abel Tasman National Park to the windswept and rugged stretches of the Catlins and the West Coast. Volcanoes rise from the central plateau of the North Island, and further south the alpine grandeur incorporates glaciers, snowcapped peaks, and misty fiords. From Queenstown, the meandering drive through the Kawarau river valley quickly transforms the landscape from indigo mountains and expansive lakes to the barren and rugged beauty of Central Otago.
Weather in New Zealand

Winter in New Zealand
Being a Southern Hemisphere country, winters in New Zealand are from June to August/ September. If you want to avoid the summer crowds, but still experience New Zealand at its most breath-taking, winter road trips are great options. Areas of the North Island are sub-tropical – meaning the winter months are still mild and easy for travel. The average winter temperature in the Bay of Islands is a balmy 16 degrees Celsius and can reach the mid-20s occasionally. In the South Island you’ll find cool sub-zero temperatures overnight and crisp sunny days. When travelling from Christchurch to Queenstown there is an abundance of snow-capped scenery to admire. This fetches more European, American and Indian tourists during these months when it’s scorchy heat in these locations during this time of the year.
Winter is also a wonderful time to travel to New Zealand if alpine sports are your passion. In the North Island you will find Mt Ruapehu (and its two ski areas – Whakapapa and Turoa), and in the South Island there are dozens of ski areas stretching from Rainbow Ski Area in the Nelson region, to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak near Queenstown. Winters also host Poker festival in the country and tourists from all over the globe come and are its part. So it’s Skiing in the day time and poker at night with a lovely scotch or a glass of locally brewed wine.
Walk On The Wild Side
There are just 4.5 million New Zealanders, scattered across 270,534 sq km: bigger than the UK with one-fourteenth the population. Filling in the gaps are the sublime dense Forests, snow-capped Mountains, clear Lakes, virgin Beaches and Fiords that have made NZ one of the best hiking (locals call it ‘tramping’) destinations on Earth. Tackle one of nine epic ‘Great Walks’ – you’ve probably heard of the Heaphy and Milford Tracks – or just spend a few dreamy hours wandering through some easily accessible wilderness.
The New ‘Big Easy’
Forget New Orleans, NZ can rightly claim the ‘Big Easy’ crown for the sheer ease of travel here. This isn’t a place where you encounter many on-the-road frustrations: buses and trains run on time; roads are in good nick; ATMs proliferate; pickpockets, scam merchants and bedbug-ridden hostels are negligible and far between; and the food is unlikely to send you running for the nearest public toilets (usually clean and stocked with the requisite paper). And there are no snakes, and only one poisonous spider – the rare Katipo – sightings of which are considered lucky. This beautiful nation is a place where you can relax and enjoy (rather than endure) your holiday. Drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy features in top 5 driving destinations of the world. Its Right handed driving and Indians can drive in New Zealand with their valid Indian license.
If you are a romantic and an adventure freak person, then New Zealand surely is the place you want to be in. On summer nights – Moon, Stars and its constellations are so clear that you won’t have seen it as close and bright as ever before. Even the Milky Way can be captured in your high definition cameras.
Maori Culture
If you’re even remotely interested in rugby, you’ll have heard of NZ’s all-conquering All Blacks, who would never have become world-beaters without their formidable Maori players. But this is just one example of how Maori culture impresses itself on contemporary Kiwi life: across NZ you can hear Maori language, watch Maori TV, see main-street marae (meeting houses), join in a Hangi (Maori feast) or catch a cultural performance with traditional Maori song, dance and usually a blood-curdling haka (war dance). You might draw the line at contemplating ta moko, traditional Maori tattooing (often applied to the face).
Food, Wine & Beer
Kiwi food was once a bland echo of a British Sunday dinner, but these days NZ chefs find inspiration in new-world culinary oceans, especially the Pacific with its abundant seafood and encircling cuisines. And don’t go home without trying some Maori faves: Paua (abalone), Kina (sea urchin) and Kumara (sweet potato) make regular menu appearances. There is some good news for Indian vegetarian travellers, in cities like Queenstown, Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch have some exotic Indian Restaurants managed by the local Indian Entrepreneurs and chefs that offers authentic and desi Indian taste.
Thirsty? NZ’s cool-climate wineries have been collecting wine-award trophies for decades now, and the country’s craft-beer is booming. I, being a Beer lover, found one of the best locally brewed Beer to give me company and cool down in the NZ Summers. Contemporary coffee culture is also firmly entrenched with good coffee shops by the lake in Queenstown and by the harbour in Auckland.

