How To Explore Places Like Never Before: ARGENTINA

On Board the Train to the Clouds at Salta

WHAT: Originally built for economic and social reasons, the train service called Tren a Las Nubes (Train to the clouds) is now primarily of tourism value as a heritage railway.

WHERE: The train service starts at the provincial capital of Salta.

WHY: It is known as the Tren a Las Nubes because clouds can often be seen around and under the bridges and slopes of the landscape through which the railway passes. The train terminates at the giant iron viaduct La Polvorilla, which is 4200 metres above sea level – the third highest railway in the world.

HOW: Contact an Argentina Specialist at

VISIT: – Your Indian Connection to Argentina


All Year at the Capital of the Andean Patagonia

WHAT: San Carlos de Bariloche and the Lake Region is known as the Capital of the Andean Patagonia. The region is renowned for skiing but is also known for water sports, trekking and climbing.

WHERE: Province of Río Negro.

WHY: Truly a year-round destination, during the summer, the region is a gorgeous destination for walking, trekking and fishing and during the winter, it is home to one of the most popular ski centres in South America.

HOW: Contact an Argentina Specialist at

VISIT: – Your Indian Connection to Argentina


Exploring the End of the World at Ushuaia

WHAT: Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world.

WHERE: It is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel.

WHY: A visit to Ushuaia will not be complete without experiencing the Maritime Museum where you can find collections ranging from naval models to the history of Antarctic exploration – all housed in a former prison building. Ushuaia is also the gateway to Tierra del Fuego National Park and to Antarctica!

HOW: Contact an Argentina Specialist at

VISIT: – Your Indian Connection to Argentina


Crossing Argentina on Route 40

WHAT: The famed Route 40 is the longest and most spectacular road in Argentina.

WHERE: Running parallel to the Andes mountain range, the magical route runs along over 4900 kilometres from Cabo Virgenes in the southern Santa Cruz Province to La Quiaca in Jujuy Province in the north.

WHY: With an elevation ranging from sea level to 5000 metres, Route 40 crosses and gives access to 11 provinces, 236 bridges, 18 main rivers, 20 National Parks and Reserves, 27 Andean passes and showcases the vast palette of Argentina’s natural landscape.

HOW: Contact an Argentina Specialist at

VISIT: – Your Indian Connection to Argentina


Bella Argentina

What makes Argentina beautiful? How do you describe beauty? Bella Argentina is a visual feast inspired by the diverse cultural and natural landscapes of Argentina. From the unbridled force of the Iguazú Falls to the magnificent precision of the Tango, the beauty of Argentina awaits you in Mumbai from 26th Nov. to 2nd Dec. 2010. Email for venue and timings. Prize giveaways include Diesel T-shirts, cases of Malbec wine and a return ticket to Buenos Aires too!

San Telmo Market


The San Telmo Street Market in Buenos Aires is characterized by stall after stall of antiques, jewellry, glassware, linens, handmade crafts along the cobblestone streets – all highlighted with lively musicians and dancers.



Mate is prepared from infusing dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water and is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd. Those who share the mate are believed to be brought together by a bond of acceptance and friendship.

The Perito Moreno Glacier


The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in the Los Glaciares National Park of the Argentine Patagonia. The terminus of the glacier is 5 kilometres wide, with an average height of 74 metres above the surface of the water of Lake Argentino. It is one of only a few ice fields worldwide that have withstood rising global temperatures and has continued to advance.

The tango is a social dance


The tango is a social dance and musical genre that originated in the lower-class districts of Buenos Aires in the 1890s. Relying heavily on improvisation, the tango accentuates communication, coordination and the passion of its dancers. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Treasure.

La Boca is the colourful and artistic heart of Buenos Aires.


La Boca is the colourful and artistic heart of Buenos Aires. The main pedestrian street, the Caminito, is lined with ornate houses, multi-coloured buildings, statues, fountains, street performers, dancers, musicians and art galleries.



Beef is a key component of Argentine cuisine. The beef is traditionally grilled on an open fire pit called an asado and is a staple of family and community gatherings.

Email for venue and timings of Bella Argentina in Mumbai.

Prize giveaways include Diesel T-shirts, cases of Malbec wine and a return ticket to Buenos Aires!

H.E. Fernando Ras Consul, General of Argentina in Mumbai

Mr. Fernando Ras has been the Consul General of Argentina in Mumbai since the past two and a half years. Earlier this year, on 25 May, Argentina celebrated the Bi-Centennial of the May Revolution. The celebration continues in India with a series of exciting events in November and December and Mr. Ras shares with us his views of why Argentina is such an exciting destination to visit.


How has the role of your office in areas of trade promotion, tourism and cultural exchanges evolved since the time the Consulate General in Mumbai opened to the public on 1st April 2009?

Before the opening of the Consulate General in Mumbai, Argentina’s official presence in India had been centered in our Embassy in New Delhi reflecting the close partnership in multiple international fora which our two countries have enjoyed since the time of India’s Independence. By opening a second office in Mumbai, the Argentine Government is signalling its wish to contribute to the broadening of existing non-official relations between private agents in both countries. In this regard the organization of trade, tourism and cultural activities are all valuable instruments that lay the groundwork for a better understanding of a distant country of which there is little knowledge of in India.

How do you plan to create awareness of Argentina in India beyond Tango and Football?

There is much more to Argentina than Tango and Football. But those are nevertheless good places to begin to get acquainted with the country. From there, you may want to learn more about the cinema, the wines and the varied tourism destinations. And that is just the beginning.

Argentina has great authors, Nobel Prizes, a beef-centred cuisine, a Nuclear Programme for the peaceful use of atomic energy, one of the world’s most efficient agricultural sectors and vast mineral resources. And that is just a short overview.

Its history is strewn with interesting and charismatic personalities. The geography is a patchwork of every conceivable climate from severe cold to warm subtropical. There are many things to get to know about Argentina.

How well known is India in Argentina and what is the perception of Indians and India in Argentina?

