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Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!  

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Queenstown in Autumn


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Come to Queenstown in Autumn and live like a local!  You won’t be disappointed, and you don’t need to spend a fortune in this resort town to have a good time. 

We liken Queenstown in Autumn to a very sublime cocktail as it is blessed with the most beautiful and spectacular surroundings of mountains and lakes, mixed with those stunning autumnal colours of the South and stirred up with the town’s great vibe.  It’s cool!!

Have you been to Queenstown before and ticked off most of the attractions or do you like to immerse yourself in the local scene and mingle with the locals and experience a place as they do? This list of experiences from our hosts at our Bella Vista Queenstown accommodation will have you discovering Queenstown just like a local!

Arrowtown displays the red and gold splendour of Autumn like no other place in the South and this year kicks off its 34th Festival.  A time when the community gets together in a fun-filled event of activities, food and wine, crafts, children’s workshops, exhibitions, shows and music.   A highlight of the festival is the free street parade featuring fabulous floats and colourful characters.   Visit the Arrowtown Bakery for some picnic treats and you are set. 

 

Arrowtown in Autumn

 

Autumn in Queenstown is still a great time to get out and about and you’ll see lots of locals out on their bikes or walking the many trails.  There are many options for hiring bikes and your hosts at the Bella Vista Queenstown can point you in the right direction depending on where you would like to explore.  If walking is more your thing a popular trail is the Lake Hayes Loop Track or if the snow hasn’t arrived yet, drive up the Remarkables access road and walk up to the glacial waters of Lake Alta or the Lookout for fabulous views over the Wakatipu Basin. 

 

Lake Hayes and Remarkables Mountain

 

Another of Queenstown’s popular free activities is Frisbee Golf.  There are now 2 courses, one scattered through the beautiful Queenstown Gardens and another located by the Shotover River near Quail Rise. This is a great activity to get out and experience the beautiful outdoors and have some fun.

If you need that coffee hit each day or fancy a leisurely lunch, then check out these recommended places Bob’s Weigh or Bespoke in central Queenstown or out of town, try The Boatshed overlooking the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.

The local Saturday morning Remarkables Market, open till mid-April, located in the Red Barn down from Remarkables Park Shopping Centre has a great vibe.  Pick up some fresh seasonal fruit or veges, pastries or other local delicacies along with art and crafts and while away some time listening to a local performer.

 

Remarkables Market

 

If the rivers are still low, taking a 4WD along one of the many local tracks and river crossings is always a fun day out and a favourite is to 4WD through Skippers Canyon.

If you are after that sweet treat then head on in to the Remarkables Sweet Shop for some fudge tasting, or the delectable Patagonia ice-cream parlour. So rewarding after a day out! Both of these great outlets are in downtown Queenstown and Arrowtown.

And when you slow down into the autumnal evenings, grab some Fish ‘n’ Chips from Erik's or a legendary burger from Fergburger and head down to the beach for a picnic dinner at Lake Wakatipu.  Local’s tip: Ring Fergburger and pre-order if you don’t like waiting in queues.  If the weather is starting to get chilly head inside to one of the many outstanding restaurants – they may even have that cozy fire going!

Check out a Quiz Night and mingle at a local pub or head back to Arrowtown to catch a movie at the boutique cinema, bar and bookshop Dorothy Brown’s. 

So, get your Autumn in Queenstown started.  Firstly, book your Queenstown accommodation with Bella Vista Motels.  You can do this at www.bellavista.co.nz and take advantage of the ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ option.  The Bella Vista Queenstown is centrally located with free parking and WiFi and all room options have kitchenettes.  The friendly team are there to help you experience Queenstown like a local.

Enjoy!


Easter Getaways


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With Easter, and the excuse to over indulge in delicious chocolate just around the corner, why not start thinking about where to head to next!

It’s our last long holiday before we start heading into the cooler months, so we’ve taken all the hard work out of it and uncovered your next exciting escape with Bella Vista! Here's a few ideas:

New Plymouth

A great place to explore this Easter holiday is New Plymouth - one of New Zealand’s best surf regions with a spectacular coastline for a great beach getaway.  Our New Plymouth motel is ideally situated just a few minutes’ stroll to the fabulous coastal walkway track. The track stretches 12.7km along the picturesque coastline offering amazing views, great beaches and outdoor art displays such as the iconic Wind Wand or the Te Rewa Rewa bridge.  

 

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge New Pymouth

 

Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes and while away some time exploring rock pools, or head out to Sugar Loaf Marine Park, home to seals, seabirds and other marine life. You can snorkel, dive, swim, kayak or take a tour.  A top tip from our Bella Vista New Plymouth hosts is to make sure you also visit Giles Chocolatier to indulge in artisanal chocolate tastings or a decadent hot chocolate – I hear the Star Anise Hot Chocolate is yummy!

