Glass act: Book a PurePod

Imagine sleeping in a glass eco-cabin, yet with total privacy — aside from passing birdlife as the sun rises. Less than an hour's drive north of Christchurch, in the heart of the Waipara Valley, PurePods are located in secret locations only accessible by unsealed roads and 10 to 20-minute picturesque nature walks.

Each features glass sliding doors, an outdoor deck with barbecue, a shower, bathroom, kitchenette and bio-fuel capable heating system — and you'll sleep in a Queen bed. There is no Wi-Fi, cellphone signal or power plugs — but plenty of books, games, a USB speaker, telescope and map of the stars. A two-night stay is priced from $589pp, twin-share. Add on breakfasts and dinners from $149pp.

Valid for stays between this August7and March 31 next year, book your PurePod experience by September 30.

Contact: helloworld Travel, 0800 303 132 or helloworld.co.nz/deal/15359/waipara-greystone-purepod

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Wing it to Waiheke

Go on tour on Waiheke Island aboard an Explorer Bus — then take to the air for an exhilarating 30-minute scenic flight around the island. A Sea, Land and Sky Waiheke Island tour is priced from $199pp (or from $169 child's fare) and includes the return Fuller's ferry ride from Downtown Auckland to Waiheke Island, an Explorer Bus island tour and a half-hour scenic flight. Until mid-October the package includes a glass of bubbles or a wine-tasting.

Contact: Auckland Seaplanes, (09) 390-1111 or e-mail info@waihekewings.co.nz

Matakana Sculptureum trail

More than 750 sculptures and artworks are sure to delight and inspire visitors to Sculptureum in Matakana. Around 1.5km of flat, wheelchair-accessible paths meander through the gardens. A July-only Family Pass is $85 (usually $110) and is valid for two adults and up to three children.
Visitors can lunch at the on-site restaurant, Rothko, or grab a bite from Freddies Garden Bar. Open from 11am-5pm Thursday to Sunday, this art park is just outside Matakana town centre, an hour's drive north of Auckland.

Contact: Sculptureum, (09) 422 7375 or e-mail mail info@sculptureum.net or book on-line at sculptureum.nz

Story of the South: Dunedin

See the South Island in a new light on a Southern Stories guided holiday.
In Dunedin, learn about scarfie life while strolling the historic grounds of New Zealand's first university; meet the owners of a sustainably produced hazelnut orchard in Oamaru and walk the Kepler Track with experts. A small group seven-day coach tour from Christchurch to Queenstown with all transport, accommodation, many meals and experiences is priced from $3485pp, bookings are flexible for amendments until 30 days before travel. Secure your place with a $99 deposit by September 15.

Contact: your travel agent or Trafalgar, 0800 484 333 or book online at trafalgar.com/en-nz/tours/t/southern-stories

Marlborough's rural romance

Make a romantic get-away to the heart of Marlborough's wine-making country with two nights at Heritage-listed Woodside in a Garden Suite, home-cooked breakfasts, local cheeses and wine, cookies and fresh home-grown walnuts. Your hosts will even arrange a private tasting for two at Whitehaven Cellar Door. From $590 for two adults, book and stay by October 31.

Contact: Marlborough B&B, (03) 570 5430 or e-mail stay@marlboroughbb.nz or book online at marlboroughbb.nz

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