Monday, May 26, 2008

The ultimate road trip – South Island by Porsche

Looking for the ultimate autumn/winter escape?

How about experiencing the South Island from behind the wheel of the latest model Porsche by day, and spending nights cocooned in some of the world's most desirable luxury lodge accommodation?

Christchurch based Porsche rental company Porstige has teamed up with four South Island lodges to offer the discerning traveller a range of tempting packages to choose from.

"Porstige was born out of the recognition that true ultra-luxury experiences are thin on the ground outside of the luxury lodge market," says founder Leiv Bjerga, who launched the business late last year, offering travellers the opportunity to settle in behind the wheel of a 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 or Boxster.

"We set out to offer a seamless travel experience – a way to match the indulgence of the accommodation experience and carry it through the journey.

"A driving holiday is a great way to experience every square mile of the South Island – up close and personal. Porsches, of course, offer unparalleled comfort and luxury. There's a freedom like no other when you get behind the wheel of a brand new Porsche and just let fly."

"And it's all completely hassle free, you can arrive at the airport or your accommodation and your Porsche will be there waiting. You can then cruise around for a few days exploring at your leisure."

Leiv's top South Island picks for this winter?

"First stop would be a relaxing drive along the Pacific Coast road to Kaikoura with its dramatic shores, awe inspiring whale watching and a pampered few days at Hapuku Lodge.

"A little further north to Marlborough could find you at Herzog Vineyard - no need to go anywhere else for some of the finest Marlborough wines created onsite at their winery. Or stay at the luxurious and picturesque Timara Lodge. After a couple of days of this kind of treatment the brisk drive in your Porsche back to Christchurch will supercharge the soul and leave you with a determination to do it all again – soon!

"Maybe next I'd take a long, leisurely drive to Queenstown, stopping at beautiful Wanaka and maybe a brief diversion to picturesque Arrowtown along the way. Just a drop or two of wine tasting at Peregrine (let's not forget you're driving!) backed by a hearty lunch at Gibbston Valley Winery, then back on the road towards Matakauri Lodge or Blanket Bay.

"Continuing in the finest tradition of luxury, I'd also make sure I experienced the best in Canterbury hospitality - with a visit to Otahuna Lodge and Grasmere Lodge.

"We have some excellent winter packages, allowing you to drive your Porsche and experience some of the finest accommodation, food and scenery in the southern hemisphere."

Porstige rentals start at $610 per day, with rates negotiable for longer hires.

For Porstige's winter hire and accommodation packages and more great ideas for a South Island getaway, visit www.porstige.co.nz.

Porstige is a proud member of IGLTA and for this and other packages contact the Rainbow Tourism concierge.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Patroc.com - a gay travel guide to Europe

I am always looking our for new gay travel sites and it is great to find new ones that specialise on a region or area.

Today I got an email from Michael of Patroc.com This is a gay travel web site for European destinations such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, Paris and London.

I know this will be a useful source for us as we expand our European content on RainbowTourism.com - currently we only have one place in Wales and Prague but this will change as we now have contacts from the recent IGLTA Convention.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

PINK WAVE Festival Lake Woerthersee, Austria

Lake Woerthersee will host the first PINK WAVE Festival for
the international Gay and Lesbian Community. As there site says:

It is time to get off the beaten track with the addition of a new GLBT Community Event – held in a gorgeous, quaint vacation destination, which is conveniently located in the heart of Europe.

So end the European summer with a splash and explore the Austrian state of Carinthia.

PINK WAVE offers something for everyone: whether you are looking to party, relax, connect with new people or spend romantic down time together as a couple.

With anticipated event attendees from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia,
England and other countries, it will truly be an international event: an festival of fun,
entertainment, sporting, wellness – and of course, the opportunity to meet fantastic
new people.

Date: 11-14 September 2008

Website: www.pinkwave.at

For travel assistance contact the Rainbow Concierge.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Vexillographer Gilber Baker: The Unsung Hero of the Rainbow Flag



In the worldwide community of gay men and women, who is one of our unsung heroes? Mine is Gilbert Baker, who 30 years ago taught himself how to sew and created a signature logo flag for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade (now known as Pride).


Today, his creation is instantly recognizable around the globe, in endless variations. The Rainbow Flag, - whether with the original 8 colours or the 6 standards - is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers as the most visible and recognized symbol of gay pride.