India is well known in Argentina, and a warm feeling of sympathy is generally bestowed on anything “Indian”. It is perhaps Mahatma Gandhi’s towering moral stature and the Independence Movement that is the focus of attention, but also its long and rich history, exquisite cuisine, spirituality, the country where Polo was born, its search for a balance between body and soul, and so very many other things that contribute to this positive vision. It is a land looked upon with interest and respect.

Argentina will be hosting a Bollywood Film Festival.  Are there similar film festivals planned to showcase films from Argentina in India?

The Indian Embassy in Buenos Aires is organizing a Bollywood Film Festival that will showcase many of the Indian film industry’s achievements. Likewise, the Consulate General in Mumbai is organizing a film festival (Whistling Woods, 3-4 December 2010.) where we will be projecting 5 Argentine films that have been nominated by the Academy of Motion Pictures for the Best Foreign Film. Two of those films have won the award, the most recent one, El Secreto de sus Ojos (The Secret of Their Eyes), only this year.


What is the ideal length of stay for the first time traveller and what experiences would you recommend for various traveller profiles such as honeymooners, families and lovers of culture, art, wine and cuisine?

If Argentina is your only destination and you are coming from India, spend at least two weeks to recover from the trip, jet lag and get used to the rhythm and cultural attitudes.

Different groups of travellers might find different points of interest in Argentina. Honeymooners may find Bariloche to be a little bit of Switzerland far from Europe. Families may find the many options in and around Buenos Aires more suited to their needs. Lovers of culture will certainly go for Buenos Aires with its world-renowned opera house, Colon Theatre, which was recently restored to full glory, dozens upon dozens of theatres for musicals, drama, comedy and more. Of course, Tango is everywhere for those who want to learn, hear or watch.

In regards to cuisine, beef is king. But there are innumerable regional cuisines that offer a wide variety of alternatives, as well as the occasional Indian restaurant, and innumerable Italian restaurants where vegetarians will find the pasta of their choice.

The wine route is followed every year by thousands of tourists, but also by many local lovers of wine. Golf tours, football training, polo training and playing, bird and whale watching and big game hunting are all major attractions for enthusiasts. Skiing brings to Argentina the beginners to the top trainers and professionals looking for snow during the northern hemisphere’s summer months. And these are just a few of many options.

What is your opinion on Namaste Argentina ( – a dedicated website generating awareness and sales for the Indian outbound traveller to Argentina?

I think it is a great idea, particularly because Argentina is still an exotic destination for many Indian travellers and little is known about the country. In this way, they can find useful information in one short stop and updated information and hints are made available to the visitor.


Which are the local experiences for one to experience to understand the lifestyle of Argentines such as coffee and estancias (large rural estates, ranches)?

This depends on different people’s interests and preferences. For myself, I like to sit at a sidewalk café, taking the breeze in the summer shade or receiving the sun’s rays on chilly days in winter, reading the morning paper, catching up with friends, chatting with the people at the table next to mine or just generally watching the world go by.

If one were to travel to Argentina extensively, what would be the key locations you would suggest in and around Buenos Aires, Cuyo, Norte, Litoral, Cordoba and Patagonia if one were to stay 3 nights in each of these regions?

This would probably depend on the time of year you visit. If it is springtime, go to Peninsula de Valdez to watch the whales mating rituals.  During summer, head south to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and take a cruise liner to Antarctica. Autumn is harvest time in Cuyo’s wineries and a bountiful harvest is celebrated year after year with Passion Plays and mass processions. During winter visit the many coloured mountain ranges, arid deserts and salt flats of northwest Argentina.

Buenos Aires is a year-round destination, and from torrid summer to mild winter there is always something to do. November is the month when Jacaranda trees bloom and the city parks and many streets turn violet blue. It is also the time of film festivals and the great annual International Tango Contest with participants from all over the world vying for a prize in the tough competition. In late March and early April, the autumn light is a delight to the photographer and the Palo Borracho trees bloom turning much of the city white or pink.

Bariloche and the Lake District is paradise year-round; skiing in winter, trekking and fishing in summer and eating mouthwatering chocolates throughout the year.

And of course there are Argentina’s two main attractions: the thundering Iguazú Falls on the border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and Perito Moreno Glacier, down south near the border with Chile – a wonder to behold and one of the world’s few glaciers that continue to grow in spite of warmer weather.


How accessible is Argentina to the Indian traveller in terms of obtaining visas, flight connectivity and travel within Argentina and neighbouring countries of South America?

Tourist visas are issued by the Argentine Consulate General in Mumbai without much hassle and within 24 to 48 hours for the average tourist (general requirements may be checked at

As far as how to get to Argentina from India, the quickest and most direct route is the one-stop flight through South Africa with a minimal Johannesburg layover when going to or coming back from Argentina. Alternatively, through U.A.E. and Qatar it is a two-stop process and in one direction or another, may imply a night’s layover. There are also a myriad of alternative routes through Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, but these generally take considerably more flight time and sometimes connections to get to Argentina can imply long layovers.

Within Argentina there is a well-developed air network, with the only nuisance being that most flights are to and from Buenos Aires, making round trips somewhat difficult. Connecting with neighboring destinations is easy and as fast as the long distances separating the continent’s major cities permit.


What is the significance of the Bi-Centennial of the May Revolution for the people of Argentina and what are the events lined up for its commemoration?

Throughout its 200 year history as an independent nation, Argentina has had its ups and downs, gone through times of enormous prosperity and times of conflict and strife. There were times when the whole country came together and times when dissent was rife.

The events organized around 25th May and throughout the year on the occasion of the Bi-Centennial have been a time when dissent and differences have been put aside and the whole country has come out as one to celebrate the idea of being Argentine with a better, more mature understanding of what that notion means.


You recently released a book showcasing “Architecture in Times of Progress.” How long did it take to put together this amazing book of architectural photography?

