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Exploring the Outdoors of Lower Hutt

Lower Hutt, east of Wellington, is surrounded on all sides by beautiful natural heritage, providing plenty of options for those who love exploring the outdoors. Less than 20 minutes away from the centre of Lower Hutt is Belmont Regional Park. This stunning, diverse park is criss-crossed by 10 walking tracks and also has great mountain biking and horse riding trails. For the history buffs, Belmont Regional Park is also home to a stunning multi-step waterfall at Korokoro Dam, plus ammunition stores from World War II and the original main coach road out of Wellington. It’s a big park, and with so much to choose from, it’s a good idea to plan your trip. Percy Fall Lower Hutt Wellington. #waterfall #forest #nativeforest #nz #newzealand #nikonnz #nikon #longexpoelite #longexpohunter #longexposure #landscape #ig_newzealand #lushgreen #photographic_stills #wellington #panorama A post shared by David Tressler (@photographic_stills) on Nov 4, 2016 at 11:04pm PDT Image by David Tressler  @photopr
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Five ways to entertain the kids in and around Emerald

Emerald, inland from Rockhampton, is a great place to stop and explore the Central Highlands of Queensland. There’s plenty to do to keep the kids occupied, both in town and in the surrounding areas. These five activities are family friendly and will help you find the right balance for young and old. Explore the Sapphire Gemfields Jump in the car and drive west of Emerald for 45 minutes, and you’ll reach the Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields. Covering 900 square kilometres and taking in towns such as Sapphire and Rubyvale, the gem fields are full of fun ways to fill a day. Get the kids to try their hands at gem fossicking: buy a bucket of wash and watch them sift their way through, looking for their very own gem. Staff can help with technique and identification to make sure no-one misses their treasure. Local galleries and shops have ample displays of locally-sourced gems for sale if you don’t happen to find your own. Underground mine tours (which can provide welcome respite from th
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Outdoor Enthusiasts in Gippsland

The Latrobe Valley attracts visitors with its rich gold rush heritage, stunning gardens and parklands and abundant opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural delights of Victoria’s Gippsland Plains. Traralgon is the Latrobe Valley’s largest town, replete with stunning boulevards, lovingly tended formal gardens and parklands, and buzzing with eateries, bars, pubs and clubs. With plenty of great choices for accommodation Traralgon offers the natural pleasures of the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland region at large, all within easy day-tripping distance. Tarra Bulga National Park – Australia, Victoria, Gippsland. A post shared by Mitchell Johnson (@vaelzz) on Sep 27, 2016 at 5:18am PDT Orchid lovers should head out to Morwell National Park, just a short drive away. Take the 2.3km Fosters Gully Nature Walk and look out for the more than 40 native orchid species found in the park. The walk starts and finishes at the Kerry Road picnic area, and should take about an hour. If you’re happ
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Waikato Mid-Winter Retro Fair

The Waikato Mid-Winter Retro Fair is Hamilton’s biggest retro fair where lovers of all things from 1950 to 1970 gather to appreciate, buy and sell classic pieces. The annual event now in its sixth year is open to people of all ages and will be held from 9am to 3pm on Saturday 30 July 2016 at Chartwell Cooperating Church (St Albans), 30 Comries Rd, Chartwell, Hamilton. Retro Collectables All things retro are considered things from the past that no longer seem modern, even if they are brand new yet have characteristics from the past. People love to add retro pieces to their homes as a talking point, to remind them of their childhood or just because they love it! Waikato Mid-Winter Retro Fair Stall Holders The Waikato Mid-Winter Retro Fair is an eclectic mix of fabulous stalls selling all sorts of retro items like vintage jewellery, clothing, furniture, homewares, kitchenalia, art, collectables, décor and pottery plus loads more. Just make sure you bring cash on the day, as many of the st
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Southland Festival of the Arts

Southland Festival of the Arts – Invercargill’s annual arts celebration Each May, New Zealand’s southernmost city, Invercargill, comes alive with a month-long celebration of the arts. Since 2009, the Southland Festival of the Arts has delivered a diverse program of events that has included everything from yarn bombing in a local street, to a comedy show on Steward Island, a solo circus performance and a six-hour pop-up, multi-art exhibition in the heart of Invercargill’s CBD. These innovative, unusual events are complemented by more traditional performances – theatre, cabaret, dance and music – as well as visual art exhibitions, all taking place in various venues around town. Daily performances and shows mean there’s always something to see. The festival attracts local and international acts. A highlight of the 2016 program was a one-night-only performance by the Modern Māori Quartet, who delighted audiences with modern renditions of classic Māori show band tunes. The
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School Holidays in Wellington

