Located in the South Island of New Zealand Mid Canterbury is home to a huge number of activities and attractions in Ashburton (Hakatere), Methven (Piwakawaka), Rakaia, Mt Somers (Te Kiekie), Staveley, Hinds and Mt Hutt.

Your South Island experience begins within just an hours drive from Christchurch International Airport, whether you’re driving north, south, east, or west, Mid Canterbury is the perfect stop. Getting here couldn’t be easier.

Set on the outskirts of Ashburton in Mid Canterbury, New Zealand, our hotel offers exceptional Ashburton accommodation amongst the tranquility of our beautifully kept gardens.

Our staff take great pride in providing our guests with warm sincere South Island hospitality. Hotel Ashburton boasts a variety of excellent facilities for our guests including;

  • A total of 54 rooms in 3 room types (Standard, Superior & Deluxe)
  • 250 free off-street car parks
  • 8 recently (September 2013) renovated conference rooms
  • Free WiFi facilities for guests
  • Clearwater Restaurant
  • Turf Bar
  • Heated outdoor swimming pool (November to March)
  • Over 4 hectares of gardens for relaxing, wedding ceremonies, photo shoots, picnics, outdoor bbq and more

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is New Zealand’s largest mainland ecological island, surrounded by the worlds longest fully mammalian pest proof fence.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is an eco-tourism destination where visitors can experience the New Zealand environment the way it used to be an ancient, vibrant pest-free forest alive with native wildlife including many of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered , insects, birds and fish.

An opportunity to step through the pest-proof gate into another world where ancient New Zealand forest towers majestically above well maintained walking tracks and the air is filled with birdsong.

Enjoy a variety of hikes and bush walks around our eco sanctuary, take a guided tour or nature walk and learn about why this conservation project is so special.

Here’s a question which should grab the attention of every traveller: which is the
most cost-effective way to travel once you’re off the airplane? Your choices today
include a rental car, an Uber or a traditional metered taxi. So which is cheapest?

GO Rentals has researched Uber prices, Taxi prices and worldwide Rental Car rates
to come up with the answer, which is…it depends. “There are multiple variables
which must be considered when choosing how to get around and which will influence
the final cost and convenience,” notes James Dalglish, General Manager of GO
Rentals. “And more than that, the absolute cost also depends quite strongly on just
precisely where in the world you are.”

For example, if you are travelling on your own and only need to go from one place to
another (and you know precisely between which two places you will travel), then an
Uber or a taxi are the obvious first choices. If you need transport, but aren’t sure of
the times, places or areas to which you will travel, a rental car is the better option
(Ubers and metered taxis tend to operate in densely populated areas – you won’t
find them venturing into the sticks very often!)

James Dalglish says that aside from those considerations – and others, such as
travelling with small children or large families, or bulky luggage like sports equipment
– the cost comparisons come down to simple dollars and cents. Or Euros, Swiss
francs, British pounds, or Thai baht.

“Actually, that’s not entirely true; we’ve analysed 85 cities around the world from
Adelaide to Zurich and everywhere in between to work out whether it’s cheaper to
rent a car, get an Uber or jump in a taxi to the City Centre from the Airport. And
we’ve sorted the comparison in Kiwi dollars to make it easy to see for yourself which
option is best before embarking on that overseas jaunt.”

The comparisons are revealing. Italian city Milan is the best place to rent a car as a
return taxi ride will set you back $243.50 (€151.32) compared to a rental car which
costs $40.74 (€25.31) for a day.

Arrivals in New Zealand are similarly advised to consider a rental car: Auckland is
ranked 2nd in the list, with that taxi journey costing $89.70 compared with a daily
rental at $37.00. The taxi cost figure has climbed since GO Rentals first conducted
the same research three years ago.

Then there’s Uber (and other car sharing services such as Lyft, BlaBlaCar, or locally,
Zoomy) which provide an additional dimension. While only Uber, considered the
leader in this space with its international footprint, was analysed for this research, it
has proven a highly viable and cost-effective alternative to a taxi or, in some cases, a
rental (again, depending on your travel needs).

Uber is significantly cheaper than taxis in most cities around the world. For example,
it costs 163 percent more to take a taxi from the airport to the city in Birmingham in
the UK than it is to take an Uber ($78.31 in a taxi vs $29.76 in an Uber, one way).
Again, Italy is an outlier, as Milan along with Rome, are amongst the few cities in the
world where taking an Uber will cost slightly more than taking a taxi.

And, unless travelling solely from the airport to the city, or in the other direction, a
rental car will almost always work out considerably cheaper than either Uber or
metered taxi – in most cases by several hundred percent.

