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    The Fun Weekend in Hamilton Guide

    Time to gather your mates and do a mini road-trip to Hamilton. When you need that mini-vacation without breaking the bank, a quick trip to the south will give you the break you deserve and an Instagram-worthy weekend that your online friends would envy.

    Thanks to Choice Hotels for inviting us to visit Hamilton, we have gathered our favorite local hotspots without ever stepping into a tourist area.

    1.Where you’ll stay – Quality Hotel Ambassador

    A millenial-friendly hotel that has recently been renovated is where you’ll stay over the weekend. The place is quite central, clean, and affordable. We stayed in the Business Room with two queen beds that could easily fit up to 4 people. The room came with Sky Channel and free Wifi, great for late night movie marathon or reliable internet for your Youtube catch-ups. The property also has free outdoor parking and outdoor pool area. It is quiet and secure, recommended for young travelers or families. The price for a room starts around $130/night that could comfortably fit up to four people – BOOK HERE


    2. Lunch – Madam Woo

    One of our go-to restaurants. Get the Grilled Satay and Nasi Lemak.

    3. The Activity – Good George Brewery Tour

    Here’s the thing, you have to book a brewery tour at Good George Brewery. At first, I thought it’s gonna be a typical boring tour but it was not. I enjoyed it so much that I told more than three people that they should go to Hamilton and head straight to Good George Dining Hall. You’ll learn their entrepreneurial story and get a VIP backstage lowdown on how they make their famous beers and ciders. The tour will cost you $22 per person which includes beer tasting, a Good George glass to take home and also get 30% at the Good George Dining Hall if you decide to grab some foods afterward.

    4. Dinner – Good George Dining Hall and Brewery

    After your brewery tour, have dinner at the Good George Dining Hall. Great place to have more drinks and have yummy food. I would recommend getting the seafood pasta and burgers.


    5. Brunch – Two Birds Cafe

    Healthy and delicious brunch at Two Birds Cafe is a must. Whether you’re looking for a nice meal, something sweet from their cabinet, or a yummy healthy smoothie.


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    An Experience Every Traveller Should Have [Vlog]

    Next time you travel, avoid going to the tourist traps. Instead, try and experience the city you’re in and learn from the locals. That’s why when we heard about Airbnb’s new service called Airbnb Experience, we couldn’t wait to try it when we were in Queenstown.

    In between skiing and enjoying the beautiful views, we spent a few hours learning how to make a ring with local jewellery designer Jessica Winchcombe. Here’s a video of our Airbnb Experience:


    Try an experience that is not just enjoyable but also a great chance for you to learn something new.

    Image: Modern Macrame Workshop in Chicago (credit: Airbnb)


    Got a story or a skill to share? Why not host an Experience?

    You can easily host an Experience on Airbnb – just click here: https://www.airbnb.com.nz/host/experiences


    Thanks to Airbnb for sponsoring our unforgettable experience.

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    Win Tickets to Wella Professionals’ TrendVision Awards + Haircare Pack

    COMPETITION – Win with Wella!

    Wella Professionals is giving you and a friend the chance to win tickets to be the first to see the best hair trends in Australia and New Zealand, live on the catwalk at the Wella Professionals’ Trend Vision Awards in Wellington!

    The awards are a must-see experience for anyone interested in style, beauty and fashion, bringing together 40 of NZ and Australia’s best hair stylists to showcase the latest in hair style and colour with live demonstrations and the ultimate hair battle – and we’d like to send you there! Tickets are valued at $95 each, and winners will also be treated to a hair care package worth more than $300.

    N.B: prize does not include flights/accommodation

    • Open to New Zealand residents only.
    • Our Competition Terms and Conditions.
    • For questions, please email us at [email protected]
    • Competition ends 6th of September.
      Can’t see the form below? Click here


    About Wella Professionals’ TrendVision Awards

    The Wella Professionals’ TrendVision Awards in Wellington on the 10th September will bring together 40 of NZ and Australia’s best stylists to compete for the Gold Award in two key styling categories.

    Wella is New Zealand and Australia’s leading innovator in colour and creative hair styling, and TrendVision is the ultimate showcase for both emerging and established talent, a must-attend experience for anyone interested in style, beauty and fashion trends. The event includes a finalists’ catwalk show of styles and colours, live demonstrations and the ultimate hair battle, with three of ANZ’s leading stylists fighting it out on stage. Competitor entries will be judged by a panel of the who’s who of industry greats, including Danny Pato, Bronwyn Illingworth and Belinda Jeffrey.

    This year’s finalists include a mixture of new talent and established names from New Zealand, including Chinney Yeap (Buoy Salon & Spa, Wellington), Ella Pixie (Hair Raiser, Titirangi), Kylie Hayes (Moha Hairdressing, Dunedin), Jaimee Smith (Zaibatsu Hair Art, Dunedin – finalist last year) and Mana Dave (Blaze, Auckland – last year’s winner). The winner of the Gold award will travel to London for the International TrendVision competition in October to compete against country winners from around the world.