Wellington

Whilst we are spoilt for choice on locations in our beautiful country, we concluded that it’s hard to go past our capital, Wellington.  The vibrant feel to this city is obvious as soon as you head out for a stroll, with its sophistication, quirky corners and cosmopolitan mix of cafes, restaurants, bars. Wellington very rarely disappoints. You also have plenty of options to pick up an Easter treat. Take a tour at the Wellington Chocolate Factory who produce delicious organic artisan chocolates, or visit Butler’s Chocolate Café, specialist chocolatier and coffee chain, serving handmade sweets, pastries and sandwiches.

Our Bella Vista accommodation in Wellington is perfectly situated in Evans Bay, only a few minutes’ walk to restaurants and 5 minutes’ drive to beaches such as Oriental Bay. Our Wellington motel is a fantastic option as it provides a quieter location with a bit more space to relax.  Wellington Airport, Wellington Waterfront, Te Papa Museum, the Ferry Terminal and Westpac Stadium are only minutes’ drive away.

The capital city ticks all the boxes!

 

Wellington Bella Vista

 

Blenheim

Blenheim is the hub of the Marlborough region, gateway to the Marlborough Sounds, and our Blenheim motel accommodation is the perfect base for your Easter adventure in the Marlborough district. Marlborough's varied attractions include its wine industry, the waterways of the Marlborough Sounds, gourmet foods, adventure activities, museums and heritage centres, relaxing recreational opportunities and so much more. Enjoy the walks along the banks of the Taylor River or catch the Delta Queen paddle steamer for a journey on the river. Take a drive to the outskirts of Blenheim to Riverlands Cob Cottage, an early Marlborough dwelling furnished in the original pioneer style. Or for the more adventurous visit the Wither Hills Mountain Bike Park, a 40-hectare mountain bike park crisscrossed with tracks and offering visitors loads of fun for all levels of rider.

From the moment you arrive you'll enjoy the convenience that our Blenheim motel has to offer.  The Bella Vista Blenheim is near to the town centre for shops, business, entertainment and other activities, and just minutes from the many well-known Marlborough vineyards. There are an enormous number of vineyards to explore in Blenheim, either on your own or as part of a tour: Saint Clair, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay, Allan Scott, Spy Valley, Lawson’s Dry Hills, are only but a few.  Our hosts at the Bella Vista Blenheim will happily offer local advice on any of these activities and help you make any reservations.

 

Blenheim Vineyards

 

Queenstown

Queenstown always inspires when considering a holiday.  Whether for the adventurous at heart, those seeking solace in the beauty of its surrounds, getting together with friends or family, its possibilities are endless.

Our Bella Vista Queenstown motel accommodation is in the heart of Queenstown and only 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre or the mesmerising lake where you have many options to get out on and explore including the TSS Earnslaw steamship, jet boating, cruising, fishing or a thrilling and ultimate ride in the Hydro Attack.  Don’t forget kids and big kids alike can have fun freestyle trampolining at SITE, or visit Game Over, home to the Grand Prix Indoor karting track and laser tag.  Right next door is the Remarkables Park Market on Saturdays, a great place to relax, taste the local delicacies and enjoy the vibe. 

At this time of year, the trees are starting to turn those vibrant autumnal colours and what better place to see this than at one of the many vineyards whilst sipping on a Pinot Noir!  Or get yourself a finger-licking chocolatey treat from Patagonia and watch the world go by on the Queenstown waterfront.

The attractions that are going to bring you to Queenstown really are endless the team at Bella Vista Queenstown look forward to hosting you!

 

Queenstown. TSS Earnslaw and the Remarkables

So book now at www.bellavista.co.nz and secure your Easter break.

 


Top 10 Motel Tips. Know Before you Go!


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If you are travelling to New Zealand or are a resident Kiwi, there is a good chance you're already aware that New Zealand motels offer a great option for your overnight accommodation needs.

With 27 motels nationwide, Bella Vista is well placed to cater for anyone requiring a motel stay. They are affordable, comfortable and convenient plus in most instances, you will get a better feel for your locality. Whether you stay at Bella Vista Oamaru, Bella Vista Hamilton or Bella Vista Queenstown you will enjoy the hospitality of your Bella Vista host and be assured that each motel is Qualmark endorsed.

Unlike hotels, motels in New Zealand are not big complexes, will not have an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, lobby area, nor different staff for each department. But then you don't have to pay for these extras either! By comparison, Bella Vista Motels will have a welcoming reception area, a convenient carpark, some public spaces such as a garden or BBQ area and guest units within a secure courtyard. 

As Bella Vista's are managed by the owners/operator, you will certainly enjoy Bella Vista's genuine kiwi hospitality; a laid back and down to earth style and attitude.

Up to this point, if you have now decided to make a reservation with Bella Vista Accommodation Nationwide, here are 10 light-hearted tips you really should know before you arrive at the motel

1. There's no slippers

Yep. So there it is. We thought we'd get this out of the way first. Bella Vista nor New Zealand motels in general offer complimentary slippers. We understand you're disappointed so do make sure you pack your own.