Check out GO Rental’s table to see where various cities around the world rank in the
cost of getting from the Airport to the City Centre.

Issued on behalf of GO Rentals by Digital Hothouse

Paul Thornton
+64 21 470070

A movement to protect some of New Zealand’s most precious native species has been given another vital boost with Southern Discoveries renewing its sponsorship of the Sinbad Sanctuary Project.

The new three-year extension of the tourism company’s commitment to the cause brings its total donations to $330,000, enabling further conservation work in what is a very special part of the country.

Located in the UNESCO World Heritage area that is Fiordland National Park, the Sinbad Sanctuary Project was established in 2009 as a means of protecting the unique Sinbad Gully environment next to Milford Sound’s iconic Mitre Peak.

Southern Discoveries, which operates cruises in Queenstown and Milford Sound, is the principal sponsor of the campaign to preserve what is home to a number of threatened native bird and lizard species, donating $30,000 per year to the project since it began.

CEO Tim Hunter says these conservation efforts are integral to Southern Discoveries business plan.

“As Milford Sound’s original cruise operator, our business is founded on the unique and natural environments that we share with visitors from around the world,” he says.

“Contributing to the sustainability of, and protecting the species within the unique environments we operate is core to Southern Discoveries vision and values, and the Sinbad Sanctuary Project is an important part of our long-term business strategy.”

The Sinbad Sanctuary Project, which is a partnership between the Fiordland Conservation Trust and the Department of Conservation, aims to enhance the ecological values of the area with the long-term aim of reintroducing species that are no longer present.

Native species currently found in Sinbad Gully include tokoeka/kiwi, whio/blue duck, weka, kākā, kea and rock wren, as well as three species of threatened lizard: the Sinbad skink, Cascade gecko and cryptic skink.

This is thought to be the most diverse community of reptile species in Fiordland and one of the most specious alpine lizard communities in the world. Sinbad Gully is also one of the last places where kākāpō were found in their natural habitat, making the owl parrot an obvious candidate for translocation when the area is pest free.

The programme aims to reduce predators through stoat trapping and possum and rodent control. Species outcome monitoring is also undertaken to ensure that the predator-control regime is sufficient.

Chairman of the Fiordland Conservation Trust Kim Hollows is of the view that Southern Discoveries are “stand out” sponsors and from the outset have proven themselves to be the right sponsor for this project.

“As exclusive sponsors, who have invested heavily in conservation in an area in which they operate, we have a great deal of admiration for their commitment and the basis on which they operate. This has been a terrific partnership,” he says.

In addition to donating funds to this important conservation programme, Southern Discoveries staff provide support to the Department of Conservation with implementing surveys and servicing trap lines, and executive management support the Fiordland Conservation Trust with planning and governance.

Southern Discoveries also gives customers an opportunity to donate to the project on its website. Further details can be found at southerndiscoveries.co.nz.


About Southern Discoveries
Southern Discoveries is a premium tourism company dedicated to sharing some of New Zealand’s most iconic scenery and extraordinary experiences with the world.
The company offers a range of cruises in Milford Sound and Queenstown, as well as cycling, farm experiences and coach transfers from Queenstown, and kayaking and an underwater observatory in Milford Sound. They also specialise in private charters and conference and incentive packages.
With more than 50 years’ experience, Southern Discoveries continues to provide the widest range of excursions in Milford Sound and maintains an ongoing commitment to the conservation of the area through the Sinbad Sanctuary Project in conjunction with the Department of Conservation and the

Fiordland Conservation Trust.
The company is Qualmark endorsed, has a Trip Advisor ‘Hall of Fame’ Certificate of Excellence for Milford Sound cruises and received the title of New Zealand Tourism Export Council Operator of the Year in 2015. See southerndiscoveries.co.nz
About Fiordland Conservation Trust
Established in 2007, the Fiordland Conservation Trust (FCT) has worked with many different individuals and businesses to bring about outstanding conservation projects in Southland. Several businesses have ongoing relationships with FCT; the encounters with some of New Zealand’s threatened species and amazing wilderness environments experienced by these people is having a positive impact on their willingness to support future projects. FCT was awarded the Achiever Award in the 2015 Environment Southland Awards. See fiordlandconservationtrust.org.nz

Issued by Pead PR on behalf of Southern Discoveries and Fiordland Conservation Trust

For Southern Discoveries: Nicole Haysom, Pead PR, Mob: 021 903 117, email: nicole@peadpr.co.nz
For Fiordland Conservation Trust: Laura Harry, Trust Manager, Fiordland Conservation Trust
Mob: 0278 778 139, email: manager@fiordlandconservationtrust.org.nz