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My Top Mid-Winter Getaways (and a cheeky little discount for you!)

My Top Mid-Winter Getaways (and a cheeky little discount for you!)

I might be in the minority here, but I actually don’t mind Winter.  I prefer fashion for colder weather, and am a big fan of not being sweaty, and not shaving my legs for weeks at a time (I’m sure I’m not the only one on that last point).  If you’re a sweater like I am, summer can be a sticky time.  HOWEVER, the constant greyness and rain in the winter months can start to get a bit much, so I like to break it up a bit with something to look forward to.  In the form of a holidayyyy!  Oh, AND I’ve got the perfect excuse for a winter getaway – a discount on your accommodation from Booking.com!  Who doesn’t bloody love a discount?!  Booking.com currently has a ‘Refer a Friend’ campaign running, giving you $40 back for every booking over $80 (oh hi!) [Book now and use my exclusive Booking.com Refer a Friend discount].

I love travelling, and will take up every opportunity to get away for a bit.  I’m kind of doing this blog post for selfish reasons too, as I’m scrolling through the Booking.com website as we speak trying to make a decision on where to go on my own winter getaway, so I’m hoping writing this list will bring me an idea.  Whether you want to escape the cold, or are keen on a bit of a mulled-wine-by-the-fire situation, I feel like this list can point you (and me) in the right direction!

1.     If you’re a sun bunny, you need to head to the islands!  They aren’t too far from NZ, and there are often good deals on with flights, so you don’t have to take out another mortgage for another holiday.  Personally, it’s so hard to pick between Rarotonga and Fiji as to which would be my favourite as they are both so fab.  Art and I went to Rarotonga a couple of years ago when we were first together, and had the BEST time!  We stayed here, at Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas, which was right on Muri Beach.  Waking up to that view was something I will never forget.  I loved Raro because there isn’t so much of a divide between the resorts and the rest of the country, you feel like you’re right in amongst the culture.  Oh, and there is HEAPS to do!  We went quad biking through the bush, tried our hand at kite surfing (which is much harder than you think by the way…  unless you’re Art!). 

This was from the balcony of Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas... Stunning! I don't look happy here for some reason, but I PROMISE you, I was!

This was from the balcony of Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas... Stunning! I don't look happy here for some reason, but I PROMISE you, I was!

2.     Ski weekend!  There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a hot mulled wine (or hot chocolate) after a full on day on the slopes.  I’ve only been to Ruapehu, I have never skied down South, but I’m sure it’s just as good.  The après ski aspect of it is my personal favourite…  I’d quite happily make the trip down just for that!  If you’re looking for somewhere a bit lux to stay, you NEED to stay at Chateau Tongariro - it’s the perfect setting for a wintery getaway.

3.     Hamilton Island! I went to Hamilton Island at the end of last year, and loved it.  The whole island is basically one big resort, and the water is insanely beautiful.  When we went it was “stinger season” which basically means the water is riddled with jellies and they don’t recommend swimming without a stinger suit.  That was a bit of a downer, so I would recommend going at this time of year, as their high risk season is October to May.  We chartered a boat out to Whitehaven Beach, and I was BLOWN AWAY. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, and the sand is made from 98% silica, which gives it that stunning bright white colour.  It also doesn’t retain heat like normal sand, so you can walk on it on a hot day without any issues (unlike some beaches in NZ that feel like you’re walking through the pits of hell!).

Boating on Hamilton Island

Boating on Hamilton Island

This was the view after hiking up Passage Peak for sunrise. Amazing experience. If you're ever in Hamilton Island, this is well worth the early start!

This was the view after hiking up Passage Peak for sunrise. Amazing experience. If you're ever in Hamilton Island, this is well worth the early start!

4.     Book a cabin for a weekend.  Some of my favourite holidays have been a quiet couple of days just out of the city.  Whether it’s a romantic time with your S.O, or a chilled weekend away with a group of friends, there’s something to be said for drinking wine, playing cards, and eating cheese!  

A lot of these holidays don’t have to break the bank!  You can get some really good deals on Booking.com, and you can sort of kill 5 birds with one laptop as they handle everything (flights, accom, rental cars etc) so you don’t have to trawl the internet looking for the best deal.

OK it worked.  I think I’ve decided I want to go to Rarotonga.  Now excuse me while I take my own advice…

Happy holidaying x

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