2. Bella Vista motels are two storeys tall and do not have an elevator

Requests cannot always be guaranteed, but if you'd prefer to be on the ground floor please make sure you book with the motel and place your request directly rather than via a booking websites.
 

Bella Vista Motel

3. Please don't dry your clothes on the heater

Be very careful as it will create a significant safety risk. Covering a heater can cause fire.

4. Leave your luggage in the car

On your arrival, relax and leave your belongings in your car. Save your time and energy so that you only have to carry your luggage once, from your car to your room, after you have checked in.

5. Bella Vista Motel reception is not open 24/7

Bella Vista owner operators live on-site and do go to bed at night. They need their rest to ensure they can be bright and look after you during the day. So if you are going to check-in later than the advertised office hours, please make sure you let your host know.

6. Check-out time is 10 o'clock

For Bella Vista and most motels in New Zealand, check-out time is 10am. You can request a late-check out from your host which may be available.

7. Drying Dishes

In New Zealand we dry the dishes with a tea towel after being washed and then put them back in the cupboard. Just a friendly request not to put wet dishes back in the cupboard!

 

Bella Vista Motel Cupboard

8. Enjoy an electric blanket

Electric blankets are terrific inventions and it seems that many hotels don't even know they exist. They are particularly useful in winter. Simply turn it on at least an hour before go to bed to get your bed warm and then turn it off once you're in bed before you sleep.

9. Make your own breakfast

Every Bella Vista room features a kettle and toaster, complimentary tea, coffee and milk. So feel free to add some extras and put together a half-decent breakfast before you leave.

 

Bella Vista Continental Breakfast

10.  Be Aware of the T&C's

Terms and Conditions sound so tedious but they are there for a reason. So it is important that you understand them once you have completed your booking. Look specifically for cancellation and amendment policies so you can be sure your booking won't become problematic. 

With these tips now safely stored, head to www.bellavista.co.nz and book your next stay.


10 Reasons to Book Direct with Bella Vista


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Today, Wednesday 7th February is global #bookdirect day. It’s the one day in the calendar year where the hospitality industry including the 27 nationwide Bella Vista Motels would like to remind our valuable customers that you can Book Direct with Bella Vista New Zealand and that you don’t have to book via an Online Travel Agent.

But why Book Direct we hear you cry. Well here’s a few reasons:

1. The Best Price.

Don’t always believe what you read and hear! You will always get a better price booking with your host. It costs them less to receive your booking over the phone, on the Bella Vista website or by email as they don’t have to pay agent commission  - so ignore those annoying adverts and visit www.bellavista.co.nz or dial our Freephone reservation number 0800 235 528. Quite often you might even receive a special offer.

Book Direct with Bella Vista

2. Flexibility.

Enjoy the most favourable booking conditions with no hassle of having to work through a faceless intermediary. Phone your host and they are going to be more than happy to assist every single time. Surely that has to be better than contacting an offshore call centre and finding out no one really wants to help you amend your booking.

3.  Local Knowledge.

Whilst making your reservation, your host will answer all your questions about your stay without hesitation and no doubt offer some friendly advice at the same time. Take your time to pick their brains to make the most of your visit.

4.  Secure your favourite room.

By booking direct and talking to your host, you can request your preferred room. Whether it’s a garden view, an upstairs or downstairs studio, make your request and fingers crossed the room is available.  This simply isn’t possible to do with an online travel agent.

5. Help is at hand!

Have you ever had a booking with an online travel agent go wrong? Let’s just say the booking engine has a failed and you have booked a room that you think is available when in actual fact it isn’t. It’s not your fault. It’s not the motel or hotels fault but you’re the one left to pick up the pieces. If you want to avoid this disastrous scenario, book direct every time.

6. Book Now, Pay Later.

Secure your booking and pay when you arrive. That’s always going help with the holiday cash-flow

7. Earn Bella Vista Rewards.

Only customers who Book Direct are entitled to collect Bella Vista Rewards. If you Book Direct you will earn 5 points every time you stay which can be saved and then cashed in against a future stay. So booking direct is not only cheaper but we give you something back – how good is that!*  *available at participating Bella Vista's only

Bella Vista Rewards

8. Support the New Zealand economy!

Every time you book via one of these monolithic online travel agents, your money is leaving the country and only a small portion gets returned to your host when you stay. It may be you don’t care whether the government is able to capture it’s GST slice,  but why should other countries profit either.

9. Put a smile on your hosts faces.

There is nothing your host will like more than a booking that has come directly to them. You making them happy will in turn increase the likelihood of them making your stay even better!

10. Free Continental Breakfast.

If you Book Direct on the Bella Vista website today, Wednesday 7th February, we’re going to give you a free breakfast when you stay. Just as a little way of saying thanks.

Bella Vista Continental Breakfast

So whether it’s Bella Vista Queenstown you’re heading to, Bella Vista Hamilton, Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier or Bella Vista Christchurch here are your Book Direct options:

  • ­   Visit www.bellavista.co.nz
  • ­   Call 0800 235 528
  • ­   Email info@staybellavista.co.nz

#bookdirect   #trustbellavista


When Quality Counts


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In the modern digital age, every person travelling with a smartphone, iPad or other device has the opportunity to both read and post reviews and ratings on their overnight experience.

