International cricket writers bowled over by Northland
Northland earned rave reviews from some of Fleet Street’s finest after Northland Inc hosted the journalists on a trip to the Bay of Islands.
The cricket writers, who were covering England’s two warm-up matches, against a New Zealand XI and New Zealand A, at Whangārei’s Cobham Oval, visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and took a boat trip to the Hole in the Rock.
Lisa Cunningham, Destination Marketing Assistant at Northland Inc, arranged the excursion in conjunction with Dean Wilson, the cricket correspondent of the Daily Mirror.
“It is all too rare to find a day off on tour where you're not either watching a match, watching training or working within the confines of your hotel room, so to have the opportunity to get out and see more of what New Zealand and Northland in particular has to offer was a real treat for us,” said Wilson.
“The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is simply a must-see destination for any visitor to the region. The interactive museum and tour is superbly laid out, while the Māori cultural performance is both entertaining and informative.
“The boat trip to the Bay of Islands was a treat, too, despite the choppy waters out towards the Hole in the Rock. We got there, though, and it was well worth it, taking in some stunning vistas along the way. Some of our number clearly have better sea legs than others! But we were all really grateful for the trip and the chance to see the beautiful Bay of Islands up close and personal.”
The members of the press included cricket reporters from the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, the Sun, and the BBC.
Cunningham’s duties did not end there, however. She was invited by Adam Mountford, a producer on BBC’s Test Match Special on Five Live Sports Extra, to do a radio interview about the highlights of the region and its cultural and historical significance. Five Live and Five Sports Extra can generate a potential audience of more than 6.5 million at its peak in the UK, and her interview aired on the BBC during the lunch interval on the first day of the game between England and New Zealand A.
“It was great to have the opportunity to talk about Northland in a little more depth and to raise our global profile in the process. I was also pleased to assure the English they are still welcome here, despite the Cricket World Cup Final and the All Blacks’ recent defeat in the rugby,” she said.
“The weather may not have been ideal for the journalists but their feedback was absolutely brilliant, and it’s so good to see that Northland has appeal come rain or shine.”