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    Win Sony SRS-XB10

    For our September giveaway, we have a Sony SRS-XB10 to give away to a lucky XYNZ member. All you have to do is sign up to our newsletter below.

    About Sony SRS-XB10

    Sony’s new SRS-XB10 (RRP NZ$99.95) is an ultra-compact speaker from the EXTRA BASS series. The XB10 is the smallest in the range but features incredible volume and punchy bass within a tiny body, so you get portability without a compromise to sound. The design allows you to position the speaker vertically, when listening with a group of friends, or horizontally, when on your own. The XB10 features a water-resistant IPX5 design, up to 16-hour battery life and can be paired with a second XB10 to provide stereo sound.


    The Prize

    Lucky XYNZ subscriber will win a white or black SRS-XB10 ultra-compact speaker.


    Competition Guidelines

    • Open to New Zealand residents only.
    • Our Competition Terms and Conditions.
    • For questions, please email us at [email protected]
    • Competition ends 29th of September.
    • Can’t see the form below? Click here


    Thank you, Sony for the giveaway!

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    Avon Launches New Makeup Brand “mark.”

    Avon launches new make-up brand called mark. with inspiring bold new looks and a vibrant colour palette designed for every woman. Launching this, mark. offers everything a beauty lover needs to express herself, from the 3D Plumping Lipstick to give your pout a 3D volume boost, to the 18Hr Artist Eyeshadow Inks, a bold range of fade-proof, transfer–proof cream shadows that wear for up to 18 hours – extraordinary impact that lasts. You’ll find shades to suit every complexion in this unique capsule collection of products for eyes, lips and nails.


    The mark. range also includes a 24-hour volumising mascara delivering 360-degree volume that never dares to clump or smudge.


    mark. mousse foundation to even out skin tone with an ultra-light texture and comfortable matte finish


    The line-up also includes eyeliners, powders, lip gloss, nail polishes and more for the true makeup enthusiast.


    mark. is sold exclusively online at shop.avon.co.nz or through Representatives nationally.

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    WIN Marcel’s Pancake Bakery Prize Pack

    The modern world is complicated, but when it comes to simple moments of enjoyment – like eating pancakes – it doesn’t have to be. That’s why Marcel’s makes it easy for you to create a little pocket of pleasure in your day.

    Marcel’s pancakes are deliciously light and fluffy, and taste like they were made just moments ago. Given you only have to heat them quickly in the microwave or frying pan, you’ll never struggle to get the perfect pancake again! Why waste time and make mess with mixing bowls, when with Marcel’s all you have to do is add the finishing flourishes.

    XYNZ Magazine has teamed up with Marcel’s to giveaway 1x bakery prize packs. The pack contains a voucher to buy one of everything in the bakery range, including; Pancakes, Petite Pancakes, Sweet Crepes and Plain Gluten Free Crepes.

    Look out for the bright, new look, Marcel’s range in your supermarket’s bakery section and get ready to enjoy the happiest (and easiest) pancake moment you’ve ever had! Available from leading grocery stores, from RRP $3.29.

    • Open to New Zealand residents only.
    • Competition ends 8th September 2017. The winner will be notified via email provided.
    • Our Competition Terms and Conditions.
    • For questions or more information about this competition, please email us at [email protected]
      If the form is not working (not compatible with some mobile devices, please go to this page CLICK HERE

    Thank you, Marcel, for the giveaway!












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    Win the Ultimator VALERIAN Blockbuster Combo

    The most bacony of burger fixes, Wendy’s new Baconator burger, the Ultimator, comes loaded with bacon jam, baconnaise, bacon ketchup – yep, you read that correctly – four strips of tantalising thick-cut Manuka smoked streaky bacon, natural Colby cheese and two fresh New Zealand beef patties, all on a toasted Kaiser bun.


    While from legendary director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy, The Professional) comes VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, a visually spectacular new adventure film starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. Rated M Fantasy Violence.

    Coming to cinemas and Wendy’s restaurants nationwide from August 10, here’s your chance to win two Ultimator combos and an in-season double pass to VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, value $69. Rated M: Fantasy Violence

    To win all you have to do is sign-up to our newsletter below:

    • Open to New Zealand residents only.
    • Competition ends 10th August. The winner will be notified via email provided.
    • Our Competition Terms and Conditions.
    • For questions or more information about this competition, please email us at [email protected]
    • If the form is not working (not compatible with some mobile devices, please go to this page click here.
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    What is Hodor up to?

    Q&A with Kristian – Nairn Kristian Nairn is a Northern Irish actor and DJ. He is best known for his portrayal of Hodor in the hit TV series Game of Thrones.

