United Travel Getaway



Lance Hipkins visits Provence in the South of France. Also on the show tonight, Hopfgarten in Austria, swimming with dolphins at Coffs Harbour in Australia, hiking at Sakung East in Hong Kong, the location for the new Nicole Kidman movie Australia, the Ground Zero Museum in New York, and horse-racing at Broome in Western Australia.

Lance and his Getaway crew based themselves in the tiny village of Le Paradou at a boutique hotel called La Maison du Paradou. Le Paradou has a population of 1,185 and is a one hour drive from Marseille. La Maison du Paradou is situated right in the centre of the village and is a former post office building dating back to 1699. From his La Maison du Paradou base, Lance hired a car and went sight-seeing around the Provence region. He checked out the nearby Chateau des Baux de Provence, and the St Remy markets, and also explored the picturesque town of Gordes and its Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque. Lance says fellow travellers had always told him the South of France was one of the most beautiful places in the world. “And now that I’ve had the good fortune to go there and see for myself, it really is. It’s just how I imagined it would be – lavender fields and grapevines, beautiful old buildings and ruins, charming local markets, gorgeous scenery, and nice friendly people.”

UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY: Tuesday 2nd October at 7:30pm

The Getaway team visits Tahiti, the Grand Canyon, Tonga, Australia and Italy.

Lance Hipkins experiences the luxurious side of life at the Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa in Tahiti. The Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa prides itself in being a mixture of Polynesian authenticity and international standard luxury and comfort. The resort has 120 suites and villas on 16 acres of lush terraced land over-looking a private cove.

Polynesian mythology features throughout the resort with authentic artefacts, decorations and landscaping. The indigenous feel of the resort is then mixed with the more international style of the luxurious over-sized interiors of the suites and villas, all featuring marble tiles, exotic woods and precious tapa cloths. Lance says his Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa story is a real “how the other half live” kind of a piece.

“The resort is just so perfect and luxurious. I felt so spoilt and lucky being there, though it’s always a bit odd being at such a beautiful and romantic place, and your travel companions are the guys from the Getaway crew.

“I also had to show off the fantastic Mandara Spa complex for the story, which involved getting a massage treatment. I still haven’t quite worked out how to look masculine whilst being filmed at a spa.”

Lance did, however, get to check out some of the more “manly” pursuits at the resort as well – including sport fishing, and shark and ray feeding. He also got to sample the “canoe breakfast” – a unique breakfast service by canoe to your over-water villa.

This week’s programme also features the new Grand Canyon Skywalk in the USA, Peppers Bale Hotel in Port Douglas on the Gold Coast of Australia, Black Point in South Australia, sailing in Tonga, Bolzano in Italy, and a dog-friendly hotel in Sydney.

Tuesday 9th October at 7:30pm




Lance Hipkins is in Paris trying to see as many of the classic sights as you can in one day. Tonight’s show also features gorillas in Rwanda; a Dandenongs, Victoria drive; Newcastle in the United Kingdom; and snow-kiting at Mt Hothan in Victoria.

On this week’s United Travel Getaway Lance Hipkins is in Paris trying to see as many of the classic sights as you can in one day. Lance and his crew stayed at the Five Hotel, dined at Le Train Bleu Restaurant at the Gare de Lyon (train station), and went on the tourist trail to Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. They also did even more sight-seeing by taking in a Seine river cruise. Lance says Paris is such a legendary city and with so many favourite tourist spots it felt like the right thing to do to have a bit of fun with the story by seeing just how much sight-seeing you could actually pack into a day. “Paris really is an amazingly beautiful and interesting place. We had such a ball racing around and seeing everything. It was quite hard work, but in true Kiwi style, we knocked the b*****d off!” Tonight’s episode also features gorillas in Rwanda; a Dandenongs, Victoria drive; Newcastle in the United Kingdom; and snow-kiting at Mt Hothan in Victoria.

UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY: Tuesday 25th September at 7:30pm

Meet the New One News Weather Presenter Renee Wright.

United Travel Getaway presenter Renee Wright has taken on a position as Weather Presenter for One News according to Giggli.co.nz .

