House of Travel logo

Consultant Profile: Sara Moore « Ashburton Outlet Page

Personal Details

 

Travel Consultant

saram@hot.co.nz

3-307-8761

242a East Street

Ashburton

Why ME?

I enjoy a good relaxation holiday on the beach but love the thrill of the theme parks on the Gold Coast. My travel highlights are river cruising with Uniworld, having a white Christmas in Canada, deep sea fishing in Niue and exploring Europe with Contiki

Image Gallery

 
  • Rainy day at the Twelve Apostles, Melbourne Rainy day at the Twelve Apostles, Melbourne
  • The Grand Canyon , USA The Grand Canyon , USA
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris
  • Togo Chasm, Niue Togo Chasm, Niue
  • New Years Eve, Disneyland USA New Years Eve, Disneyland USA
  • Jake helping Mum at work  - Ashburton Jake helping Mum at work - Ashburton
  • Heidelberg Castle, Germany Heidelberg Castle, Germany
  • Afu Agu Water falls , Savaii Samoa Afu Agu Water falls , Savaii Samoa
  • Up the  Burj Khalifa, Dubai Up the Burj Khalifa, Dubai
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Melbourne Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Melbourne
  • The Havannah Resort, Vanuatu The Havannah Resort, Vanuatu
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Afternoon Tea at Buckingham Palace, UK Afternoon Tea at Buckingham Palace, UK
  • Putaruru Blue Springs NZ Putaruru Blue Springs NZ
  • Inside the Church at the lava fields, Savaii  Samoa Inside the Church at the lava fields, Savaii Samoa
  • The Colosseum, Italy The Colosseum, Italy
  • Gondola ride in Venice, Italy Gondola ride in Venice, Italy
  • Christmas Day Snow, Montreal Canada Christmas Day Snow, Montreal Canada
  • Zip Lining on Mt Jungfrau in the middle of Summer, Switzerland Zip Lining on Mt Jungfrau in the middle of Summer, Switzerland

Where on Earth do you still want to go?

  • Africa
  • Vietnam
  • Alaska and more of Canada
  • Prague

Useful Apps & Gadgets for Travel

  • Google Maps - You can see your location even if you aren't using data
  • House of Travel App - Book day trips directly with the app
  • Uber
  • Google Translate
  • Local Sim Card

What I always take on holiday

  • Sunblock & Insect Repellent
  • Phone
  • Travel Adapter
  • Analog Watch (easy to adjust the time)

Where I've Been

 

Favourite Holidays

 

Melbourne - March 2020

At the beginning of March I embarked on what would become my only overseas holiday of 2020. 

We flew with Qantas from Christchurch to Melbourne, service and food was great, entertainment not quite as good as Air NZ. We also upgraded for $30 each to exit row seats. 

On arrival into Melbourne we picked up our rental car with Hertz and headed for our 3 night trip down Great Ocean Road. As our flight arrived at 3pm we stayed in Torquay for the evening at the Wyndham resort. The resort had a large pool and was right next to the beach. as it was raining we drove into to town to go out for dinner at 'The Real Thai Cafe' , where we had the best yellow curry I have ever tasted (and I love my curries).

The next day we headed south, watched the surfers at Bells Beach, stopped in Lorne for lunch, checked out some light houses and water falls, before making our way to Apollo Bay to stay at the Best Western. For dinner we tried out the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse which was a great spot for a hearty pub feed. 

The next day we checked out the Twelve Apostles, it was a little drizzly but still visible and super popular despite border restrictions starting to take place. A very cool stretch of road with plenty of rock formations to stop and see. 

The next day we headed down to Port Fairy which is a quaint little fishing town - the town itself reminded me of Geraldine. After a traditional Italian pasta we stayed at a local motel before making our way back to Melbourne. 

We try to head to Melbourne every couple of years so that my partner can go watch the pro WakeBoarders at the Moomba Masters. The Moomba Masters is a week long event which is part of the Moomba festival held in March every year along the yarra river. 