    What do you expect for the next season of Game of Thrones?

    You  mean you’ve already recovered from the tragic ending of my character in season 6?  You’ve already moved on?! How DARE you.  Honestly though, I have no idea what’s to come next.   Now that we’ve seen Khaleesi sailing towards Westeros, I think it’s safe to say we’re headed towards a climax in the plot.  So, a lot of excitement in the storyline to be revealed soon.  Since I haven’t seen it myself, All I can say is there’s an amazing team of talented, creative people who have yet to fail us with an amazing, gripping, endlessly entertaining storyline.  I’m excited myself for what’s to come in Season 7!  July 16th is just around the corner, just hold…your horses.

    How did you react when you found out Hodor’s tragic fate in season 6?

    Truth be told, I cried.  I totally appreciate the epic momentum that was created by Hodor’s death and I was actually satisfied to see how his character played out.  It was a bittersweet moment though, since I realized my involvement in the show was coming to a close.


    Any chance Hodor’s character will come back as a white walker?

    There’s nothing I would love more than for that to happen!  To be honest, though, it seems like a long shot at this point.  One good thing about his tragic death is that now I can watch the series myself and enjoy it like everyone else, without the stressful anticipation of knowing what might happen to my character, Hodor.


    Tell us about your last day on the Game of Thrones set.  What was it like?

    I remember it really clearly because it fell very close to my birthday.  It was tough both physically and emotionally.  I mean, physically, I was holding a door with 100 MPH winds blowing into my face, while pushing against a door with something like 8 other people on the other side.  Emotionally though it was especially tough, since I had grown quite close to the small group of cast members over the course of my time working on Game of Thrones.  I’ve never been good at “goodbye”s.



    What made you agree to do the SodaStream video?

    I’ve been using SodaStream myself ever since I was a kid, and I love the brand.  I was instantly drawn to this opportunity to work with SodaStream because of this campaign’s strong environmental message.  I mean, the message of this video is so true: plastic bottles make no sense!  I consider myself environmentally conscious, and I of course, try to do my best to be as earth friendly as possible, so this concept really resounded with me.  On top of that, I think SodaStream’s script offers a clever and creative delivery of this message, by portraying an idealistic future where plastic bottles are truly an obsolete thing of the past.  In this video, my character plays the “alpha male” of this fictional, last-living species of plastic-obsessed “Homoschlepiens,” who eventually became extinct due to their single-use plastic bottle polluting habits.  I honestly had a blast playing this role, and working with Mayim Bialik, and I think it shows in this video.


    You were recently in the KFC video, now the SodaStream video – it seems you’ve been involved in a lot of advertisements recently.  Can we jump to the conclusion that your favorite meal is chicken, rice accompanied by a fresh glass of SodaStream sparkling water?

    You’re right, and it’s really just a strange coincidence.  I hadn’t done any advertisements previously, but when SodaStream came to me with this proposal, I simply couldn’t turn it down.  It’s fun to be a part of a clever advertisement, especially when you can connect with the message.  I felt proud to be part of KFC’s campaign which offers their prime consumers a healthier alternative.  On the same token, SodaStream is really offering a revolutionary alternative for consumers; one that empowers them to take their health & wellness into their own hands, in a fun and convenient way.

    Do you own a SodaStream machine?

    Oh yeah, I’m a huge sparkling water fan.  How could I not own one?  Look, the bottled water industry is massive in Northern Ireland, where I grew up.  For most of my life, I didn’t even consider another option for drinking sparkling water, since I’d been surrounded by water bottles my whole life.  That’s why when I learned of the SodaStream sparkling water maker, I was eager to get one myself.  Even for a big guy like myself, it’s quite annoying to be lugging around bottles of sparkling water from the store.   It’s just so much more convenient to be able to make your own sparkling water at home.


    How was it to work with Mayim Bialik on the SodaStream Homoschlepiens set?

    Prior to actually meeting Mayim, I’d heard so many times how lovely she is.  I was really happy to learn that her reputation is completely accurate – she’s an amazing and talented actress with a really lovely personality.  We had a lot of funny moments on set, making this SodaStream video happen.


    In the SodaStream commercial we see the impact of the plastic bottle pollution on the environment, how do you try to reduce your own carbon footprint?

    I’ve always been environmentally conscious and I love to think that this campaign might help raise environmental awareness and reduce waste from single-use plastic bottles.  I’m a natural born nature and animal lover – I have three dogs at home.  One of my favorite things to do is just to go for walks in the wild outdoors with my dogs.  A big part of being an animal lover means loving our natural surroundings, and being kind to the planet.  Not just for ourselves, but for our future generations.  I’m happy to get onboard with any product which instills strong environmental messages.


    SodaStream has a tendency to choose big characters (both in size and heart) to play lead roles in their recent videos.  Did anybody tell you why?