I am an amateur photographer and I have a particular interest in Architectural photography. It took me over 5 years to assemble the photographs showcased in this book. These photographs portray buildings that went up between 1880 and 1930, a period of great economic prosperity which produced much magnificent architecture.


Argentina is something of a new frontier for the Indian tourist; a place still considered exotic and remote. But a more thoughtful consideration of the matter may reveal that there are at least mitigating factors to this perception.

Flight times to Argentina from Mumbai are no longer than flight times from Mumbai to the West Coast of the United States or to New Zealand. Language may be a barrier, but English is spoken in tourism-oriented activities, and many Argentines have at least a basic knowledge of the language. The staple food is beef, but Italian and Continental restaurants are found all over, and pasta or salads can be ordered in any corner restaurant.

Argentines are a warm and welcoming people. In the not-too-distant past, our grandparents and great grandparents were new arrivals in a strange and distant land, so present generations put their best foot forward to help newly arrived foreigners feel a little bit more at home.

H.E. GAVIN YOUNG Consul General and Trade Commissioner of New Zealand in Mumbai

H.E. GAVIN YOUNG Consul General and Trade Commissioner of New Zealand in Mumbai

H.E. Gavin Young is the Consul General and Trade Commissioner of New Zealand in Mumbai. He has been in India since April 2010. His consular jurisdiction covers Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa while the trade jurisdiction covers South India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

In early 2011, his office will be moving to Bandra Kurla Complex which will bring together all New Zealand government agencies that operate in Mumbai, including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Tourism New Zealand and a new New Zealand Immigration visa office. This significant investment by the New Zealand Government is part of their commitment to further strengthen their already strong relationship with India.

In this interview, Mr. Young shares with us the potential and opportunities of trade and tourism exchange between India and New Zealand.


New Zealand is a very environmentally responsible nation and also ranked as the leading nation in the Global Peace Index. How can an emerging economy like India gain from New Zealand in areas of environment conservation and renewable energy?

New Zealanders see themselves as guardians of their environment and culture. We feel it is necessary to take care of what we have for future generations. It is part of who and what we are.

We have signed international agreements on climate change and have recently introduced an emissions trading system. We have large plantation forests that produce renewable timber for the world and act as huge lungs to store carbon. Over half of those forests are currently Forest Stewardship Council certified, so that users of that wood can be assured it is from a renewable resource. New Zealand also produces 73% of its electricity from renewable sources – our aim is to be 90% renewable by 2025.

Consumers are also becoming increasingly concerned about pesticide residues on food. New Zealand has developed farming systems to produce no detectable residues on apples, while other fruits and foods have green programmes to limit residues and antibiotics in the food chain.

As a result of all of this, we have some very smart green technologies that make good business sense as well as environmental sense to Indian companies, governments and consumers.

Hydro Dam

For example, in areas of innovation in agricultural technology, New Zealand is a world leader in CNG technologies which are increasingly driving Indian public transport systems. We also have hybrid CNG/diesel technology, technology to reduce water use and renewable energy systems amongst our offering.

Next year New Zealand will be hosting the Rugby World Cup. With limited resources in manpower, how is New Zealand working towards welcoming the world for such a mega event?

We have been planning for several years for the Rugby World Cup and preparations are on-track to welcome the expected 60000 visitors. The games will be held from 09 September to 23 October 2011, when the final will be held in Auckland.

Rugby is a national passion for New Zealanders. We are hosting the tournament country-wide. It is a unique opportunity to experience our rugby traditions, spectacular scenery, culture, and business – from food and wine, to the latest in sustainable technology.

New Zealanders are driven to perform, on the sports field and in business. Attending the tournament will be a great opportunity to get to know us better and find out more about doing business with New Zealand.

I would encourage business people thinking about visiting New Zealand in 2011 to join The Business Club, an online platform designed to connect overseas visitors with New Zealand business people in a wide range of sectors, to help them make the most of their trip:


What is the perception of Indians amongst New Zealanders?

India is increasingly perceived as a dynamic, emerging economy, run by highly educated and motivated people, with the world’s biggest movie industry and a world class cricket team.

For those New Zealanders who have yet to visit India, their experience is often of the 130000 people of Indian origin who now call New Zealand their home. That experience is of hard working, smart people who bring new cultural additions to New Zealand. Well-known Indians include a member of the New Zealand Parliament and perhaps best known, our Governor General Rt. Hon. Sir Anand Satyanand, who was born in New Zealand.

While we both have positive perceptions of each other, we also have a lot more to discover as we get to know each other better.

Which are the key focus areas for 2011 that you would be looking at in your capacity as a Consul General and Trade Commissioner in India?

We plan to greatly expand our business-to-people and people-to-people connections over the coming years. Building the network amongst the Indian business community in areas where New Zealand has something unique to offer India is a key part of this.

We will also be concentrating on several trade missions, raising the profile of New Zealand in key sectors and opening the new Consulate General Office in Mumbai in early 2011.

New Zealand is one of the premier destinations for leisure travellers and the incentive market. How will your office play a key role in synergizing with Tourism New Zealand to tap the potential growth of tourism travel out of India?

India is an important market for tourism to New Zealand. The total arrivals from India to New Zealand have increased 16 percent year on year, and holiday arrivals have increased 23 percent. India has moved from being the 19th largest visitors market for New Zealand in 2004 to the 10th largest in 2009.

We work very closely with the Indian Film Industry and with cricket to promote New Zealand. The recent success of the film ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ is a good example of our partnership, where Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise helped the production company to facilitate filming, and in return there was great exposure for New Zealand through the beautiful scenery and  endorsements from the film stars Sonam Kapoor and Imran Khan.

We are now working on opportunities to raise the profile of New Zealand during the New Zealand Cricket Tour of India in November 2010 and during the Cricket World Cup in 2011.

What is your opinion on Namaste New Zealand ( – a dedicated website generating awareness and sales for the Indian outbound traveller to New Zealand?

Namaste New Zealand is an excellent initiative targeted to the Indian traveller helping them to bridge the gap from knowing that New Zealand is a great destination, to how to access.


