Hot spots to chill out – can you afford not to?

Your desk is myriad of files and pa-
perwork, there’s pressure at work and at home. Memories of 45-year-old colleague dropping dead of heart attack last month are agonisingly fresh in your mind and there’s little prospect of things letting up before the Christmas holidays.
It’s an all too familiar scenario that has been ringing corporate alarm bells for long time. And while stress counsellors answer with valuable advice about daily management for type-A personalities like executives – recognised relief remedy that is being prescribed on serious and more consistent basis, is taking mid winter break.
Many executives now have regular getaways built into their contracts as part of the increasing awareness of stress management. Others get short breaks as reward for performance, but even individuals not on the privileged list are recognising the need to take time out as part of sensible personal management.
The value of having something in reserve for when crisis hits, is recognised essential – though hard working managers still find it difficult concept. The trick is to factor winter holiday or some regular short getaways into your schedule as part of annual planning. Blocking off few weekends, week or fortnight may be the best business decision you make all year. The hardest part is likely to be singling out your choice of destination.
The getaway market is one of the fastest growing niches in the travel industry and there’s fantastic range of options and incentives to take breaks at home and abroad.
Our proximity to the Pacific Islands and Australia makes it financially and physically viable to be lying on an isolated tropical island beach within few hours of leaving your centrally heated, atmospherically controlled office block. Just as easily you could be relaxing in luxury lodge at New Zealand resort, sampling some of our finest cuisine and wines having made short journey from home.
Where to go obviously depends very much on your ideal recipe for relaxation. passion for good food and wine, or playing golf, fishing or sailing can make the decision more clean cut. But as some tour operators point out, managers and executives are real people with partners and families and depending on the nature of the break, the more considerate millennium executives want to share their getaway time.
Attractive deals particularly to the most popular Pacific Islands, where children fly free, stay free and eat free make taking the family reasonable option… though tired executives may not see this as stress-less break!

Vanuatu
Vanuatu is an example of destination offering children’s specials but there’s much more to this relatively new tourist Mecca than being an ideal family holiday spot. Visiting some of the outlying islands is like stepping back in time and the shy but friendly locals are delight. The people are predominantly Melanesian and there are surprising 115 distinctly different cultures and languages still thriving on Vanuatu – out of population of 180,000.
These people don’t want tips, just smiles – and it’s refreshing to be part of budding tourist destination with all the trimmings yet still unspoiled. Because of the French influence Vanuatu is haven for foodies. There are 23 different restaurants in down town Port Vila offering choice of Melanesian, French, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, English and Japanese cuisine. While the outer islands beg further investigation for true getaway, Port Vila has three luxury resorts – Iririki Island Resort, Le Meridien and Le Lagon ParkRoyal. Air Vanuatu flies to Port Vila every Wednesday and Saturday and it takes only three hours.
Sailing the South Pacific
Anyone with the remotest interest in yachting (and there’s lot of those in post America’s Cup New Zealand) – has to take closer look at Sail Connections – the company that charters boats and masterminds dreamy sailing holidays in the South Pacific and our own local waters. There can be nothing more special than waking up at anchor off small tropical island, taking dip in the warm crystal clear water and enjoying lush local fruits for breakfast before cruising off to the destination of your choice. The flexibility and hugely relaxing qualities of live-aboard holiday make it hard to beat. Sail Connections offers range of bare boat charters, skippered or luxury crewed yachts in Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, The Whitsundays and Vanuatu. They’ve also got New Zealand’s largest portfolio of charter boats available for cruising in the Bay of Islands, Marlborough Sounds and The Hauraki Gulf. And you don’t have to be boatie nor millionaire to enjoy it – surprisingly chartering yacht to cruise the magic islands of say Tahiti, can cost as little as $1975 per person for eight nights (flights, transfers, night’s hotel accommodation included).

Australia
With its spectacular wildlife, beautiful islands and rainforests, sophisticated cities and excellent food and wine, Australia is an unparalleled destination for both excitement and relaxation. Suggestions for luxury getaway destinations include:

New South Wales
? Peppers Guest House Hunter Valley – colonial style guesthouse in Hunter Valley vineyards two hours north of Sydney. An elegant setting with activities such as winery tours, golf, tennis, bush walking, hot air ballooning and 4WD tours available. Room rates from NZ$300 per night.
? Lilianfels Blue Mountain – 90 minutes drive from Sydney in the Blue Mountains and winner of the Luxury Accommodation Award at the 1999 Australia Tourism Awards. An 1890 country house offering serenity and solace with library, billiard room, steam rooms, massage rooms, herbal bath, gym and indoor swimming pool, saunas and spas. Room rates from NZ$366 per night.

Queensland
One of the major attractions is the climate – just over half the state lies in the tropical zone – Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville enjoy an average of 300 days of sunshine year.
? The Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove – designed in the style of gracious Australian colonial mansion and set in beautifully landscaped tropical gardens. Swim in the saltwater beach lagoon with sandy beaches, filtered salt water and white sandy bottom. Access to the Pines private golf course is available to all guests. Room rates from NZ$360 per night.
? The Hyatt Regency Coolum is premier international resort and spa with outstanding facilities and room rates are from NZ$455 per night.
? Daintree Eco Lodge offers elegant luxury in the heart of the world’s oldest living rainforest yet is surprisingly accessible.
? Silky Oaks Lodge is one of Australia’s finest wilderness lodges and with no phones or television the only wake up call comes courtesy of the birds – you can do day trips to the Great Barrier Reef and wilderness safaris from here.
? Hayman Resort – rated as one of the world’s top five-star resorts – exotic setting, numerous activities and outstanding food. Room rates from NZ$587 to NZ$3951 per night.
South Australia
? Thorn Park Country House is gourmet retreat just north of Adelaide. The 1850s homestead is set on 60 acres of pastoral land in the Clare Valley wine region – there are only six guest rooms so it is intimate and friendly – rates are from NZ$210 per night.
? North Adelaide Heritage Apartments offer unique experience with 11 different properties on offer – room rates from NZ$150 per night.
? Only an hour’s drive from Adelaide is the All Seasons Premier Barossa Valley Resort offering excellent facilities in dramatic setting overlooking Jacobs Creek and the North Para River. Rooms from NZ$288.

Tasmania
Enjoy the mild maritime climate with four distinct seasons.
? Freycinet Lodge is an outstanding environmentally friendly resort within Freycinet National Park. Enjoy delicious local seafood and Tasmania wines. An in-house naturalist guide conducts daily walks, four wheel

Visited 4 times, 1 visit(s) today

A focus on culture

Rabobank’s 520-plus New Zealand employees work from 27 locations – places like Ashburton, Pukekohe and Feilding and from a purpose-built head office in Hamilton. Its employees are proud of the

Read More »
Close Search Window