Whether they choose to leave their thoughts and opinions on Trip Advisor, Google, or a booking agent’s website, this very public feedback has guaranteed that New Zealand accommodation standards must remain high and guest expectations are met, every time.

The evolution of user centric feedback is an overwhelmingly positive development for the travel and tourism industry and ensures the general public can be fully informed about their purchasing decision by peers rather than by some clever marketing words or sales pitch.  It’s the way things should be.

 

Customer Reviews


The digital feedback revolution is something that the Bella Vista Accommodation network fully supports.  All positive feedback allows our terrific motel operators to take comfort that they are delivering a great experience.  Of course no motelier wants to receive a poor review but when that does occasionally occur, more often than not, it’s an easy fix and we are able to improve our offer.

One critical point that the customer seems to miss when using peer-to-peer reviews, however, is that these ratings are really only scratching the surface and are simply a superficial overview.  Important questions that all New Zealand motels should be able to answer often get left unasked. Those question should include;

  • How robust are your health and safety policies and practices?
  • What does your businesses environmental footprint look like?
  • Do you engage and give back to your local community ?
  • Do you have an emergency plan to ensure I can rely on you in the unlikely event of a natural disaster?
  • What do your cleaning schedules and systems look like and do they meet not just international standards by my standards?

This is where Quality really comes into the equation of deciding where you want to stay.  In Bella Vista’s opinion, only accommodation operators who have been audited by a recognisable external and independent organisation can really promote their accommodation business with any kind of credible quality or star rating.

Qualmark a mark of quality

Bella Vista works closely with Qualmark,  New Zealand’s official quality assurance
organisation who provide a trusted guide to quality travel experiences in New Zealand.  Qualmark's business advisors visit Bella Vista motels at least once a year ensuring we
are checked against best- ​practise operating standards and the optimum customer
experience delivery.

There is a huge amount of evidence that business planning, good management and
solid processes as audited by Qualmark result in a better product.  Furthermore, research
shows that an identifiable mark of quality is an important deciding factor when customer’s
etermine where they book.  Certainly any motel promoting itself as ‘self-rated’ does not
provide the necessary credibility any guest to New Zealand deserves.

 

From 4 Star rated Bella Vista Queenstown in the south to 4.5 Star rated Bella Vista Whangarei in the north, Bella Vista takes pride in the fact that we are the only motel chain in New Zealand that is Qualmark endorsed across each of our 27 comfortable and convenient locations.

 

Bella Vista Motels

 

#trustbellavista


Take to the Lake with Bella Vista


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New Zealand is blessed with an abundance of beautiful lakes that have been picture perfectly set amongst lush green native bush or with a backdrop of rugged snow-capped mountains.  Many have been carved out by glaciers or created through volcanic activity, some offer awe-inspiring views and others are so blue they take your breath away.  Together they provide a playground for fresh water recreation throughout the country.  Whether for boating or fishing, walking or photography, swimming or pondering, a trip to a lake will inspire anyone.  

Check out our top 5 fabulous lakeside destinations, combine with a few nights at Bella Vista accommodation, and create a wonderful getaway experience.


Rotorua

What better place to start than with the North Island Lakes District surrounding Rotorua.  The region has around 20 lakes mostly formed due to volcanic activity, with Lake Rotorua being its largest. The city of Rotorua sits on the south shore where you will find your Bella Vista accommodation. Your Rotorua motel is central to all of Rotorua’s main city tourist attractions, within walking distance to the CBD, lakefront and ‘Eat Street’ restaurants, and located across the road from Kuirau Park with its steaming lake and bubbling mud pools.

The area is well known for its thermal hot springs such as Whakarewarewa and cold springs of Hamurana, Rainbow and Fairy.  Famous for trout fishing, it’s also a popular resort for boating, swimming and picnics.  Cruise the lake on the spectacular Lakeland Queen paddle steamer or have some family fun on a WWII amphibious vehicle.  From your Rotorua accommodation you can explore further afield to Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi (The Blue and Green Lakes), two small lakes lying between Lake Rotorua and Lake Tarawera and nick-named for their brilliant blue and green hues; or to Lake Rotomahana, the deepest of the Rotorua lakes, featuring steaming rock walls and the purest strain of rainbow trout in the world.

 

Lake Rotorua

 

Taupo

The Rotorua region is also part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone in the North Island which has been active for over 2 million years and continues to be highly active. The zone was named after Lake Taupo, a flooded caldera that was created by an ancient eruption to become the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand.  Lake Taupo, according to Maori legend, is the pumping heart of the North Island and this is certainly true when it comes to being a holiday destination. Taupo is popular for fishing, kayaking, cycling, golf, geothermal walks, lake cruises and many other outdoor activities. Your Bella Vista Taupo accommodation is situated on the fringe of the town centre only a short stroll from shops, restaurants and cafes and a 5-minute drive from the mighty Huka Falls, a must-do during your stay!  Your Taupo motel is also a great base for exploring the Tongariro National Park and after a day exploring or adventure you can relax and soothe your body in one of the natural mineral or hot thermal pools in the town.