What are the key trade exchange opportunities between India and New Zealand?

The qualities that define New Zealand are fresh ideas and innovation. Indian companies can bring scale, and the two together are a great combination.

Some of the key areas to work together are in the food and beverage industry, and the food supply chain; wood and green technologies; information and communications technologies; infrastructure, aviation and services and in specialised manufacturing.

To give a few examples, New Zealand produces rugged extreme short take-off and landing aircraft, that are already operating with the UN in Nepal and would have real application in India for servicing remote areas – useful for everything from mining and tourism, to government officials and cargo, and reduce the costs where helicopters are used. New Zealand also has software that civil aviation ministries can use for clocking the revenue from airlines that over-fly the country.

Which are the potential growth areas in terms of trade and investment that both countries could benefit from in the future?

India and New Zealand currently have a two-way trade of over $1 billion.  While we have had a great bi-lateral relationship for many years, there is a lot more depth and understanding of each other to be added.

We are coming up to the third round in our Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with India and we know that a comprehensive FTA can make a huge difference to trade. We signed a comprehensive agreement with China in 2008 and have seen two-way trade skyrocket. China is now our second biggest trading partner, while India is our 11th biggest trading partner.


Indians often travel abroad for higher studies. What are the education opportunities and areas of learning for Indian students to pursue in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers a welcoming environment to Indian students, with more than 8000 Indian students currently studying there. We have 8 top quality universities all of which are research-based and government-owned, and 20 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP’s) that focus on practical, skills-oriented training in areas such as hospitality and tourism, design, ICT, nursing, fashion and many others. New Zealand also has a number of Private Training Establishments (PTE’s) which are quality controlled so students can be confident that their qualifications are recognised globally.

New Zealand is also recognised as a world leader in the development of its education system, from early childhood through to tertiary education. More than two decades of reform across all aspects of teaching, learning, assessment, and management have transformed New Zealand’s education sector and set the bar for change in many other countries.  In particular, New Zealand is an acknowledged world leader in teacher training and professional development.

New Zealand also has a modern and highly regarded workforce training system that gives growth industries the skills and knowledge needed to be globally competitive. Training of airline pilots is one example, where quality training systems together with varied weather, terrain and relatively un-cluttered skies produces pilots that are highly sought-after by international airlines, including here in India.


Which places have you travelled to in India and what has been your experience of India so far?

India is an amazing, energetic and dynamic nation. While I have been to India many times – the first being in 1982 – I still have lots to explore in India.

My work programme has mainly taken me to the major metros, some of which I have not been to before and have really enjoyed discovering, such as Bengaluru. I also have some personal travel planned over the winter, starting with Kerala in November. I am looking forward to that.

Which is your favourite holiday destination in New Zealand?

My favourite holiday destination is definitely the unspoiled natural beauty of the West Coast of the South Island, with its original native forests, wild coast, rivers in which salmon come to breed, glaciers,  picturesque reflecting lakes, mountains, penguins, seals, adventure activities and very  genuine, honest people. It is also increasingly becoming a place where artists are making their homes.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I like to keep fit through swimming and going to the gym. I enjoy travelling to interesting ‘off the beaten track’ destinations that may involve trekking. I also enjoy music, movies and reading books.

I think that people need a creative side and for me, it is cooking when I have time and gardening when I am living in New Zealand – I love watching things grow.

In India, I am also busy with Hindi classes although my Hindi is not very good.



New Zealand is serious about its engagement with India. We have a lot to offer each other and a lot to discover about each other. We are a resourceful nation with high levels of innovation in our products and services that make us a good fit with Indian business.

From New Zealand’s side, we welcome Indian tourists, students and migrants. New Zealanders are also good people to do business with. We are open, friendly, culturally sensitive and uncomplicated. Coming from a country that Transparency International ranked number one in 2009 on its Least Corrupt Countries Index, we are an easy country to do business with and our people make great business partners.

My job is to help expand those connections and partnerships.

KIRAN NAMBIAR Regional Manager of India and South East Asia for Tourism New Zealand


KIRAN NAMBIAR - Regional Manager of India and South East Asia for Tourism New Zealand


Kiran Nambiar has been with Tourism New Zealand for the last seven years, since its inception in India. Currently, he is the Regional Manager of India and South East Asia and during his tenure, tourism to New Zealand from India has grown from 15552 visitors in July 2003 to 27842 visitors in August 2010. Kiran shares with us why New Zealand seems to be the preferred destination for the Indian outbound traveller – be it for lovers of adventure or natural beauty and also for  families and honeymooners.


How has tourism to New Zealand grown during your tenure?

I joined Tourism New Zealand in November 2002 as Country Manager of India and have been the Regional Manager of India and South East Asia since June 2008. Tourism as an industry is fast evolving and today’s traveller is maturing in his travel needs, preferences and decision making patterns. Tourism New Zealand has always focused on reaching out to the Evolved Traveller, someone who is seasoned in his travels and appreciates the subtle differences New Zealand has to offer.

Which are the regions you handle as part of South East Asia and which according to you are the key emerging markets for the future?

As Regional Manager, India and South East Asia for Tourism New Zealand, I am responsible for India, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia markets.

For India, the leisure segment makes up more than half of our overall visitor arrivals into New Zealand, majority of which is contributed by New Delhi & Mumbai. The western region contributes about 40% of the total visitors from India and the North, about 30%. We will continue to develop these markets as our objective is to increase awareness of New Zealand regions within evolved travelers which will result in longer length of stay. Our prime market continues to be the West market, though we see tremendous potential in the South market as evident from the economic progress witnessed in recent times. Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad are the new regions we will focus on developing into our next growth markets.


How has tourism from India to New Zealand grown in 2009-10 and what is the estimated growth you expect in 2010-11?