While we were in Melbourne, we did some shopping, went out to Phillip Island to see the penguins and most excitingly I went to the harry Potter and the Cursed Child play  - If you're a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend you go see it (once it resumes). It's long , there are two parts that go for about 2.5 hours each. So perhaps not so good for kids under 12, but great for adults. 

After a great week away we headed back home only to go into lock down 2 weeks later. Very great full we manged to get in one of our planned holidays for 2020, I know others weren't so lucky. 

The Gold Coast

If you asked me where my favourite place to go on holiday to
I’d have to say the Gold Coast is one of my top two destinations. I love the fact that we can fly three hours and be in a City that has beaches, shopping, theme parks and not to mention warm weather.

For me the Theme Parks are the main attractions. I can’t even
climb to the top of a ladder at home but if you ever see me at Dreamworld I’ll
be lining up multiple times a day to get on the Giant drop. I love the thrill
of the rides even though they scare the s*** out of me.

Out of all the parks Dreamworld would have to be my favourite,
I just find there big thrill rides fantastic and I love the Tiger conservation area.
In saying that I can’t go past movie world with out hoping on the Arkam Asluym
(Lethal Weapon).

If you’ve got kids who love horses, head along to the Outback
spectacular. This horse show is really something, its musical, you get a three
course meal, a cowboy hat and it truly is a lot of fun.

If you haven’t been in the last couple of years Pacific Fair
has had quite the make over and now even has an outdoor bar and grass area, so you can leave the boys having a beer while you check out all the stores. If you’re looking at bargain shopping catch the tourist shuttle out to harbour town. 

Getting around in the Gold Coast has become so easy with
their tram system, you can hop between Surfers and Broadbeach anytime of the
day.

Last time I was over, my partner and I decided to do something
different and do the Gold coast combo jet boat and helicopter ride. The jet
boat isn’t quite like Queenstown Shotover Jet , it’s a little more tame and you
may even get to see some dolphins! On the way back they dropped us to the
helicopter spot in Main Beach and we went on a 5 minute helicopter ride over
the city. It was so cool to see it from above. It was also good value for
money.

Traveling with Pets - Christmas 2019

For Christmas 2019 we traveled up to Hamilton and decided to take our dog with us. 

We flew with Air New Zealand who made the whole process super easy. In Christchurch we checked in at their pet service desk (follow the paw prints) I took Jake as my checked luggage and then he was just an additional $75 per way (cheaper than a week stay at the kennels) 
We sat in the front row and couldn't hear him so it can't have been that bad of a flight! 

For the flight your dog does have to be under a certain weight and they must be in approved carry cages (check with your local pet store) and they must be able to move freely while in the cage. 

The Air NZ staff were great, I highly recommend this service. 

https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/travelling-with-pets

North Island - September 2019

In September last year Cam and I decided to go to the North Island to do a week of sightseeing while catching up with family. 

We flew into Auckland on Jetstar ( i recommend paying the money for extra row) and then picked up our rental car with Europcar. From their we drove to Hamilton to spend time with my sister and attended the All Blacks vs Tonga match. 

We then went on a road trip , firstly stopping at the Putaruru Blue Spings, which is a lovely little walk which takes you the Blue Springs which are worth a picture. 

From there we headed down to Rotorua where we stayed at the Sudima Hotel. We checked out the geyser's, went up the gondola and had a go on the luge. 
That evening we went to the Motion Entertainment complex where all in one building you'll find Timezone, mini golfing, trampoline park, chipmunks and even an escape room.  Such a cool place to take the kids (or the young at heart) 

The next day we drove to Tauranga, walked along the beach and then up the Mount (steep), had a coffee at one of the local cafes before making our way up the Coromandel. 

While it was a rainy day the spots along the Coromandel did not disappoint, the views and beaches were great and the fish and chips were on point. 

On our last day we drove back to Auckland, spent some time at the casino,Queen st and the Zoo.

Samoa - October 2019

At the end of October I had the opportunity to visit Samoa. While
I was there we got to experience both the islands of Upolu and Savaii.

