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August 2017

Hi <<First Name>>,

What a joy to see a bit of sun again after one of the most beastly, soggy winters on record. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Portugal, the south of France, and unbelievably, Greenland have all experienced horrific forest fires in recent months.
Let’s hope we are in for a long, settled summer – we’ve earned it!

The Active Gourmet Travel organises
New Zealand travel too

While we are best known for organising exciting European cycling tours and gourmet travel, don’t forget we operate closer to home as well. 

If you have overseas relations visiting this summer, why not let us take over all the arrangements, so you get to enjoy their time here without organisational burdens? As always, we would tailor their NZ travel to suit their interests (and driving abilities) and perhaps you might like to join in for part of the time?
Contact us on 021 630 559 or

Money matters

If you are planning on travelling in the next 12 months it is probably a good idea to stache away some foreign currency now. There is always a downward slide in our dollar around election time, and the general world situation is not helping matters either. In particular, the euro is strengthening though the NZ$ is still worth around 0.61EUR, a far cry from the 0.47 of the 2007 Rugby World Cup days.

A recent article in the NZH rated all the pre-paid currency cards. Its conclusion was that all will charge you at some stage – it is just a matter of whether it is up front, or for cash withdrawals. If you are not planning to do many withdrawals, the airline debit cards (OneSmart for Air NZ and Qantas Cash) are good and earn you points. Loaded for Travel is a good multi-trip option, but the set-up fees are higher. Whichever you choose, make sure you don’t forget your password – it is laborious, lengthy procedure to replace it!

Speaking of passwords, check out and LastPass. Either of these password saving apps could save you some angst while travelling.

On the road again

Popular destinations for our travellers this year have been Puglia, and Bordeaux, while the Marche area of Italy offers an interesting alternative to the much-visited Tuscany.  Tracing ancestors in Ireland and Scotland is gaining in popularity, while the Cornish coast offers great walks, followed by equally great food.

Stunning Sicily

A full tour group learned of many of the secrets of Sicily during their journey in early May. From succulent seaside meals, to cooking schools in ancient palazzi, to exploring the still warm slopes of Mt Etna, and being entertained by locals – this 18 day springtime trip is great value. 
Join us in Palermo on 30 April 2018.

Hubert’s France tour

A fully-subscribed tour departs on 9th September, heading to Hubert’s four favourite places in France. Food and wine, some cooking, exquisite gardens and lots of exploration off the beaten track. Can’t wait!
Headlines indicate some cities are getting tired of the constant barrage of tourists who are destroying the way of life in their cities. Demonstrations and acts of violence against tourist infrastructure have taken place in Barcelona and Venice recently, and other cities are bound to follow.

Solution? Get the Active Gourmet Travel to design you an itinerary off the beaten track e.g. the Veneto province instead of Venice or coastal Catalonia instead of Barcelona. Your experience will be more authentic and probably cheaper too.

STOP PRESS: Thai Airways has just announced that from 16 November, it will be flying every day to Bangkok from Auckland and using the brand new Dreamliner, the 787-900, known as the 789. Great news for we Royal Orchid fans.

Hubert’s Wine Circle:  the ship has left Bordeaux with good supplies for the upcoming summer. A separate newsletter will come to those who like to share good French wines at sane prices.

Finally, the French do not like their oysters to be shucked earlier than 5 minutes before consuming them – those tins we used to get from Bluff would fill them with horror! Now, they are catering to those with a late night desire for les huitres by stocking special vending machines for after hour distribution. (Link here)

Enjoy spring!

Gail, Hubert and the team

the active gourmet travel
P.O Box 56 004 Dominion Rd 
Auckland 1446 New Zealand
Telephone:  021 630 559 / 0800 02 3663 (Freephone)

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