Category Archives: New Zealand

By @ 02/16/16 in Australia, Australia, Gay travel, John Walker, New Zealand, Travel
Downunder: Australia and New Zealand by John Walker correspondent for ManAboutWorld gay trabvel magazine


Travel Downunder with ManAboutWorld’s Global Correspondents John Walker and Gavin Patterson who recently traveled to Australia and New Zealand, the great southern lands ‘downunder.’ Walker and Patterson founded their travel website, providing reliable tips and tales about getting ‘the most bang for your pink buck.’

According to this peripatetic duo, “You’re sure to find something you’ve always wanted to see; an opera house on a harbour perhaps. Maybe you’ll also find something completely unexpected.” This is a great time to travel downunder: the U.S. dollar is strong against the New Zealand and Australian currencies and it’s their summer. Here are the top 10 experiences in Australia and New Zealand in their words:

Touring in this part of the world is easy. The exchange rate for US visitors leaves a little for those extras and you’re bound to make a few new ‘mates’ along the way. You’ll be wanting to do some selfies with cuddly koalas, kangaroos and kiwis but don’t forget the fun of the beaches and bars. The restaurants will have you drooling and the succulent steaks, lamb and the plentiful, fresh seafood create culinary nirvana.

However, it’s the rich, rugged landscapes, the endless green rolling pastures, the flourishing rainforests and the azure seas which dominate this

Selfie with Kangaroo-Downunder: Australia and New Zealand by John Walker correspondent for ManAboutWorld gay trabvel magazine

Selfie with Kangaroo

part of the world. Ancient lands with fascinating indigenous heritage offer travellers safe, hospitable destinations for a discovery holiday like no other. Dive in, soak it up and roll around like there’s no end to this dream.

These top 10 little gems might just whet your appetite.

1/Dining Under The Big Hanger

Ripples is perfect for chic, relaxed, dining, with seasonal Italian food and stunning views of Sydney Harbour and its iconic bridge, affectionately referred to as ‘the big hanger’. After dinner take a stroll through Luna Park to Lavender Bay. Along the boardwalk you will be treated to a setting sun which creates a romantic mauve shimmer on the water.

Take the ferry to the restaurant from Circular Quay and on your return the lights of the imposing city skyscrapers and the soaring sails of the Opera House will welcome you back. Finish off with a post dinner drink at Pullman Grand Quay, ECQ bar. This ultra-modern bar has uninterrupted views back over the harbour and ‘the big hanger’. (See photo above)

2/Sydney’s Best Gay Beach

Little Congwong at La Perouse in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney is the choice for the local gay crowd. Walk straight across Congwong Beach past the happy families and take the path to the right and walk about 300 metres to a set of stairs and the beach is at the bottom.

On a hot weekend the beach is packed with nude, sun worshippers but during the week it is much less crowded. This beach is small, sheltered and the dazzling, crystal clear water of Botany Bay makes it perfect for swimming. The chilled vibe makes relaxing easy. Feel like a stroll? The rocks to the left hand side of the beach lead right around the headland to even more fun.

3/Melbourne and Lord Coconut

Head straight for Degraves Street, just near Flinders Street Station for a famous Melbourne coffee. The narrow lanes are a unique part of the Melbourne cafe scene, with their Parisian style small tables, tiny crowded shops and treasure trove of food and coffee aromas filling the air.

While in the area, you might find the wedding or engagement ring for you and your husband-to-be while shopping at Lord Coconut in Melbourne. It feels like a mens’ den, showcasing unique jewellery fashioned by forty specialist jewellers who craft exclusive designs for discerning men. 

Caluzzi Bar-Downunder: Australia and New Zealand by John Walker correspondent for ManAboutWorld gay trabvel magazine

Caluzzi Bar

4/Hobart and MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)

Take a ‘Posh Pit’ ride on the ferry to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart where champagne, canapés and cute cabin crew create an ‘absolutely fabulous’ introduction to this unique place. Finish with an all-inclusive tasting tour of the vineyards.

Back at the port, check out Salamanca Place ( for a plate of the freshest seafood around. If it happens to be a Saturday, the 300 stall market is famous for locally produced food, beers and wines as well as unique arts and crafts.

5/Wellington and the Ortega Fish Shack 

Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, is located right on the harbour front. Entry is free and the displays of Maori culture from weapons, carvings and art works to a magnificently restored Maori Meeting House, provide a true sense of how the indigenous people of New Zealand lived before white settlement.