The former model and radio host is no stranger to the One News team. She presented the Tabloid/Entertainment Show ‘Headliners’ for the broadcaster during 2005 before it was cancelled due to poor ratings.

Wright hadn’t been heard or seen from much in the past year until the original Getaway presenter Charlotte Dawson left the position leaving the door open for Wright and C4’s Clarke Gayford.

Wright is one of a few new faces tipped to replace former surf lifesaving champ Brendan Horan who took voluntary redundancy from the state broadcaster earlier in the week.

It’s unclear if Wright will continue her position at Getaway.

Neither TVNZ or Prime TV were available for comment.

Full Story @ Giggli.co.nz




Clarke Gayford and special guest Hayley Holt go heli-snowboarding in Queenstown, on this week’s UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY.

The Getaway team stayed at Blanket Bay luxury lodge, 45 minutes from Queenstown. The heli-snowboarding trip was to Clarke Glacier (no relation!) in Mount Aspiring National Park. Clarke and Hayley, professional snowboarder and dancer from Dancing With The Stars, also went for a jet boat ride along the Dart River with Dart River Safaris. Blanket Bay sits at the north end of Lake Wakatipu, against a backdrop of some of New Zealand’s finest scenery.

Built in a classic alpine lodge style, Blanket Bay uses all native New Zealand timber and stone. The lodge features a games room, a health and fitness centre, fine dining and an extensive wine cellar. Clarke said the Getaway crew struck some bad weather when they were in Queenstown for the shoot and had to wait a couple of days to be able to film the snowboarding. “But it wasn’t a great hardship having to stay at Blanket Bay a couple of extra days – total luxury. And the heli-snowboarding was great when we finally got to do it. Hayley showed me up a bit though.”

This week’s United Travel Getaway also features a cheetah reserve in Namibia, Black Point in South Australia, a photography tour of scenic London, the Golden Quest Train in West Australia, Fiji, and Gerringong in New South Wales.

UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY: Tuesday 18th September at 7:30pm



This week’s United Travel Getaway is a “Holidays in the Sun” special featuring stories about the world’s warmer destinations.

New Zealand presenter Lance Hipkins goes diving with humpback whales in Tahiti, while the Australian team check out St John in the Caribbean, Maui in Hawaii, Jazabin Resort in Papua New Guinea, Eco-Point on the South Coast of New South Wales, Baird Bay Eco-Apartments near Adelaide, and Papamoa Beach in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty.

Lance shot his story on humpback whales on Rurutu, one of the more remote Tahitian islands. It is one of the best spots in Tahiti for whale watching and diving.

In the past, the humpbacks were hunted at Rurutu during periods of celebration or famine. The last hunt took place in 1957. Now the whales are protected.

Every year during their migration, humpbacks stop in Rurutu for several months to take advantage of calm waters and a lack of predators to reproduce. They give birth and raise their calves for several weeks before departing for the Antarctic.

Humpbacks grow to lengths of 18 metres and weigh in at a maximum of five tonnes. Calves are born measuring about four to five metres and weigh about two tonnes at birth. The gestation period lasts around 11 to 12 months and suckling lasts five months.

Lance went on his diving trip with the Raie Manta Club, who have the local knowledge and technology to get tourists up close and personal with the whales in their natural environment.

UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY: Tuesday 11th September at 7:30pm



This week’s United Travel Getaway is a “Hidden Wonders Down Under” special featuring remote and unusual destinations in Australia.

Jason goes on safari to Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, which is Australia’s largest Aboriginal reserve, and also visits the Torres Strait in Queensland. The Torres Strait is between Australia and New Guinea and is as far North as you can get on the Australian continent. Jules goes to the remote Mungo National Park in South Western New South Wales. Mungo may not be a household name, but it is one of the most important archaeological landscapes on the planet due to the 1968 discovery of human remains dating back 26,000 years.

Natalie visits Croajingalong National Park, which is halfway between Sydney and Melbourne and spans 100kms along Victoria’s far Eastern coastline. Croajingalong is a landscape so pure and precious that in 1977 the United Nations named it Australia’s first World Biosphere Reserve. Ben checks out the Pilbara – miles and miles of red mountain ranges and vast open space laid out across North Western Australia. Dermott is on Kangaroo Island in South Australia – one of the country’s most exceptional natural environments, 110kms from Adelaide off the shores of Cape Jervis.

