An Auckland-based data analyst won the adventure of a lifetime when she and three friends got to sail and dive around Northland's coast with top Kiwi sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling.
Beth Kreitzer, with her partner Kaleb Kruse and couple James Noad and Helen Bowen, spent Thursday with the yachtsmen sailing to Roberton Island in the Bay of Islands, and yesterday diving off the Poor Knights.
The competition was part of a joint campaign between Air New Zealand and the Department of Conservation (DOC) to enhance and promote some of New Zealand's marine reserves or "coastal gems".
Five adventures across New Zealand were up for grabs, and the competition was promoted on social media, inviting people to enter by submitting a photograph showing their adventurous spirit.
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Ms Kreitzer's winning entry was a picture of her ice-climbing a waterfall in Minnesota, her home state.
"It was great. I was a little confused because I was like, 'I actually won something'? That doesn't usually happen to me."
The Northern Advocate caught up with Ms Kreitzer on Thursday after the sailing trip, where the highlight for her was seeing orcas five minutes into the trip.
"We saw a lot of orcas - it was very nice. We had brilliant weather the whole time - just enough wind to sail."
It was the first time the avid swimmer and runner had seen orcas, after seeing only dolphins on a previous trip to the Bay of Islands. And what did she think about sailing with Burling and Tuke?
"It's just a nice part of the trip that we got to sail with some true sailors."