Auckland Vineyard Wins Award

Waiheke Island is one of the Islands in the Hauraki Gulf of Auckland. We send numerous guests from Eden Park Bed and Breakfast down to the ferry to visit it. I now have greater reason to send them there afternoon Stony-ridge Vineyard has received recognition for its red wine, which has topped the list for the best Cabernet Merlot in The Age/ Sydney Morning Herald Good Wine Guide 2013. The Stonyridge Larose 2010 scored 97 points to make it the highest equal scoring red wine in 2013 and finish ahead of all of Australia’s most iconic Cabernet Merlots.
This award is the latest in a long string of international accolades that Stonyridge Larose has achieved since the first vintage back in 1985, further cementing this wine as New Zealand’s greatest Bordeaux Blend, and indeed a wine that can stand proud on the world stage.
This latest recognition is remarkable because it blasts the old generalisation that Australia makes great reds and NZ great whites. This latest acknowledgement confirms Stonyridge as one of the world’s best red wine producers. Last year Australian wine magazine Winestate awarded Stonyridge Larose 2006 five stars, placing it first equal with the legendary Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River in its annual awards in 2011, ahead of Chateau Latour 2006 and Chateau Rothschild 2006.
Well done Stonyridge……..

A Chinese Rip-Off

21 Jan

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Categories: New Zealand, Strange News, Tourism News, Travel

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This story about the Chinese Tourists getting a FREE meal at the City Mission just won’t go away .
They now say a rogue tour operator in Auckland promised them visits to farms, geyser parks and buffet dinners – but instead took them to free public facilities and charitable events, including the City Mission’s annual Christmas dinner. Ming Xi, a visitor from Wuhan, said he and 10 other Chinese tourists were taken to the City Mission lunch by the tour leader, who told them the event was an annual “buffet treat” the New Zealand Government organised for citizens and visitors.
The tourists arrived last month as part of a tour group on a four-day North Island tour.
They decided to extend their visit to experience how Christmas was celebrated in a Western country. They were approached by the Mandarin-speaking tour leader as they left the i-Site Visitor Information Centre in Quay St, Auckland, the week before Christmas and offered a discounted daily rate of $88 a person for the tour, which included meals and all activities and entry charges.
The itinerary would include visits to a wildlife reserve, a farm park, gardens and a geyser park, and meals would include a Kiwi barbecue, a cultural dinner and a grand Christmas buffet.

Thinking they had real bargain, they decided to go with him was because it would be handy to have a local guide who spoke Mandarin.
The Kiwi barbecue was a sausage sizzle at a public barbecue pit, and the cultural dinner was a vegetarian meal at an “Indian” spiritual gathering where the group were asked to chant, sing and dance before eating.
The offer
*A grand Christmas buffet, cultural dinner and a great Kiwi barbecue

*Admission to a farm park with farm shows, shearing and milking

*Visit to a wildlife reserve with endangered native birds

*Geysers, mud pools and a soak in Rotorua hot mineral pool

What they got:

*Auckland City Mission charity Christmas lunch

*Vegetarian dinner by an “Indian” spiritual group, for which they had to chant, sing and dance

*A sausage sizzle on a public barbecue pit

*Council-funded Ambury Farm Park and Western Springs

*Rotorua’s public Kuirau Park and a soak at its free foot bath

Supposedly this operator is not one of the accredited Chinese Tourism Operators in New Zealand.
Personally, I have to admit its a great story…….

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Homeless Meal For Chinese Tour Group

Being in the Accommodation Industry at Eden Park Bed and Breakfast in Auckland ,I like to read the latest reports and keep up with the news pertaining to the Tourism Industry. So when I read about the Auckland City Mission Free Lunch and the Chinese Tour Operator, I have to laugh!
Every year the Auckland City Mission’s Christmas Free lunch is presented to the homeless. This year 2800 people attended.
TVNZ caught a Chinese Tour Operator at a table of 10 Chinese having a free meal. When it’s reporter attempted to speak to the woman the agent fell back on to the wise words of “no speak English”
I would love to know if the Chinese Agent on-charged its tour group for that meal….
With all the hoopla about the Chinese Tourism Market and how we should be learning the basics of conversation , maybe we should be teaching them the meaning of the
English Word ” CHEAP”.

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Christmas is coming...

It’s Saturday 22nd Dec at Eden Park Bed and Breakfast. Bit of a rush day here. guests for breakfast and then a dash to Pukekohe (south of Auckland) for the annual family gathering and lunch.
Been very busy at the BnB with guests in and out. Makes one envious of the places that we hear, about; although travel is like a job…. Move on and gotta go….
We just had Guy check out last night and he had just finished a 2 month cycling trip around NZ. He had a great sun tan to go back to Germany with but on Tuesday he was back at his job in the Bank.
Kinda feel sorry for him..
I have a painting plan this summer. I have erected scaffolding on the west side to make the high rise gable easier and safer. I remember the last time I did this and thought never again… And here I am again.

International Visitor Arrivals to 9th December 2012
Total visitor arrivals are down 1% compared to the same four week period last year.

Ups: China 16%, Japan 37%, Korea 8%, Germany 4%

Downs: Singapore -4%, USA -12% , UK -12%, Malaysia -21%, Australia -1%, Canada -10%

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How not to buy too much...