The Southern Lakes region of the South Island New Zealand, as the name suggests is home to three stunning lake settings: Lake Wanaka, Lake Wakatipu and Lake Te Anau. 

 

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is spectacular.  Set amongst mountains the resort town is the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park in the Southern Alps and close to Treble Cone and Cardrona Ski fields.  Wanaka Bella Vista is only 150 metres from the lakes edge, a perfect location for you to safely park and explore on foot.  Stylish shops, restaurants & cafes, galleries and wine bars are just a minute’s stroll from your door making it the most perfect Wanaka accommodation choice.  If fishing, tramping and other adventure activities are not your thing then meander along the water front, pick your spot, settle in with a good book or contemplate the wonder, beauty and serenity you find yourself in.

 

Lake Wanaka

 

Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu, z-shaped like a lightening bolt, was carved out by a glacier more than 15,000 years ago during the last ice age.  It’s said to have its own ‘heartbeat’ – the phenomenon called a lake seiche, whereby the water rises and falls about 20cm every 27 minutes.  Make sure you find out about the Maori explanation for the seiche, the ‘Legend of the Lake’ and why the beautiful Manata, daughter of a local Maori chief was at the centre of the cause.  Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is the alpine and resort town of Queenstown.  The vibrant energetic town draws in backpackers and adventurers to film makers and stars from around the globe.  With warm summers and spectacular winters, it’s a year-round holiday destination offering unlimited adventure. Your Bella Vista Queenstown motel accommodation is in the heart of Queenstown and only 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre or the mesmerising lake where you have many options to get out on and explore including the TSS Earnslaw steamship, jet boating, cruising, fishing or a thrilling and ultimate ride in the Hydro Attack.

 

Lake Wakatipu Sunset

 

Te Anau

Te Anau is the hub of the Fiordland region, nestled on the outskirts of Fiordland National Park, a world Heritage area and the ‘Walking Capital of the World’, and lying on the shores of Lake Te Anau against a backdrop of dramatic and wild scenery.  Lake Te Anau is open all year round for fishing and there are experienced guides who can take you to some local hot spots.  The lake is also great for cruising - take a 2 ½ hour guided trip to the caves and glow-worm grotto on the lakes edge.  Bella Vista Te Anau, located in a quiet street, adjacent to a park, is the closest motel to the town centre and just a few minutes stroll to the lakefront.  It’s a great base to explore lakes further afield and is highly rates as an excellent Te Anau motel choice. Take a twilight walk on Fraser’s Beach or stop in at the pub for a drink and soak in the breath-taking views of Lake Manapouri or venture along the road to Milford Sound to Mirror Lakes, a short walk off the road takes you to a set of lakes with lovely reflections of the Earl Mountains. 

 

Your friendly Bella Vista hosts can help book any of your lakeside activities or provide you with local tips to help you have an enjoyable stay.  So head to the lake this summer with your Bella Vista motel accommodation all booked for some unbeatable fun.

 


6 Beach Holiday Destinations with Bella Vista


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It’s shaping up to be a fantastic summer especially if the forecast outlook of higher than normal temperatures across the country stays on course.  New Zealand beach holidays here we come!

Bella Vista has a range of motel accommodation throughout New Zealand that is ideal for your holiday at the beach. Whether you are travelling as a couple or a family, Bella Vista offers a range of rooms to meet your needs. Being centrally located they are close to restaurants and shops and many are just a short walk from the water’s edge or a short drive to explore beaches further afield. 

Dream up images of sea, jandals, ice-cream, BBQ’s, waves, sand, fishing, sundowners, surfing, long walks along the beach, sandcastles, crabs, chilly bins, rock-pools, togs and of course lots of laughter! 

Our Whangarei accommodation is a perfect base to explore the beaches of Northland. The beautiful coastline is only a short drive away and features remote coves, dramatic headland, off-shore islands and world class diving at the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, with popular safe swimming, good surf breaks and plentiful fishing. 

Whangarei Heads

Taranaki is one of New Zealand’s best surf regions and our New Plymouth motel is ideally situated just a few minutes’ stroll to the fabulous coastal walkway track. The track stretches 12.7km along the picturesque coastline offering spectacular views, beaches and rock pools, outdoor art displays such as the iconic Wind Wand or the Te Rewa Rewa bridge, playgrounds and of course coffee stops! Beaches such as Fitzroy and Back Beach are near the town and the Bella Vista New Plymouth Motel have bikes on offer for you to get out and explore. Or you can cruise Surf Highway 45 visiting other top spots or book yourself a surf lesson with a local expert. Also head out to Sugar Loaf Marine Park, home to seals, seabirds and other marine life. You can snorkel, dive, swim, kayak or take a tour.

