Lesser-known destinations like Stewart Island star in the three-minute film unveiled earlier this month.
Created in partnership with Tourism New Zealand, the new safety video by the country’s flag carrier doesn’t mention Covid-19 by name, but it does reflect a global pivot to domestic travel. Titled Aotearoa, the 8th Wonder of the World, the showcase takes viewers on a journey around New Zealand and plays up the fun, tongue-in-cheek spirit expected from the airline.
The whole narrative begins with one question: why is it that none of the World’s Seven Wonders are found in New Zealand? Representatives from different parts of the country start arguing over which locales should be recognized as the eighth wonder of the world. There are mentions of world-famous attractions like Milford Sound and the Waitomo Caves, the latter known for its colonies of resident glow-worms. Wellington—the creative and cultured national capital—is nominated too, as is the seasonally snow-capped volcano Taranaki (a.k.a. Mount Egmont), which stood in for Mount Fuji in the 2003 Hollywood film The Last Samurai.
In between the usual safety demonstrations, viewers get to enjoy arresting footage of the South Island’s West Coast Glaciers (with a few brief words from a hiker), Milford Sound, and a section filmed on sparsely populated Stewart Island—whose remoteness and lack of light pollution has allowed it to be listed as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. Incidentally, Stewart Island is also an ideal place from which to view the Aurora Australis, the southern equivalent to the more celebrated Northern Lights. All in all, Air New Zealand’s latest safety video gives those of us living outside Australasia some welcome inspiration for a post-pandemic holiday.