Taking it easy in Houston

With a population of nearly 2.3 million, Houston is the fourth biggest city in the United States.

However it has twice the land area of the biggest city (New York). For you, this means plenty of fresh air and room to move.

Hot air balloon travel allows you a glimpse of the morning movements of coyote and deer on the plains.

Urban oasis

Tucked away behind a suburban shopping mall you'll find the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. It's a tranquil oasis amidst the rush of the surrounding city and a refreshing spot to visit if you happen to be in Houston during the sweltering summer months.

The Waterwall itself is a 20-metre horseshoe-shaped fountain that's covered in cascading water.

The effect creates a mesmerising urban waterfall, which contrasts in a spectacular way with the surrounding skyscrapers.

In front of the Waterwall you'll find a pretty park lined with Texas oak trees. It's a popular spot for people to take wedding photos, lounge in the sun or throw a frisbee. Pack a rug, some yummy food and enjoy a relaxing picnic here. If you're driving, the best spot to park is at the nearby Galleria Mall.

Up, up and away

There's no better way to see the great state of Texas than by floating over the expansive prairies in a hot air balloon.

Houston, USA hot air balloons

Hot air travel is almost completely silent and allows you a glimpse of the morning movements of coyote and deer on the plains. It's like looking down on an untouched world.

Local balloon operators are known for their experience and knowledge, not to mention their entertaining stories and good sense of humour.

Typically you'll have an early morning start, which is totally worth it for the stunning Gulf Coast sunrise. Make sure you've got warm gear with you, as it can get chilly up there. The grand finale is a champagne toast to the success of the flight.

Relax and renew

When you're rushing around trying to see everything, you sometimes forget to take it easy. But if you include a day spa in your itinerary, relaxation is a certainty.

Woman getting a relaxing massage

Many of Houston's best day spas are clustered in the space between Buffalo Bayou and Southwest Freeway. Massage is the general go-to for helping you to relax, but it can be fun to try out some different treatments and see how they help. Reflexology and a detox foot bath can provide soothing relief for weary bodies and feet.

If you're unsure about what to choose, chat with the knowledgeable staff and they can help you decide what will work best for you. You'll find your treatment totally reinvigorating, giving you the energy to get the best out of your holiday.


per person one way from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

Economy: 27 Jan - 19 Mar, 28 Apr - 19 Jun & 1 Aug - 9 Sep 2020.
Premium Economy: 18 Jan - 9 Sep 2020.
Business Premier™: 22 Mar - 9 Sep 2020.
An additional $30 one way will apply for travel on a Fri - Sun.
Card payment fee may apply Fare conditions

Terms and conditions: Advertised fares are based on travel originating in New Zealand. For airfare only bookings paid with credit, debit or charge card, a fee of $17.50 per person per one way long haul journey applies. For airfare only bookings made through our contact centre a non-refundable service fee of $60 per person, per one way long haul journey applies. Customers who purchase fares using Airpoints Dollars™ online will be required to pay the government and airport charges which are included in this fare by internet banking or credit card. Prices advertised are one-way from New Zealand, prices on the return journey may vary due to tax differences. Travel is via Air New Zealand operated non-stop services from Auckland to Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Chicago. Beyond USA, Canada and South America destinations are on partner airlines and subject to partner airline availability. Travel ex Wellington or Christchurch is via Auckland on Air New Zealand domestic flights. Travel from provincial points in New Zealand to international flights ex Auckland on the Air New Zealand network available with additional costs. Connections from provincial New Zealand points requiring an overnight break in the journey will be at the passenger's own expense. Flight and routing restrictions may apply. For travel to the USA & Vancouver: An additional $30 per one-way journey applies for Economy and Premium Economy travel Friday-Sunday. Premium Economy & Business Premier: Air New Zealand domestic flights and connecting flights will be in Economy class. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or on all dates. Prices correct as at 27 Sep 2019. Offer is valid for new bookings only. New deals may be released at any time. 

Cancellation/changes: Airpoints™ terms & conditions, General terms and conditions, Global SaleGlobal Saver, Global Flexi terms and conditions apply. TTY assistance is available for deaf and hearing impaired via NZ Relay on 0800 4 711 711.

Keep exploring Houston