Gisborne is the ultimate summer beach destination, it’s the gateway city to exploring the beaches of the East Coast of the North Island, it’s the first city to see the morning sun, boasts world-famous award-winning wines and fantastic surf beaches. 

Enjoy the convenience of your Gisborne motel accommodation with the Bella Vista Gisborne which is situated only minutes from the airport and the beautiful sandy beaches with plenty of off-street parking and an easy walk to town centre. There are many attractions in the area to discover such as Dive Tatapouri where you can interact and get up close to Stingray, Yellowtail Kingfish, Crayfish, Trevally, Kahawai and even Octopus.

After a day playing on the beachhead to the natural hot pools at Morere Springs Scenic Reserve for a rejuvenating soak in the mineralised waters. They are popular with the locals and off-the-beaten-track just a 330-minute drive from Gisborne.

Exploring further afield you have the beautiful wild Mahia Peninsular, a hilly promontory with sandy coves, rocky bays, long golden beaches which attracts many visitors to outdoor sports and walking tracks. Only 45 minutes from Gisborne is Tolaga Bay, a small seaside town famous for its 660-metre historic wharf, a great place to dangle your fishing rod. Here you can take a picnic and stroll along the Cooks Cove Walkway to where in 1769, Captain Cook halted to repair his ship, the Endeavour, and take on fresh supplies. Once you reach the cove you can explore the hole-in-the-wall.

Tologa Bay Wharf

Napier and Wellington are also good spots for some summer fun. Our Napier motel is located just minutes from the waterfront and Marine Parade, which includes a boardwalk, skate park, the National Aquarium of New Zealand, sunken gardens, Ocean Spa Swimming Complex, Mini Golf and not to forget a fantastic ice-cream shop. Whilst our Bella Vista accommodation in Wellington is perfectly situated in Evans Bay, only a few minutes’ walk to restaurants and 5 minutes’ drive to beaches such as Oriental Bay, Wellington’s own slice of beach paradise close to the CBD and other attractions.

Nelson is the oldest city in the South Island. It’s a mecca for artists and craftsmen, has a perfect climate for growing grapes and faces Tasman Bay. The Bella Vista Nelson motel is located on Tahunanui Drive, just a short stroll from Nelson’s famous Tahuna Beach, great for swimming, windsurfing, jogging, walking, sun worshipping and general holiday making. And plenty of fun can be had at the Tahunanui Fun Park – hydroslide, bumpa boats and mini golf – along with other attractions at Tahunanui beach offering loads of sunshine entertainment.

Abel Tasman National Park

The Abel Tasman National Park is on Nelson’s doorstep offering hiking, kayaking and cruising along its sheltered coastline with crystal clear turquoise waters.  Home to the Tonga Island Marine Reserve and the Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s “9 Great Walks”, the environment is yours to enjoy!

Don't delay, book your Bella Vista beach holiday today. Call 0800 235 528.

 


Hokitika - A Cool Little Town


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Have you ever found a destination and wanted to stay longer or booked an extra night to continue exploring and enjoy your time away? Let us introduce you to Hokitika. It's an absolute gem. A delightful West Coast town with plenty on offer to see and do.

Naturally, we'd recommend you base yourself at the Bella Vista Hokitika motel accommodation, situated only 5 minutes’ walk from the town centre shops and the beach – a superb location!  And with off-street parking, you can leave the car and walk or get out exploring on your bike.

The great thing about Hokitika is that it is so close to the NZ native bush, its steeped in history from the Gold Rush and has many attractions and activities that are free. It's a destination that won’t break the bank, will guarantee full days visiting attractions and activities and give you the chance to put your feet up at the end of the day and enjoy a sundowner.

Friends recently had 4 nights at their Hokitika accommodation (they originally booked 3 nights) and their hosts Dale and Claire at Bella Vista were fantastic offerings some great tips about the local area and attractions. Dining was also easy as the Bella Vista rooms all have kitchenettes and the supermarket is a 2-minute drive away.  A popular fish’n’chip shop, pizzeria, bakeries and other great restaurants are also only within a 5-minute walk.

Here are some of the attractions they managed to tick off the list and some they have marked for a return holiday in the future.

Sunset Point & Hokitika Beach

The West Coast gets some spectacular sunsets and what better place to view one than from Sunset Point at the entrance to the Hokitika Harbour.  While you watch the sky turn shades of pink and orange, the kids can scramble over the rocks, collect driftwood, scour the beach for Pounamu (NZ Jade) or hang out on the replica of the ‘Tambo’ shipwreck.
 

Hokitika drift-wood


Lake Kaniere

A beautiful lake located 30km southwest of Hokitika amongst lush native bush. Lake Kaniere is steeped in history and is a great place to explore by way of the many trails. From short walks like the Kahikatea Forest Walk, the trees here are known as ‘Giants of the Forest’ and are New Zealand’s tallest forest tree and have been around since the Jurassic period. Another trail delivers you to a magical place featuring Dorothy Falls or takes the longer historic Kaniere Water Race Walkway. Whichever way you head, take a picnic and easily amble away the day.