At Eden Park Bed and Breakfast we are always offering extra packaging and bags to clients when packing to leave, so it was with amusement that I read that two Thai tourists were arrested in Queenstown after refusing to a leave a pharmacy when they tried to hand back $430 worth of soap and handcream they could not fit in their suitcase.
It seems the the couple had bought the goods earlier in the night, then returned around 9pm to try and reverse barter the goods after realising their purchases would not fit into their luggage.
The Pharmacy staff were quite accommodating, and took back some of the larger items, but things turned quite ugly and abusive when the whole lot wasn’t taken back. The couple, a man aged 50, and a woman aged 35, refused to leave the store, and police were called. They refused to listen to reason, were pleaded with, and eventually arrested and charged with trespass .
Would have been nice to have seen that. Well worth having a video to post onto UTube.

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We Do Love The Irish

At Eden Park Bed and Breakfast we strive to offer all travelers the best service we can. So i am pleased to hear that an intoxicated Irish man who walked away from an ATM machine in the centre of Queenstown on Monday night without the $800 he had withdrawn got a pleasant surprise when he visited Queenstown Police Station the next day. It seems that an honest young Otago man found the cash and card and handed it in to police.
Thats the the luck of the Irish.

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Where is this CHINA $$$$$

At Eden Park Bed and Breakfast we are always monitoring our arrivals and maintain our own meter as to New Zealand’s Inbound Tourism Industry so, when I read that China is now our third-largest tourist market and just shy of the $568 million spent by visitors from the UK, I have to wonder where are they?
The reports say that China has surged ahead of the United States and is on the verge of becoming New Zealand’s second-biggest tourist market, according to the latest International Visitor Survey.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s survey showed tourism spending was $5.6 billion for the year ending June 2012. This was flat on the previous year’s total spend of $5.5 billion, despite visitor numbers having risen 5 per cent to 2.6 million. However, expenditure from Chinese visitors increased by 27 per cent to $522 million.
China had already overtaken Germany and the United States and will soon become our second-largest visitor market, behind Australia. The number of Australian visitors to New Zealand increased 6 per cent to 1.17 million but spending stayed flat at $1.6 billion. Each tourist spent an average of 19.4 days in the country, down from 20.1 days in the year ended June 2011.
Wish I could some of this bonanza at Eden Park Bed and Breakfast !

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Where's the Snow in the South Island ?

At Eden Park Bed and Breakfast we don’t have snow, but when I hear about the lack of snow in the South Island and the fact that It has been a month since snow fell on Coronet Peak, while the Remarkables have had a barren fortnight; it does concern me that the snow industry that is centered in Queenstown is the largest contributor to the current Tourism figures for the South Island. So a downturn there is gonna hurt the rest of the economy for the entire region. Let’s hope there will be a good Winter Blast that whites out the whole zone. (Although I would rather be under a palm tree with a cooool drink in hand and enjoy some warm rays)
At Eden Park Bed and Breakfast we are winter steady and running about 48% occupancy. It gives us the opportunity to keep up with maintenance. There is new carpet down ;new Venetian blinds on all windows and all the white painting finished. Will need another holiday if this keeps up !

International Visitor Arrivals to 15th July 2012
Total visitor arrivals are up by 3% compared to the same four week period last year.

Ups: China 31%, Japan 27%, Germany 12%, Australia 6% .

Downs: Singapore -4%, UK -16%, Malaysia -43%, Canada -7%, USA -8%, Korea -13%

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A Birthday In The House

We had a Birthday at Eden Park Bed and Breakfast over the weekend. Happy Birthday Marlene.
We had a full house and lots of merry,merry was had by all. Lots of good food and a few drinks sealed the day. Had breakfast at the Depot Restaurant in Auckland City on Sunday Morning. That’s a very cool place. I understand why it won the best Restaurant in Auckland 2012. Highly recommend it to anyone. Be aware that they do NOT take reservations!
Our International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand are still positive although following the Bus accident with Chinese tourists in the South Island ; I would not be surprised to see the Chinese wish to travel in the Summer weather when Ice is not present on the road……
Total visitor arrivals are up by 14% compared to the same four week period last year.
Ups: China 41%, Korea 11%, Canada 10%,
Australia 23%

Downs: Singapore -12%, UK -5%, Germany -4%,
Malaysia -46%, Japan -10%, USA -1%

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Tourism warning for Auckland's Queen Street

As if the Tourism Industry and Accommodation sector in New Zealand doesn’t have enough problems ……we now have the New Zealand Japanese Society warning Japanese citizens to avoid Auckland’s Queen St and its drunken denizens amid reports of sex attacks and violence against tourists.
Society president Masa Sekikawa said the decision to issue the warning followed reports about excessive drinking in the central city and attacks on students and tourists.”To a lot of Japanese people, New Zealand is just a country that’s green, blue skies and sheep where crime doesn’t happen, so they let their guard down.When they encounter trouble, many also choose not to report to the authorities because of language or cultural differences.”
Last month, visitors from Japan rose 20 per cent to 3000, which was still below the May 2010 level of 5300 visitors before the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March last year.
Unsurprisingly ,Auckland Mayor Len Brown said alcohol consumption and its effect on community safety was an important issue for the city, but would not support a call for Queen St to be avoided.
Personally Mr Brown, I would suggest that when other countries issue warnings for their citizens to steer clear of Auckland’s main street; I would take their recommendations very seriously !

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Auckland's top Restaurants offer Terrific food, served with great charm and efficiency in a smart but probably somewhat informal atmosphere.

Brief overview of upcoming events in Auckland City

A short walk from Eden Park makes us the perfect destination for all their sporting fixtures.

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