India is an important market for Tourism New Zealand. Total arrivals from India to New Zealand are +16% for YE August 2010 at 27842 visitors and holiday arrivals are +23% for YE August 2010 at 13096 visitors. India has moved from being the 19th largest visitors market for New Zealand in 2004, to the 10th largest in 2009.

There is a lot of demand in India for travel to New Zealand especially in the months of November to January, being the wedding season and peak period for honeymoon travel. The biggest challenge for growth in this period is lack of air capacity. We are still expecting about 7% to 10% growth for the next 18 months. But India will deliver 20% to 30% growth in visitor arrivals to New Zealand for 4-5 years consecutively once air connectivity improves.


Te Puia Thermal Reserve

What is the role of the Tourism New Zealand office in India and how do you go about creating awareness of New Zealand amongst members of the travel trade as well as the end consumer?

Tourism New Zealand’s aim in India is to promote the 100% Pure New Zealand experience to the evolved traveller and to raise awareness on the regions and activities that New Zealand has to offer. The Evolved Traveller is a high-end niche traveller who is well travelled, is looking for a unique experience in vacations, loves nature, and consumes many of the products New Zealand has to offer. On the travel trade front, we will continue to engage and develop our relationship with our travel trade partners. Our focus will continue on regular trade education and training programmes like the Kiwi Specialist programme and our biannual trade event Kiwi Link India. For both, existing relationships and new ones that we will develop in new markets, our various trade initiatives including our travel trade website – – will help agents enhance their knowledge of New Zealand and drive back that value to their customers. On the consumer front, we will continue to focus on reaching out to the consumer through an extended PR campaign and internet promotions, highlighting the honeymoon, family and FIT offerings from New Zealand.

How has Bollywood, Hollywood and sporting events played a significant role in creating awareness about New Zealand?

Bollywood and cricket, so far, have played a significant role in creating increasing awareness about New Zealand in India.

The Indian Cricket team’s visit to New Zealand resulted in a 25% increase in April and a 20% increase May. Our peak season, despite the recession, remained profitable. This event presented Tourism New Zealand with multiple platforms to promote the country’s tourism potential, increase our profile as a destination and influence immediate summer holiday decisions for the year.

We carefully touched upon the adventure element (with renowned Indian cricketers performing the Auckland Sky Walk and Film actress Preity Zinta doing the bungy jump, sky dive and jet boat) as well as the leisure element (with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and others fishing on a remote island and other team members sailing in Auckland), keeping in mind our target audience of family groups, young professionals, corporates, sports enthusiasts and the like.

We have seen growth in consumer interest when a movie shot in New Zealand hits the theatres. With the success of  ‘I Hate Luv Storys’  in India, Tourism New Zealand is ready to build aspiration and demand for the destination through the visibility that the film generated for New Zealand. The agreement with Dharma Productions also allowed for the presence of 100%  Pure New Zealand branding on their website, which drove traffic to upon being clicked.


International Antarctic Centre at Christchurch

How long would you recommend a stay for the first-time visitor to New Zealand and what are the places which should be included to get a glimpse of the major highlights of New Zealand?

The average length of stay for Indian holiday makers is about 10 to 12 days, starting with the North Island, covering areas such as Auckland which is an urban and vibrant city, Rotorua which is the hub for geothermal attractions, Wellington – the arts capital of New Zealand, to the English charm of Christchurch, geothermal spa resort town of Hanmer Springs, rare wildlife encounters in Kaikoura, adventure capital and alpine town of Queenstown, glacier region of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, scenic marvel that is Fiordland in the South Island.

We are also seeing a new trend with visitors staying up to 21 days in New Zealand on self-drive holidays, honeymooners prefer to spend 14 days and cover only the South Island.

What according to you are the must-visit experiences of New Zealand to be included for the following types of interests:


Self-Drive is an excellent offer and definitely makes for one of the most special holidays for honeymooners. Spectacular scenery combined with empty roads and the luxury of exploring New Zealand’s diversity at your own pace and in the company of your loved one, is a sure shot holiday special for honeymooners. Self-Drive is also a very flexible and economical offer for newlyweds. Exclusive accommodation ranging from luxurious lodges to boutique hotels, offer various seclusion options and romantic getaways.

The potential for honeymooners to become closer through amazing experiences is limitless in New Zealand with plenty of romantic activities. Whether it is paragliding across New Zealand’s blue skies, enjoying a panoramic view of New Zealand in a helicopter tour, doing a food and wine trail, bungy jumping, jet boating, white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking with seals, taking a cruise along mystic Milford Sound, whale watching, dreamy gondola rides, indulging in a thermal spa treatment or swimming with dolphins, a New Zealand honeymoon is sure to be etched in anyone’s mind for life!

Experience the thrill of Sky Diving


New Zealand is renowned as the adventure hub of the world. New Zealand offers a unique mix of adventure activities – from high adrenalin to soft adventure. For the adrenalin junkies, bungy jumping, jet boating and sky diving should be on top of the list. Soft adventure enthusiasts must experience zorbing, white water rafting, para gliding, skiing and much more.

Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle

Family Holidays

New Zealand has a wide variety of wildlife. Wilderness cruises are available in all regions popular for its wildlife and children would simply love swimming with dolphins, whale watching, and befriending fur seals and penguins. Jet boat rides, kayaking, canoeing, hot air balloon rides and hiking are some of the many activities that the family can enjoy together. New Zealand has a sizeable Indian population, so Indian cuisine restaurants are abundant. And of course, shopping is never something a destination can miss out on which is why New Zealand’s cities have plenty of them.

Special Interests such as Wines, Spas and Golfing

New Zealand is famed world over for its new age wines. Napier and Marlborough are the two major wine producing regions in New Zealand and offer unique vineyard experiences.

New Zealand is situated on the famous active volcanic zone geothermal belt known as the ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’ and is ranked among the Top 15 hot spring mineral water sites in the world. Located on the edge of two massive tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust, New Zealand has a large amount of geothermal activity. This means there are many thermal pools throughout the country for the visitor to enjoy after a long hard day! Pools range from small spa-type natural mineral pools to large thermally heated swimming pool complexes.

