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A lucky Auckland family was treated to a luxury weekend in Taranaki as part of Venture Taranaki’s Swap Sides campaign.
By registering on the Swap Sides website – www.swapsides.co.nz - Grant and Karen Aitkenhead went into the draw to win a luxury weekend in Taranaki. The couple won three night’s accommodation at Nice Hotel, tickets to SOAP at TSB Showplace, a helicopter flight with Heliview Taranaki, a pamper package at Taranaki Thermal Spa and dinner at Salt Restaurant. 
Venture Taranaki caught up with the Aitkenhead family – Grant, Karen and their two daughters at the Nice Hotel before they headed back to Auckland.
This was the couple’s first visit to Taranaki in 22 years and they were pleasantly surprised at how much New Plymouth has developed as a city. “It has really changed... it has been such an exciting city to visit this weekend. There’s so much to do and we’ve really enjoyed it” said Karen.
The weekend was booked by Venture Taranaki to coincide with the Taranaki International Arts Festival, giving the winners a feel for the fantastic vibe in New Plymouth during the festival. Before enjoying the headlining show SOAP, the couple wined and dined with waterfront views at Salt restaurant.
Although the weather didn’t quite permit a postcard-perfect view of Mount Taranaki, the couple opted for a Port to Cape Egmont helicopter flight with Heliview Taranaki, which they enjoyed alongside their pamper package at the Taranaki Thermal Pools.
Grant and Karen were full of praise for the friendly service they experienced during their weekend in Taranaki.
“Everyone is really friendly here, friendlier than Auckland,” said Grant.
Terry Parkes at Nice Hotel also gained special mention for his outstanding hospitality – clearly living up to his reputation of ‘Best Owner/Operator’ award from the 2010 Taranaki Halamoana Hospitality Awards.
When asked whether they will be returning to Taranaki in the future, Karen replied “we definitely think so. It has been a great weekend and we will be recommending it to our friends and family.”
“We’ll bring all the family next time,” added Grant.
The Swap Sides campaign aims to encourage and assist those looking to make a move to Taranaki. Centred on the www.swapsides.co.nz website, it offers regular updates on the latest Taranaki jobs, news, events and more.
By signing up to Swap Sides by 30 Septmeber 2011, you’ll go into the draw to win a luxury WOMAD weekend prize package in Taranaki in March 2012.

  Swap Sides Competition Winners: The Aitkenheads  

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