At the Beginning of my trip we spent some time down the south of
the Island on the white sandy beaches at both the Return to Paradise and
Saletoga Resorts, before heading back up to the Apia Township. On our way back into town we stopped off at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum (author of Treasure Island)  which was the house he lived in while he resided in
Samoa until his death in 1894.

We stayed at the Taumeasina on a Thursday night which
happened to be one of their entertainment evenings so we had the pleasure of
enjoying the karaoke delights of Cindy of Samoa who had the whole restaurant
singing along with her.

The next  day we took the Lady Samoa ferry over to the island
of Savaii and thankfully for me it was a calm day at sea. After an hour we
arrived on Savaii where the weather was a couple of degrees warmer than Upolu
(a cool 33 degrees). On arrival after checking out a few of the Beach fales we
made our way to the  Saleaula Lava Fields which are the result Mt Matavanu
eruption back in 1905. This is a fascinating place to visit with a half-buried
church,   the Virgins Grave and even just seeing  the way the
trees and gardens have grown back through the lava on the  Saleaula
Village. That evening we were treated to a Traditional Umu dinner as part of
the Fia Fia night at the Stevensons on Manse Resort. This included a
demonstration on how to prepare a traditional Umu (Samoan version of a hangi)
including  all the ways you can use a coconut  The next day we
visited the Alofaaga Blowholes and the Afu Aau Waterfalls. Luckily we
experienced some rain over the next couple of days which bought the temperatures down to the mid twenties.

On arrival back to Upolu we proceed to the Local Flea and Food
Markets which is in Apia. This is a great spot to buy some fresh fruits and
your souvenirs to take home. From there we headed over to the Samoan Tourism Cultural Village to experience some local cultures which including seeing men from the  village getting their tattoos, making the wooden items
that you purchase from the markets and the woman making Siapo (tapa cloth).

On our last evening on the Island we attended a Polynesian Island
night at the Sheraton Beach Resort this included performances based on the
difference cultures of the South Pacific and even included fire dancing.

 

While you are there make sure you take time to visit one of the
local churches they are absolutely stunning.

Vanuatu - November 2018

In November 2018 I had the opportunity to travel over to Vanuatu for a week. I flew with Air Vanuatu from Auckland and their service well and truly lives up to its reputation. The food and drinks were great and their service was amazing and so attentive. 

I stayed at the Warwick la Lagon which is about 5 minutes from town and is part of the Erakor Lagoon. The rooms were lovely and fresh and the breakfast was amazing. 

While I was in Port Villa some of the activities we did were the Eden on the River and snorkeling out at Hideaway island. The Fruit and Vege markets are a must see, and the in town duty free shopping is great. 

My favourite part of this holiday was when we headed over to Santo for the night. Santo is a 45 minute flight from Vila and I highly recommend going. Champagne beach, the Blue swimming hole were highlights.  
I stayed at Aore Island, the resort  had both a family and adult only area. The snorkeling here was fantastic, the coral is starting to get it's colours back after Cyclone Pam . 


Vanuatu was a great holiday destinations. I think it is a great option if you have already been to some of the other Pacific islands and would like a different experience. One thing to keep in mind is that it is a third world country but the locals are some of the friendliest I have ever met. 

Uniworld River Cruise - April 2018

In April 2018 my sister and I headed over to Europe to do a
river cruise along the Rhine with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.  

We started our journey with Qatar Airways, whose service was
impeccable and flew into Zurich. I had been to Switzerland before but had never been to Zurich, which I found to be a city full of energy and history. We spend
the day walking around exploring the old city and even took a little water
cruise to see the city from a different perspective. From Zurich we trained to
Basel to begin our 9 day River Journey. Our cruise visited Germany, France and the
Netherlands. The Ship itself is very boutique styled as per all Uniworld
cruises, I loved the atmosphere it created. The food was amazing, the cocktails
were endless and the staff went above and beyond.  

