Category: Travel

Forward Thinking Luxury Accommodation Concept In New Zealand

Every now and then, the launch of a new vacation product in New Zealand grabs our attention. This is one of them. It’s a new luxury accommodation concept that would be a wonderful part of any New Zealand vacation packages. If you want to return home with a special story to tell, read here about ‘PurePod’ and their unique selling point – realtors call it ‘location, location, location’

If you asked returning travelers what they liked most about their New Zealand holiday, the vast majority would answer “the scenery”. Now you can experience New Zealand scenery in a way that is like no other.

PurePods are sleekly designed glass sleeping cabins and the owners have gone to extraordinary lengths to locate them in some of the most magical spots in the country. Each PurePod is a self-contained luxury cabin with steel and wood frames supporting a glass roof, a glass floor (heated), three walls all of glass and featuring big wide sliding doors with external decking. What better way to truly immerse yourself in the beautiful natural environment surrounding you.

Curtains and blinds have been ditched so you can enjoy uninterrupted and unbelievably scenic views of the country’s magnificent landscape and clear skies. But if you’re a bit shy, each pod does have blinds and a shower curtain – though we do recommend leaving the blinds up at night so you can watch the sunrise from the comfort of your bed. The thing is, the location of your PurPod means you will not have any neighbors or visitors!

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And, for stargazers, the glass roof and the lack of light pollution ensures that on clear nights there are plenty of stars in the Milky Way to view. They even provide a telescope and a star map so any novice star gazers can have fun identifying the stars.

At the moment there are six unique PurePods, located on the east coast of the South Island, north of the biggest city of Christchurch. More are planned.

These are some of the words used to describe their locations –

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“… sweeping views of the beautiful countryside and mountain ranges”.

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“… perched above the Kahutara River with distant mountain views”.

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“… nestled amongst native forest, alive with native birds. Superb sea views”.

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“…  on an historic sheep farm, with sweeping sea views”.

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“… overlooking a distant organic winery with the Southern Alps as a backdrop”.

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“… with beautiful views of the historic Port Levy and the surrounding hills”.

Practical Advice:

  • You can choose to either bring your own food supplies, or you can pre-purchase the optional dinner & breakfast package that will be waiting for you in the PurePod. The food package is slightly different at each location, as your hosts use fresh, local ingredients based on the season and availability. For dinner, there is usually a grazing platter with local cheeses, crackers, ciabatta bread and other delectable nibbles, followed by a main course with fish, lamb, beef, or even in some cases, venison, ready for you to cook yourself on the cooktop or barbeque. Meals are accompanied with seasonal vegetables and a freshly prepared salad, then a sweet treat to finish. Breakfast is usually a freshly made muesli with organic yoghurt and a berry compote.
  • The water source at each PurePod is pure drinking water and tea and coffee supplies are provided. You can then bring along your other favorite beverages.
  • Although there are no internet or phone links, in the unlikely event of an emergency or medical event, each of the PurePods has an emergency satellite phone, preprogrammed to reach the emergency services and the PurePods HQ on a 24/7 basis. Each PurePod also has a medical kit and an EPIRB (personal locator beacon), which you can also use if you head out on a local trail. The local farmer will know you are there and arrangements have been made to have him also available to help out if needed.

Talk with one of the team at New Zealand Vacations about where you can incorporate a PurePod stay into your vacation. You’ll be provided with an information pack at time of booking with detailed instructions for locating the PurePod – this is part of the adventure, following the instructions to their secret PurePod location. Then after leaving your car in the designated car-park, there’s along a well formed trail to get to your accommodation and your entry to another world.

YouTube Review:

 

Our Christchurch based team member Jane Cousens is very familiar with the region where the PurePods are located, so if you would like to know more, email her – jane@newzealandvacations.com.

Top Switzerland Tourist Attractions

Switzerland may be a small country, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in raw natural beauty and countless tourist attractions. It is also well- known for its cheese, chocolates and of course Swiss rolls. Not only that, it is also a country that has a rich history as evidenced by the countless museums that dot the country. This country that has three national languages also embodies the distinct cultures of its close neighbors- Germany, Italy and France.

For those who thrive on a rush of adrenaline, there are many activities you can engage in while in the country. These including adventurous activities such as paragliding, skiing, riding cable cars and climbing some of the world’s steepest mountains. Here are the reasons why tourist flock the country by the thousands every year:

 

1. Matterhorn

Matterhorn is one of the most famous mountains in the Swiss Alps. In fact, one can positively argue that it is the face of the Alpine mountains. It is exceedingly high, standing at a solid 4478 meters high. Not only is it physically intimidating, but it is also a rare beauty in every sense of the word. The name Matterhorn is derived from the German word Matte which means Meadow, and horn which means peak.