Hokitika Gorge

The Hokitika Gorge can be combined in a scenic loop with Lake Kaniere and Dorothy Falls. The bright turquoise waters make a vivid contrast to the surrounding bush and rocky outcrops of the Hokitika river and are well worth the visit. It’s an easy walk from the carpark into the forest to a viewing platform that looks down onto the stunning Hokitika Gorge. From here continue till the track emerges onto a swing bridge and more stunning views. Still, further, the track then continues to another viewing platform or down onto a small beach. It's magical.
 

Hokitika Gorge


Hokitika Heritage Trail & Township

The heritage trail is an 11km loop around the town that takes in interesting Goldrush sites, buildings, statues and views. There are information panels along the way that bring the history to life.

Hokitika is home to many artisans providing a wide range of arts and crafts. Pounamu (NZ Jadeor was otherwise known as Greenstone) and gold are sourced locally and feature in many of the works. Wander around town and visit these craft shops to watch the artists at work – discover the art of jade carving and glass blowing. Its interesting for all ages. You can even have a go at carving your own jade or bone piece.

Goldsborough

Just as the name suggests Goldsborough is known for its gold-mining history and scenic surrounds. You can get out searching for gold on some of the great little walks in the area. The 20-minute Tunnel Terrace Walk is a great option for kids as it starts and ends through old gold mining tailrace tunnels. The track meanders through a regenerating forest and through old gold workings.

Glow Worm Dell

You should never pass up an opportunity to see glow worms in the NZ bush. Our friends had a wonderful experience. While visiting a local family they were taken through a creek on their property that was dense with bush on both sides. As they waded down the creek at night, apparently they were completely absorbed in the magical fairylike lights of the glow worms whilst the stars twinkled through the canopy of the bush. Sounds amazing! 

Hokitika has an easily accessible Glow Worm Dell which is a must see, located just north of the town on the main road. A 50-metre track leads to a natural fern grotto by day and a magical world of glow worms by night. Take a torch and the coolest thing is that is free!!

Treetop Walk & Café

Located 15 minutes south of Hokitika, experience a walk amongst the canopy of the mature rimu forest on a 450 metre long elevated steel walkway, viewing tower and gently swaying cantilever. Spectacular views can be had of nearby Lake Mahininapua, the surrounding forest and the Southern Alps.

Hokitika promotes itself as a Cool Little Town. And we think quite rightly so.


7 Great Queenstown Walks with Bella Vista


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As the weather warms up and puts a spring in our step it’s time to pull out those walking shoes and venture into the great outdoors.  And what better place to visit than Queenstown!

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the longest lake in New Zealand, and surrounded by majestic mountains such as The Remarkables, Queenstown is renowned for its scenic beauty, adventure sports, wineries and amazing walks. The surrounding mountains insulate Queenstown from much of the weather that impacts New Zealand allowing for a dry and sunny climate. Although cold in the winter, there are very few days in the year when a walk of some sort is not possible. In fact, it’s a walkers paradise!

Of course, there are the ‘Great Walks’ that we have all heard of like The Routeburn Track and Milford Track, but there are many day walks around the Wakatipu basin that have spectacular views of Queenstown and the stunning scenery that surrounds this patch of paradise. For many of the best walks you don’t even need to go far from the town centre, making your Queenstown Bella Vista Motel Accommodation a perfect base to set out exploring from.

Being one of the closest motels to the CBD, our Queenstown motel is only 5 minutes’ walk from the start of many trails such as the lakefront, Queenstown Hill and Bobs Peak.

Here the team at the Bella Vista motel have shared some of their favourite walks and not all them require an uphill slog.

1. Queenstown Hill Loop

This moderate three-hour walk starts and finishes on Belfast Street, climbs up through pine forest to the ‘Basket of Dreams’, a favourite lookout spot. Continuing through tussock to the summit of Queenstown Hill for magnificent views over The Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu, central Queenstown and surrounding mountains.

Lake Wakatipu

 

2. The Frankton Arm Walkway

The Frankton Arm walkway is a relatively wide flat trail that leads all the way to Frankton alongside the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu. From central Queenstown cross through the beautiful Queenstown Gardens to the start of the walk. There are numerous small beaches to stop at, lake-side houses and gardens that you pass. And a rewarding coffee break can be had at the historic Boatshed Café at the marina.

3.Queenstown Tiki Trail                                                    

Starting at the bottom of the Skyline Gondola the Tiki Trail is an iconic trail that winds its way through pine forest towards the lookout at the top. Once there you can relax, enjoy a coffee whilst taking in the magnificent view, or have an exhilarating luge ride before making your way back down, either by the trail or there is an option of journeying down in the Gondola!

