Featured Property: Trelawn Place, Arthurs Point, New Zealand

Author: , August 22nd, 2010

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Otago Region, New Zealand Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Trelawn Place B&B - Arthurs Point, New ZealandWelcome to Trelawn Place, one of Queenstown’s popular and long established Bed and Breakfast (B&B). If you are looking for warm hospitality and an atmosphere that makes you feel at home, then look no further.

It is also a stunningly picturesque venue for your wedding (picture above taken from the property), with several accommodation options to suit your needs. The house is large, so you have plenty of space for privacy if you wish.

Trelawn Place is a country home and bed and breakfast only 5 minutes (4km) drive from central Queenstown. 11 km (15 minutes) from the Queenstown Airport. We offer:

  • B&B accommodation, with King sized beds
  • A self contained option in our Honeymoon cottage that can sleep up to four people
  • Our Garden Apartment sleeps four
  • The Cherry Tree House sleeps three
  • For bed and breakfast we provide a full cooked and a continental breakfast for those staying in the house
  • We offer all the peace and privacy of a tranquil retreat
  • The delightful 2 acre cottage garden is on the edge of the famous Shotover river
  • The property is surrounded by dramatic mountains
  • The Queenstown Coronet Peak ski field is the major part of our panoramic river view.

During your stay you have complimentary use of our guest laundry, guest computer, a riverside Jacuzzi and plenty of off street parking. We have collected relevant information on the Queenstown area to help you plan your holiday. Talk to us during your stay if you need help with your itinerary. There are no strangers here, only friends who have never met.

See the Trelawn Place Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

New Zealand’s Third Island: Visiting Stewart Island

Author: , July 27th, 2010
by Bruce Morrison, Christchurch Gaystay, Christchurch, New Zealand
Email Bruce | Visit the Christchurch Gaystay

Visit the Purple Roofs Canterbury page

New Zealand is generally thought of as two islands , the North and the South , but there are many more . The third biggest island, Stewart , is to the south of the South Island.

Flight to Stewart IslandA Tahitian friend and I recently flew to Stewart Island, just a 10 minute flight in a 6-seater aircraft from Invercargill, the most southerly city on the South Island.

The stretch of water we flew over is known as Foveaux Strait. It is the home to the famous Bluff oyster beds, crayfish and blue cod.

The airstrip was just like a road in the middle of the bush. No terminal, just a strip of tarmac. A bus appeared to drop off the next passengers and to pick up those arriving. Gerard and I had hiked a lot of NZ famous walks but neither of us had been to Stewart Island.

Stewart Island FlightI found non-gay accommodation in Lonnekers Bay, 10 minutes walk from “downtown” Oban. The whole island has a population of 390.

We hiked every day and visited Ulva Island, the predator-free island. New Zealand has no native mammals, just birds, a bat and one reptile. But people have brought rats, mice, stoats, weasels, cats, possums and dogs and all have upset the ecological balance, decimating the native bird population.

The magnificent native forest is alive with the birdsong of the New Zealand of yesteryear; saddle-backs, kereru, tomtit, robin, tui, bellbird, kaka and parakeet.

Foliage, Stewart IslandWe did a kiwi-spotting trip late at night, so we watched kiwi, a most unusual bird, feeding on worms and sand-hoppers on the beach and in the forest.

The kiwi is the only bird in the world without a tail and lays the biggest egg of any bird in relation to body size. It will not survive on the mainland and so efforts are being made now to transfer the kiwi to predator-frree islands. It is the country’s national symbol and New Zealanders are often known as “kiwis”.

Stewart Island PlaneWe flew to Mason Bay in a tiny plane, where the terminal was a log on the beach. A lonely hunter sat on the log waiting to be picked up, while we were dropped off and had a 25 km beach to ourselves. We swam on what must be one of the southern-most beaches in the world.

We walked for 4 hours to a tramping hut and were picked up by a water taxi and endured the roughest boat ride I have ever had back to Oban.

