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Las Vegas free things

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Las Vegas is all about money. Gambling, magnificent shows, fabulous hotels, great food and drinks and lots of other ways to spend your money.

When we filmed our Las Vegas special last year, we came across some really good things to do — things that cost absolutely nothing. A walk along Las Vegas Boulevard, known as The Strip, is entertaining in itself, full of colourful lights and people.

The Fountains of Bellagio is a culmination of the most ambitious, commanding water-feature ever conceived. The union of water, music and light blended with opera, classical and whimsical music is breathtaking.

It all takes place on a 3.5 hectare lake with 1200 dancing fountains made up of mini-shooters, super shooters and extreme shooters and music. It is cleverly choreographed and there are speakers everywhere, with additional speakers just for the Bell Tower's contribution.

Treasure Island is just nearby and their new show, The Sirens of TI, plays to packed crowds. It starts with a 17th century clash between a group of beautiful sirens and a band of renegade pirates. The sirens' powerful song lures the pirates to their cove, a tempest is stirred up sufficiently strong to sink a ship, and the cove is transformed into a 21st century party place.

Daring swordplay, high-diving acrobatics and amazing pyrotechnics ensure countless oohs and aahs from onlookers as they are transported to the Caribbean.

Fremont Street is the historic street that started it all. Established in 1905, it is vintage Vegas. It has had a $70 million facelift and features a four-block, canopy-covered pedestrian mall. It is home to Viva Vision, the world's largest big screen. It has 12 million lights and 550,000 watts of sound, pumped through enormous speakers.

The towering 27-metre LED screen treats you to eye-popping imagery and heart-pounding music. 'Area 51' takes you deep into outer space, 'The Drop' is a psychedelic journey through an underwater paradise filled with beautiful creatures and 'American Freedom' is a patriotic tribute to the red, white and blue. There are street concerts and roaming street performers and plenty of places to pop in for a snack.

The famous Flamingo has a wildlife habitat with a huge flock of their Chilean namesake. All creatures at Flamingo Wildlife Habitat are provided with authentic environments and fed with favourite foliage from around the world.

There are also penguins, swans, ducks, koi and turtles, all happily living in lush gardens, islands, streams and sparkling waterfalls.

A treat at the Tropicana is Air Play. It is a classic entertainment showcase but with a bold new take. The energetic 20-minute production takes place in the air. Acrobats and contortionists defy gravity and talented singers and dancers entertain with show-stopping tunes. The show changes with each performance.

The Volcano at The Mirage Resort has been a signature attraction since opening in 1989. The earth shakes, flames shoot into the night sky spewing smoke and fire 30 metres above the waters below. A tranquil waterfall transforms into spectacular streams of molten lava.

The volcano is 16 metres high and circulates 540,000 litres of water every minute. More than 3000 computerised lights simulate flowing lava. The only drawback is that the show is on a weather-permitting basis. If wind speed is over 20km/h a red light shows that the volcano will not erupt.

The Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino offers Vegas' most spectacular free show, Masquerade In The Sky. It is a $25 million interactive entertainment experience utilising state-of-the-art technology, world-class performers and top designers from around the world.

It is performed in the spirit of Carnivale with extravagant parades, exotic masks and costumes, go-go dancers in neon wigs and mirror-tiled mini dresses, stilt walkers, and live bands. Shows have four complete parades, each with its own theme, music, costumes and live performances.

Guests are invited to don exotic costumes to perform alongside world-class performers, and the lucky person receives a Rio commemorative medallion. For around $15 you can purchase a ticket at the box office and hop on one of the floats. They take up to 20 people and are loads of fun.

Stratosphere Tower puts on two one hour shows every day. It's an all American Las Vegas show of comedy, dancing, singing and revues. It's great fun.

There are free shuttle buses, which can be flagged to stop. They are stand out purple mini buses and a very comfortable. Seats are covered with faux animal fur, music plays over the speakers and they offer a terrific way to get around town, particularly in those hot desert summer months!


The south of Nevada in the United States.


The Fountains of Bellagio operates between Monday and Friday every half hour from 3pm to 8pm and every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight. The show begins at noon on weekends.

The Sirens of Treasure Island performances are at 7pm, 8.30pm, 10pm and 11.30pm.

Fremont Street performances start at dusk each day and start on the hour.

Tropicana Air Play show times are 11am and every other hour between 5pm and 9pm. They are on the main casino floor. Volcano at The Mirage is on every 15 minutes between 7pm and midnight.

Masquerade Village Sky Parade at Rio is on every day at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm.

Stratosphere Tower shows are at 2pm and 4pm every day. Free admission coupons will be found in the What's On magazine.

For further information

3600 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas NV 89109

Treasure Island
3300 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas NV 89109

Fremont Street Experience
425 Fremont Street
Las Vegas NV 89109

Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas NV 89109

Tropicana Resort and Casino
3801 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas NV 89109

The Mirage
3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas NV 89109

Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino
3700 West Flamingo
Las Vegas NV 89103

2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas NV 89109


Air New Zealand has flights to Los Angeles with one of their Star Alliance partners connections to Las Vegas.

Return economy airfares to Los Angeles for travel between March 30-June 16, 2006 and again between July 18-December 9, 2006 are:

Fares from
  • Sydney, $1947
  • Melbourne, $2028
  • Brisbane, $2030
  • Perth, $2485
  • Adelaide, $2256

Taxes are included and conditions apply.
To book call Air New Zealand on 13 24 76.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

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