Let's Go NZ: Exploring our backyard

If you fancy yourself as Radar, Hawkeye or Hot Lips Houlihan, head to Mt Maunganui, pull on a pair of khaki overalls and take a scenic flight in the M*A*S*H-style chopper operated by Kiwi Kopters. The bubble cockpit gives an unrestricted view of the Mount and Tauranga harbour. The the company also offers trips to White Island in a larger helicopter.

You can even fly without leaving the ground in the Flight Experience simulator, where you're the virtual pilot of a passenger jet.

Contact: (07) 572 4077, 0800 737 700, email mash@kiwikopters.co.nz


Shine on Matariki

Rug-up warm and take the family to a Matariki event in Russell Park, Waipukurau, on June 8.

The Maori New Year will be welcomed with kapa haka, bands and fireworks, as well as food and craft stalls. From 5pm to 9.30pm, fireworks at 8pm.

Contact: (06) 858 6488


Marae movie deal

The Hokianga Film Festival showcases established film-makers, both local and visiting.

As well as screenings there will be discussions with directors and community representatives about future projects.

It runs from June 1 to 4 at Moria Marae, Whirinaki and costs $30 for a weekend pass or $5 a session.

A package with marae accommodation, meals and movies is $120. Details online.

Contact: (09) 405 8285, (09) 405 5823

On the web: www.hokianga.com/filmfest2007


Talk to the animals

Anyone who travels on a Go Wellington or Stagecoach bus to the Wellington Zoo in Newtown in May and June will receive half-price entry on the day they travel.

Regular admission: children under-3, free; children 3 to 16, $6; adults, $15. Remember to ask the driver for the zoo voucher.

Contact: (04) 381 6755

On the web: www.wellingtonzoo.com


On your bike

Hilly Wellington is a great place for challenging mountainbiking but there are also easy trails.

The Mountain Biking in Wellington brochure has a short description of tracks throughout the city and suburbs.

Contact: (04) 801 3624

On the web: www.feelinggreat.co.nz


Mountain madness

The Ohakune Mountain Mardi Gras blends a small-town atmosphere with some of the extreme and fashionable aspects of skiing and boarding.

On June 16 the streets will come alive with stalls, games, rides, demonstrations and street performers and there will be an all-night laser show. The event attracts big crowds, so book your accommodation early.

Contact: 021 897 888

On the web: www.ohakune-mardigras.co.nz

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