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Christmas Events in December for Christchurch, New Zealand (Part 1)

The Christmas season is upon us, and while it isn’t a white Christmas in New Zealand, we still like to celebrate it in style. Instead of cookies and warm milk, we have sausage sizzles and big concerts in parks! Haka Tours’ main office is located in Christchurch, and we’re getting into the festive season. If you are stopping by Christchurch and would like to celebrate xmas, then there are tonnes of great events going on for you to check out. Here are some of my favourite upcoming activities: December 1: Kaiapoi Carnival Hours: 9am – 3pm Where: Murphy Park, Kaiapoi Cost: FREE! Every year, Kaiapoi has an annual carnival to celebrate the festive season and to support their community. For Christmas shoppers, there will be plenty of stalls featuring a wide range of craft items to purchase. There will be a lot of food stalls, and there are bound to be some NZ-inspired food stalls such as stalls that sell whitebait patties! There will also be music, amusement rides and much more. December 1: Kaiapoi Christmas Parade Time: 1pm (highly recommend getting there half an hour earlier!) Where: Departs from the ARL Storage at Hilton Street Cost: FREE! Kaiapoi gets […]

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Authentic NZ Experience – See the REAL New Zealand!

Living in New Zealand and work in the middle of a backpackers lodge means I get to meet a lot of travelers, all wide-eyed and eager to see New Zealand. Like all places though, it is easy to fall into the tourism traps; if you pick up the guidebook or just hop on a big bus, you’re going to end up hitting the same places as everyone else. And because the locals at those place expect travelers, they tend to become commercialised and loose their local flavour. So our blog post today is going to take you through some ways to meet the locals, have an authentic NZ experience and get to see the REAL New Zealand! Wait – what about places like Queenstown?! I don’t mean to say that you should avoid popular areas in NZ – not at all! In fact, I would recommend that you make those a must-do. New Zealand’s “tourist traps” are a lot more laid-back and lack a lot of commercialisation compared to other places in the world – especially during weekdays. And unlike a lot of places internationally, our hot-spots are hot-spots for a reason. Amazing sights and amazing activities have made these […]

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Tips for Staying Entertained on the Plane

Traveling internationally is an amazing experience. You get to experience a new culture, you get to try new activities and you get to see a different side of the earth. For all of its upsides, there are a few (albeit small!) downsides. One of these is the process of traveling internationally on a plane. While some people look at this as a downside, I personally see it as an upside.When you think about it, it is very exciting. It is strange that some people look down on flying when it is actually amazing. To think, we shoot through the sky in a metal tube! That is anything but boring. Here are some great tips to stay entertained. Make Use of your Media Devices Got an ipod? Got a laptop? Got a handheld video game system? It is time to bust those out. Think of your plane ride as “you” time. It is the perfect time to catch up on your favourite TV show, or to finish that book that you have wanted to for the longest time. Books are heavy and quickly add up in your luggage weight, so be sure to purchase digital books and read them on a […]

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Interview with Learn to Surf – Sumner, Christchurch

Summer is fast approaching New Zealand! The weather is getting warmer, the beaches are getting busier and the flowers are out in full bloom! In the spirit of all-things summer, we are interviewing Aaron Lock from Learn to Surf located in Christchurch, New Zealand. We have teamed up with them on our tours, and you can pre-book an awesome surfing lesson with them before your tour! Check out our interview with him below: Hi Aaron, could you please introduce yourself, and give some info on Learn to Surf? My name is Aaron Lock and I run a surfing school Learn to Surf based in Sumner, Christchurch. I’ve been surfing since I was 10 years old and still completely addicted. I ‘ve been coaching others to surf for over 18 years now. We offer lessons for beginners to advanced surfers and hire out the gear for those that just want to surf on their own. What do you love the most about your job? I love that fact that its not a job. It’s fun. I get to be in the ocean all day and I love passing on the stoke of surfing and seeing the buzz in peoples eyes when […]

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5 Great Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand Round 2

We recently posted an article on 5 great things to do while you’re stopping by Christchurch. We decided that the article wasn’t enough, and that we had more tips to share! Not only is our office located in Christchurch, but everyone in the Haka Tours/Haka Lodge office are native-Christchurch residents. Here are some tips from us on what to do while stopping by here: Christchurch Antartic Center When people think of New Zealand they often think of as a tropical island. They have one thing right – we are certainly an island, but we aren’t all tropical! The top part of the North Island is tropical, but the South Island is not. The South Island is very close to Antartica, and so it can get chilly here in the winter (but don’t worry – our climate is mild. Being an island means our weather is kept in check by the sea, so Christchurch doesn’t get too cold). Christchurch is a key airport for flights to Antartica, and it is part of our heritage. The Antartic Center celebrates this. The snow room is a big favourite! It can be expensive so keep an eye out for special deals. New Brighton Beach […]

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Top 5 Activities to do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch is the biggest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and it is the second biggest overall. Christchurch is very special to us here at Haka Tours. Not only does every South Island tour group come through Christchurch, but our main office is located here! Our office is located in our hostel, Haka Lodge. We feel that this makes us uniquely qualified to talk about Christchurch, and make some great recommendations on what to do while you are here. So here are our top 5 activities to do in Christchurch! 1. The Port Hills Christchurch has a interesting feel to it. The city is incredibly flat, and it is surrounded by the stunning port hills. When the settlers first arrived, they had to make the journey across the port hills to uncover Christchurch. Do you know what they found? Swampland! Understandably, they were too impressed. However, they worked the soil and turned it into the great city we have today. The port hills gives a fantastic view of this, and it is very quick to reach. To get to the top from the city CBD, it would take about half an hour. My recommendation is to go up […]

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Differences between the North Island and South Island of NZ

Edited for 2017 Of course, if you’re paying a visit to New Zealand, seeing absolutely all of it would be ideal. But let’s be honest, it’s not a realistic option for many people. It’s more likely you’ll only have time to squeeze some of it in. So, you may be asking – What even is the difference between the North and South islands of New Zealand? Here are the answers, so you can decide what would suit you best! How hot do you want it? Probably the most obvious difference – and so the best to kick off with – is the climate. Although New Zealand weather can be pretty unpredictable on a given day (it’s often said you can experience all 4 seasons within just one), it’s a safe bet how the two islands compare climatically. As a rule of thumb, the North is warmer than the South. This goes for all seasons however it should be said NZ is void of any real extremes. The North Island typically maintains a mild temperature throughout the year (20-30°C in summer), with the warmer region being near the top of the island (as it’s closer to the equator). The air is slightly […]

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Understanding Haka Tours' Pricing

At Haka Tours, not only are we proud to have our tours be voted #1 in New Zealand by independent traveller reviews, but we are proud to offer competitive prices for our guests. Unlike a lot of our competitors, our base price offers more than just a bus pass.  Our tours are packed full of value and include accommodation, transport, key activities and a kiwi tour guide who has expert, local knowledge and will take you to places you would never find touring on your own! Here is a quick pricing chart that shows what you get when you book a tour with us. So whether you are thinking about an adventure or snow tour, don’t forget you get all of the above. Accommodation Your tour includes accommodation for each night you travel with us. By hoping on one of our tours and letting us choose the accommodation for you, you can take advantage of our expert-knowledge. We know the best places to stay and only stay at the highest quality lodges/hostels (especially great for the busy seasons when they are all-booked out). Not only do you ensure you stay at the best spots, it also saves you the hassle […]

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