4.Ben Lomond

A climb of Ben Lomond is not to be missed on any keen walker’s visit to Queenstown. The Tiki Trail, is just the warm up before continuing along the Ben Lomond walkway, heading for the summit, or saddle. At 800m you break out from the pines and walk amongst the alpine tussock and shrubs. Then it’s a steep uphill mission to Ben Lomond’s 1748m summit. Allow 5-8 hours to reach the summit and be prepared for snow above the treeline. On a clear day Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring are visible and a brass plane table identifies the surrounding mountains. The tradition is to climb Ben Lomond before dawn on New Year’s Eve to witness the sunrise. Anyone up for it?

5. Lake Hayes Loop

Situated just 15 mins drive from Queenstown lies the beautiful Lake Hayes, a popular spot for picnics and swimming in the summer, the home to a population of Australasian crested grebe, and the setting for many a wedding. The 8km Lake Hayes loop track is popular with locals and the undulating path circles by its shores or above on a ridgeline with picturesque and stunning views. The best time to walk the track is in the morning when you have a chance to catch the calm reflections of the willow trees, mountains and lakefront houses on the water which is magical.

 

Lake Hayes

6. Twelve Mile Loop Track - Mt Creighton Scenic Reserve

Located just 11km from central Queenstown along the Glenorchy Road is this 2-4 hour loop walk that has a great mixture of interests from a beautiful stream, beech forest, historic goldmining, beautiful birdsong and extensive views. The track follows along the floor of an extensive sluiced gully and up to Sam Summers Hut, built by a prospector in the 1930s, crosses a deep gorge on a bridge before climbing to a ridge and descending through beech forest back to the carpark.

7. Kelvin Grove Walk – Kelvin Peninsula

Another popular locals’ trail, this well-formed easy 1-2hr walk is on the sunny side of the Frankton Arm and is the more attractive of the two Frankton Arm tracks. The track passes several beaches and attractive rocky shelves and is a great opportunity for a close-up view of some of the finest private homes in the Wakatipu. The Earnslaw slipway is a notable historic feature to look out for as you circle around the golf course at the tip of the peninsula.

Queenstown Gardens

At the Bella Vista Queenstown, you'll also enjoy the convenience of being located near to shops and restaurants during your stay and whilst central, the motel is also very quiet allowing you a good night's sleep after your invigorating walk in the mountain air.

Book now by phoning 0800 BELLA VISTA or visit our website to secure your Queenstown motel accommodation and start planning which walks you are inspired to explore.


Bella Vista Motels Supporting Your Community


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Bella Vista accommodation network takes its corporate responsibility seriously. We believe it is important to pay-forward and offset our business footprint by supporting New Zealand communities within which we operate. Every year a percentage of the Bella Vista motels head office funds are allocated to a worthy community cause, topping up on any activity an individual motel may have undertaken within its community.

In 2016, Bella Vista provided an array of bedding and pillows to the children of a low decile school in the Waitaki region. ‘A good night’s sleep’ is a mantra that Bella Vista follows so being able to extend that opportunity to some deserving children was certainly a worthy exercise.

Corporate Social Responsibility

This year, Bella Vista head office extended an invitation to the 27 motels throughout our New Zealand accommodation network asking for them to all pitch for a local cause that they were actively engaged with. After a robust selection process across the entries, it was determined that Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier would receive the donation.

The Bella Vista Franz Josef motel owner Adam Haugh is very involved with his communities activities and when earlier this year the Franz Josef Glacier Civil Defence team were kitting out a shipping container with supplies and equipment should a natural disaster occur - including everything from tarps, water, fluro paint and power cables, Adam hit upon an idea that once again worked in well with Bella Vista’s ‘Good Night’s Sleep’ promise.   

No other town faces natural hazard risks quite like Franz Josef Glacier. Not only does the township lie on the Alpine Fault line which snakes through New Zealand’s south island, but it is also prone to flooding from both heavy rainfall and also the ever-present risk of the Waiho River that runs adjacent to the town.

Adam proposed that Bella Vista motels could contribute towards the purchase of bedrolls that could be used to make locals and visitors more comfortable in the Community Hall when it is used for emergency accommodation. The need for bedrolls became apparent after the last Civil Defence event in Easter 2016 when visitors and locals had to be accommodated at the Community Hall.
 

Hokitika Guardian


During the height of the summer, Franz Josef holds a few thousand people along with the 350 locals. Anything that can be done to make a disruptive time more comfortable seemed like a great idea. Adam was pleased to present the bedrolls to the Civil Defence team at a training day in April.

Bella Vista was delighted to help with a great cause and, of course, we hope that the bedrolls see very little use!

Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier is a modern 18 unit motel situated right in the heart of the Franz Josef village and a highly rated Franz Josef accommodation choice. Despite the natural hazards alluded to in this article, Franz Josef Glacier is a fabulous place to visit, a very friendly small village with some great local activities such as the Glacier Hot Pools or the West Coast Wildlife Centre, interesting eateries including the Snake Bite Brewery and of course, the town is the perfect place to explore the glacier from which it takes its name. 
 

Bella Vista Hokitika