Adventure- seekers visit this famous mountain found at the border of Italy and Switzerland to try and conquer it. Climbing to the top is quite challenging. It can also be quite risky for inexperienced climbers because of the exceptionally steep slopes. Hundreds have fallen to their deaths trying to conquer it.

At the foot of the mountain lies the beautiful village of Zermatt. The village is as cute as they come, and is largely unspoiled due to a rule that bans the use of motor vehicles within it. Here, you can engage in a number of activities such as skiing during winter and swimming in the summer. The village is also home to some of the best resorts and hotels in the world, so you can rest assured that all your accommodation needs will be met. Geneva to Zermatt transfers are also available via GVA Transfers.

 

2. Chateau de Chillon, Montreaux

This towering castle sings a timeless song of Swiss history. It comprises of 25 buildings clustered in three courtyards, and was a home for Swiss lords for centuries. The water castle served as a fortress for over four hundred years.

For the discerning historian, a lot can be learnt by visiting the castle. Wander through the rooms and you will be enriched with stories from the past. Visit the renowned Camera Domini, which is the bedroom of the Duke of Savoy that is richly decorated with murals. And for artists and writers, you can look to the castle for inspiration as many others did before you. These include world- known figures such as the poets Victor Hugo and Lord Byron.

If you wish, you can also hold various events within the castle for a fee. No doubt such events will remain etched in your mind for a long time to come.

 

3. Bernina Express

If you feel as though you’re running out of time and still haven’t visited as much of the country as you would like to, consider cruising through it using the Bernina Express. This is a vividly colored scarlet train that cruises through 196 bridges and five tunnels in four hours. The ride starts at Chur and ends in Tirano. Those four hours can prove to be the most exhilarating hours of your life. There is so much to see: from the beautiful landscape to the small sleepy towns to the steep drops that will make your heart skip a beat.

 

4. Jungfraujoch

The Jungfrau area has a lot to offer a tourist. Take a train journey to the top of the mountain, and you will have reached the Top of Europe as it is commonly called. The mountain boasts of having the longest glacier in Europe, the Great Aletsch Glacier. The Eiger trail is also found here. If you don’t feel up to hiking or other demanding activities, you can get into a cable car and enjoy the excitement of travelling in one at such high heights. There is also a scientific observatory here for those who are passionate about science.

 

5. Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus is a picturesque mountain hidden away near Lake Lucerne. It is so named because of a rumor that the famous biblical Pontius Pilate is buried here. In the medieval times, most people believed that the mountain was created out of a dragon rock that fell from heaven. Isn’t that enough proof of the cultural and historical significance that the mountain holds for those who liv near it?

This 2100 meters high mountain offers scenic views of the Swiss Alps and the breathtaking Lake Lucerne. You can get here by riding the steepest railway in the world, which will certainly give you the adrenaline rush you crave.

 

6. Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva is the biggest Alpine lake and is found on the Swiss- French border. Not only are the shimmering waters captivating, but the city of Geneva is quite nearby. Transport to the city is not difficult thanks to the Geneva airport transfers, which will ensure that you get to your destination without much bother. However if you want Geneva to Val D’Isere transfers, you will have to change trains once at Bourg Saint Maurice. It is guaranteed to be a smooth transition so there is no need to worry about it.

 

7. Swiss National Park

Switzerland has only one national park, which is why it would be a shame to visit the country and not visit this park. This park, the Schwiezerischer Park, has been preserved so well that you wouldn’t believe that tourists are actually allowed in it. There glaciers, waterfalls and pastures all preserved in their natural state. If you are lucky, you may even get a glimpse of the rare ibexes, golden eagles and chamois.

 

8. Lugano

Italian influence on this town is very evident in many things- from the architecture to the food and even the language. It is a scenic town, and also boasts of being home to the beautiful Lake Lugano. The temperatures here are relatively war, thanks to the Mediterranean air. Celebrities spend so much time here that the town has been nicknamed the Monte Carlo of Switzerland. It is a beautiful getaway and can prove to be quite a romantic town too.

 

Conclusion

Switzerland has countless tourist attractions. There is something for everyone- historians, scientists, adventure- seekers and nature lovers. There are also a lot of activities to engage in. the country is a relatively peaceful one- which explains why over 200 international organizations have many offices here. It is also rather safe, and finding great accommodation is quite easy. You really have no reason to postpone your visit to the country- it will prove to be worth every single penny you spend on it. Private and Public Geneva airport to Val D’Isere are also available here.