A day of dog sledding

UnderDog comes out on top as the ultimate outdoor winter pursuit.

Encapsulating the magic of winter, a day spent dog sledding at the Wanaka Snow Farm is the perfect activity to complement your winter sojourn. Offering uninterrupted and breathtaking vistas of alpine scenery with nothing but the sound of your sled on fresh snow to accompany this exhilarating experience, UnderDog New Zealand provides a unique opportunity to interact with arguably the best cared for Alaskan pups on the planet.

Seasoned professionals, owners and operators, Curt and Fleur Perano have brought their expertise to the Southern Hemisphere where the concept of this exclusive sport is one of leisure rather than necessity. Their handsome bevy of Malamutes and Huskies are ready to chaperone you on with the capable canines promising an exceptional experience for the dog-loving and adventurous alike.

With various tours to choose from in only its second season of operation, there’s a sledding experience to suit everyone; from day to night to overnight, UnderDog offers an unforgettable experience that has the propensity to take your winter vacation to the next level.

UnderDog NZ

(027) 516 5502

www.underdognz.co.nz

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Fishsmith

This modern fish and chip store is piquing our interest with its rejuvenated take on a traditional takeaway favourite.

There are just some days when no other form of takeaway will do – when the only dinner that will suffice is a hearty serving of beer battered fresh fish and a generous scoop or two of thick cut fries. It’s in the pursuit of this occasional hankering that we came across a particularly appealing rebranded fish and chip store serving up more than just your deep fried usuals.

Located in an area otherwise devoid of options for the quintessential kiwi meal, nestled between the store fronts that line Herne Bay’s Jervois Road, lies Fishsmith – a modest and adorably modern take-away joint whose delicious morsels are prepared by the arguably over-qualified hands of ex Lava restaurant (Sofitel Auckland) executive chef Scott Brown. On the menu are the imperative classics: crumbed or battered fish, Paua fritters, sausages and hand cut, twice fried hot chips, all of which are served in a manner that seems more considered than what we have come to expect of other fish and chipperies. But what really sets Fishsmith apart is their deviation into slightly less conventional offerings including spicy fish tacos, smoked fish pie croquettes, spicy chickpea bites and a crispy Calamari bun served with slaw and smoked garlic aioli.

With various health conscious options such as fresh salads and fish soups to appeal to the nutritionally minded, this specialty takeaway store is bound to garner an across-the-board following. Their prize offering however, is something quite elemental – the amazing deep fried Bluff oysters for a mere $3, that in spite of their compact price are anything but modest.

From flavoursome fish tacos to fresh grilled catch of the day, Fishsmith is serving up some deliciously fresh renditions of the celebrated kiwi soul food – and a you don’t need a scenic beach backdrop to enjoy the delicious fare on offer here because sometimes the best mid-winter warmers are one’s that get back to basics.

Opening hours:
Wednesday & Thursday – 2.30 pm to 8.30 pm
Friday to Sunday – 12 noon to 8.30 pm

FishSmith

200 Jervois Rd
Herne Bay

(09) 376 3763

www.fishsmith.co.nz

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The clean crusade

This refreshing new soda is overtaking in taste and falling short in the sugar stakes.

As our fast-paced, hectic lifestyles increasingly call for a clean, crisp drinking experience, thankfully a new thirst quencher has come to the rescue. Delivering on taste, Höpt aptly fulfils our social drinking needs as a cleaner alternative to the otherwise saccharine options available when out and about. Designed as a clean soda, Höpt is the perfect accompaniment to a healthy lifestyle.

Garnering popularity at Seafarers’ Ostro and City Terrace, the refreshing soda is fast becoming the go-to drinking alternative of the social set. Chef Josh Emett describes Höpt as a particularly refreshing drink that pairs beautifully with his healthy menu offerings at City Terrace. Designed as a light and refreshing lunch for the time-poor, the popular Prawn and Miso salad pairs harmoniously with Höpt’s Pear and Basil soda – the pear and subtle herb notes deliciously offset the salad comprised of iceberg, edamame, shiso cress, black sesame and miso prawns.

For those keen to dabble in a cocktail, Höpt also provides a welcome alternative as a delicious, clean-tasting base. Ostro’s celebrated barman Cameron Timmins, favours Höpt over other sugar laden alternatives for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. One of Timmins’ favourite cocktail creations, the Tall Poppy Collins, employs the subtle flavour of Höpt Salted Lychee Soda as its base. Combine 30ml Ketel One vodka, 15ml St Germain Elderflower liquer, 15ml fresh pressed lemon juice over ice and top with the crisp Höpt soda for a refreshing clean cocktail.

Those on the go can easily fall into the fraught world of succumbing to the inevitable plethora of sugar-laden drinks when no other option presents itself. But scrutinising the contents of popular sodas has fast tracked us to a clean drinking revolution that leaves us desiring something more salubrious. We’re pleased to find that Höpt has answered our plight, delivering the option of a high in taste, low in sugar alternative.

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