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Whales Stranded on Golden Bay Beach in New Zealand

Farewell Spit,  up in the northwest tip of the South Island, has been  in the news this last week, after hundreds of Pilot whales became stranded there. Continue reading

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Weekend Walks – The Queen Charlotte Track

Regarded by many as one of the greatest coastal walks in New Zealand, The Queen Charlotte Track is diverse and picturesque, offering fantastic walking that, although a fair distance (75km or 45 miles to be precise) is not too challenging, and rewards you for your exertion with stunning landscapes and a huge variety of native flora and fauna. Continue reading

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Where We’ve Been Featured This Week

Well, we’re well into January 2017, and our busiest time of the year, so it’s all go here at Silver Fern HQ this week.

We’re busy planning our annual trip to New Zealand in May to explore places we’ve not been to yet, experience some of the new trips, adventures and activities that have opened since we were there last year and check out some new boutique accommodations that have been in touch over the past months.

We’ve also been lucky enough to feature in a couple of publications this month too…..

Media features this week…..


Responsible Travel – New Zealand Travel Guide

Last year we partnered with Responsible Travel, a Brighton based company who (in their own words) ‘work with the best specialist tour operators in the world’ to encourage responsible tourism, and ensure that not only do travellers and holiday makers have a wonderfully memorable trip, but also that local people, industries and communities benefit from visitors too.

We we’re delighted to be asked to write for their extended online New Zealand Travel Guide at the end of last year, its now online and well worth a read. Although we’ve written in several sections, it was lovely to have a little special feature with a photo in their Family Friendly New Zealand section. Our director, John has spend a lot of time travelling in New Zealand with his wife Barbara and daughter Sarah, so he has lots of travel tips to share!


John, Barbara and Sarah exploring by bicycle.

John, Barbara and Sarah exploring by bicycle.



Wanderlust – Top 50 trips of 2017

This week, we’ve also been featured in the Wanderlust Magazine’s Top 50 trips of 2017 – we’re number 34 – ‘ Stroll the best of new Zealand‘ with our 23 night Easy Walks of New Zealand self drive tour, where as well as some of the more famous and well known New Zealand day walks, we also share some of our favourite lesser known walks such as the Pouaki Crossing 


As always, for more information about any of the itineraries featured, or about planning your New Zealand adventure, do get in touch with us either via our website or by giving us a call at our office on  01636 813544.

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Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show

We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be exhibiting and speaking at Destinations : The Holiday & Travel Show this year.

Held in association with The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sunday Times Travel magazine,its  the UK’s biggest event for travel inspiration and takes place at Olympia London from 2 – 5 February 2017.


If you’d like to visit the show, we’re able to offer free tickets. You can get hold of these by quoting DST72 (our unique Silver Fern Holidays code) here: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration


Our director, John Lightwood will be up on stage at 10.45am on Friday 3rd of February to talk about New Zealand: Why it’s landscapes should be on your bucket list.


As well as inspirational travel advice, Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show brings together some of travel’s very best authors, TV presenters, photographers and internationally renowned musicians and performers.  Your complimentary ticket includes free entry to:

  • The Stanfords Travel Writers Festivalmeet your favourite travel authors, hear their inspiring stories and have the opportunity to purchase signed and dedicated copies at the ‘Signings at Stanfords’ shop. Headliners include Broadcast, Author and Actor Michael Palin, TV Presenter Simon Reeve, Author and Film Maker Levison Wood and many more
  • Experience The World stagessoak up new cultures, enjoy colourful performances and get a taste for exotic delicacies with hundreds of free world food and drink samples on offer
  • MASTA Travel Health Zone – enjoy a free consultation with specialist travel nurses about your next journey, pick up vital adviceabout the countries you are travelling to and win exciting prizes at the Travel Health Theatre
  • Meet the Experts Theatres – (Where we will be speaking) get inspired with new ideas as adventurers and explorers bring travel to life with over 50 hours of free talks
  • Travel Photography Masterclasses in association with CEWE PhotoBook learn how best to capture those breath-taking views and memorable moments with professional photographer Steve Davey

So why not come and meet us at Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show at Olympia London on stand AP99. Quote DST72 here to claim your free e-ticket!

