Australian travel show dedicates episode to 'amazing' Wellington
Wellington's "amazing culture, incredible creativity, and beautiful food" will be showcased to one million Australians this weekend.
The capital will make a star appearance on Explore TV, which airs on Channel Nine to about one million viewers across Australia.
During an episode dedicated to Wellington, presenters Trevor Cochrane and Caty Price dish out high praise for the capital.
The pair spent eight days exploring Wellington's culinary hotspots, natural attractions and cultural highlights last October.
Series producer Kale Radics said the show will highlight that Wellington is a perfect short break destination for Australians.
"Usually we dedicate an episode to an entire country, and in the past we've travelled across New Zealand for this TV series, but in this case we had just as much of a challenge packing all the incredible activities from just the one region."
Wellington's breadth of activities and proximity made it an inspiring, easy and great value destination for Australians, he said.
"We left the country with two questions; why haven't we been here before and how can we get back to cover the rest of the region in the future?"
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) hosted the Explore TV team.
Some of the show highlights include the World of Wearable Art awards show and a visit to the Wairarapa vineyards.
Te Kairanga winery chief winemaker John Kavanagh said Cochrane was a "great bloke" and genuinely enthusiastic about Wellington — even when the cameras were not rolling.
WREDA chief executive Chris Whelan said the timing of the episode was ideal because it was the time of year when people were known to start planning their next holiday.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures estimate spending by Australian visitors in the Wellington region was worth more $175 million in the year ending March 2015.
This equates to just over a third of all international tourism spend in the region, he said.
Direct arrivals of Australian visitors via Wellington Airport increased by 9 per cent in the year to October 2015, helped by the establishment of new air services from Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
WREDA was also trying to entice Australians thinking about moving across the ditch, to relocate to Wellington.
A campaign markets the capital as a place offering the "hottest salaries and most affordable big city housing".
Job search company Seek recently found the average advertised salary in Wellington during 2015 was $80,348 — the most for any region in New Zealand and 6 per cent higher than any other.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures show the median house price in Wellington in October 2015 was $435,000, compared to Auckland's $765,000. The national median was $459,000.
"Australasian professionals who'd like to advance their careers, get into a reasonably-priced family home, and live in a city that's known internationally for culture, cuisine and creativity, should take a good look at Wellington.
"Plus, with the residential property market in the region showing signs of increasing activity, Wellington also offers long-term wealth creation opportunities," Whelan said.