Best Wildlife Experiences
Isolated at the bottom of the planet, the islands of New Zealand showcase diverse animal species, many unique to the country. A hardy survivor of the mega-continent of Gondwanaland, the Tuatara is an ancient reptile closely related to the Dinosaurs. New Zealand’s native birds include the country’s national symbol, the Kiwi, and the Kea, a curiously intelligent Alpine Parrot. Pelagic birds include the compact Hoiho (yellow-eyed Penguin), one of the planet’s rarest Penguins, and the grand Royal Albatross. Also sharing New Zealand’s cooler southern waters are marine mammals, and opportunities abound to interact with Whales, Dolphins and Fur Seals.

Filming in New Zealand
Other countries may boast of cinematic scenery, but in New Zealand it’s a statement of movie-making fact. Across both the North Island and the South Island, many stunning locations were showcased by Sir Peter Jackson in his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Even getting to the locations is often an adventure, with tour operators harnessing 4WD vehicles, helicopters and horses to reach the destinations brought to life as Edoras or the Plains of Rohan. On a smaller, but equally fascinating scale, Hobbit buffs can sup on a pint of beer at the Green Dragon Inn in Hobbiton (aka Matamata), or go behind the scenes of the magic at the Weta Cave in Wellington.
The international film industry’s New Zealand love affair is well documented with picture perfect landscapes capturing the imagination and hearts of film stars, producers and movie-goers the world over. And, with New Zealand featuring in a list of top foreign places to shoot Bollywood movies, it seems that Indian film-makers and their audiences are in agreement
The diversity of New Zealand culture and landscapes first caught the attention of Bollywood film makers with the 2008 movie, Love Has No Language. The romantic comedy, starring Bollywood actress and former Miss India Universe (2001) Celina Jaitley alongside Kiwi actor Ben Mitchell, featured the urban landscapes of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and the year-round alpine resort of Queenstown. The striking landscapes, snow-capped mountains and crystal clear lakes of Queenstown took center-stage once again with the Bollywood smash hit I Hate Luv Storys, filmed in New Zealand and released to instant box office success in 2010.

