Discover Travel update (28 Oct’20)

    Discover something new in our backyard

    Whether its joining a group of like-minded travellers and exploring the country on a small group escorted tour, jumping aboard a small or expedition ship to visit our wildest places or discovering the land of the long white cloud independently New Zealand has something to offer everyone.

    In 2020, as Kiwis resolved to explore their ‘backyard’, we have seen a huge increase in interest in particular for travel to the Chatham Islands. There’s just one room left on this Wildlife focused trip in February and a few more rooms in April.

    Also proving extremely popular are Stewart Island & the Catlins, the Sub-Antarctic Islands, Fiordland & Northland.

    It’s great to see our fabulous tourism companies adapt their tour offerings to meet local’s tastes and interests, helping us get off the beaten track in our own country and discover something new.

    Check out this incredible ‘Spirit of the South’ Fly & Sip Exclusive hosted air tour in late November.  Experience New Zealand’s best craft distilleries plus exceptional food & wine on this exclusive 5 day hosted tour.  If you have a particular interest in distilled spirits, craft beers and great food this South Island private air tour is for you.

    How about wandering around the Wairarapa or Coromandel? Maybe now’s the time to finally experience ‘WOW’ in Wellington. NZ has fabulous Festivals so Kiwis can enjoy oysters in Bluff or Napier’s Art Deco.

    Fancy something more active – cycling, tramping or kayaking? What about cycling the Otago Rail Trail , kayaking the Abel Tasman, or a guided tramp in Fiordland & Stewart Island?

    Check out the entire selection here and be surprised by what Aoteoroa has to offer. Don’t leave it too long to book though, the whole of New Zealand will be Holidaying at Home this summer!

    Use Your Discover Travel Credit in New Zealand

    Many of our clients have travel credits that are with Air NZ or with a particular travel company like Intrepid, G Adventures, Trafalgar & insight or World Expeditions. Globus released their NZ options today as did Cosmos.

    While we are waiting for news of our Border opening to Australia & the Pacific, we’d be pleased to help you use these supplier credits for New Zealand Domestic travel.

    If you have a non-specific travel credit with Discover Travel, we’re now delighted to invite our clients to use these on a pro-rata basis for your Domestic NZ travel. (For example a $500 credit can be put towards $5000 worth of Domestic travel.

    Please e-mail or call us to check your options for using your credits.

    Flying to Australia a.k.a the ‘one way Trans-Tasman Bubble’

    Following the announcement made by the Australian Government on Friday, NZ/AU citizens and permanent residents, will be able to travel from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from 16 October 2020 without the requirement for quarantine on arrival in Australia.

    At present, you can only fly from Auckland to Sydney with Air NZ, but you are then able to connect from Sydney to Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Darwin or Alice Springs as long as your journey originated in New Zealand.

    The following conditions will need to be met for travel:

    • Passengers are required to have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more and not been in a designated hotspot.
    • Passengers travelling from New Zealand will be required to print and complete a health declaration card prior to departure to present at check-in. Note If the passenger does not present a completed form, they may not be able to board their flight.
    • For more information please visit the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website.
    • Please check the relevant State and Territory travel restrictions for your final destination to ensure you have the appropriate exemptions/approvals to travel as these requirements continue to change.  For guidance on this please visit the Australian Government’s Department of Health website.

    Passengers booking a return journey should be aware this is only a one-way arrangement and those returning to New Zealand will still need to quarantine for 14 days upon return, provide payment for quarantine and must register their managed isolation accommodation requirements.

    Flying to Europe during Covid-19

    We’re fielding a number of queries from clients looking to travel to the UK and Europe before the end of 2020, mostly to visit friends or relatives or to return home. This seems relatively simple at first glance, as a small number of airlines are now flying regularly from Auckland to Europe, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qatar Airlines with one-way fares as low as $1450 ex Auckland.

    The only carrier flying directly out of Christchurch is Singapore Airlines every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, with connections onto London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt & Zurich. The UK government requires travellers to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in England if travelling from, or transiting through the vast majority of countries. This list is regularly updated and a few countries are exempt – they are listed here. We’re delighted ot see that the list of current exemptions or ‘travel corridors’ now includes Singapore so please contact us for further details of these quick and easy Singapore Airlines routes, including indicative fares in economy, Premium Economy and Business Class.

    Update for Travellers arriving into New Zealand – MIQ 

    All passengers arriving into New Zealand from Monday, 5 October 2020 will be required to register their Managed Isolation requirements prior to departure and be in receipt of a Managed Isolation Allocation System (MIAS) Voucher at check-in. For more information check out the Managed Isolation Allocation System website.

    We’re here, working for you

    The Discover Travel team continues the task of chasing refunds from airlines and other overseas suppliers. As of 28/10/20 we now have less than 70 refunds left to chase on your behalf. Qantas refunds account for nearly a third of those still outstanding as they are taking approximately 20 weeks to process each, but are now slowly arriving. A few airlines have not yet begun to process refunds (e.g Aeroflot, SAA, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenyan Airlines & Virgin Australia). We’d like to thank you for your ongoing patience and good humour whilst we work tirelessly on your behalf.

    We are also managing approximately 450 different travel credits on your behalf with a myriad of airlines, tour operators, insurers and hotels and we look forward to helping you redeem these credits for Domestic travel and when our Borders re-open to the world and we can get back to exploring. It was encouraging to hear the Govt recently discussing the possibility of quarantine-free Trans-Tasman & Cook Islands travel before the end of 2020.

    Our Team

    With the borders closed, our Sales team’s workload is lighter than usual, so Juliet, Linda and Janine  will be taking what we hope will just be a short sabbatical beginning 2nd October 2020, but don’t worry – they’ll be asked to return once our normal trading conditions resume! Whilst they are away, Discover Travel remains very much open for business helping Kiwis discover their “backyard”.. If you have any queries about your existing booking or wish to make a new booking, please simply e-mail or call us as normal. Ian & Peter will look after your enquiry and respond promptly.

    We’d like to thank all our clients for their support during these very unusual times. We celebrated 20 successful years pre-Covid, and we certainly intend to be here for many more.

    Happy travels,
    Ian & Peter