Aus­tralians tempted by Ruapehu trails

Ruapehu Press - - Farming - ROBERT STEVEN

The prospect of an ex­cit­ing North Is­land road trip is be­ing ad­ver­tised in Aus­tralia to lure more tourists across the ditch.

Ruapehu sights fea­ture in two of the four travel routes be­ing pro­moted in Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and Bris­bane.

Aus­tralia is New Zealand’s big­gest tourist mar­ket, ac­count­ing for al­most half of all vis­i­tors. Ev­ery year, 470,000 Aussies visit, gen­er­at­ing more than five mil­lion hol­i­day stay days in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

The eight-week ad­ver­tis­ing campaign is a part­ner­ship be­tween Tourism New Zealand and eight re­gional tourism or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing Des­ti­na­tion Great Lake Taupo.

Tony Saun­ders, Tourism New Zealand’s man­ager Aus­tralia, said the campaign was about en­cour­ag­ing Aus­tralians to ex­plore more of the North Is­land in the off-peak months.

‘‘Aus­tralians don’t have the depth of un­der­stand­ing of New Zealand to know the dif­fer­ences be­tween the re­gions so we have done a lot of the work for them de­vel­op­ing sam­ple itin­er­ar­ies to help them plan their jour­ney.’’

The four routes be­ing pro­moted in­clude the Twin Coast Dis­cov­ery High­way be­tween Auck­land and North­land, the Pa­cific Coast High­way through the Coro­man­del and Bay of Plenty, the Ther­mal Ex­plorer High­way through Ro­torua, Hamil­ton and Waikato and the Vol­canic Loop around Ruapehu and Lake Taupo.

High­lights on the Ther­mal Ex­plorer High­way in­clude vis­it­ing Orakei Koreko Cave and Geother­mal Park, eat­ing de­li­cious prawns at Huka Prawn Park, dis­cov­er­ing Maori rock carv­ings in Mine Bay, and vis­it­ing the Huka Falls’ rag­ing waters on the Huka Jet.

The Ton­gariro Cross­ing, the Tim­ber Trail moun­tain bik­ing track and sky­div­ing over Lake Taupo all fea­ture in the Vol­canic Loop road trip’s sug­gested itin­er­ary. ‘‘We want to show that although New Zealand is just on their doorstep and they can visit at any time. There is more to see and do than they think, with ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­pe­ri­ences that are dif­fer­ent to their every­day life,’’ Saun­ders said.

The ad­ver­tis­ing will fea­ture across dig­i­tal chan­nels and in­clude ex­ten­sive ‘‘out-of-home me­dia place­ments’’, like bus and train stops.

PHOTO: SVEN MARTIN

Rid­ing the Tim­ber Trail through Pure­ora For­est is one of the ac­tiv­i­ties rec­om­mended in Tourism NZ’S new campaign

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