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Archive for pohutukawa

A Kiwi Christmas

By Linda Tancs

Auckland, New Zealand’s capital, offers adventure in every direction. In the area known locally as East Auckland, the coastline beckons water enthusiasts eager to experience the Hauraki Gulf, an area comprising over 2 million acres of blue waters dotted with emerald islands reachable by water taxis. This time of year, though, it’s the pohutukawa trees (known as the New Zealand Christmas tree for its crimson flowers) that grab the regional spotlight. One of Auckland’s most spectacular driving routes is along the Pohutukawa Coast, named after the iconic tree.

Summer on the Coromandel

By Linda Tancs

They’re getting ready for summer in the Southern Hemisphere.  From 20 November to 6 December comes the Pohutukawa Festival in New Zealand, timed to coincide with the flowering of the Pohutukawa trees.  Taking place all around the Coromandel Peninsula (a mecca for vacationing New Zealanders), highlights include the Whangamata Jazz, Art and Blues Festival, celebrating the country’s jazz and blues musicians as well as contemporary artwork.  Also occurring throughout the festival calendar on weekends are dive-related activities for everyone from the novice to the experienced.  Better book now for the best accommodation.  If hotels are sold out, don’t despair.  You can always rent a camper.

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