Ortega Fish Shack ( is a hidden gem and serves outstanding seafood. An award winning chef, top shelf local produce, striking decor and friendly staff are a real recipe for success.

6/Rotorua and the Polynesian Spa

The hot mineral baths of the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua, New Zealand ( have renowned therapeutic properties and are listed in the top 10 spas by Conde Nast Travel. Treat yourself and your loved one to an indulgent experience, including a private spa room overlooking the thermal lake on sunset.

Te Puia is a cultural centre built on the edge of a geothermal valley and here you will see the amazing Pohutu Geyser and the legendary mud pools. Check out the Kiwi House for a glimpse of the nocturnal national symbol.

6/Napier and the Art Deco Festival

Delirious about art deco and dying for a dress up? Napier, New Zealand has the largest Art Deco Festival ( in the southern hemisphere. Prohibition parties were never as much fun as this. The summer festival in February each year is a huge dress up event attracting 40 000 people and with new festival manager Jonathan Smith there is bound to be more gay happenings on the agenda like an Art Deco pool party.

For a slice of Art Deco on any day try the Emporium Eatery and Bar, part of the award winning Masonic Hotel. This stunning place has joined a few select establishments in New Zealand voted one of the world’s best bars.

7/The Bay of Islands and Waitangi

A kilometre or two out of Paihia is the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the famous Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British and the chiefs of the Maori tribes. The grounds have stunning views over the bay and a huge flagstaff marks the point where this historic event took place.

At the Carved Meeting House a Maori cultural group perform a spectacular, traditional welcome (Haka), explain their rituals and present tribal songs and dances. Within the treaty grounds there are three war canoes, one of which is the world’s largest ceremonial canoe at a staggering 35 metres long and needing up to seventy hunky Maoris to row.

8/Lake Taupo and Huka Falls

Amazingly beautiful and formed 2000 years ago by a fiery volcanic eruption, Lake Taupo is the size of an inland sea. A perfect playground for swimming, fishing, sailing and adventure sports like para-gliding and jet skiing. Majestic snow covered Mt Ruapehu, the largest active volcano in New Zealand, sits in the background while swimmers enjoy the warm geothermal currents in the lake.

Huka Falls just outside Lake Taupo blasts out more than 220,000 litres of water every second. Stand on the foot bridge to witness the roar and energy as the water crashes into pools below. For further excitement take a jet boat ride below the falls.

9/Auckland and Caluzzi Bar

From the moment you walk through the door the laughs begin. Drag queens Miss Ling Ling, ‘who loves bling’, Miss Victoria, Miss Kola and the elegant Miss Taro Patch, ridiculously tall in their high stilettos, welcome visitors to Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret in the heart of Auckland. These ‘sluts with nuts’, as they call themselves, turn on a Kiwi welcome with lively, exuberant and raunchy charm, ensuring the mood from start to finish is totally upbeat and completely outrageous. Celebrating 20 years in 2016, let Captain Campbell (the very hot owner) and his bevy of high camp babes take you on a journey downunder you’ll never forget. (See photo above.)

Photos: Courtesy John Walker and Gavin Patterson.

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By @ 10/10/15 in Gay ski, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Michael Siebert, New Zealand, Travel
ManAboutWorld's Michael Siebert (left). and his friend Joao at gay ski week Queenstown

ManAboutWorld’s Michael Siebert (left).

The largest gay ski event in the southern half of the world sees hundreds of people flock to Queenstown, NZ during the last part of August and early September, every year, for a full week of skiing, drinking, dancing and adventure. The next official DNA Gay Ski Week will happen August 27 to September 3, 2016.  Start making your plans now. Here’s a report by ManAboutWorld correspondent Michael Siebert who is pictured here (on the left in the photo above) with his handsome friend, Joao. They enjoyed Gay Ski Week with hundreds of gay ski and boarding aficionados but also spent a little time exploring Queenstown and surroundings.

Queenstown is an adventure town. Consider skydiving and all the other options available to a fun-seeker.  Days trips to Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound are available; however, I would consider an overnight boat tour so that you are able to see the sound at sunset and sunrise. Exploring the lake area is a lovely option as well.  Another option:  One could rent a car in Christchuch and drive through the lake regions for some spectacular views, but the drive is approximately 6-7 hours from Christchurch to Queenstown.

