Hot on the heels of news that the Trans-Tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia will launch by April 2021, Tourism New Zealand has unveiled a trio of new experiences in the hopes of enticing travellers from across APAC to return once restrictions are further eased.
Rugby, the country's national sport, is a natural focal point.
The All Blacks Experience, located at Auckland’s SkyCity, features four interactive hands-on zones where visitors can kick, pass and train just like the professional All Blacks, Blacks Ferns, and others who wore the black jersey.
The All Blacks Experience is designed to showcase the All Blacks, Black Ferns, and other national rugby teams in black.
A highlight of this immersion is the huge screen with the All Blacks chanting the traditional war dance, the Haka, which serves to mentally and physically prepare the team as they head onto the rugby field.
For an even more personalised and memorable experience, the All Blacks Experience tour can come with additional services such as customised All Blacks jerseys.
In Opononi, Hokianga, which is also known as the cradle of Māori nationhood — New Zealand's indigenous Polynesian people — a notable experience is Manea Footprints of Kupe, an interactive cultural, heritage, tourism and education centre which just opened in December.
The new Manea Footprints of Kupe features the opportunity to learn about Māori customs and protocols, and immerses visitors with storytelling, waiata [song] and karakia [prayer].
There, a 75-minute interactive guided tour led by descendants of Kupe — the country’s first discoverer — take participants into protocols, pōwhiri (welcome ceremony), storytelling, waiata (song) and karakia (prayers). There's also a 20-minute 4D movie and live theatre performance depicting Kupe's journeys across the land.
Visitors are in for a visual treat at Weta Workshop Unleashed, a fantastical film effects facility located at Federal Street in Auckland.
Resident creatures, one hyper realistic giant and a galactic robot line the doorways of the 90-minute guided tour, into the worlds of three original movie projects flowing with the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres. These tours run ever 10 minutes, in groups of 40.
Into the world of sci-fi and fantasy, where planners can include film effect demonstrations, character transformations and themed centrepieces into their event.
Also targeting corporates, the site offers buy-outs, where its 500sqm event space is capable of hosting 240 guests banquet style or 100 guests at a separate themed meeting room in theatre style. It's also possible to add on experiences such as guest speakers, film effect demonstrations, character transformations, and themed centrepieces.
Tourism New Zealand, which has been ramping up efforts to stay top of mind for the overseas travel trade, has recently launched an app-based learning platform to incentivise agents to pick up destination knowledge—and prizes too.