And Catriona braves the Tarkine in Tasmania. One of Australia’s best kept wilderness secrets, the Tarkine is home to the largest tract of rainforest and some of the oldest surviving trees in the world.

UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY: Tuesday 4th September at 7:30pm



Clarke Gayford escapes the Auckland winter and heads to sunny Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, on this week’s United Travel Getaway. While many New Zealanders holiday in Rarotonga, Aitutaki is fast gaining a reputation as the more beautiful of the Cook Islands’ destinations. One of the largest atolls in the Cook Islands, Aitutaki is approximately 18km wide by 19km long and is made up of rolling hills, flat coastal plains and a large clear turquoise lagoon. The lagoon at Aitutaki is shallow – 11 metres maximum depth – and almost completely enclosed by a substantial coral reef. Clarke and his crew stayed at the Pacific Resort Aitutaki – a boutique beach resort with a total of 28 bungalows, suites and villas. Clarke went on a lagoon cruise and tried out a bit of snorkelling, attended an Island Night performance and a Pacific church service, and explored Aitutaki by the ever-popular scooter. This week’s United Travel Getaway also features Breaka’s Resort in Vanuatu, Cape Cod in the USA, a Kimberley Adventure Cruise, river-boarding in Queenstown, and the Emporium Hotel in Queensland.

UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY: Tuesday 28th August at 7:30pm


Lance Hipkins takes to his bicycle and joins up with one of the tourist rides that shadow the Tour de France, on this week’s United Travel Getaway. Organised by a New Zealand cycling group in association with Graham Baxter Sporting Tours UK, the group tour visited places like Aix les Bains, Cavillon (near Avignon), Alpe d’Huez, Toulouse and Paris, as it followed the crucial Alpine and Pyrenean mountain stages of the 2007 Tour.

Lance said that organised Tour de France tourist tours such as this one give people a chance to be on the spot at the Tour de France. “You can cycle along the Tour route with other cycling enthusiasts as much or as little as you like. You don’t actually have to take a bike – a luxury coach is provided – but I decided to get in amongst it as much as my calf muscles would allow me.” Lance also caught up with champion Kiwi cyclist Julian Dean – the only New Zealander in this year’s Tour de France. This week’s United Travel Getaway also features Australia Zoo, Khao Lak in Thailand, the Cavalli Lodge in Northland, discount shopping in New York, the Bamurru Plains in the Northern Territory, and Forget-Me-Not cottage in Wagga Wagga.

UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY: Tuesday 21st August at 7:30pm



Clarke Gayford visits the home of next year’s Olympic Games, Beijing in China, on this week’s United Travel Getaway. Clarke and his crew stayed at Hotel Cote Cour SL, a boutique hotel in the heart of one of Beijing’s historically-protected hutong areas. The hotel is a restored courtyard building, right in the heart of “Old Beijing.” Tonight’s story features the hotel and surrounding hutong area, as well as the Green Tea House in central Beijing and the Made in China restaurant in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, with its world famous Beijing Duck specialty. Clarke had the restaurant’s Beijing Duck recommended to him by his Prime TV colleague, newsreader Eric Young. “That duck had some massive expectations put on it, not to mention Eric’s reputation, after his insistence on us going there. And after an extensive investigation I can confirm that yes the best Beijing Duck is in fact in Beijing, and the best Beijing Duck in Beijing is in the Made in China Restaurant.” Clarke also said he was pleased to find that “despite China’s rapid modernisation and superheated economy I was still able to get on a bike in downtown Beijing and not only lose myself in a traditional hutong area but also find a store selling 600ml bottles of beer for 50 cents.” This week’s United Travel Getaway also features rappelling in Melbourne; Angkasa Resort in Coolum; part two of a USA-Mexico drive; and a Freycinet escape in Tasmania.

UNITED TRAVEL GETAWAY: Tuesday 24th July at 7:30pm