It was a surprise and an honour for organisers of headland - Sculpture on the Gulf to be named by the New York Times as one of "The 46 Places to Go in 2013". It featured alongside internationally acclaimed destinations like exotic Nicaragua and romantic Paris.
But headland artistic director Nansi Thompson was amazed when she stumbled across an elderly couple who had read the story and decided to travel almost 14,000km to see the festival.
Nansi noticed the couple walking to the event under the beating sun as she was driving through the island. She offered them a lift to the start of the sculpture trail.
Nansi says the couple from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr Stuart Hirsch and his wife Velma, had been so taken by the event's number 35 listing in the New York Times they booked plane tickets to Auckland immediately.
"The team has been blown away with how many international visitors the festival had this year," Nansi says.
The final day of the event was on Sunday.
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