Monday, October 29, 2007

Waitomo - Take the Black Route

If you visiting Waitomo don't just wander through the caves, raft through them.

20 years ago Black water rafting was invented and it is an amazing experience. The silence of the water and looking up at the glow worms - it is a three trip that will be the highlight of your trip.

Only a 3 hour drive from Auckland you can make a day trip or better still spend the night at Kamahi Cottage or continue on to Rotorua after an adventure you won't forget.

So check out the two trip options:

Black Water Rafting, The Labyrinth at Waitomo Caves

Black Water Rafting, The Black Abyss at Waitomo Caves
New Zealand Herald Article on the 20th Anniversary of Black Water Rafting been launched at Waitomo Caves

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hero 2008 - Videos from 2007

The key dates are out for Hero happening in Auckland in February 2008:

  • Hero Launch Party - 1st February
  • Wigs on the Waterfront - 3rd February
  • Big Gay Out - 10th February
  • Heroic Gardens - 16th to 17th February
  • Hero Party - 23rd February
Check out some of the videos below from Youtube

Hero Big Gay Out 2007

Hero Big Gay Out 2007 - Prime Minister

Hero Promotion for 2007

Hidden charges - Why do they do this!

Let's face you expect to pay what is advertised but how many times do you struggle to find what you are actually been charged.

So below is a list of some annoying hidden charges which you discover when check in or worse when you check out:

  • Car Rental fees - says $40 a day but this excludes:
    • airport surcharge
    • licence fees
    • drop off fees
    • insurance
    • relocation fee
    • stamp duty fee
    • and the list goes on
    • so the cost ends up been $100 a day!
  • Parking fees at hotels
    • They say parking is available on there website but forget to mention it isn't free.
    • You end up paying $14 to $30 for overnight parking but only discover on check in or worse still on check out
  • Internet fees at hotels
    • So you want to browse the web, check email, etc.
    • You then find the charge is $10 per hour or a max charge of $25 a day.
    • So guess what you don't use it and go down the road to the local internet cafe and pay $3 an hour or turn to wireless broadband when travelling.
  • Phone fees at hotels
    • So you make one local call. They charge you $2 for a call which from a payphone is $0.50.
    • So guess what you use your mobile or buy a calling card so you don't pay for the call.
    • Will beware of using a calling card as the hotel will probably charge you still for the a toll free phone call.
    • Best surprise I ever got was making a phone call from Vancouver YWCA back to Sydney, Australia and only been charged $1.
    • Worse surprise was been charged $5 for a two minute call to a local number in Brisbane and this was after paying $250 a night for the room.
Well you might say hotels and businesses are free to charge what they want but remember the customer who has paid these ridiculous fees will remember. Even if they are on a business trip they will remember the prices charged and won't be back for a holiday.

From my personal experience it seems to be the larger chains who think because they have a name they can charge whatever they want.

Do you have experiences of hidden charges? Post a comment to let us know your experiences.

Monday, October 22, 2007

High Country Holiday Lodge & Motels

Our newest RTA accommodation - High Country Holiday Lodge & Motel - is in a great location in Canterbury. So looking for a great New Zealand summer location check out these attractions:

  • Closest town to Mount Cook National Park and Ohau Forest.
  • Surrounded by the beautiful Southern Alps (snow-capped during winter) you may wish to partake in some of the activities Twizel (Mackenzie Basin) has to offer.
  • Close to all amenities including shopping centre, playground, swimming pool, skate-board park, climbing wall and gymnasium.
  • Enjoy the 9 hole golf course, driving range, outdoor bowling green, tennis courts and squash courts.
  • Glacier flights, snow skiing, watersport, rowing fishing, tramping, hunting, etc.
  • 6 Beautiful lakes from five to forty-five minutes away (Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki, Ohau, Benmore, Aviemore and Ruataniwha.
  • Base for Giant Upper Waitaki Hydro Electric Power Scheme.
So hire a car and head for the hills.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tourism Operator Blog

The new is almost here after some long hours by the women at Canz Design

One thing we have learnt through this process is how some of our tourism operators websites leave a lot to be desired.

So we have created a new blog with lots of good Tourism Resources for operators.

So check this new blog and we will let you know as soon as our new site is up and running.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rainbow Recommendations: Top 7 in Oz

I have crossed back and forth from USA to AUS many times, and can attest that the hardest part of getting downunder is the flight. It's neither cheap nor quick. You'll likely spend $1200 or more and about 15 hours from the WQest Coast in an uncomfortable airline seat. (I always request a seat in the rear of the plane, where I'm more likely to get three seats to stretch out in for the duration. Otherwise, I look like a pretzel if pressed in to a single economy seat.)
Once you arrive, you'll need a day to recover from jet lag. If you only have two weeks, that's really only 12 days, what with crossing the international date line, loosing a day and taking a jet lag day into account.

