On this edition of Kiwi Tripsters, we celebrate the long golden summer. We head south to Central Otago to explore the booming fruitbowl of Cromwell, and the wondrous wine and gold rush relics of blazing Bannockburn. Plus we’re joined by travel industry leader Sujata Raman, who is regional head of Abercrombie and Kent. And we escape to the pristine bush and waterworld of Abel Tasman National Park.
Bountiful Cromwell. Sitting pretty in the cradle of Central Otago, Cromwell is on a roll a s destination in its own right. Not only do you have the allure of all that succulent summer fruit, exceptional vineyards, but their heritage precinct is exceptional, you can vroom vroom your way to Highlands Motor Sports Park and check out the exhilarating new Lake Dunstan Cycling & Walking Trail.
When’ve you’ve had your fill of Cromwell, blazing Bannockburn is right next door, separated only by the sliver of the Kawarau River separating them. Bannockburn is a banger of a destination in its own right with its pinot noir being the prize draw. Surrender to the most achingly scenic cellar door and restaurant experiences and discover the fascinating legacy of the historic gold rush on the Bannockburn Sluicings Track. Parts of the landscape have been permanently altered due to hydraulic sluicing, where the upper heights of Bannockburn now resemble a miniature version of the Grand Canyon.
As the travel industry ventures into a new year, after the rigours of 2020, will 2021 usher in the resumption of international travel? One of the industry’s leading lights, Sujata Raman, who is regional head of Abercrombie & Kent, joins Kiwi Tripsters to set the scene on the year ahead, with high hopes that vaccines will liberate the world from this pandemic and revive our love of travel.
It’s revered as a hot-spot for an extra long summer season – Abel Tasman National Park. Chris Lynch and Mike Yardley compare notes on their golden impressions of this haven, where to go and your multitude of options on how best to experience one of New Zealand’s most spectacularly blissful destinations.