Fly from Christchurch to see the Southern Lights

Book a flight to the Southern Lights. Photo: Shandell Venegas, Unsplash
Book a flight to the Southern Lights. Photo: Shandell Venegas, Unsplash
Southern Lights scenic flights
See the Southern Lights from your passenger window on a special charter flight as it heads for Antarctica from Christchurch in March next year with Viva Expeditions. The journey must be booked by the end of this month. Priced from $1195pp, there are upgrades available. Avid Aurora Australis hunter and astrophysicist Dr Ian Griffin will join passengers on March 21 with a team of expert astronomers. The night-flight well above the clouds heads over the Southern Ocean, aiming for latitudes of 62 degrees South where the light is brightest.
Contact: Flight Centre, 0800 243 544 or check out the Flight to the Lights on

To market in Matakana
Explore Auckland's culinary treasures next month on an exclusive expert-led Farmers Market Tour. On November 14 the tour heads to Matakana's Saturday market. Led by foodie author and editor Lauraine Jacobs and professional guides from The Big Foody, you'll explore the market village and brunch at The Farmer's Daughter. The $120 ticket includes return transport from central Auckland, the tour and brunch. You'll go home with a market recipe from Jacobs and a gift bag from the market. This is one of several market tours scheduled from October 18 to November 14 as part of Auckland's Elemental Festival.

Contact: or purchase tickets online at

Romance and elegance in Christchurch
Book a luxurious and romantic two-night stay at the elegant and historic Dyers House in Christchurch before year's end, and you can choose one discounted adventure from a list of four. Go hot air ballooning or walking the lofty trails of the Port Hills with Crater Rim Walks, take an exhilarating jet-boat ride on the Waimakariri River with Alpine Jet Thrills or go on a more sedate outing to the historic Sign of the Takahe —a fully restored stone building on the Cashmere Hills, which is now café, bar and restaurant. Priced from $790 for two, the two-night stay at Dyers House includes breakfasts, a free in-room mini-bar, snacks and afternoon teas.
Contact: Angela or Barry at Dyers House, 03 337 1675, or a href=' ' target='_blank'>

5-star Queenstown luxury stay
Three luxurious nights at the 5-star Sofitel Queenstown, including private transfers, full breakfasts and a progressive dinner tour to celebrated restaurants such as Amisfield, Aosta and Eichardts, is $865pp, twin-share. Valid for travel by March 31 next year, excluding November 20, January 23 and the Christmas and New Year period between December 24 and January 5.

Contact: Quay Travel, (09) 477 0212 or

Auckland Museum's hidden treasures
The Auckland Museum is offering to lead you behind-the-scenes to explore the high-security zones that house precious artefacts. A guided tour reveals the museum's priceless collections that are not on display but are in safe keeping for future generations. The 45-minute tour departs daily and costs $30. No cameras or cellphones are allowed and tour members must wear fully toe-covered footwear. Each guided tour departs from the Grand Foyer at 11.30am.

Contact: or

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, go to








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