Valentine's Day package deal

Auckland's Carlton Hotel is offering a special package this Valentine's Day. The Love in the City package is available February 13 and 14 and costs $199 including GST a room a night. This includes deluxe accommodation, a bottle of Deutz and chocolate-dipped strawberries in the room on arrival, and a bottle of massage oil. A special Valentine's Day menu will be available in the hotel's Pacific Restaurant from February 10 to 14.

Contact: (09) 366 3000

On the web: www.carlton-auckland.co.nz

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Trek New Zealand

Here's a great way to walk, cycle or ride a horse the length of New Zealand in supported luxury - although it will take a few years. Every year the Great New Zealand Trek covers a section of the country, then the next year it continues from where it finished the previous year. Stage One takes place March 11-19, starting at Cape Reinga and finishing 250km south at Kohukohu on the Hokianga Harbour. There's support, luggage transport, camping and yarding, plus catering, hot showers, massage, a bar and cafe, and evening entertainment.

Contact: (09) 406 1580

On web: www.greatnztrek.com

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Learn as you walk

The Tamaki Hikoi combines Maori culture, exercise and indulgence during a three-hour guided walk that focuses on Mangawhau (Mount Eden). A Ngati Whatua guide uses music, song, and storytelling to bring Auckland's culture and landscape alive. After the walk there's a 15-minute foot spa and a neck, back and arm massage at Bliss Reflexology followed by a 45-minute foot massage. The Walk & Indulge package costs $122 a person.

Contact: (09) 367 6009

Email: reservations@aucklandnz.com

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Fun in the sun

For family fun and frolics, head to the Waihi Beach Mardi Gras on Saturday February 18. The event marks the official opening of the recent street upgrade, and from 4pm to 7pm Wilson Rd will be closed so that musicians and other entertainers can get the crowd buzzing. There'll be a limbo competition, prizes for the best decorated bike, costume and mask. Taste of romance Heritage and CityLife Hotels in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hanmer Springs have some indulgent food and accommodation offers for Valentine's Day. Restaurants at Heritage Auckland and Heritage Christchurch have special menus, while accommodation packages such as Somewhere to Love are sure to put a zing into love lives.

Contact: 0800 36 88 88

On the web: www.heritagehotels.co.nz

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A steal in Dunedin

Dunedin's biggest market day of the year is the Octagon Market Day and Thieves Alley, on Saturday February 25, at 10am. The Octagon and surrounding streets will have colourful stalls offering bargains, food and fun. On the same day the historic Regent Theatre will be open from 10am to 3pm. Members of the Otago Theatre Trust will conduct guided tours around the theatre. Lighting up The Chinese Year of the Dog will be welcomed in style during the Asia NZ Lantern Festival, in Auckland's Albert Park, February 10-12, 5pm to 10.30pm. Stunning outdoor lanterns will include new designs from China, and there'll be entertainment, crafts, fortune telling, fireworks, martial arts displays, good food and a relaxed atmosphere.

On the web: www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/whatson

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Modern music

Tapapakanga Regional Park, 70km southeast of Auckland, is the venue for Splore 2006, on February 17-19. The live-in festival presents contemporary live music, DJs, visual arts, sculpture trails, film screenings and workshops. Entertainment includes international acts and a top line-up of New Zealand music. Tickets can be purchased at Post Shops, Ticketmaster on 09 970 9700, or at www.ticketmaster.co.nz. Details of other ticket outlets and a full programme are online.

Contact: (09) 845 1550

On the web: www.splore.net

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