Close to home: Get to the gardens

By Heather Ramsay

Prickly plants at the Hamilton Gardens. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Prickly plants at the Hamilton Gardens. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The gorgeous Hamilton Gardens hosts exciting events during the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, February 18 - March 3. Dozens of concerts cover rock to reggae and saxophone to symphony, and there'll be theatre, visual arts, comedy and film. The festival includes the Readers & Writers series "Words in the Gardens", and a Food, Wine & Jazz Festival in the Rose Gardens on February 26 - 27.

On the web:

Top deck travel

Visitors to Christchurch can now explore the city aboard a classic 1960s double-decker bus that runs on bio-diesel. Including inner-city highlights, the three-hour Discover Christchurch tour visits two historic homesteads, stops at the seaside suburb of Sumner before heading up the Port Hills where people can enjoy views of the city, Lyttelton, the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps. It departs 10am and 2pm daily and costs $65 (adult), $45 (child under 14).

Contact: 0800 427 753
On the web:

Hop to the island

Discover Waiheke's nooks and crannies on board Fuller's Island Hopper bus service. The buses follow three different hop-on, hop-off loops . You can get on and off as many times as you like, transferring between loops. One-day passes cost $22 (adult), $11 (child).

Contact: (09) 367 9111
On the web:

Spoils of the sea

The Maketu Kaimoana Festival on February 26 promises to be a great culinary and cultural event featuring fresh seafood and the best local produce. Held beside the beach at Maketu Town Point, 12pm to 6pm, there will be music and entertainment. Tickets cost $25 (adult), $10 (under 18), under fives free.

On the web:

Ten of the best

Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism has partnered with Nelson, Marlborough and the West Coast to offer Kiwi holidaymakers great summer holiday options at bargain prices. The "Top 10" deals are handpicked twice a month. Current deals are online.

On the web:

- NZ Herald

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