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#MondayBlues #maldives style. Today's #dailyescape live from @FSMaldivesKH .Book your own slice of paradise today. pic.twitter.com/4333Q7qul8
 
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In need of a lift this Monday? How does a sun-soaked #DailyEscape sound? This view of Grand Anse Beach should inspi… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
 
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Let's kick off the weekend in style with this inspiring #DailyEscape! How good does Ao Nang in Thailand look right… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
 

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Shoulder Season Surprises

Holidaymakers are increasingly going away in off-peak seasons and to great affect. Not only are these travellers being rewarded with cheaper flights and packages, but are also reaping the benefits of less crowded attractions and even some lesser-known gems often missed during peak season. New Zealand is no different in providing such rewards during shoulder season, which is autumn (March - May) when you'll see that there is plenty going on still!

March, April and May in New Zealand are well-known for the lasting warm weather from the summer, followed by the cool nights that follow and of course the golden-brown covered trees as is typical of Autumn. In the earlier parts of the shoulder season, daily temperatures can reach a cosy 18 C, which ensures that swimming is still on the cards if you fancy a trip to the beach. 

hokitika

If you prefer topping up your stomach than your tan, stick around and marvel in the plethora of food and beer festivals available to you. The highlight of these would be the Hokitika Wildfood Festival, hosted on the South Island's West Coast as it brings a unique approach to the traditional food festival. This is a food festival for the weird and the wonderful and in some cases, you may need a strong stomach. Delicacies include garlic ice cream, huhu crabs, mountain oysters and garden snails. The lively atmosphere brimming with friendly faces adds to the list of reasons why this festival has become so famous.

pasifika

In Auckland, the shoulder season sees the Pasifika Festival arrive – a celebration of the country’s place amongst the wider Pacific peoples. It’s a multi-day and multi-venue event with food, cultural performances, dance and workshops. However, if it’s marine life you crave, this is the time whales and dolphins come in so close you can spot them from the coast in Wellington, or from a ferry crossing to the south. Kaikoura is whale-watching central but, from May, hundreds of seal pups can also be spotted inland along the local stream and at the waterfall right by the coast.

An activity that may appeal to some would be the fishing opportunities throughout March. With the weather generally very reliable and settled, and with the winter months approaching, trout fishing becomes a favourable pastime here. With food to become sparse in the coming months, the trout will rise to feed regularly, making for perfect fishing conditions.

matariki

You may also be interested in taking in the Maori new year with the Matariki celebrations. Towards the end of May, a cluster of stars rise on New Zealand's north east horizon, signalling to the Maori that the new year is imminent. The moment itself is actually signified by the sighting of the next new moon at the midwinter solstice. Promoting a firm sense of community and togetherness, the Matariki festivities last over 4 weeks and incorporates events, both public and private, including: star-gazing, films, feats and creative workshops. All of which celebrate the Maori heritage. 

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