Lara Bingle's New Zealand love affair

Reality TV star gets a taste of Kiwi life

AMY MAAS
Last updated 08:33 27/06/2012
FAIRFAX MEDIA

Australian model and TV reality star Lara Bingle talks about her impressions of New Zealand during her first visit here.

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Australian model turned reality TV star Lara Bingle says she has fallen in love with New Zealand and wants to return.

Sydney-based Bingle is in New Zealand to film scenes for her show, Being Lara Bingle, and for Air New Zealand's "Kiwi Sceptics" promotional campaign, which aims to lure Aussies across the ditch.

It is her first trip to New Zealand, and she arrived in Queenstown on Saturday.

"I love New Zealand. I've completely fallen in love," she said.

"[It's] cold, friendly and enticing to come back. It's somewhere I would definitely come back to."

The 25-year-old, whose previous relationship with Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke made her tabloid fodder, spent three days in the South Island trying heli-skiing and snowboarding and even stayed overnight in an igloo.

"The people are nice, the restaurants and bars - I felt like I was in Melbourne when I was in Queenstown," she said.

 "Queenstown is almost like a little European town and I think the snow there is as good as it is anywhere in the world. I've only been here for a few hours, so I haven't really been out and about in Auckland yet."

Bingle, who shot to fame as the "Where the bloody hell are ya?" girl for an Australian tourism campaign, has singled out the beauty of New Zealand as a selling point to lure her countrymen to our shores.

Her time in New Zealand will feature on the reality show, which debuted in Australia on June 12, with nearly one million viewers tuning in.

"It's surreal to be honest to have your own show. It's not my goal in life to have my own reality show, it's something that's happened and I've kind of just taken everything as it comes."

Having a camera crew follow her every move is something Bingle said she would never get used to, but it has taught her to "respect and understand it's part of the job".

"I feel like I've finally got control of my life and putting out there who I am instead of people making their own judgement and passing comment on someone when they don't know [them]."

There are no plans for the show to run in New Zealand, but Bingle is pushing for it to hit our screens.

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- Auckland Now

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