But it wasn’t just movie-goers who fell in love with the untouched landscapes, Producers and Directors, who came to New Zealand looking for “picture perfect postcard locations” were also bitten by the New Zealand love-bug. As a film maker, you don’t have to hunt for good locations. The place itself is one giant exquisite locale.
Queenstown’s famous Kawarau Bridge to experiencing the thrills and spills of the iconic Shotover Jet and taking a leap of faith with a skydive above Queenstown’s towering snow-capped mountains and glistening Lake Wakatipu.
Wellington’s urban terrain, steep streets, dramatic coastline and stunning harbour showcased the capital city to the world, as well as a thrilling high-speed car chase along the runway at Wellington International Airport.
Filming also takes place in Auckland – New Zealand’s largest and most culturally diverse city with sweeping aerial shots of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the boat-filled Waitemata Harbour and the 328-metre-high Sky Tower making the city look like a movie star in its own right. With a large Indian population, Auckland is the city of choice for high-profile Bollywood stars wanting to experience New Zealand’s breath-taking, adventure-filled landscapes in the heart of a flourishing, world-class urbanized city. Along with yacht-filled harbours, designer boutiques and celebrity-chef restaurants, Auckland is only a short drive or cruise away from uncrowded beaches, wildlife, and ancient volcanic craters.
The latest internationally recognised Bollywood star to enjoy Auckland was Indian superstar Shahrukh Khan. Hailed as ‘the world’s biggest movie star’, SRK brought his colourful Bollywood-inspired show Temptation Reloaded along with some of Bollywood’s most-loved and famous actresses Madhuri Dixit, Rani Mukerji and Jacqueline to Auckland’s premier events complex Vector Area in 2013.
But it’s not just the stars of Bollywood who’ve fallen for New Zealand’s bountiful beauty, some of India’s high-profile and much-loved cricket stars have also been swayed by its charm and versatile adventures. In 2012 Indian cricket’s most famous son, Sachin Tendulkar and team-mates enjoyed panoramic views of Auckland and its expansive harbour from 192 metres above ground while enjoying the Auckland Sky Tower’s thrilling SkyWalk adventure. The team including Harbhajan Singh, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Laxmipathy Balaji also enjoyed some time away from the game with a spot of sailing on board an America’s Cup yacht – on the sparkling harbour filled with so many boats it has earned Auckland the title of ‘City of Sails’.
If you personally ask me, a Bollywood film maker has not even touched the tip of New Zealand’s scenic ice burg and has infinite yet to explore. Other virgin filming locations yet to explore could be Swim with Dolphins, Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach in Bay of Islands; Helicopter landing on an active volcano crater or a mountain peak, Thermal Springs, Polynesian Spa and Mud bath in Rotorua; Skyline Gondola, Shotover Jet, Glenorchy drive in Queenstown; Lake Tekapo on foothills of Mt Cook etc.

Heaven on Planet Earth – Queenstown
If I have to pick one city in New Zealand, then it surely and unanimously is Queenstown – Heaven and top 3 honeymoon destinations on Planet Earth. Don’t be surprised if you don’t find any signals while driving on Queenstown streets as it’s a signal-less city. It is also considered as the best adventure site in New Zealand and the World. Imagine an 8 seater aircraft takes you high above 15,000 ft and have a sky dive. Enroute your free fall you can witness being surrounded on all sides with Snow-capped Mountains and landing with parachute in the lake below its foothills. Isn’t it mesmerizing

Adventure activities in Queenstown
Air Adventure: Skydive, Paragliding, Bungee Jumping, Canyon Swing & Raft, Gliding, Hot Air Balloons, Nevis Swing
Land Adventure: Skiing, Horse Riding, Mountain Biking, Quad Biking, Rock Climbing & Abseiling, Segway, Snowshoeing
Water Adventure: Jet Boat, Canoeing, Fishing, Kayaking, Rafting, Riversurfing

Sightseeing Air Sightseeing: Milford Flight and Cruises, Helicopter Flight landing on the peak of your choice, Glacier Landing, Sunrise, Cornet Peak, Skyline etc.
Land Sightseeing: Hot Pools, Safaris, Wilderness Guided Walks, Wineries, Breweries, Day Spa, Flow Worm Caves, Golfcourse, Walter Peak, Mount Cook, Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier.

Indian Restaurants
If you are missing some Indian food then you shouldn’t be upset as there are ample Indian restaurants in this city – Elaichi, Freiya’s Indian Resturant, Tandoori Palace, Bombay Palace Indian Restaurant, India Once Upon a Time, Mantra Restaurant, Shagun Indian Café.
Don’t Miss in Queenstown
Jumbo Burgers of Fergburger
Pizza of Fat Badgers Pizza Bar
Ice Creams of Patagonia
Aggys Shack – Fish & Chips
Trek to the Queenstown Hill
All Adventure Activities
Candle lit Hot Pools at Onsen Hot Pools (night session)
Drive to Glenorchy
Lake Cruise and Earnslaw
Skyline Gondola + Luge rides + Skyline Restaurant Dinner
Wine yard tours
Casino

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