To people of a certain vintage, "Don't leave town till you've seen the country" was one of those slogans like "Be a tidy Kiwi" that became deeply ingrained in youngsters growing up in New Zealand.
The 80s tourism campaign line got at the heart of our tendency, as people living in a small country at the bottom of the globe, to seek out fun and wonders overseas, rather than in our backyard. Many wanted to see the Swiss Alps before the Southern Alps and Norway's fjords before Fiordland.
That trip to Napier or New Plymouth? It could wait until after Perth.
Times have changed. The wanderlust is still there, and many Kiwis still fly off to new lives overseas, returning rarely or only after years away.
But over the years, national pride in our achievements, culture and surroundings has bloomed. Entrepreneurs who might have once started eateries in London as expats, establish cafes and their futures at home. Visiting Queenstown or walking the Milford Track are goals to achieve as much as seeing Angkor Wat or the Great Wall.
And now, with a coronavirus pandemic loose in the world, there's never been a better time to dust off and update your domestic tourism bucket list.
To that end, starting today, NZME is kicking off a "Go NZ!" campaign to highlight the options out there for countrywide staycations.
As a proud New Zealand-owned media business, we believe we have a critical role to play in leading the way — not just with accurate and essential information on the coronavirus and ways to stay safe, but to help Kiwi businesses and operators who will be starting to feel the impact of the virus.
Across many industries, jobs and livelihoods are at risk, not least in travel and hospitality.
Seeing our own attractions is the safest, most carefree break available for now and will help local people and businesses cope with the economic impact of the pandemic.
Starting today with Northland, we will be focusing on the attractions, events and places across the country that are worth your while. The two-week series will traverse different areas and landscapes from the northern beaches to Rotorua's hot pools, our famous wine regions and tramping tracks.
The campaign will feature daily in the NZ Herald, Weekend Herald, Herald on Sunday and NZME's five regional daily newspapers, as well as nzherald.co.nz and across NZME's radio networks including Newstalk ZB and The Hits.
As our CEO Michael Boggs says: "We know New Zealanders love to travel. NZME is proudly New Zealand-owned with more than 1500 staff across our great country.
"We have a major role to play in ensuring we keep encouraging people to travel safely. There is so much to see, love and do in New Zealand. Go NZ! will be the go-to destination for Kiwis seeking adventures and great times."
New Zealand's brush with Covid-19 has so far been light, with a handful of cases linked to overseas travel. The Government and health authorities will hope to keep infection levels low as winter and the normal flu season approach.
With countries introducing tough restrictions in response to shifting threats, foreign travel carries extra risk at the moment and is hard to plan for in the short term. The risks include becoming infected with a virus without immunity and no vaccine; being turned away from your destination; being quarantined; incurring extra medical and travel costs and packing a lot of worry with your luggage.
Checking out New Zealand's sights could involve breaking new ground by visiting a place you've never been to. Or getting to know better a place you think you know. Or discovering how an old favourite has changed since you were last there. Or retracing that distant memory of a trip you took with your family during a long-ago summer.
It's time to take a fresh look. It's time for us, all, to lead the way. At NZME, we're proud to be flying the flag.