    That’s a good point.  To be honest, I’ve never met Thor Bjornnson, even though I love his character in Game of Thrones.  I think SodaStream is pretty intentional in choosing memorable characters like Thor and myself in order to hopefully point out obvious but somehow overlooked key messages – enough is enough.  Plastic bottles make no sense, and I hope one day both Thor and myself will be remembered in propagating this environmental message.


    What is next for you personally?

    I think I’ll put more focus on my DJ career, writing music and continuing touring with Rave of Thrones.  I was a resident DJ in Belfast prior to working on Game of Thrones, but being a well-known cast-member of Game of Thrones has really enabled me to play at bigger venues and reach more ears with my music.  I’m happy to be gaining more recognition as a great DJ, and it’s something I hope to continue building in the future.



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    Win a Karen Murrell Princesses of the Golden Petals Lipstick Set [Ended]

    Queen of natural lip colours, Karen Murrell, has launched a new collection of lipsticks ‘Princesses of the Golden Petals’ that celebrates the contemporary princess. These lipsticks are the ultimate in luxury: rich, creamy and opulent with a number of delightful details that will amaze Karen Murrell aficionados and newbies alike. The range includes three new velvety colours: a rich red, Fiery Ruby, deep berry, Bordeaux Rouge and a dusky pink, Blushing Rose, plus two new luxurious metallics make up the collection: copper, Haute Bohème and gold, Crown Jewel. Each lipstick is designed right here in New Zealand with love, thoughtfulness, and care and enriched with the finest natural ingredients including avocado oil, evening primrose oil, candelilla, carnauba wax, cinnamon and sweet orange. Free from Coal Tar, Carmine, Mineral Oils, Triclosan, BBP’s and Parabens!

    Win a Karen Murrell Princesses of the Golden Petals limited edition lipstick set worth $160. Sign up to our newsletter below to be in to win:

    [ Competition Ended ]

    For more info:
    Instagram – @karenmurrellnz #karenmurrell #kissedbynaturalbeauty #KMPrincesses
    Facebook – www.facebook.com/karenmurrell
    Website – www.karenmurrell.com

    Thank you, Karen Murrell, for the giveaway.

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    The Chainsmokers Australia and New Zealand Tour

    Grammy Award-winning and multi platinum selling global sensation The Chainsmokers is coming to Australian and New Zealand for the “Memories… Do Not Open” World Tour. After a massive US tour and sell-out shows around the globe, they finally reach New Zealand, bringing their huge sound and spectacular show to Auckland’s Spark Arena on Tuesday, October 24 for one night only.

    With a massive all ages show in store, The Chainsmokers are bringing the party to NZ fans this spring.

    Where: Spark Arena, Auckland
    When: Tuesday October 24

    Tickets for all shows – including Dressing Room Meet & Greet and Soundcheck Experiences: 12pm August 4
    Spark pre-sale: 12pm July 31 until 12pm August 2
    My Live Nation pre-sale: 2pm August 2 until 5pm August 3

    For complete tour and ticket information, go to:
    visit: www.thechainsmokers.com & www.livenation.co.nz

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    Stylish Sofas Under $1000

    Whether you’re getting your own apartment or updating your flat, a reliable sofa is a must. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a brand new stylish piece. We have gathered the best and the most affordable stylish sofas that would definitely wow your guests.


    1.Freedom Furniture Pierce Sofa 3 Seat $699 (Cheapest 3-seater)



    2. Freedom Furniture Emporium Sofa 2 Seat $849



    3. Freedom Furniture Zetland Sofa 3 Seat $899



    4. The Warehouse Living & Co. Talia 2 Seat  $250 (Cheapest)



    5. Freedom Furniture Cleo Sofabed $599


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    Meet your new favourite NZ artist Ciaran McMeeken

    Ciaran McMeeken is a singer-songwriter who has released two incredible EPs and is now set to release his self titled debut album out August 4th. He worked with his long term collaborator and internationally acclaimed producer Greg Haver to create his first full length album, which includes the current single That Feeling co-written at SongHubs 2016 with pop songwriting superstar MoZella who has worked with the likes of Ellie Goulding, Charlie Puth, and One Direction.

    He is celebrating the release of his album with a 4 centre tour, August 4-10 so we have a double pass to giveaway to a lucky XYNZ reader.

    Tour Dates

    Dunedin: Aug 4 at The Savoy – Buy Tickets
    Queenstown: Aug 5 at Sherwood – Buy Tickets
    Wellington: Aug 6 at Meow – Buy Tickets
    Auckland: Aug 10 at The Tuning Fork – Buy Tickets


    Be in to win a double pass to the Auckland show + signed CD. All you have to do is sign up to our newsletter below:

    If the form does not work, click here.


    Look out for our interview with Ciaran on 7th August.


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