My highlights would be

Strasbourg  -  this gorgeous French city , with German
influence, was just absolutely stunning, the architecture and cobblestone
streets were so well kept. The Cathedral is an interesting one as the South tower was never built giving it a very characteristic asymmetrical
form. This town also borders Germany so we borrowed the bikes and stood on the border. 

Cologne – This city was bombed during the war and it is truly
fascinating to see the before and after pictures.

Heidelberg – This quaint German town features the landmark
that is  Heidelberg castle . On our
optional day trip we learnt about the love story of the castle and it also has
the worlds largest wine barrel.  

Amsterdam – on our second to last day Uniworld had an
optional excursion to visit a local Dairy farm where his wife makes cheese. This
was  a really nice personal excursion,  which finished with a trip to see some working
windmills.

Dubai - November 2016

In 2016 I had the opportunity to go explore Dubai, and what
an amazing place it is. The buildings, cars, the malls everything about Dubai
is next level. 

While I was there we had the chance to explore Dubai’s Theme
parks which had just opened. The IMG World Park is based on Nickelodeon and Marvel
characters is all built in a big indoor stadium which means it is out of the
sun! The adult rides were definitely big thrill  and proved an afternoon of fun.

One of my favourite experiences was the  Sheikh
Mohammed Centre which is in one of the oldest Emirati neighbourhoods. We
enjoyed a traditional breakfast while the local girls talked to us about their
culture, religion and tradition. I learnt a lot from this morning and would recommend
it to everyone visiting Dubai

We also got to experience the new Dubai parks Village which
consists of three theme parks. The Dune Safari is quite the experience, they
take you 4wd over the Sand Dunes where you get to watch a falcon Show (falcons
are treated like royally in the UAE), the evening then finished with a sunset dinner,
camel rides and belly dancing.

For anyone looking at stopping over in Dubai, you won’t
regret it. I spent a week there and can’t wait to go back.

Niue - August 2013

In August 2013 I decided that instead of Heading back to Rarotonga we would try a different pacific island. After a little looking around we decided on Niue, and what a fantastic choice it was. 

While i was there we stayed a the Scenic Matavai in their apartments whicha re a short drive form the resort. I picked this as you can take your own food to Niue, so we were able to have our own breakfast and an occasional meal in the room. 

While in Niue you do need a car to get around, without it you will be stuck. 

On our Second day we did the  Commodore Orientation Tour, which I would say is the best thing I have ever done. Keith and his wife took a mini van group around the island taking us to all the best spots and even give you a print off of different things to do, along with a CD of photos. 

The water was gorgeously clear for snorkeling and the chasms were very cool. The food on the island was very tasty.  Niue is a 'Rock' so there is a lot of walking to get down to the snorkeling spots but it is so worth it. 

The Washaway cafe is a must do. it's an Honesty bar on a Sunday night and has spectacular sunset views 

Contiki - July 2012

Way back in 2012 I went on my first ever Holiday to Europe. We flew with Air New Zealand and had a three day stopover in LA which we spent at Disneyland. 

On arrival in London we spent 4 days exploring the sights before starting our 37 day European Adventurer. This is a fantastic way to give yourself a snapshot of Europe. We visited 15 countries over the 5 weeks and had a lot of fun along the way. 

Highlights for me were Paris, Dubrovnik , London, Rome and Ljublijana. 

When it comes to doing a tour I would 100% do one again. There is a perception that Conitki is all about the partying. Yes going out and having a good time with everyone on the tour was part of the experience, but drinking is 100% your choice. there is also the option of plenty of free time if you desire.
Cam and I did most activities that were offered through Contiki but there was also a lot of time for just the two of us to do our own exploring. On this tour we stayed in both Hostels, Hotels and Contiki Special Stays such as their Chateau in France 

After Cam headed back to NZ for his 21st I stayed on and my Mother came and joined me. 

We spent the next three weeks traveling around the UK, Paris and Berlin. While we were in the UK we attended the woman's football bronze medal match as the 2012 Olympics were on while we were there. 


 

Sign up for House of Travel emails