Ski season in Queenstown is from mid-June to early-October.  If you plan for early October you just must might have the slopes to yourself and it is a perfect time to stay at Pounamu since it is just outside their busy season.

This year, our gracious host, Pounamu Apartments was a an excellent place to call home for a week of skiing and relaxation. The views and comfort, along with the excellent hospitality, you will feel like a local in no time.  Pounamu is short 10-minute walk to the city center; however, you will have the comfort of your own kitchen, fireplace, fantastic views, service and the staff are available to help customize your trip to your liking.  If walking is not your thing, rent a car for your trips to the mountain and surrounding areas; however, walk to the center of town, the traffic will drive you mad and parking can be difficult. Pounamu offers covered car parking and free WiFi. You can also relax in the outside spa after a day on the mountains.

Skiing in Queenstown does require a short bus ride (if you do not have your own car) to any mountain (three to choose from) and the bus stop is just outside the front steps of Pounamu.

Can’t wait till next August? ManAboutWorld will cover gay ski events in the Northern Hemisphere in our next issue. Stay tuned.

ManAboutWorld's Michael Siebert (right). and his friend Joao at gay ski week Queenstown

Michael and his friend at the Pounamu Apartments

DOWNLOAD MANABOUTWORLD: Discover the world’s best gay travel content in our unique digital magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are a few FREE publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, what are you waiting for!

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By @ 08/31/15 in Correspondent, Event, Gay ski, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Michael Siebert, New Zealand, Travel
Gay ski and board at gay ski week, Queenstown, NZ in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

There’s Michael (right) with a friend about to gay ski (or board!)

Saturday Aug 29 kicked off Gay Ski (officially Gay and Lesbian Winter Pride in Queenstown, New Zealand; you know, the other down under. It’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere so those of us in the Northern Hemisphere can cool down a bit from this late August heat simply by enjoying these photos. The event goes through September 5.

Have you ever enjoyed a gay ski week? It can be really fun. All these outdoorsy athletic fellows who like going fast. The slopes can be a democratizer, too (if you can afford to go, that is), and there’s nothing like après-ski when everyone excitedly shares their best runs of the day, hair messy, facial sunburns surrounding otherwise a goggle-shaped white patch of skin. Gay ski events often include crazy drag antics. Check out the line up at this event and maybe plan a gay ski experience down under next year or in our hemisphere this coming winter.

The photos on this page were submitted by our Australia-based correspondent Michael Siebert. Below is a special one he took during the kick off. In his words:

At 4PM NZ time a rainbow appeared and literally kicked off Gay Ski Week. The timing was spectacular. The photo was taken from the balcony of our lovely hosts, Pounamu Apartments on Frankton Road.

Gay ski and board at gay ski week, Queenstown, NZ in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Now that’s a gay ski kick off!

More photos from the event.

Gay ski and board at gay ski week, Queenstown, NZ in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Gay ski and board at gay ski week, Queenstown, NZ in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine. Check out this unique digital gay travel magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are several FREE publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, get gay skiin’!

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By @ 11/13/14 in Gay travel, Greece, ManAboutWorld, New Zealand, Palm Springs, Travel


Our December issue has hit the digital shelves and is available now for download! Explore the beautiful, historical cities and islands of Greece — from epic Athens to lesser-known Thessaloniki, from trendy Santorini to the stunning isle of Crete — we share all of our insider secrets about one of the world’s most sought after destinations! If you need to get away sooner than later, check out our trips to Vermont for gay skiing, Palm Springs for its Christmas festival, and Auckland in February for its Big Gay Out extravaganza!

Not a subscriber?! We can fix that. Click here to subscribe to download our Greece issue and get access to our entire library of insider tips!

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By @ 04/25/13 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, New Zealand, Travel
Wellington, the  capital

Wellington, the capital

Photo and story by ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent, Michael Siebert

With all the hoopla about France’s vote to become the 14th nation allowing same-sex marriage. Let’s not forget about the 13th. On April 17, 2013 New Zealand lawmakers pass a bill in favor of gay marriage with a wide majority, with 77 votes in favor and 44 against. Gay-rights advocates celebrated outside parliament after the bill was passed, making New Zealand the 13th country to legalize gay marriage.

Click here to watch lawmakers and the public singing the New Zealand love song, “Pokarekare Ana.”

We covered Auckland, New Zealand in our December 2012 issue. Click here to subscribe and download.




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