Katy Perry a-glow after New Zealand visit
12 May 2011
Glow worms, great food, black water rafting and bungy jumping have left US pop star Katy Perry raving and in love with New Zealand after her first visit.
The world famous singer, who arrived in Auckland last Friday (6.5.11), kept fans informed of her travels via Twitter and repeatedly told them how much she loved New Zealand. She has seven million followers.
As well as performing in Auckland and Wellington, Perry managed to fit in some great Kiwi experiences including a bungy jump from the Auckland Harbour Bridge and a memorable visit to the glowing natural underworld of the Waitomo Caves in Waikato.
Perry excited by NZ
From the time she arrived in New Zealand with an entourage of dancers and support crew, Perry tweeted her impressions to fans. "I’m in New Zealand for the first time! I’m so excited!"
Her first concert at Vector arena on Auckland’s waterfront on Saturday (7.5.11), part of Perry’s 2011 California Dreams Tour, had fans queuing from early morning.
Although she spent most of the day relaxing in the penthouse of the five-star Sky City Grand Hotel, Perry had an energetic Sunday - choosing to leap off Auckland’s Harbour Bridge with a Kiwi fan, before posting a picture of herself taking the plunge.
"Pre-show bungy jump in New Zealand! Pppshaaah!"
After another hit show on Sunday night, Perry and her crew of about 15 drove to the Waitomo Caves - an ancient subterranean world in the heart of the central North Island that’s famed for glow worms and black water rafting - an innovative Kiwi activity that draws thousands of overseas tourists to the area, every year.
Black water rafting chief instructor Angus Stubbs said the group was excited about the trip and Perry seemed particularly taken by the glow worms.
Later she posted a picture of a toy glow worm on her Twitter page, saying: "I just survived the black abyss and saw glow worms! I love New Zealand - it's beautiful!"
Stubbs said the group had a fantastic time."There were heaps of people with her - her crew, part of the band and the dancers.
"They abseiled into the cave, then went on a flying fox in the dark under the light of the glow worms. She talked about all of it later."
Before driving back to Auckland, Perry and her entourage followed a local recommendation and stopped at the nearby Huhu Café for dinner.
Again the experience left a lasting impression with the singer tweeting a picture of "HUHU" with her message: "If u ever come to the glow worm caves outside of Auckland u have to eat here. I would rate it 6 michelin stars!"
Café staff had initially been reluctant to take the late reservation, but were awestruck when they found Katy Perry was among the guests.
Co-owner Abi King said the pop star ordered a few different dishes, which she picked at with two of her dancers.
She chose caramelised garlic and goat cheese and thyme tart, risotto balls, broccoli with chilli and pine nuts, roasted pumpkin with hummus, chips and braised beef.
"She had sticky toffee pudding for dessert, which she said was awesome.
"We kept the wine glass she used and just put it up on the shelf - it's still got a little bit of lipstick on it."
King and co-owner Andy Rawles said they were grateful to find the star had advertised their restaurant on Twitter."We're pretty stoked."
Perry, who is married to British comedian Russell Brand, performed one more show in Wellington on Tuesday night before flying out.
Prior to her Wellington show, Perry was given a ring by Wellington’s Village Goldsmith. The ‘What’s the Point’ diamond, silver and gold ring valued at NZ$6400 was apparently a hit with the pop star.
Background: Auckland Harbour Bridge jump
AJ Hackett Bungy created the Auckland Harbour Bridge Bungy in 2003.
Bungy jumpers walk through the bridge, which spans the Waitemata Harbour, to a specially-built bungy pod at the centre of the iconic bridge, before leaping over the water.
Bungy inventor AJ Hackett first dived off the Eiffel Tower 20 years ago. That ‘leap of faith’ launched a pioneering business that would grab the attention of thrill-seekers all over the world.
Hackett and his friend Henry van Asch opened the world’s first commercial bungy - a 43m jump over the Kawarau River in the South Island - in 1998. Van Asch now runs the New Zealand arm of the hugely-successful bungy business, while Hackett has extended the business off-shore.
There are 30 different international patents for AJ Hackett Bungy, including jumps in Cairns (Australia), Bali, Normandy (France), Germany, Kuala Lumpur and the world’s highest jump off the Macau Tower (233m).
Background: Waitomo Caves
Waitomo Caves is an ancient wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites, deep caverns, and rocky streams bathed in the ethereal light of millions of glow worms.
Named by early Māori explorers - Waitomo translates as wai / water and tomo / hole - the caves are one of New Zealand's original tourist attractions.
Just a short drive from Hamilton in the Waikato region south of Auckland, the caves offer a series of fascinating eco-adventures ranging from viewing the glow worms to overnight caving expeditions, abseiling, rock climbing and black water rafting.
Black water rafting or cave tubing is a New Zealand invention and has become a major tourist attraction. An inflated rubber inner tube is used as a flotation device to take adrenalin junkies down the river with the added thrill of abseiling, weaving, jumping and floating through Waitomo’s glow-worm stuffed subterranean wonderland.
Underground adventures in Waitomo Caves
Bungy - a Kiwi adventure
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