Fortunately, the hard parts melt away once you get to Sydney, your most likely starting point. (There are flights that arrive in Melbourne and Cairns and Perth if you want to avoid the congestion of Sydney - but if it's your first visit, don't miss Sydney Harbor, the opera House and taking the Manly Ferry (yes, that's for real) to reach the beach. If you're returning to Australia and have done the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Outback the first time, you can forgo those tourist destinations in Cairns/Queensland and head for the other gay capital cities - Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, and let's throw in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory!

Here's my compiled list of at least 7 things to see and do. There is no such thing as a dull destination downunder!

1. From Melbourne in Victoria, you should meander along the Great Ocean Road and take a helicopter ride over the 12 Apostles (massive rock pillars that stand like sentries along the southern coast. There are only 7 left standing, so hurry here - and linger longer at some great gay owned and gay friendly accommodation along the coast.

2. See a performance at the Sydney Opera House - or at least take a tour of the awesome structure, one of the modern wonders of the world.

3. Hike from Bondi to Bronte beaches - about 30 minutes - the most popular beaches in Sydney for surging, sunning and snorkeling (not to mention gay cruising on the north end of Bondi). If you're visiting in September, this walk is turned into an outdoor gallery with some of the best sculpture art in the world. Don't miss it, unless it's too windy on the bluff and you're afraid of heights.

4. Check out the architecture in Melbourne, and raise a pint with the friendly locals at any one of the gay pubs in Carlton; you can even grab a room upstairs and spend the night at The Opium Den and Laird Hotels. The Jasper is best if you want to do the touristy must-do of visiting and shopping at Victoria Market. Forget the souvenir boomerrangs; they're all made in China and I've never seen a real one anywhere during my four years living there!

5. Starting with your flight into Alice Springs - you set your watch back half an hour even though you've just flown over an endless red desert - you're in for an adventure. Visit the Desert Park, take an Outback Safari to Ayers Rock, or go flightseeing over the Olgas. You'll enjoy the rest afterwards at The Rainbow Connection where Phil will clue you into what's happening in The Alice.

6. Get within 15 feet of a croc? Dive the Great Barrier Reef? Visit the famous Surfer's Paradise? Go for a sail in the Whitsundays? Visit the rainforest? There are mucho choices in the tropical far north. See

7. For the pristine wilderness experience and one of the world's 10 most remote and stunning beaches, you have to travel to the island state of Tasmania, about an hour's flight from Melbourne. The Freycinet Peninsula side (East Coast) is for sun lovers. The Cradle Mountain side (West Coast) is for the mountain lovers and those who want to look all the way to Antartica and to South America and know there's not another living soul in between. The Southwest Wilderness area of Tasmania is a World Hertiage Park, where few have trodden. Same thing with my favorite eastern beaches. Enough room for everyone to have their own beach or rainforest. You'llk love the Cloud Juice (purest bottled water on earth).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Euro Car Rental joins

We are really pleased to announce that Euro Car Rental has joined

Euro Car Rental New Zealand is a professional boutique rental car company based in Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, built on over a decade of experience, serving you with your motoring and travel needs.

Specialising in European and 4WD cars for hire. Their fleet is designed with you in mind. New and late model vehicles, 4WD's, sedans, touring wagons, hatches, sports cars, convertibles and fun cars. Trusted brands such as Audi, BMW, VW, Peugeot, Volvo, Opel, Vauxhall, Subaru, Mazda and Nissan.

Based in Christchurch with agents in Picton, Nelson, Greymouth, Dunedin and Queenstown and also in the North Island.

Euro Car Rental Christchurch specialises in providing a superior level of service. We can take care of all your holiday or vacation needs. As part of our service you are able to book your accommodation and activities throughout New Zealand with Euro Self-drive Tours.

So check our Euro Car Rental's website now and book a great rental car and accommodation with

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Interested in the Pleasures of Life on Vacation?

If you're like many G and L travelers, you like a combination of the unique, a special location, great food and wine, unusual cultural activities, and finding locals who can help you enjoy the pleasures of life in their region. As Rainbow Tourism's Concierge for Australia and North America, I will be using this space to tell you about my travels and explorations in both hemispheres.
For the past several years I have been touring in Australia and New Zealand, finding equal breathtaking scenery in both. I've reported that there is much to do before you sleep, whether you're on the Great Barrier Reef or a working cattle station on the South Island. I'm happy to share some short cuts if you're surfing for gay life and gay tours in Oz or Kiwi Land. And soon I will add tales from Hawaii and Canada and places along the NW coast of US, my new Rainbow Tourism Intl. branch office. (Have Laptop, Will Travel the Pink Globe.)
In parting for the Northern Hemisphere, here's my Top 7 Things to See & Do on the South Island for the New Zealand-bound gay and lesbian traveler...
1. Eat & Drink, Central Otago Wine Region, ex Dunedin or Queenstown
2. Self-Drive Tour in a Porsche, Porstige Car Rental, Chirstchurch
3. Bungy Jump, Queenstown, elite adventure capital
4. Gay Women's Tour, Driftwood Dreamers
5. Gay Men's FarmStay, Poller Farm
6. Cruise the Marlborough Sounds, Blue Lagoon Cruises
7. Visit the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers
Help with airfares
Help with travel insurance
Help with budget car or campervan
Help with luxury car hire & accommodation