New Zealand offers great golfing experiences for travellers from around the globe. While Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs are popular world over for their golf experiences, you can also enjoy golf overlooking glacial lakes at Queenstown and Wanaka or in the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

What is your opinion on Namaste New Zealand (, a dedicated website for the Indian outbound traveller?

Namaste New Zealand is a great website where consumers not only get a chance to know more about New Zealand and the different tourism products that New Zealand has to offer, but also get a chance to share their first hand experiences with other potential travellers.


Name at least 5 must-do experiences that you would find exclusively in New Zealand.

New Zealand is blessed to have the diverse landscape it is renowned for. Fascinating and exotic, New Zealand is where all the natural attractions of the world seem to converge. While in New Zealand, one must visit Milford Sound in the South Island, considered as the Eighth Wonder of the World, bungy jumping, as it was invented in Queenstown, visit White Island in the North Island, New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, Fox and Franz Josef in the South Island for the unique glacier experience and Rotorua for the cultural Maori experience as well as the geothermal landscape.

Why is New Zealand perceived as one of the best self-drive destinations?

Self-Drive holidays have always been popular with Indian visitors to New Zealand, for not only its sheer ease and convenience but the fact that it is also the best way to explore the country at a leisurely pace. With the Indian license being valid in New Zealand along with other comforts like New Zealanders driving on the left hand side and vehicles being equipped with right hand drive, Self- Driving holidays offer great flexibility in itinerary planning to include activities, sights and attractions perfectly suited to one’s individual tastes and preferences.


The average Indian traveller spends more than the British, French and the German when holidaying. What are the luxury and exclusive tourism products that one can experience in New Zealand?

Compared to other markets, the Indian traveller is more focused on quality than price, so Indians tend to spend more on higher quality accommodation, activities and attractions.

Indians are also known to be some of the biggest spenders in the world and luxury holidays are becoming increasingly popular among Indians. To our advantage, New Zealand has done some pioneering work in this area with luxurious products like luxury lodges, helicopter tours, gourmet alpine picnics, scenic aerial tours, indulgent spa treatments, luxury chauffeur driven tours and other high-end activities that has carved our ‘luxury tourism’ consumer mind space and are of high appeal with our Indian audience. Indians spend an average of NZ$3500 per person on a single trip, which reflects the interest and spending power on such luxury tourism products. Despite the economic crisis, the luxury consumer has not shown hesitation or reluctance with their holiday plans and we expect this growth to sustain at a steady pace.

Moreover, consumer values are changing as the outbound travel market continues to grow. People no longer just want to tick countries off on a list, but they want to go to places for a unique experience. Travellers from India are quite open minded today in craving newer experiences and unconventional travel destinations.

How To Explore Places Like Never Before: NEW ZEALAND

Experience the Bright Lights of Waitomo

Waitomo – Glowworm Caves

WHAT: Take a boat ride along the unique underground limestone formations of the Waitomo region which stand as one of New Zealand’s most inspiring natural wonders.

WHERE: The southern Waikato region of the North Island, 12 kilometres northwest of Te Kuiti.

WHY: The Waitomo glowworm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. The spectacle of thousands of these creatures radiating their unmistakable luminescent light across a vast array of limestone which is over 30 million years old is unforgettable.

HOW: Contact a Kiwi Specialist at

VISIT: – Your Indian Connection to New Zealand


Walk on an Active Volcano

White Island


WHAT: Explore the inner crater of New Zealand’s only active marine volcano – White Island.

WHERE: 49 kilometres off the coast of Whakatane.

WHY: White Island is one of the most fascinating and accessible volcanoes on Earth. As New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, scientists worldwide are attracted by its unique features. Walking on White Island is like walking on another planet – virtually no vegetation survives the harsh acidic environment inside the crater walls. Instead, lush beds of yellow and white sulphur crystals grow amongst the hissing, steaming, bubbling landscape.

HOW: Contact a Kiwi Specialist at

VISIT: – Your Indian Connection to New Zealand


Watch the Sea Come to Life at Kaikoura

Humpback Whale at Kaikoura


WHAT: The seaside settlement of Kaikoura offers year-round viewing of magnificent creatures of the sea. Because of the abundance of plankton, the local marine habitat is popular with an array of animals, including seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales.

WHERE: Midway between Christchurch and Picton on the rugged east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

WHY: When a mighty Sperm Whale flaps its tail at you, you will not forget it in a hurry. Also, Kaikoura’s unique combination of ocean and mountain landscapes offers stunning coastal alpine scenery and a host of eco-tourism oriented activities such as whale watching, dolphin swimming, nature walks and much more!

HOW: Contact a Kiwi Specialist at

VISIT: – Your Indian Connection to New Zealand


Immerse Yourself in the Heritage of a Māori Marae

Heritage of a Māori Marae


WHAT: In Māori society, the marae is a place where culture can be celebrated, the language can be spoken, tribal obligations can be met, customs can be debated and important ceremonies can be performed.

WHERE: In Rotorua as part of an organized tour experience.

WHY: Experiencing the hongi (formal nose-to-nose Māori greeting), seeing the deeply moving song and dance performances and eating from a traditional underground hāngi (oven) will bring you closer to New Zealand and its people.

HOW: Contact a Kiwi Specialist at

VISIT: – Your Indian Connection to New Zealand

Is NEW ZEALAND the right holiday destination for you?

√ Variety of Food √ Value for Money Warm Hospitality


But that’s not all…



When is the best time to visit New   Zealand

Summer and winter temperatures vary by about 10ºC over most of the country, making New Zealand an ideal holiday destination all year round. New Zealand has four distinct seasons; Spring (September to November), Summer (December to February), Autumn (March to May) and Winter (June to August). New Zealand is an extremely popular summer destination, both for overseas and domestic visitors. In summer there is plenty of sunshine, and activities in and around the water include rafting, snorkelling, diving and kayaking. You will find snow on the mountains in winter and excellent skiing. Away from the mountains, New Zealand winters are mild and temperatures generally do not fall below freezing.

