Last week I attended a special event for Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand to celebrate the introduction of the Boeing 777-200 flying non-stop Perth to Auckland from this September.
We’ve been able to fly non-stop Perth to Auckland for some time, but the larger aircraft will add an extra 70 seats to Air New Zealand’s non-stop Perth to Auckland services to help meet the growing demand. There will be a range of seat options including Seat, Seat + Bag, and The Works in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Premier, which includes lie-flat beds.
The event was held at Venn Gallery on Queen Street in Perth. The promotion of New Zealand as a business and holiday destination was high on the agenda. To get us in the mood, a menu showcasing New Zealand food and wine, and live music by New Zealand-born Perth singer-songwriter Ben Morito. I was one of several local food and wine bloggers in a noisy crowd of local media. We mingled with Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand staff and chatted about the Perth restaurant scene, blogging, and the hot topic of the night, New Zealand.
The New Zealand wines served at the event were: Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Gris 2011; Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2011; Crossroads Winery Hawkes Bay Merlot 2010; and The Crater Rim Canterbury Pinot Noir 2009. For those not into wine, New Zealand beer Steinlager Pure, Antipodes sparkling water, and orange juice.
I don’t claim to know a lot about New Zealand cuisine, but I’m well aware of the clichés: seafood, lamb, pavlova and hokey pokey ice cream. I must say that wasn’t too far off the night’s menu.
Somehow I missed out on the kumara and feta arancini with bush tomato chutney – how did that happen?
Tim Burgess, Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia and Cam Wallace, Air New Zealand General Manager Australia gave a couple of speeches, greeting us all with a warm, welcoming “Kia Ora”.
The speeches were followed by a demonstration by two Air New Zealand hosties, reminiscent of the in-flight safety information we’re subjected to every time we fly, but with a cheekier and more entertaining narrative that had us chortling.
And then, a gobsmacking announcement: every guest present at tonight’s event would receive a return Premium Economy flight from Perth to Auckland flying Air New Zealand!
“Really?” We asked each other, incredulous.
“REALLY?” We turned and asked the beaming Tourism New Zealand staff who’d been chatting with us just five minutes ago.
Yes, really! Inside each of our goodie bags was an individually numbered voucher to be redeemed for travel any time between 4 September 2012 until 30 June 2013.
I plan to spring for a second ticket so that Jac can come with me on a New Zealand adventure next year. We’ve already begun researching our options. I’m most interested in food and produce and am keen for a uniquely New Zealand experience. Jac is talking about kayaks and camper vans. If you live in New Zealand or have been on holiday in New Zealand, I’d love to hear your suggestions for what to see, do and of course, eat.
As dessert finger foods were served, the room was buzzing with renewed energy, some of us secretly struggling with distraction, already thinking about a trip to New Zealand.
- The Boeing 777-200 (304 seats) non-stop flights Perth to Auckland commence 3 September 2012, replacing the current Boeing 767 aircraft (234 seats)
- There will be a range of seat options – Seat, Seat + Bag, and The Works in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Premier
- For more info: Air New Zealand
Visit Tourism New Zealand’s tourism portal to plan an NZ holiday: 100% Pure New Zealand
I’ll be seeing you next year, New Zealand!