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Summer Gay Day

Summer in Sydney will never be the same again - so claims the Summer Gay Day website.

On 1 December for the first time a major and gay lesbian music will herald the arrival of summer.

Summer Gay Day is to be held in a stunning parklands location around Kippax Lake in Moore Park, a unique location lined with leafy trees, acres of green grass and surrounding a gorgeous central lake.

So if in Sydney on 1 December check out Summer Gay Day

Aloha! Kalani Beckons You to Hawaii

"Kalani Honua means harmony of heaven and earth, and this is what we aspire to. As a multi-cultural and educational non-profit organization, Kalani welcomes all in the spirit of aloha. We are guided by the Hawaiian tradition of ohana, the extended family, respecting our diversity yet sharing in unity.""

--Richard Koob, founder and director.

On a recent Rainbow Tourism road trip to The Big Island, I had the pleasure of reintroducing myself to Richard and his staff. We know each other from 25 years ago when IGLTA was created, then known as International Gay Travel Association.

He told me then that he and his partner had toured the world dancing and exploring ways to express their unconditional love for life and the arts. Richard and Earnest decided to forgo the hustle and bustle of New York and Paris and were drawn to a beautiful and isolated coast on the one of the most remote islands in the world: Hawaii.

They set up Kalani near Hilo on the Big Island - close enough to the active volcano to make life interesting and stunning.

There is a lot going on in paradise, with workshops and seminars and cohousing and artists in residence...the website tells all, as do the photos. Pack your bags and meet me here after booking your perfect tropical holiday on (We're not just for DownUnder bookings any more. After all, the whole globe is gay, isn't it?)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hero 2008

HERO 2008 - Auckland's ultimate celebration of pride and "Polysexual" diversity. Whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or a friend of our colourful "rainbow community" there's something here for you!

The 2008 Festival runs for a three week period (February 1 - 24) and features a large and colourful array of events.

Events include Wigs on Waterfront, Big Gay Out, Heroic Gardens, Hero Party and more.

So if you are visiting Auckland during February then check out some of the local events and meet some of the locals.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

30 Years and still Strong

On 19th-21st of October 2007 (Labour Weekend) the Manawatu Lesbian and Gay Rights Association (MaLGRA - Club Q) will be celebrating an amazing 30 years.

MaLGRA is the longest running Gay Rights Association in New Zealand. This event will be held at Club Q, and will be a week long celebration with the different support groups being involved. On the Friday and Saturday nights there will be huge celebrations within Club Q to pay tribute to MaLGRA's 30th Birthday, also the screening of a documentary depicting how MaLGRA and formally MaGRA has lasted throughout the years.

So if you happen to be in Palmerston North on that weekend then drop in on the celebrations.

For more information regarding these celebrations and about MaLGRA in general the MaLGRA website holds all event and background information.

Spartacvs Bali Hotel

Spartacvs is a "men only" hotel in Bali offering guests privacy, discretion and total security for your comfort.

Situated in the "Golden Mile" of Bali, Spartacvs is within a 5 minute walking distance to the gay beach of Ganesha and also the most celebrated restaurants in Bali such as Ku De Ta and The Living Room.

Bali is a great holiday destination offering friendly service at great value.

Check out Spartacvs Bali Hotel and other options on Bali section.

Blog for Tourism Operators

One of the things you notice when you operate a business like and review our operators websites is how some very simple things are missed.

So working with Canz Design we have started a new blog for tourism operators.

Check it out here

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dunedin Events

19th Oct 07 Spectrum Dunedin's Best Ever Queer Dance Party
Time: 9pm - 3am Venue- The Arc Dunedin
Theme: A Early Halloween Party

10th Nov 07 A Girls Night Out Cocktail Party
Time: 8pm - 3am Venue- The Arc Dunedin
Theme- Cocktail Dresses - get Dressed Up

24th Nov 07 Spectrum Dunedins Best Ever Queer Dance Party
Time: 9pm - 3am Venue - The Arc Dunedin
Theme - Schools Out - School Uniform

Check out for more info on all these events and for great places to stay if visiting Dunedin