With school holidays just around the corner, Wellington offers some fun creative learning activities great for the whole family. Ride the Historic Wellington Cable Car Dating back over 100 years, the Wellington Cable Car is a great way to see the city with kids of all ages. Grab an activity passport when you arrive and the kids can receive stamps throughout the day. On the way to the top, the historic ride has incorporated three stops and tunnels filled with interactive lighting displays. You’ll be blown away as the lights change for seasons, holidays and special events. Once at the top, set your eyes on the panoramic views of the city and harbour from a magnificent indoor and outdoor viewpoint. Across from the lookout is the free entry Cable Car Museum with two of the original cable cars and the original winding mechanism that powered the grip cars for a good portion of a decade. The kids will love learning about the creation and history of the iconic transport system. Afterwards, the
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Geelong Ghosts

Geelong is known for their complex historic background and buildings. Recently they started to reinvent these old, industrial spaces by transforming them into creative hubs, urban precincts and fabulous restaurants. From old mills, waterfront docks and even spooky gaols have been revamped into a fun, interesting and unique place to stay and play. Geelong not only embraces their buildings, but their ghosts. Whether you are enticed by the history of the gaol or a scary thrill seeker intrigued by the unknown, Twisted History offers exciting tours that are a must for your next visit to Geelong. Geelong Gaol Standing three stories high built of stone and surrounded by a brick wall, the notoriously haunted Geelong Gaol was once the Industrial School for Girls in the 1850’s. The prison was occupied by murderers and lunatics in a high security block of over 100 cells before being decommissioned in 1991. It’s one of Australia’s most intact 19th century convict prisons that now hosts haunted tou
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Dubbo in Spring

When it comes to springtime, Dubbo knows how to entertain with a jam packed event line-up to entertain all. Known as one of the friendliest destinations in New South Wales, Dubbo has a charm that leaves a lasting impression. Markets No one knows markets like Dubbo. They embrace and promote local businesses and produce to the fullest with a variety of markets happening almost weekly, if not more. Dubbo Farmer’s market sets up in Macquarie Lion’s Park every 1st and 3rd Saturday month showcasing local produce, meat, bakeries, honey and jams from 8am to noon. A great way to start the day while getting something to eat and meeting the locals in their element. Every 4th Sunday of the month from 8am to midday, Dubbo Rotunda Markets offer unique vintage art, décor, jewellery, baking and buskers amongst Dubbo’s shop fronts and coffee houses. The live music and smells of coffee and baked goods surround you with rich ambience, while the artistic treasures ignite your creative side. On the 2nd Sun
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Bushwalking in Riccarton

Exploring Christchurch’s Natural Beauty – On Foot Christchurch is renowned as the city of gardens and many people make their way there for the simple pleasure of strolling through the many beautiful gardens and parks. So where is the best place to stay if you want to discover the city’s natural delights on foot? The Christchurch suburb of Riccarton is a great option. Sitting just to the west of central Christchurch, there are a number of stunning nature walks within easy strolling distance of Riccarton accommodation. Christchurch Botanic Gardens With numerous ornamental gardens and plenty of open space, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is a stunning place for a wander. The helpful map allows you to design your own route to ensure you take in the seasonal highlights, such as the Central Rose Garden in summer and the magnolias and blossoms in spring. Don’t miss the fragrant garden, particularly for the vision impaired. In summer, a paddling pool is open for the kids to enjoy a spla
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Top 5 Things to do in Ballina

Loved for its relaxed seaside atmosphere, Ballina is known as the social and commercial hub of the far north coast region of New South Wales. Located on the mouth of the Richmond River, Ballina has a rich naval and maritime history with the modern touches of today’s world. The main coastal town just 200kms south of Brisbane and 750kms north of Sydney, offers something for everyone. Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival  The Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival is a free festival held over the June Long Weekend every year. Country music lovers and their families come from far and wide to enjoy the celebrations featuring over 30 artists in at least six different venues including a Street Stage with headline artists. There’s also the Great Duck Race, buskers who line the streets and food and market stalls across town. Ballina Tourist Drives Winding through the countryside of Ballina and the Hinterlands is Tourist Drive 28. Along the way you’ll discover artist studios, historic villages
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