Letters to the Travel Editor
As an ex-Nelsonian, I was surprised to see in the January 12 article on Havelock that the town claims Ernest Rutherford as their own. So I looked up the facts. Nelson claims him as one of their sons, as he was born in 1871 at Spring Grove, near the southern point of the Waimea Plains. The family's small farm there was not sufficient to support the 12 children, so they moved to Havelock when Ernest was 11. His father and uncle set up a flax mill there.
On getting a scholarship Ernest was able to attend Nelson College, and from there another scholarship took him to university in Christchurch.
One of the boarding houses at Nelson College is named after him, as is one of the main roads out of Nelson city.
Readers who enjoy watching Antiques Roadshow on TV will enjoy attending an actual roadshow and becoming part of the audience. They may even see themselves on TV when they get home! This is a fascinating day out. No need to book - you just turn up on the day and come and go as you wish. Admission is free and you can wander from table to table and actually meet Fiona and the experts in person and watch them in action. There's also a shop where you can buy souvenirs - my Antiques Roadshow sweatshirt has attracted a lot of interest over the years.
Future dates and locations are published online at bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow. There are 12 scheduled for this year, from May 12 to September 25. Locations are all over England and Wales, so it's easy to include one in your itinerary. Strongly recommended.
East Tamaki Heights
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Top dogs on duty
We here at Team Travel think these collectible canine cards featuring the wet-nosed, pointy end of the drug detection team at Hong Kong Airport are the cutest thing in law enforcement. Our favourites: Gavin and Dexter.
They've got their work cut out. Last year marked a 100 per cent increase in the number of cocaine busts at Hong Kong Airport. In November, a record catch netted 62kg of liquid cocaine hidden inside an industrial machine imported from Colombia via the US.
It's ruff work, but someone has to do it.
Visiting Canada is about to get a whole lot easier for Kiwis with new entry requirements coming into effect on March 15. From this date, New Zealand citizens (and all other citizens from other visa-exempt countries, excluding the US) who arrive by air will only need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority in advance of travel.
The Aussie attraction
Australia remains the top city destination for Kiwi travellers, with Sydney and Melbourne holding their places as (respectively) the top-two international spots for New Zealand fliers. Analysis of queries by the hotel search website Trivago showed the Cook Islands replacing Fiji as top spot in the Pacific.
The data comes from looking at all 2015 searches that used 2016 travel dates to determine which spots New Zealanders are most interested in visiting. The top 10 in order: Sydney, Melbourne, Las Vegas, Honolulu, London, Singapore, New York, Rarotonga, San Francisco and Paris.
The Aussie distraction
While the two biggest Aussie cities shone, our neighbour's other metropolitan centres have not fared so well in Trivago's informal survey of its own users. Brisbane dropped from 19th to 20th place from 2014 to 2015, while Adelaide moved from 22nd position to 30th; and Perth no longer features among the 30 "most searched" destinations, a shift from holding the 25th spot back in 2014. Gold Coast prospered in Trivago's count with a 141 per cent increase in interest.
A coffee milestone
Air NZ's mobile app last week registered its 1,000,000th coffee order since it came online in August 2014. Nearly half of those orders were for the Kiwi favourite, the flat white. (Flat whites? Still? C'mon people, we can't be that boring as a nation.) The Auckland Domestic Koru Lounge made the most coffees " more than 300,000 " followed by Wellington Domestic and Auckland International.
No one likes a noisy hotel room (or a dirty one). A new ratings system will let you know in advance how much shush you'll get when you're looking for a bit of shut-eye. The Quiet Room programme will test hotel rooms and offer a three-tiered labelling system enabling guests to avoid noise pollution, or at least know how much noise to expect. They recently named Paris' Hotel Regina the quietest hotel in the world. - email@example.com
Travel likes and dislikes
... plans for an expanded screening and processing area at Auckland International Airport, which will give you a chance to "recompose yourself" after you've been through aviation security. There'll be seating, loos, and a chill-out space, complete with the latest technology.
We don't like...
. . . that some airlines, such as China Eastern, don't let you pre-select your seat when you check in online. Our reader also had trouble when she tried to request a vegetarian meal.
Tell us what you like and don't like in the world of travel. Email TRAVEL@NZHERALD.CO.NZ