A new Facebook page promoting Far North businesses hit by Covid-19 is offering a $5000 family road trip to encourage people to visit the district.
The 'Bay of Islands - Far North Escapes, New Zealand' page was set up earlier this month by Blah Blah Marketing, in conjunction with local business associations, to boost the profile of Far North businesses and encourage domestic tourism.
As well as showcasing businesses and deals the page offers tips on lesser-known sights and activities, from craft beer tours to wreck dives and winter snorkelling trips.
As an incentive to get people visiting the page, and the district, the businesses taking part have put together an eight-day, all-expenses-paid road trip for two adults and two children.
The total value of the July 10-17 Great Far North Roadie is just under $5000.
Blah Blah Marketing's Anika Whapshott said it was the first time in her 20 years in the district that all nine business associations in the Far North had come together, along with Mayor John Carter, to achieve a single goal.
That goal was to showcase what the Bay of Islands and the wider Far North had to offer and to encourage people to visit the district in the post-Covid era.
The Facebook page was open to any retailer, accommodation provider, hospitality business or service in the Far North.
It included a virtual shop where people could make direct bookings, which meant all the money stayed in New Zealand rather than a large chunk going to an offshore booking website.
Whapshott, who along with business partner Steph Godsiff is giving her time to the campaign, said the next giveaway was likely to be a romantic Far North getaway for two.
Danny Simms, chairman of Doubtless Bay Promotions, is among the business owners donating to the prize package by offering two nights at the Mill Tide Apartments he and his wife own in Mangonui.
He believes in working together for the benefit of the wider Far North, "so the best way to show that is to put my money where my mouth is".
Simms said the district's business associations had held weekly Zoom meetings during the lockdown, leading to new opportunities for collaboration.
Each part of the Far North — Bay of Islands, Hokianga, Kaikohe, Doubtless Bay, Kaitaia and the Aupōuri Peninsula — had its own flavour and the Bay of Islands already had a ''tremendous brand''.
Working together offered the chance to lift the profile of the entire Far North, Simms said.
The Great Far North Roadie prize package includes accommodation in six different towns and a raft of activities including skydiving, mountain biking, parasailing, a jetski safari, a glowworm cave, a chocolate factory and a fishing charter with a skipper named Captain Badjelly.
■ To be in to win the Great Far North Roadie just head over to the 'Bay of Islands - Far North Escapes, New Zealand' Facebook page. Entries close on June 27 with the winner drawn on June 28. Be warned that scammers have set up a fake web page purporting to be linked to the competition — if you get an email from someone before June 28 saying you've won it's clearly a scam.