BACKGROUND/GETTING THERE The internet is a good place to look for cheap

deals to New Zealand but I found the colonial

speCialists Lion Travel (01784 46551 1) offered the best availability and prices.

For tourist information Totally Wellington's website wwwwellingtonnzcom has lots of good information and links.

It's also worth checking out the country's official site. which has loads of practical information about getting there and what to see and do. as well as in-depth features on the history. landscape and culture of the c0untry. There's even a guide to The Lord Of The Rings' locations. with cast and director interviews. voiced by Zena Warrior Princess herself. Lucy Lawless.


In New Zealand you can live like a millionaire as the pOund is worth over three NZ dollars and you can usually buy for a dollar what you get for a pOund. Check out for up-to-date conversion rates.

An adventurer’s paradise


THE LORD OF THE RINGS will give you a blow by blow list of where what was filmed where in New Zealand. wwwlordofthe ringsnet is the official site. and gives you an insight into how the special effects department transformed the locations into Middle Earth.


New Zealand has some wonderful native timbers ancient Kauri is the king of the woods so there's a host of wooden products to choose from. Sheepskin is worth buying it you've room in your suitcase and you should also take back some jade and paua shell.


The Wellington Film Festival runs from 19 July—4 August this year and then of course there's the premieres of The Lord Of The Rings // and //l still to come. Although it's still only every two years. the New Zealand Festival is a major event on the Wellington calendar. next one is 27 February—21 March 2004. (Susan Nickalls)

Excess baggage

Festivals, flights and fabulous fares

I DESPITE THE FACT that there's plainly everything you'd ever need holiday-wise in Scotland, we understand you need a change sometimes. But if the Cumbrian Tourist Board gets its way you won’t be going too far south of the border. Just to remind you that the Lake District is the ideal venue for outdoor activities. it has produced a brochure. Cumbria Active. and website, www., filled with holiday ideas. Let's get ready to ramble.

I FEEL IT’S TIME TO brush up on your Greek mythology? All- righty then. Despite being in the middle of trying to take over Go, Easyiet has found time to launch a new route to Athens via London Gatwick. Sadly you’ll have to wait till 1 July to take advantage, but fares start at only £32.50 one-way.

I TAKING INSPIRATION from the World Cup, STA Travel has several deals on offer. Top of the range is the David Beckham “ultimate package', where for £1179 you’ll get a return flight to New Zealand with LA and South Pacific stopovers. a


NICK THORPE Eight Men And A Duck (Little. Brown €12.99) 0...


sailing safari in Fiji, a helicopter ride in Queenstown and much more. Alternatively there's the ‘up and coming package' aka the Michael Owen at £1273. which features a return flight to Buenos Aires and a four-week Patagonia tour. The Beckham trip is available to under 265 only but the Owen trip is open to all; just make sure you book by 30 June. More details on 0131 226 7747.

I IF THAT’S PUT YOU in the mood for a long-haul jaunt, thank your lucky stars that Traiifinders’ Islands of Asia 2002/3 brochure has just hit the shelves. With packages to Penang, Phuket, Bali and lots more available, as well as city stopovers in locations such as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur you can have a trip tailor-made to your requirements. Call 020 7938 3939 for a brochure.

I CLOSER TO HOME. 21 June is the longest day of the year, and www.escapetotheedge. com is filled with ideas to help you make the most of the light: from watching the sunrise at the standing stones on the Isle of Lewis to having a midnight feast on the beach at Achmelvich.

‘1'”,"1 ":71 " ,1; l. lieutj‘ifg.

Former Scotsman reporter Nick Thorpe finds himself on a bus in La Paz, Bolivia looking for a story. Earwigging on a couple of backpackers at the front of the bus he learns of a madcap voyage being made by a bunch of eccentrics from the shores of Lake Titicaca, travelling 2500 miles to Easter Island in a boat made of reeds. Thorpe eagerly joins the programme, but soon finds himself making the denim sails and contending with the frighteningly inexperienced crew.

This is Kon-Tiki territory, a bunch of misfits on a very unstable boat, but Thorpe is a witty, careful and unsentimental writer who knows how to ring every piece of melodrama from a surreal situation. Anyone with more than a passing interest in adventure on the high seas will find this a deeply satisfying read.

(Paul Dale)

6—20 Jun 2002 THE LIST 1 17