About 5 years ago, RainbowTourism.com adopted the original 8 striped flag as part of its logo, in sync with the silver anniversary of the original flag which Gilbert re-introduced. (By adding pink and violet stripes).

As I'm writing this blog after seeing an article on GayWired, I looking at a bumper sticker. "I'm not gay. I just really love rainbows. " Touche!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fun Maps Dedicates SFO edition to Armisted Maupin


Fun Maps was one of several sponsors of the IGLTA 2008 Annual Convention in Vegas where Tales of the City author Armisted Maupin was the lunch speaker and entertainer for 475 delegates. At the conclusion of his informal chat and Q&A sessions, Fun Maps owner Alan Beck spontaneously announced he would dedicate its next San Francisco guide to the man who put gay travel on the map.

During the book signing session that afternoon, Mark Proffit purchased an autographed copy of Maupin's latest tome, Michael Tolliver Lives, as Armisted told him his sister is running a B&B on the South Island and she welcomes everyone from IGLTA. RainbowTourism.com immediately pledged to put the Maupin farm accommodation on the booking page for New Zealand. (BTW, if you sign up two friends for our Gateway newsletter or post a comment on this blog about your gay trips in NZ, you could win this autographed copy of the book.)

Silver State Pride Does IGLTA Silver Anniversary


Silver was the color of the day last week in the Silver State of Nevada when IGLTA held its 25th anniversary in Las Vegas - with a number of original members in attendance, now with silver hairs!

Among the travel trailblazers in attendance were Rainbow Tourism's own Dee Farrell, the lone surviving member of the Charter Group of 25 that convened in 1983 and gave birth to IGTA (Intl. Gay Travel Assn.)

Aldis Alexander, a travel planner from CT, is on her left. He served on the IGTA board for many years and has been a continuous member of the group since 1984. It is know known as IGLTA, with the coinage of The L Word.

Fred Kohn is the only three-term president of the 1000-member association. When he was top leader, GALTA was born in Australia after representatives met with Dee, Fred and Aldis at the 4th convention in New Orleans in 1987.

Needless to say, they earned those silver hairs, as anyone who's served on an international board knows! IGLTA acknowledged their long-service and accomplishments during the 4-day confab in Sin City.

Coincidentally, the Las Vegas pride organization was also celebrating its silver anniversary that week and they invited IGLTA delegates to carry flags of our nations in their Pride Parade. More than 25 countries were represented at the convention, and we were thrilled to march with the locals. (It reminded me of when we marched in the 1993 March on Washington under the IGTA banner and our state flags. Aldis brought along a photo of that event to show that we didn't always have silver hair and wrinkles!)



Rainbow Tourism's other half, Mark Proffit of Sydney, found more than one fellow Aussie at the meeting, and especially enjoyed chatting with Mich from Boston on the left. Tom Nibbio, r, International Sales Manager for IGLTA, has tapped Mark as Ambassador to Australia for the association, and challenged him to get 100 members from Australia and the South Pacific to join before the annual conventions in Toronto 2009 and Antwerp 2010.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Las Vegas Escapes

Kylie, Desert Adventures and Dee, Rainbow Tourism
at the Luxor Hotel for the women's party

After four days in Las Vegas for the IGLTA convention, today was a chance to explore a totally different part of Nevada.

Izzy, from Desert Adventures, picked up our small group from the Flamingo Las Vegas, stopping in Boulder City to pick up lunch. We then continued to Lake Mead where we meet Kylie (left in picture above with Dee, Rainbow Tourism) who was to lead our Kayak trip.

Once fitted with life jackets and some basic instruction we headed out to an island. With a strong wind blowing it made the kayaking a bit more interesting with some waves and the odd splash or too. After an hour or so of kayaking we stopped for lunch and just had a chance to chat and talk.

Returning back from the island the wind was up which meant some good waves and more water into the kayaks.

It was a great trip and a really welcome break from the glitz of Les Vegas.

Upon our return to Vegas Dee headed to the Luxor Hotel for the women's party where she caught up with Kylie again. For the men their party destination was Blue Moon Resort.

The IGLTA trip was organised by Babs, from Thanks Babs The Day Tripper. So when you are next in Vegas make sure you contact Babs or contact the Rainbow Tourism concierge for accommodation and other deals.