Autumn Splashed Arrowtown Fall Festival

Photo Credit to edwin.11

Arrowtown, New Zealand, a charming historic gold mining town established in 1862, is now the location of the long running Arrowtown Autumn FestivalTaking place April 20 – 29, 2012, this family friendly event celebrates the magnificent colors of the season.

Located only 25 minutes northeast of Queenstown on the South Island, the Arrowtown Autumn Festival, now in its 28 year, attracts visitors wishing to experience the stunning scenery of autumn splashed red, orange and gold leaves.

Over 50 attractions are featured during the 10 day event and this diverse program offers something for everyone. Creative venues such as the wearable art fashion show, sculptor guided stone carving workshops and an evening with a master chef Brett McGregor are featured, as well as a good natured events such as the pub to pub challenge, guided historical walking tours and the opportunity to step back in time and do a little gold panning.

Include this fantastic fall event in your once in a lifetime journey to explore the GLORIOUS South PacificCall us today and we will weave all of your dreams into an unforgettable Down Under adventure!


New Zealand Luxury Accommodation

Whether you seek a romantic hideaway or a simply relish time to rejuvenate and unwind, our favorite luxury lodges of the South Island of New Zealand are the optimal place to rediscover life’s pleasures.

Otahuna Lodge NZ

Photo Credit RalphJB

Acclaimed to be “New Zealand at its finest”, Otahuna Lodge, located at the head of a secluded valley on New Zealand’s South Island, is a place of replenishment and refinement. Where prestigious luxury accommodation meets exemplary service and cuisine in the context of an elegant, historic country estate and guests receive the warmest welcome and indulge wholeheartedly in the sense of occasion presented by lavish surroundings.

The exclusive country estate offers 5 suites and 2 master suites. Each retaining architectural features from the 19th century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows. All luxury suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, toiletries by Penhaligon’s of London, deep bathtubs and separate rain showers.

Gourmet breakfast is served daily and each evening guests enjoy a 5-course degustation dinner with wine pairings to accompany each course and pre-dinner drinks with canapés.

This exclusive lodge has been featured in dozens of magazines including British society’s Tatler “101 Best Hotels” and most recently in Gourmet Traveller and Luxury Travel Advisor August.

Blanket Bay Lodge

Nestled under the peaks of the Southern Alps and situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Blanket Bay Lodge, is found at  latitude 44 degrees.   With all the flair and sophistication of the world’s finest alpine lodges, Blanket Bay it is a haven of peace and tranquility reserved for the most fortunate of travelers.  Every evening celebrates a luxurious adventure, where guests join together for pre-dinner drinks, before gathering in the dining area for an exceptional meal with newfound friends.

While at the lodge there are many opportunities to participate in activities or can choose to simply soak up the sheer beauty of this spectacular area.  Guests enjoy horseback riding, curling up on the porch with a good book or for those that are keen explorers, a variety of trails originating at the lodges doorstep can be recommended by the hosts.  Others seeking an adrenaline rush may care to venture out to join in the many thrill seeking activities offered in Queenstown, known as the “Adventure Capital of the World”.

For those with a heart for the environment, discover wild nature in the most spectacular mountain setting at Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge. This luxury eco lodge was built in 1996 into a natural forest clearing and has been designed with conservation in mind.

Set on a 2,400 hectacre nature reserve, the lodge and working merino sheep farm is surrounded by 200 hectares of native beech forest, tussock grasslands and a small lake. Guests are invited to explore the surrounding mountains, forests, river and offer organized activities including the very popular trout fishing and guided tours by owner, ecologist and conservationist, Gerry McSweeny.

Guests enjoy out of this world gourmet breakfast cooked to order prepared by specialty chefs and come back together at the end of the day to indulge in superb dinner selections and fine wine against the backdrop of the Arthurs Pass Wilderness Park mountain range.

New Zealand Adventure Vacations

CNN features New Zealand on its Destination Adventure series as a “thrill seekers” destination for the explorer at heart.
A country of dramatically diverse environments, New Zealand offers an array of activities for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
New Zealand’s remarkably varied landscape includes beaches, mountains, fjords, glaciers and rain forests, making it one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.  The small country consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, each boasting a surprising variety of natural wonders as well as urban centers.  read more

Yes, it’s true, New Zealand is a place that will satisfy even the most thrill seeking adventurers’ adrenaline rush; however it is also the perfect destination for anyone who appreciates natural beauty set amongst a stunning variety of landforms such as rugged mountains, spectacular fiords, glaciers that cut through the mountains, subtropical forest, bubbling mud pools, and miles of coastline dotted with sandy beaches.

Originally named “Aotearoa” by the Polynesian settlers, which means the Land of the Long White Cloud; New Zealand is approximately the same size as Japan and yet is compact enough that one can sample a wide range of diverse land masses in a single trip or even a single day.

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Thank you from the Pfingsts

Since Australia 2000 Travel arranged our first visit to New Zealand so well, we decided to ask them to help us with a completely new itinerary for our second visit. While we knew we loved New Zealand, we did not expect to be as overwhelmed by the beauty of the place as we were the first time. After all, we were not even going to the spectacular South Island this time. But we were wrong. It seemed as if every time we turned a corner we were viewing new and gorgeous terrain. Beautifully set vineyards and wineries, fascinating farmer’s markets, stunning and pristine ocean beaches, lakes, and rivers were our everyday companions. The friendliness and cheer of the country’s people impressed us again, as did the attentiveness to comfort and aesthetics at each accommodation. We had a wonderful time and were very glad we asked Australia 2000 Travel to take all the work out of our travels.

Ruth and Bryan Pfingst

Traveled to New Zealand December 2010

Thank you from Kevin, Kristin, Owen and Ian

We traveled in New Zealand 10 years ago and Karen planned an amazing 2 weeks in the South Island. She planned an equally amazing three weeks on Australia’s east coast this summer; we booked the trip and left 6 weeks later. She knew we were taking our 9 and 6 year old boys and created an awesome family adventure for us.

BRISBANE: We arrived August 15 to sunshine, palm trees, and found friendly people at every stop. The kids enjoyed the Australia Zoo with our private caddie, feeding the kangaroos and hearing about the animals of Australia. Canungra, at the base of the mountain going to Lamington, is the home of the Funky Dory restaurant. We recommend it for fish-n-chips (Baramundi and Red Emperor were our favorites), squid lips, and an owner who loves what she does. We drove to O’Reilly’s guest house in Lamington National Park and loved the birds, hikes, views and incredible food. The boys were up every morning for a 6:45 a.m. guided bird walk. When our son left his glasses in a restroom, Karen’s assistant in Sydney was able to help us track them down and send them to our next hotel.

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Down Under Adventures Begin Atop Birmingham

Published: Monday, August 16, 2010 by The Oakland Press

Karen Hardy-Hodgson — a corporate wife armed with a green card and a passion for her homeland — has developed a thriving international boutique cottage travel business.

When she isn’t jumping out of planes, the Sydney native and Australia 2000 Travel founder can be found going on a walkabout or perched above the downtown Birmingham street scene where she creates “trip of a lifetime” adventures for her diverse client-base of honeymooners, retirees and adventure-seeking world travelers.”

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