Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Vibrant Auckland a must see - NY Times

Glowing write-up lauds city for bubbling night-life and great local products that have nothing to do with orcs.

Waiheke Island. Photo / Supplied
Waiheke Island. Photo / Supplied

A New York Times write-up has lauded Auckland as a must-see travel destination for its vibrancy and homegrown products - that have nothing to do with The Lord of the Rings.

Journalist Ingrid K. Williams spent 36 hours in the city and penned an article about the experience for the broadsheet that has a daily circulation of 1.5 million-plus and an online audience of more than 30 million unique monthly visitors.

"This multicultural city, home to a third of all Kiwis, has recently welcomed a raft of bars, boutiques and restaurants that highlight locally made products, from excellent craft beer and wine to fashion and art. And none of it has anything to do with orcs or rings," she wrote.

Williams gushed about the 12 stops on her weekend adventure, including the "exquisite" Maori culture displays at Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland War Memorial Museum, Britomart's "bubbling night-life hub" and the "bountiful natural beauty" of Waiheke Island.

Details of her weekend itinerary ran alongside a photo gallery featuring the Auckland skyline and view from Mt Eden, her favourite shops, cafes and exhibitions and Waiheke's vineyard scenery.

The glowing review of "the San Francisco-steep streets and regenerated neighbourhoods of newly vibrant Auckland" have not gone unnoticed by city ambassadors.

The tourism manager at Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development, Jason Hill, said it showed visitors Auckland was a world-class destination beyond the country's typically heralded Middle Earth scenery and adventure tourism.

"It shows that Auckland has really come of age as a sophisticated and truly international city that is being recognised and endorsed by some pretty credible third parties."

It was the type of publicity money really could not buy. "One of the things that the New York Times is very strict on is they don't accept invitations to visit destinations like ours so when they do come and write it's honest and credible and it makes it even more valuable."

A spokesman for Mayor Len Brown described the article as fantastic exposure. "This is exactly what Auckland needs to build our visitor economy and the mayor is impressed that the author managed to get through so much in 36 hours."

Mr Hill said the exposure could have a big effect on visitor numbers, with a previous article featuring Waiheke contributing to a boom there.

"Anecdotally ... we have seen a huge increase in arrivals from tourists on Waiheke Island ... who said that they saw it or heard about it in the New York Times. So Waiheke Island has had its busiest season ever and I think some of it could be attributed to having that coverage."


36 Hours in Auckland

Friday

Auckland Art Gallery
Oyster shucking at Seafood Depot after visiting the Sky Tower
Drinks in Britomart

Saturday

Walk through the Auckland Domain to the Parnell Farmers' Market
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Lunch and shopping in Ponsonby
Dinner at Meredith's
Live music at Golden Dawn

Sunday

A sunrise hike up Mt Eden
Lunch and shopping on K Road
Afternoon vineyard visits on Waiheke Island

- NZ Herald

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