Getaway Fact sheets
You are here: ninemsn > Travel > Getaway > Fact sheets

North Island highlights

Thursday, April 1, 2010


The industrial working port of Napier in Hawkes Bay has loads of container ships carrying large tonnages of frozen meat, wool, pulp and timber.

Hawkes Bay is the largest cross-breed wool centre in the Southern Hemisphere and one of New Zealand's largest producers of apples, pears and stone fruit. It has become an important grape growing and wine production area.

Napier's 1930s art deco architecture has made it a popular tourist city. Far from European and American cities where 20th-century design is more common, Napier was rebuilt in the 1930s following a massive earthquake. The disaster led to the creation of a fantastic legacy of art deco, stripped classical and Spanish mission buildings in a concentrated area.

The Art Deco Trust is fanatical about preserving and promoting their unique city and a recent festival attracted 25,000 people, many dressed in 1930s style. There are guided and self-guided tours on foot or in vintage cars.

A maze 'n' fun

The Amazing Maze 'n Maize is there to confuse you. It's a six-hectare paddock of maize with 8km of paths cut to form a pictorial maze. A new maze with fresh themes and patterns is created every year. Suitable for all ages, the flat paths are suitable for wheelchairs and baby strollers. It takes around 45 minutes to complete. Along the way there are various points of interest including more than 100 kernels of knowledge.

Cornelius, the scarecrow, has a special free maze club for children aged between three and 12. Apart from the fun there are exciting benefits to be enjoyed.

Corncob Crazy Golf is a mini golf game where a corncob is the putter and the ball is soft and bouncy. The course has a rural theme and farm animals graze nearby.

A 3-D experience is there to be enjoyed in the Vortex Tunnel. There's also a PuddlePad water play area.

A picnic area at the entrance has farmyard games and family activities.


Ben Dark and the crew drove from Napier to Rotorua and visited Hells Gate Geothermal Park. The 20-hectare area has a wide variety of thermal features, including steaming fumaroles and hot pools of boiling mud, so violent they are quite unnerving.

Follow the footsteps of ancient Maori warriors through swirling clouds of steam, past the hot pool where the Maori Princess Huruntini lost her life and see the violent geothermal activity of the Inferno and Kakahi Falls, the largest hot waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. Warriors once bathed in the sulphurous waters to heal battle wounds, and the mud is said to increase virility.

It's a place of extreme contrasts with remarkable formations and colours, cascading hot water, land coral and vistas that could be in outer space.

The Coromandel Peninsula

This is a favourite destination for locals who want to escape city life. It has wonderful golden and white sand beaches, a rugged forest and is a walker's paradise with a range of trails from short to multiday treks.

The Coromandel is quite a spiritual place. There's Elim Church, St Andrews Union Church, St Colman's Catholic Church, Havalona Trust Temple and the Mahamudra Centre Buddhist retreat for your religious needs. The Buddhist retreat has a range of accommodation available from reasonably comfortable to very basic.

Kiwi Dundee Adventures

Kiwi Dundee Adventures specialises in deluxe soft adventure tours and walks. They have one-day walks in the Coromandel Peninsula, their home base, three- and five-day North Island highlights tours as well as 14-day North Island and Beyond Tours. They also have hikes and walks tailored to the amount of time you have.


The Langham Hotel Auckland offers five-star elegance in 410 rooms, including 70 The Langham Club rooms and 12 suites. It has exceptional restaurants, lounges and bars and a rejuvenating Chuan Spa. There's a fitness studio, heated pool, sauna and jacuzzi and butler service for all your whims and needs.

Classic Campers

With so much beauty and scenery to admire, it's a good idea to rent a set of wheels, and at Classic Campers you can get yourself into a reliable Volkswagen of your choice — from vans to Beetles.


From Napier to Auckland via Rotorua and Coromandel on New Zealand's North Island.


Air New Zealand has flights to Rotorua.

One-way fares from:

  • Sydney $248
  • Melbourne $294
  • Brisbane $343
  • Adelaide $400
  • Perth $595

Sales and validity dates apply.

The Tara Hut costs from $45 a day.

Amazing Maze 'n Maize costs around $9 for adults and $7 for children. Corncob Crazy Golf is around $6 for adults and $5 for children. The 3-D Vortex Tunnel is $2. Its season runs between Boxing Day and Anzac Day.

Classic Campers are in Auckland and Christchurch. Hire of a VW Beetle is from $60 a day. Kombi rental is from $125 a day. This includes basic insurance, unlimited kilometres, road guides, roadside assistance and all taxes. They operate between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Saturday.

Rooms at the Langham Auckland start at around $135 a night. Full buffet breakfast is available pre-booked for around $23 per person.

Hells Gate entry is around $24 for adults and $12 for children. Treatments start at around $75. They operate year round.

Prices correct at April 1, 2010.

For further information

Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476

The Art Deco Trust
163 Tennyson Street
New Zealand
Ph: +64 6 835 0022

A Maze 'n' Fun
157 Longlands Road West
New Zealand
Ph: +64 06 878 8117
Fax: +64 06 878 8127

201 Waiotapu Loop Road
New Zealand
Ph: +64 7 366 6333

Hells Gate
State Highway 30
New Zealand
Ph: +64 7 345 3151

Mahamudra Buddhist Centre
Main Road
New Zealand

The Tara Hut from
Ph: +64 7 866 6851

Kiwi Dundee Adventures
PO Box 198
New Zealand
Ph/Fax: +64 7 865 8809

Classic Campers
Ph: +64 9 4269 869

The Langham, Auckland
83 Symonds Street
New Zealand
Ph: +64 9 379 5132
Fax: +64 9 377 9367

Visas: Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter New Zealand.

Electricity: 230V at 50Hz using the same plugs as in Australia.

Time zone: GMT +12.

Currency: The New Zealand dollar.

International dialling code: +64.

To find out more about the hot deals mentioned on the show, check out Holidays for Sale.

User comments
You have left out the best part of this story in your summary--the construct around this vignette being an April Fool joke. I have got to admit that watching the intros, my thoughts were that this place (Foolonia?) looked a lot like En Zed, having lived there 3.5 years there myself. However, as you started to weave the story together, I really got into it thinking "Hey, I've got to go there sometime" not realizing that I had already been there (and enjoyed it then). Good story, wonderful TV, great prank. Congratulations.
The man that was on Getaway in New Zealand Thurs 1st April was wearing a tshirt that said "sweet as bro" can you please tell me who made it or where he got it from. Many thanks Lisa Gardner
I really wish that was up on here. It was very well done by Ben, the crew and the people of NZ. I was going to direct friends who hadn't seen it to this page, but without the funny info....well.
omg, you guyz totally got me on this. a country that uses bacon as a means of exchange! lmfao, i was just about to call my galfriend to tell her about this amazing country, when he announced its aprils fools day. hehe am still laughing so hard. am not gonna tell any of my friends otherwise am gonna be the laughing stock the whole year. keep it up guys your amazing. by the way, am your number one fan. xoxo
This was well done. It had me in on April Fool's Day. Ben Dark (and the locals) carried the story so well. Would love to see it again.
Great segment! Had a really good laugh on myself that I didn't realise it was April 1st. Well done Getaway and Ben Dark!!
Great April 1st spoof, being a KIWI i recognised Napier straightaway as your fictitious capital city . A good laugh and a great ad for NZ

Related links


Brochure Search

Free electronic brochures with information, resources and holiday ideas for unique getaways.

Select a destination:
Sign up nowTo Receive the free Getaway newsletter