Have you ever wondered what adventures your gold card could unlock for you? Your Gold Card can help you expand out of your comfort and try new things and with the bonus of the gold card discount. Check a few top suggestions below.
1. Waikite Valley Thermal Pools
This place is a gem, hidden away in the rolling farmlands of the Waikite Valley. You will be blown away when you get there. It’s a thermal complex that screams “I am a locals secret”. There are a bunch of pools varying in temperature and size. You can muck around in the oversized deep pool, or kick back in one of the smaller, naturally themed pools. There’s a short eco-walk from the complex to Te Manarola spring, the spring turns into a charging creek full of boiling water. This place is already well priced and your Gold Card discount is the icing on the cake.
Where: Just outside of Rotorua
2. Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Just down the road from Waikite, Waimangu is a wondrous journey into how the world once was. You walk down NZ’s oldest thermal valley to near where the Pink and White Terraces are buried, Lake Rotomahana.
The entire walk down is steeped in history, along with geysers, bubbling lakes, and the bluest lake you will ever see (Inferno Lake). The walk isn’t too strenuous and you can go at your own pace. When you arrive at the lake you can go (for an extra charge) on a boat ride, or a kayak, or catch a bus back to your entrance and your car (the bus is included in your entrance fee). This is another gem that is already well priced and the Gold Card discount is a bonus.
Where: Just out of Rotorua
Hobbiton is an experience like no other and is an NZ Tourism big hitter. Even if you have zero interest in the movies, it is worth the visit for the experience. The attention to theme, brand, and architecture throughout, is worth the price of admission. And if you love the movies, well that’s an added bonus. For those that love to garden, Hobbitton’s gardens are immaculate, as they should be when they are tended to by a team of (50 pre covid) expert gardeners.
4.Blue Ocean Fishing Charters
This is a bigger ticket item but an absolute bucket lister. These guys are based in Tauranga and run trips to Mayor and Motiti Islands. Their charters are not just in a small, dinky boat. The pride of the fleet is called Te Kuia, it was built in 1978 and is a huge ship made of solid Kauri. It handles the seas better than the cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal. You can comfortably bring someone who may have been gun shy of going out on a smaller vessel, with a pocket full of Sea Legs. Your Gold Card discount makes all the difference here and will save you the big bucks.
5. The Original Canopy Tour
You may be retired from work but certainly not from life and the Canopy Tours experience will prove that. There are a series of 6 ziplines and 2 lengthy bridges through an ancient native forest. This place is the best nature experience in the country and has won a bunch of awards to prove that, including being named the best activity in NZ twice and one of the top 10 experiences in the South Pacific. A lot of retired folk don’t think this experience is for them, but it is certainly is. You’ll only need to walk in for 500 metres through the forest, from there you’ll zip from tree to tree like a bird. On that note, you'll even feed birds, they have turned their forest into a conservation project and brought back so many birds, you can hand feed some of them. It’s amazing stuff, and if you still think you're too old, think again, the oldest person to go so far is Lewis who was 93. Your Gold Card will give you 20% off Canopy Tours.
There are few gems to bring you closer to nature and keep you feeling alive, all of which have generous benefits through your Gold Card. Don’t be shy and get out and enjoy your local hotspots.
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