We ate Titi or mutton bird in a restaurant after having watched them flying.

They are unusual in that they burrow underground to form nests and fly to Siberia for the winter. 200,000 to 300,000 are caught by the native people, the Maori, for food every year, so we convinced ourselves they are not endangered.

We ate blue-cod and crayfish in the few eating places. The South Seas Hotel, the only pub, is a reminder of the pubs of yesteryear, and they sell a T-shirt with the logo “Stewart Island – where men are men and fish are nervous”. We bought more conservative ones.

On the Beach, Stewart Island, New ZealandWe hiked every day on well maintained tracks often with board walks across wet areas. There are 3-day or 10-day hikes where you carry your food and sleeping bags and stay in huts provided by a Government department, the Department of Conservation.

Our accommodation was never locked for the 5 nights we were there, and a van was provided for our use. There are a total of 12km of roads on the island. Other forms of transport are mountain bikes, vespas, walking, water taxis and a “tuk tuk”.

We had 5 nights on the island, and we managed to find plenty of hiking tracks to walk and beaches to enjoy. Apart from a couple of restaurants and a pub there is little else to do in the evenings other than a kiwi-spotting night time adventure or DVD watching in your room. But there is daylight till late in the evening, much later than the rest of the country.

I have a B&B in Christchurch , Christchurch Gaystay, catering just to the gay/lesbian community. www.gaystay.co.nz/chchgaystay. Christchurch is the biggest city on the South island of New Zealand, and is famous for its gardens. It is a gateway for people to start their holiday. From here people generally hire a car and spend a week to 10 days driving around the south Island visiting the jewels of the south, Queenstown and Milford Sound. There are glaciers to walk on and be helicoptered onto. Cyclists are catered for with 3 day cycle trips in Central Otago and there are many 3 day hikes, some with full catering and pack-carrying service.

I am happy to help people plan their NZ holiday , and know of a lot of gay B&Bs in NZ. The first ever gay cruise around our shores happened in February 2010 and will be repeated next year with cruisers disembarking at Mardi Gras in Sydney. Wellington, the capital city of NZ will host the OutGames in March 2011 . So a trip “downunder” could combine Mardi Gras, OutGames, and Kiwi-spotting… the feathered variety and the lycra-clad variety.

Rotorua, New Zealand: More Than Just Another Pretty Place

Author: , May 5th, 2010
by Ann, Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel, Rotorua, New Zealand
Email Ann | Visit the Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel Website
Visit the Purple RoofsBay of Plenty, New Zealand Page
Want to Get Married in New Zealand?
Pohutu Geyser, New Zealand

Pohutu Geyser - New Zealand

Carlos Spencer

Welcome to beautiful New Zealand! New Zealand is famous for it’s Anti Nuclear policy, green pastures, blue sea, crystal clear night skies, fjords and sheep.

But we mustn’t forget the Kiwi (the fruit), Carlos Spencer (at left), Daniel Carter, Jonah Lomu and Ritchie Mc Caw (All Black Rugby players),

Xena‘Xena’ – Lucy Lawless (obviously), Russell Crowe(Gladiator) , Crowded House (terrific band – now disbanded) and having had the most famous Minister of Parliament in the world; Georgina Beyer.

Russell CroweMy place – Rotorua claims Cliff Curtis (‘3 Kings’), Tem Morrison (‘Star Wars’) and gorgeous All Blacks; Richard Kahui (born 20 mins out of town) and Liam Messam as their own.

But back to nature….

Rotorua is a volcanic wonderland on the Central Plateau of the North Island and the Lake District of the North Island of New Zealand. Anticipate staying a minimum of 2 nights.

Rotorua is dimpled with thermal parks. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is situated 17 km south of Rotorua City and is awe inspiring. Internationally graded ‘A’ as a protected environment; Waimangu has been protected since the eruption of the Tarawera Volcano in 1886. My favourite – Waimangu is a beautiful park of steaming volcanic craters created by the Tarawera eruption in 4 and ½ hours, one terrible June night.

