GIBBS FARM: Sculpture by the Sea, New Zealand

Jane Adams discovers rolling verdant green farmland is the setting for an extraordinary private contemporary sculpture collection overlooking Kaipara Harbour, just north of Auckland. New Zealand business magnate Alan Gibbs has been very low key about his passion – contemporary sculpture, a fascination dating back to the early 1990s when he bought his 400-hectare farm overlooking the … [Read more...]

Introducing wandermelon Journeys: Trips Designed by Travel Writers

Experience the amazing insider itineraries and off-the-charts access enjoyed by pro travel writers (without the annoying deadlines of course). "You have the best job in the world." Oh if we only had a frequent flyer mile for every time the wandermelon team has heard that sentiment expressed to us. As professional travel writers and photographers, it's true we enjoy a pretty enviable … [Read more...]

NEW ZEALAND’S Road To Happiness

Kate Ayrton connects the dots between the North and South Island on the ultimate Kiwi road trip with pit stops at some of New Zealand’s finest hotels. If you want to experience the best that New Zealand has to offer, then the concept of Relais & Chateaux’ “Routes de Bonheur” is hard to bypass. This exclusive French hotel collection has been drawing in discerning travelers since 1954 … [Read more...]

NEW ZEALAND: The Wonders of Wanaka

Kate Ayrton explores the rugged beauty of New Zealand’s spectacular Southern Alps and discovers an intimate luxury lodge that beckons intrepid travelers with its unique charms and adventurous spirit. Only an hour’s scenic drive north of Queenstown, or 20 minutes by helicopter (the favored mode of transport for locals), the low-key town of Wanaka is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the … [Read more...]

Silver Screen Sojourns

Some of the hottest tickets in travel today are film-themed excursions to destinations such as Harry Potter’s London, Woody Allen’s Barcelona or New Zealand starring as Middle Earth. How many times when watching a movie set in a foreign locale has the beauty or intrigue of that location stirred your soul so much, that you can’t stop thinking about taking your next vacation there? Movies have a … [Read more...]

HOTEL BUZZ: Minaret Station, New Zealand’s First Luxury Tented Camp

Enjoy the ultimate New Zealand high-country experience at an elevation of 914 meters in Lord of the Rings territory. At the recently opened Minaret Station, intrepid travelers can enjoy the ultimate New Zealand high-country experience at the country's first luxury tented lodge. Located deep in the jagged peaks of the Southern Alps above beautiful Lake Wanaka, Minaret Station is accessible … [Read more...]

Helping New Zealand And Australia

It’s been an extremely tough few months in the antipodes with the Queensland floods in Australia in January and then Cyclone Yasi in February, and now the Christchurch Earthquake earlier this week. At wandermelon, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, survivors, and all the good people of Queensland and Christchurch who are suffering so much at this time. On Tuesday, February 22 at … [Read more...]

New Zealand: Sailing The Marlborough Sounds

Kate Ayrton explores the South Island by sea. Located on the Northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the Marlborough Sounds is a remote pristine maritime oasis unmarred by tourist development. In fact, it’s one of New Zealand's best kept secrets and where the locals go to vacation. This intricate labyrinth of waterways consists of four Sounds–the Queen Charlotte Sound, the Kenepuru Sound, … [Read more...]

Discovering Maori Culture in New Zealand

Treetops Lodge and Estate on the North Island provides the perfect backdrop to explore the spectacular history of New Zealand’s native population, the Maori. The thermal region of Rotorua, located on the North Island, offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to discover the majestic beauty of the countryside and the rich history of New Zealand’s native population, the Maori. A third of … [Read more...]

Team USA Wins Gold At Cocktail World Cup

We didn’t win the hockey gold in Vancouver, but who cares… A trio of US bartenders stir up a winner at New Zealand’s annual 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup. If you’re still nursing an Olympic-sized hangover because the US didn’t bring home Gold at the 2010 Olympic Games, here’s something to get your spirits up: This past weekend, a team of three US bartenders: Mark Stoddard, Todd Thrasher and Sean … [Read more...]