The Lake Taupo region has been profiled across the USA as the ultimate romantic, luxury destination thanks to the hit prime-time TV series, The Bachelor.
Earlier this week, the Central North Island took centre stage as episode six of the reality show aired across America reaching an initial audience of 7.8 million viewers watching the live episode.
This episode of the show saw the bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis, and the final eight ladies experience a week of adventure, romance and luxury throughout the region. Filming took place in October 2013 and was secured through Tourism New Zealand's international media programme.
The Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis, at Taupos Floatplane - courtesy of NZK Productions.
Several local tourism operators were involved in the production, with the host and contestants taking part in a wide range of activities including; jet boating, climbing through rock crevasses to a thermal waterfall, enjoying a scenic float plane flight and fly fishing. Local residents were involved in assisting the production crew with administration work and driving cast and crew around the region.
Nick Berryman of New Zealand RiverJet said they used every boat in their fleet to carry The Bachelor's cast and crew. He says the show's producer was blown away by the remote waterfall location that RiverJet took them too. "He said it was the best location ever on the Bachelor series worldwide," reports Nick.
The filming, which took place in October 2013, also gave the cast and crew the opportunity to experience some of the region's luxury hospitality at Huka Lodge, Hilton Lake Taupo and Poronui estate.
The Bachelor host Chris Harrison at Poronui Lodge - courtesy of NZK Productions
Poronui's Blake House served as the setting for the dramatic rose ceremony where the bachelor eliminates one of the bachelorettes from the show. Blake House's cliff-top location provided a spectacular backdrop for the ceremony with magnificent views of the Taharua River valley below and surrounding bush-clad mountains.
Huka Lodge, which hosted the female contestants during the ten days of local filming, says it embraced the opportunity to promote its property and the beautiful surrounding region to the US market.
Hilton Lake Taupo hosted the bachelor in its top-floor presidential suite. With stunning lake views, this created an iconic backdrop for a key 'date night' in Taupo. Hilton Hotel Manager Ryan Mikkelson welcomed The Bachelor acknowledging it places the region and New Zealand as a dream destination in front of a wide audience.
Vanessa Freeman, General Manager of Destination Great Lake Taupo, says The Bachelor was a fabulous opportunity to partner with Tourism New Zealand in exhibiting the region on a global stage. "It is partnerships like this that can really make the difference in influencing markets. Hopefully the stunning content will encourage more Americans to experience the romance of the Lake Taupo region sooner rather than later."
Tourism New Zealand's Gregg Anderson, GM Americas and Europe, agrees saying that the chance to showcase the premium experiences available throughout the region builds its profile as the perfect location for a romantic getaway, wedding or honeymoon.