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.

Houston^

per person one way from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch

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28 May 2018
NZL-Houston: 16 Aug - 18 Sep & 8 Oct - 12 Dec 2018, Houston-NZL: 4 Aug - 18 Sep, 23 - 30 Oct & 10 Nov - 12 Dec 2018.

^based on non-stop service ex Auckland
+$75 one way from all other Air New Zealand serviced New Zealand airports
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Terms and conditions: Advertised fares are based on travel originating in New Zealand. Flight and routing restrictions may apply. Advertised Economy fares apply to Monday-Thursday departures only. Surcharges of NZ$30.00 will apply for departures on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. 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 $60.00 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. Airport and government costs will vary and are subject to currency fluctuations. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or on all dates. Taxes on return sector will vary from those on the outbound journey. Unless otherwise stated, travel is via Air New Zealand non-stop services from Auckland to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Chicago and beyond on partner airlines.

Travel from all Air New Zealand serviced domestic airports is via Auckland. Connections from provincial New Zealand points requiring an overnight break in the journey will be at the passenger's own expense. Advertised fares to Houston and Chicago^ are based on Air New Zealand non-stop services ex Auckland, connections via Los Angeles or San Francisco available with additional costs. Advertised fares to Las Vegas, New York and Washington are based on travel via Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Premium Economy: Air New Zealand domestic flights and connecting flights will be in Economy class. Business Premier: Air New Zealand domestic flights and connecting flights may be in Economy class. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or on all dates. Prices correct as at 03 May 2018. New deals may be released at any time. All promotional offers advertised on this website are correct at time of publishing, however Air New Zealand reserves all rights to modify, amend or withdraw any promotion offer advertised at any time, without further notice. The baggage limit is 1 piece for Economy fares, 2 pieces for Premium Economy, and 3 pieces for Business Premier; not exceeding a maximum weight of 23kg (50lbs) per piece. Airpoints™ terms and conditions, General terms and conditions, Global Saver, Premium Economy, and Business Premier terms and conditions apply TTY assistance is available for deaf and hearing impaired via NZ Relay on 0800 4 711 711.

Keep exploring Houston

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