When is the best time to go hiking in New Zealand?

Tracks such as the Abel Tasman, Heaphy and Queen Charlotte Sounds Walkway located at the top of the South Island can be walked all year round. The tracks at higher altitudes however, such as the world famous Milford Track, Kepler and Routeburn are closed in the winter due to snow. You must book through the Department of Conservation’s Great Walks Booking Office to walk the Milford and Routeburn tracks, which are open between October and April.

Should I go on a guided walk or  an independent walk?

If you like hot showers and other home comforts, you should book a guided walk. But if you are a seasoned hiker and do not mind ‘roughing it,’ then try independent walking, carrying your own pack and staying in basic huts or tents.


Which types of accommodation are available in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers a wide range of accommodation options from top-class hotels, exclusive lodges, motels, guest houses and farm-stays to holiday parks and backpacker hostels. There is also the freedom to discover New Zealand at your own pace in a campervan. Two, four or six berth vans are available to rent, offering all the comforts of home including a shower, refrigerator and microwave.

Where are the international airports located in New Zealand?

New Zealand’s international airports are at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Some flights from Australia also land at Hamilton, Palmerston North, Queenstown and Dunedin.

Can I use my credit cards/ATM cards in New Zealand?

All major international credit cards can be used in New Zealand and Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. If your credit card is encoded with a PIN number, you will be able to withdraw cash from ATMs situated at banks and shopping centres throughout the country.



The world’s first human-powered monorail racetrack – the Shweeb velodrome – opened at the Rotorua Agrodome in 2007. The Shweeb consists of a 200-metre overhead rail track circuit with a series of fully-enclosed pods that hang below the track. Each pod carries one rider. Up to five vehicles can be loaded onto each track so that riders can race one-on-one or in teams. Riders can reach speeds of 60-70 k.p.h. Interestingly, the Shweeb velodrome in Rotorua is also the prototype for a form of mass transport that is being marketed internationally as an environmentally-friendly solution for short-distance urban journeys.


The Blokart is a wind-powered speed machine. Created, designed and manufactured in the North Island’s Bay of Plenty region, the Blokart is a three-wheeled land yacht, dubbed the world’s “ultimate sailing experience.” Created as a wind-powered toy that is portable and easy to use for people of all ages and abilities, the Blokart can be folded down into a lightweight, suitcase-sized bag that is easily transported and can be used almost anywhere from beaches to parking lots and even on ice.

Several New Zealand locations offer Blokarting activities – including Muriwai Beach on Auckland’s west coast, and the world’s only custom-made Blokart speedway at Papamoa, near Tauranga.


An attempt to walk on water became the inspiration to create the Zorb – a giant ball that rolls down hills at up to 50 k.p.h. Invented in Rotorua, thrill seekers are strapped into the hollow plastic ball – surrounded by a thick air cushion – and then sent off on an exhilarating downhill spin. The popularity of Zorbing has lead to franchises flourishing internationally in Slovenia, Ireland, Guam, Thailand, the Czech Republic and Argentina. Adventure seekers in New Zealand can experience Zorbing at the renowned Agrodome.


Are their safe activities for  children in New Zealand?

New Zealand’s parks and large areas of unspoilt wilderness are ideal places to expand your children’s appreciation of wildlife and the outdoors. Horse riding, snow activities, whale watching, fruit picking and wildlife centres and zoos are just some of the choices available.

If you are visiting the larger centres, you will find a range of themed attractions including Rainbow’s End in Auckland, Splash Planet in Hastings, Marine Land in Napier and the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch. Te Papa, an interactive national museum, has a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Is it safe to drink the water in New Zealand?

New Zealand cities and towns have excellent water supplies and in all cases tap water is fresh and safe to drink. Water from rivers and lakes should be boiled, chemically treated or filtered before drinking to avoid stomach upsets.

Are there any poisonous animals in New Zealand?

New Zealand has no snakes or dangerous wild animals, making it safe for visitors to enjoy outdoor activities.



Sustainability in New Zealand is increasingly being recognised as good practice and the government has made moves toward this goal.

The New Zealand government has enacted legislation to enshrine sustainability principles in law. The Resource Management Act was passed in 1991 and was a landmark piece of legislation, being the first to adopt the principle of sustainability. In 2003, the government announced the Sustainable Development Programme of Action. Private efforts by individuals and organizations are also highlighting the importance of environmental sustainability and renewable resources.


The Department of Conservation administers the majority of the publicly-owned land in New Zealand that is protected for scenic, scientific, historic and cultural reasons, or set aside for recreational purposes. More than 80000 square kilometres – nearly 30 percent of New Zealand’s total area – is administered by the department.

There are 14 national parks, 20 forest parks, about 3500 reserves and about 610 square kilometres of protected private land that have been set aside for scenic, scientific or ecological reasons. The department also has responsibility for the preservation and management of wildlife, and has a role in management of the coastal marine area from the Kermadec Islands to Fiordland.


The relevance of climate change in New Zealand has become increasingly apparent in the scientific records, in New Zealand’s participation in international treaties and in social and political debates. Climate change is being responded to in a variety of ways by civil society and the government. An emissions trading scheme has been established from 01 July 2010 wherein the energy and liquid fossil fuel sectors have obligations to report emissions and obtain carbon credits.



Haka is a traditional dance form of the Māori of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment. Haka may be understood as a kind of symphony in which the different parts of the body represent many instruments. The hands, arms, legs, feet, voice, eyes, tongue and the body as a whole combine to express feelings relevant to the purpose of the occasion. Haka are performed for various reasons: for amusement, to welcome distinguished guests or to acknowledge great achievements or occasions.


The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, overlooking the Bay of Islands, is New Zealand’s pre-eminent historic site. On 06 February 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed between Māori and the British Crown.