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2016 – A Round Up

Gosh, where has 2016 gone? I’m sure we all say it every year, but this year really does seem to have flown by! Our busiest time of year is well underway –  New Zealand is enjoying its summer time, and we’re busy waving off travellers to enjoy an adventure of a lifetime exploring the ‘Land of the long white cloud’ – but we thought we’d take a few moments to share whats been happening here at Silver Fern Holidays over the past year… Continue reading

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Travelling in New Zealand with Kids: A Survival Guide

New Zealand is often overlooked for family holidays, especially for those with smaller children, simply because of its distance from the UK and the considerable time it takes to get there. However, we think it’s the perfect place to visit with a family, with endless activities to keep children busy and a strong focus on enjoying the great outdoors. Below we share our secrets of our favourite family friendly things to see and do. We also have advice and some top tips to ensure that the journey itself becomes part of the adventure! Continue reading

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Hanmer Springs: A Beautiful Diversion

Kaikoura Earthquake- Two Weeks On

The recent earthquake near Kaikoura has caused extensive damage to road and rail links from Picton  to Christchurch, and it will take some time for them to be repaired and business as usual to be restored.
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Earthquake on South Island

As you may be aware there was a substantial earthquake on new Zealands South island yesterday, affecting  Hanmer Springs, Kaikoura and Wellington.  Continue reading

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Our Top Five Things to Do in Akaroa

Akaroa is a pretty little historic French and English settlement just 90 minutes from Christchurch. The town of Akaroa itself is full of galleries, craft stores and cafes and the colonial architecture, lends it a unique charm that’s quite unlike anywhere else in New Zealand.
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The Best Restaurants in New Zealand Revealed

This week, Trip Advisor has announced their Travellers Choice best restaurants in New Zealand – the top spots across the country to get some seriously good food, but don’t worry if you’re travelling to New Zealand on a limited budget – it’s not all about the fine dining – there’s also a list of top recommended ‘cheap eats’ too.

Many of the restaurants recommended are ones we’ve personally visited and can vouch for – so if you have any questions about any of them, or are planning a trip to New Zealand and want to have a chat about our own recommendations for where to eat during your travels, just get in touch.

The Top Ten were decided on using a whole years worth of reviews on the popular Trip Advisor website, to gain an overall verdict of the best quality and overall experience of eateries the length and breadth of the country.

Although the top spot was awarded to the wonderful to Auckland restaurant ‘The French Café’ – previously also ranked as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by Trip Advisor – it’s great to read that there were plenty of other restaurants that made the top ten that weren’t in the biggest cities in NZ, in fact one of our absolute favourite places to eat, Hopgood’s restaurant in Nelson took the number two position.


The Mission Restaurant at the Mission Estate Winery in Napier gained a place too, and rightly so. The food there is great, and the setting, up on the hill amongst the vines is beautifully picturesque. We suggest matching an antipasto platter with a bottle of their recommended wine and spending the afternoon enjoying the views and the atmosphere at the oldest winery in New Zealand – you can take a tour too.

We’re also really delighted that one of our old favourites Logan Brown in Wellington is in the top ten. One of our team members here at Silver Fern spent five years living in Wellington, and Logan Brown was always a favourite destination for celebrating a special occasion. Housed in an old bank on Cuba Street, its high vaulted ceilings and seriously stand out food make it an un-missable choice for fine dining during any stay in New Zealand’s capital city.

There’s also the list of top ten budget friendly places to eat too – which again, our New Zealand travel expert Caroline can definitely confirm top spot status, as she used to be a regular at all of the Wellington listings!

We’ve added the list of restaurants and links to their websites below – if you’re a real foodie, get in touch and we can help to plan a culinary themed trip around New Zealand!!

Travellers’ Choice top 10 fine dining:

1. The French Cafe, Auckland.
2. Hopgoods, Nelson.
3. Clooney, Auckland.
4. The Grove, Auckland.
5. Logan Brown, Wellington.
6. No.31 Restaurant and Bar, Hanmer Springs.
7. Mission Restaurant, Napier.
8. Hippopotamus, Wellington.
9. Rata, Queenstown.
10. Botswana Butchery, Queenstown.

Travellers’ Choice top 10 cheap eats:

1. Ali Baba’s Tunisian Takeaways, Rotorua
2. Sri Pinang, Auckland
3. Turkish Delight Cafe, Mount Maunganui.
4. Little Penang, Wellington.
5. Cinema Paradiso Bar & Cafe, Wanaka.
6. Aunty Mena’s Vegetarian Cafe, Wellington.
7. KK Malaysian Restaurant, Wellington.
8. Pronto, Mount Maunganui.
9. Midnight Espresso Bar, Wellington.
10. Johnny Barrs, Queenstown.

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