New Zealand

We, at AHA Creative Strategies, are participating in #Blog4NZ. A campaign developed by a group of travel bloggers to showcase the country of New Zealand and to encourage travel there.

Since we provide a range of travel public relations services at our Vancouver PR agency and Tourism New Zealand is one of our favourite clients, we wanted to participate in this excellent initiative.

We have had a great deal of success in having travel articles that we’ve written about New Zealand published in both traditional and online media. We thought we would share one of those articles with you today. It’s about Auckland, which is where you initially land when you travel to New Zealand from Canada. I love Auckland. There is so much to do there – in the city itself and just a short drive or ferry ride away. It is a fabulous place – and I am hoping this piece inspires you to spend some time there when you visit New Zealand!



For many North American travellers, Auckland is a place to recover from any jet lag and to get their bearings for their New Zealand vacation. However, visitors soon discover that the beautiful city on the bay is so much more than a stopover to the rest of the country.

Positioned on a narrow piece of land between two magnificent harbours – Waitemata and Manukau – Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of 1.5 million. While it has a big city feel, when it comes to culture and sophistication, Auckland also gives off a comfortable, down-home vibe. People are friendly, the streets are safe and whether you want a city experience or would like to get a little closer to nature, you can find it either in the city itself or in just a short drive or ferry ride away.


Auckland is a foodie heaven. No matter where you turn, there are incredible restaurants ranging from little hole-in-the-wall local spots to prestigious eateries run by world famous chefs. Want to know where to go for lunch or dinner? Ask a local. They will happily give you a rundown and directions to their favourite spots. Knowing how friendly Kiwis are, they might even join you!


The Auckland region is known for its wine and is home to some of New Zealand’s oldest established vineyards. In fact, just a short 40-minute ferry or water taxi ride from the city’s harbour is Waiheke Island, which boasts about 100 wineries. Quaint and beautiful, Waiheke Island is home to a range of boutique wineries that produce unique, high-quality wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc grape varieties. Some of the more well-known vineyards include Kennedy Point, Mudbrick and Man O’ War. Waiheke Island is also known for its olive oil and the island has a range of artists who sell their work at local shops and boutiques throughout the community.


No matter what your idea of fun is, chances are you can find it in Auckland. Activities range from sailing on Auckland Harbour, to shopping the boutiques on High Street; or you can check out the view from Sky Tower where, on a clear day, you can see about 81 km of the volcanic landscape. Just a short drive north of Auckland, visitors can also walk the black sand of Karekare Beach (made famous in the film The Piano), horseback ride at Pakiri Beach or surf at Piha. And, of course, with New Zealand playing host to the Rugby World Cup 2011, checking out a rugby match at Auckland’s Eden Park is a truly Kiwi experience.

Air New Zealand has direct non-stop flights from Vancouver to Auckland and also offers flights from many other North American cities. Visit for more information. Qantas ( also offers flights from many North American cities.

For more information on Auckland, please visit

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AHA Creative Strategies is participating in #Blog4NZ, a three-day blogging extravaganza that spotlights New Zealand as a fabulous tourist destination. (To see other tweets and posts from travel bloggers around the world, visit Twitter here.)

As the Canadian PR agency for Tourism New Zealand, we connect with Canadian travel journalists on a regular basis. We work with Tourism New Zealand to create the opportunity for leading travel journalists to visit New Zealand and to share their experience with their readers and/or audience. Recently, we have been fortunate to have received coverage about New Zealand in The Toronto Star, Canada AM, The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail,, and The Discovery Channel and many others.

Without fail, what we hear back from travel journalists that visit New Zealand is how incredible the country is, how beautiful the landscape is, how delicious the food is, how amazing the wine is and how many things there are to do in New Zealand. One of the fabulous things about New Zealand is that there is something for everyone.

Below is an article that we wrote and distributed free of charge to media across Canada. Hope you enjoy it!

Five Things You Might Not Know About New Zealand


You probably know New Zealand for its adventure, adrenalin, and the great outdoors, but there are also a lot of interesting things that most people might not realize. Here are five fun, funky, and unforgettable things about the land of the long white cloud.

The South Island city of Dunedin celebrates chocolate for a whole week during the Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival  (July 11 – 17, 2010). One of the highlights has organizers letting two sets of 25,000 Jaffas loose. As the chocolate candies roll down Baldwin Street – the steepest street in the world – thousands of spectators eagerly await their arrival. (Just for the record, Dunedin is known as the “quirky capital of New Zealand” and this small city also boasts the country’s only annual naked rugby game.)

North Island’s Napier is known as the “Art Deco City” and maintains that title because of the local Art Deco Trust. The buildings in Napier underwent massive reconstruction after an earthquake in 1931, which almost leveled the city. Art Deco was in fashion at the time and it greatly influenced the rebuilding. Now Napier and South Beach in Miami, Florida are considered the two best preserved Art Deco towns in the world.

New Zealand is well-known for wine tours and tastings, but for those who like their drink with a little hop, there are also a wide range of microbreweries and brewery tours. For beer aficionados, there are many different types to choose from including North Island’s Galbraith’s Alehouse in Auckland, Waiheke Island Brewery on Waiheke Island, and Sunshine Brewery in Gisborne. The South Island brew opportunities include The Twisted Hop in Christchurch, Moa Brewery in Blenheim, and Bays Brewery in Nelson. Asking what local microbrew to try in any local bar or pub is sure to make you new friends.

New Zealand is predator-free, which means no cougars, bears, wolves or snakes. A walk in the forest is much less worrisome than a stroll in the woods in North America. There’s nothing waiting up around that bend except more flora and fauna, and perhaps a waterfall.

And last, but certainly not least, New Zealand makes exceptional espresso-based coffee drinks. According to locals, it has only been over the past five years or so that the country has embraced great coffee. (But when Kiwis decide to do something, they do it right!) Even in little out of the way coffee shops, you can get an exceptional Americano, latte, cappuccino or flat white (similar to a “wet” cappuccino). The best of the best are honoured at the annual New Zealand Coffee Awards.

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