Highlights of the Treaty Grounds include the Treaty House which is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most visited historic homes, Te Whare Runanga which is a fully carved Māori Meeting House that is representative of all Iwi (regional tribes) in New Zealand and Ngatokimatawhaorua which is one of the world’s largest Māori ceremonial war canoes.


Beautifully preserved 1930s architecture is Napier’s special point of difference, which draws Art Deco and architecture enthusiasts from around the world. The rebuilding period after the 1931 earthquake coincided with the short-lived and rapidly changing Art Deco era and the Great Depression, when little “mainstreet” development was being undertaken elsewhere. As a result Napier’s architecture, with its Māori motifs, is strikingly different from any other city in the world.


New Zealand has been given a big ‘thumbs up’ by Bollywood as Sonam Kapoor and Imran Khan feature in I Hate Luv Storys (2010) which was partly shot in Queenstown.  Once filming was complete, Sonam and Imran took time off for a day of adventures including skydiving, jet boating and a helicopter flight to a mountain-top gourmet lunch.

“The landscape is spectacular and very diverse. We drive short distances and the dramatic scenery changes from steep mountains and lakes to green fields and river canyons. The people are extremely warm and friendly. And I love the food.” – Sonam Kapoor – Actor

“Absolutely everywhere you go, the place is sparklingly clean, the wildlife nature is just completely untouched and it’s really nice to see that people care that much about their country,” – Imran Khan – Actor

My film ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ needed this – picture perfect, postcard locations. No matter where you put the camera, the shot always looked stunning!” – Punit Malhotra – Director


New Zealand Tour of India, November 2010 Schedule


1st Test

04 November  – 08 November

Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad

2nd Test

12 November – 16 November

Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

3rd Test

20 November – 24 November

Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur


1st ODI

28 November

Nehru Stadium, Guwahati

2nd ODI (Day/Night)

01 December

Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Chandigarh

3rd ODI (Day/Night)

04 December

Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

4th ODI (Day/Night)

07 December

M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

5th ODI (Day/Night)

10 December

MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai


The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup will be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Fourteen national cricket teams, including New Zealand and India, are scheduled to compete. The first match will be played on 19 February.


THE  LORD OF THE RINGS  TRILOGY (2001, 2002, 2003)

Choosing the location of Middle Earth for The Lord of the Rings trilogy was an easy decision for Peter Jackson, the films’ director and producer. Jackson and his team scoured New Zealand for the most beautiful and diverse areas. The rolling hills of Matamata became Hobbiton, while the volcanic region of Mt. Ruapehu transformed into the fiery Mt. Doom where Sauron forged the Ring and Queenstown – New Zealand’s adventure capital – was the setting for numerous scenes including the Eregion Hills, and the Pillars of Argonath.


Much of the filming of the The Last Samurai centred on the hillsides of the Uruti Valley in Taranaki, which was remodelled slightly to imitate Japanese rural life in the 1860s. Mount Taranaki, New Zealand’s most-climbed mountain, turned on a stunning performance as Mount Fujiyama.

AVATAR (2009)

New Zealand technology and expertise developed the new generation 3D special effects for the phenomenally successful movie that was partly shot in New Zealand. Many Kiwi designers, cast and crew were also involved in the production. Most interestingly, the Māori language was the inspiration for the Avatar alien language!



Lake Wanaka’s spectacular location at the foot of the Southern Alps with the wilderness of the Mount Aspiring National Park nearby makes it a magnet for outdoor lovers the world over.

Similar to nature and wildlife reserves, Lake Wanaka’s concept of a Lifestyle Reserve attracts those wanting to experience the ultimate Kiwi lifestyle. It combines spectacular scenery with a genuine sense of community, responsibility and passion for life. The concept also highlights Lake Wanaka’s long term commitment to ensuring the quality of experience is never compromised.


New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3754 metres, Aoraki Mount Cook is the hallmark of the famous Southern Alps. You can enjoy 4WD safaris, boating on the glacier lakes, horse treks, fishing, scenic flights with snow landings and numerous walks and hikes. During the winter, guided ski treks onto New Zealand’s longest glacier, the Tasman, is a popular activity and a unique Mount Cook wedding location.

The alpine village of Mount Cook, located in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, provides a range of accommodation from an international style hotel to backpackers hostels and camping sites.


Rich in culture, history and natural resources, Paihia is the perfect stepping stone into the Bay of Islands, and a wonderful place for people of all ages to visit. Known as the jewel of the magnificent Bay of Islands, with shimmering safe waters and superb beaches, there are plenty of recreational activities offered amongst the 144 islands: sail, fish, swim, dive, snorkel, charter a launch or paddle a sea kayak around the islands.


English is an official language of New Zealand, along with Māori.  New Zealand slang however, has developed over time from a diverse mixture of backgrounds which may or may not sound familiar to you. All of the listed words and phrases are used with regularity throughout New Zealand and should give you a better understanding of what your Kiwi mates are really tryin’ to tell ya!

Arvo – afternoon

Bach – holiday home

Banger – sausage, as in bangers and mash

Barbie – barbecue

Big smoke – large town or city

Bit of dag – hard case, comedian, person with character

Bloke – man

Brickie – bricklayer

Bring a plate – bring a dish of food to share

Cardi – cardigan

Chocka – full, overflowing

Chook – chicken

Chips – deep fried slices of potato but much thicker than a french fry

Chuddy – chewing gum

Cuppa – cup of tea, as in cuppa tea

Dodgy – bad, unreliable, not good

Dunny – toilet, bathroom, lavatory

Duvet – quilt, doona

Flicks – movies, picture theatre

Greasies – fish and chips

Handle pint of beer

Happy as Larry – very happy

Hard yakka – hard work

Hosing down – raining heavily

Jandals – thongs, sandals,


Jumper – sweater, jersey

Knackered – exhausted, tired, lethargic

Long drop – outdoor toilet, hole in ground

Serviette – paper napkin

Togs – swimsuit, bathing costume

Tramping – hiking

Wop-wops – situated off the beaten track