Down the road a little, is Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland. The pretty coloured pools and the daily eruption at 10.15 am, of the ‘Lady Knox’ Geyser make this are one of the most popular thermal areas to visit.

At Te Puia in the Whakarewarewa area, you can watch Pohutu Geyser ‘play’ (erupt) almost every 40 minutes. The mud plops and bubbles and there is a Maori Cultural performance at 10.15am, 12.15pm and 3.15pm every day of the year.

Slide into a pool of mud at Hell’s Gate and therapy becomes fun!

Zorb - New ZealandAdventure fanatics take a deep breath – Rotorua is home of the ZORB. Have you ever thought you’d like to roll down a big grassy hill in a huge ball of bubble-wrap? Great! You are going to be so happy when you get in this crazy kiwi invention.

Wet or dry? This is my simple explanation; Wet – you will stay sitting almost upright as the ZORB rolls down the hill…you will be wet. Dry – you will roll with your ZORB over and over til you reach the bottom- but…you’ll be dry.

Rotorua is the only place on earth where you can take a 5+ rafting trip over the Okere Falls on the Kaituna River. The highest grade in the world. You are picked up from your accommodation and delivered back about 3 hours later. Short, sharp and thrilling! Wetsuits are provided, along with a crash helmet and a life jacket.

Whitewater Rafting - New ZealandAdventure bunnies will also love to bungy, kayak, swoop or shweeb. It sounds like gibberish now but you’ll be speaking the language before you leave Rotorua.

Rotorua is the heart of Maori culture…so don’t miss enjoying a Maori Hangi and Concert.

You will enjoy a concert performance and learn a lot about the Maori People of New Zealand.

The hangi is a feast. The food is cooked underground and is just mouth watering! A buffet meal of ground vegetables like potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, and greens …spinach or peas.

There is beef, lamb and chicken and usually a fish dish. Vegetarians are well taken care of too. A steamed pudding follows with yummy fresh whipped New Zealand Cream.

Make sure you visit the Agrodome Sheep show – performing sheep 3 times a day… hard to believe isn’t it? You’ll have seen sheep all over the fields in New Zealand but these sheep are special. The ‘littlies’ get to bottle-feed the lambs and the farm tour will get you into a rural frame of mind.

Don’t miss Rainbow Springs. There is a kiwi (the bird) breeding programme and you can see kiwis bolting around in their natural environment at night in the bush (once again-the bird).

The ‘kiwis’ (New Zealanders) are bolting around in their natural environment at night too.

Visit the pub – ‘The pig and Whistle’ is a popular haunt and the food is really good. They have a band on the weekend. ‘Henneseys’ is fun too…with a pretty good Irish ‘knees-up’ on Thursday nights and the food is classic Irish and nourishing.

For breakfast or lunch I go to the ‘Fat Dog Cafe’ or ‘Abracadabra cafe’ . The ‘Fat Dog’ has great fish n chips (fush n chups) with a beer batter and ‘Abracadabra’ has Morrocan food and my favourite is the Calamari salad.

After a hard day holidaying, the best stop of all, is the Polynesian Spa. Wonderful to ease the tired limbs and is open til 11pm every night. You can have an ‘aix’ massage; massage under warm mineral water, or a mud wrap, or choose from a variety of therapies. Half hour or full hour treatments are available .

And after a full day …come home to Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel for a quiet and relaxed stay. I’ve been listed on Purple Roofs since 1997! World famous Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel and Serviced Apartments has been featured in the Lonely Planet Guide Book for 13 years & has been the ‘Author’s Pick’ since 2006 til now.

We are also featured in the French Guide Book – oh la la… ‘Petit Fute’ since 2007. Also a NZ Tourism Award Finalist in the season 2001-2002; Ann’s Volcanic has accommodation ranging from standard to fabulous! We have organic vegie gardens and fruit trees. Rotorua is gorgeous, scenic and active.