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STA Travel Blog

49 Reasons Why New Zealand Rocks Our World

As soon as a blog post about New Zealand needs writing, I always seem to be the first at STA Travel Towers to stick my hand up. (I definitely don’t throw myself at our editor Lisa’s feet and beg, “Pick me! Pick me!” Honest.).

Why do I love writing about New Zealand? Well, because I love New Zealand. I’m lucky enough to have been twice in the last year: once to the South Island in June when it was covered in snow – white, serene and magical; and again to the North Island in February when the sun was out, the stunning landscapes were lush and green, and the skies were blue with long wispy clouds (it’s not called the Land of the Long White Cloud for nothing). Two very different experiences, but both equally amazing.

New Zealand: what's not to like?

Obviously, I’m not alone in my love for New Zealand. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to on the subject – be it friends, colleagues or you, our lovely customers – has fallen head over heels in love with this out-of-the-way country that has a population of just 4 million people.

Just what is it about New Zealand? What’s all the fuss about, eh? Well, I’m going to tell you. With the help of our Twitter community, here are 49 reasons why this wonderful country rocks our world.

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Shakedown, Queenstown

This week, our CRM executive Carmen Bergne takes the reigns to spill all she knows about New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown…

Home to the world’s first ever bungee jump at Kawarau Bridge, I think it’s safe to say that Queenstown is, well, the queen (excuse the pun) of adventure sports!

Located at the bottom of the South Island, this town is within reaching distance of an extensive range of natural landmarks and diverse landscapes.

It also happens have a string of restaurants, bars and clubs along the shoreline of an extraordinarily beautiful lake which doesn’t hurt when it comes to deciding to stay there.

Whether you’re looking for a 24/7 party, getting as many thrills as you can or taking in vast swathes of natural beauty, Queenstown has it all. So let’s give you the scoop on where to see and be seen during your visit.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy.

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Soaking Up (or Just Getting Soaked) at Songkran

Songkran, the famous Thai New Year festival, is upon us once again. From Monday, this infamous festival where thousands of Thais celebrate the end of the dry season by ‘cleansing’ themselves with water… in open warfare! Not only is it one of the most celebrated Buddhist festivals in Thailand, Songkran is also the world’s largest water fight.

Although Songkran is celebrated in most Thai cities, Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the two best places for the super-soaking festivities. We asked two STA Travel staff to give their personal accounts of this crazy, wet and seriously interactive festival.

I had a blast at Songkran, Thailand.

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Cruising the winding backwaters of Kerala, Southern India

Last week we introduced you to Alyce, one of our new India Tailor Made specialists, in her blog about her whirlwind tour of India’s Golden Triange and Rajasthan. She’s here to help you plan your perfect trip to India, based on exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it and how you want to do it.

This week, Alyce is back, to take us through her favourite experience in India so far, cruising the backwaters of Kerala on a traditional Indian house boat.

Alyce, and our other India Tailor Made specialists Thomas and Nick, have been trained to create bespoke and personal trip itineraries in India, so we sent them on their own adventures there to make sure they are super clued up and ready for your call. Here’s Alyce’s favourite memory of her trip to India’s beautiful south…

Take a traditional Indian house boat for a relaxing cruise down the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, India.

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Happy Chinese New Year! Celebrate the Year of the Horse, with One of These Horsey Adventures!

Happy Chinese New Year! Today is the start of the year of the horse and, depending on which report you choose to believe it’s going to be a year full of victories, health, ‘surprising’ romance (whatever that means), and an excellent year to travel! Not that we need the excuse of course, but if it’s written in the stars who are we to argue!

In the spirit of the day, here are 5 fantastic and (vaguely) horse related travel experiences you can enjoy in 2014.

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