Fancy a virtual holiday in New Zealand?

Unfortunately for most, international travel may be halted, but that hasn’t stopped New Zealand from showing off its magnificent beauty! From steaming geothermal wonders to intergalatic-like glaciers, and, of course, one could not forget that classic Kiwi banter.

There’s no doubt we’ve been staring at screens a lot more lately. In fact, live-streaming platform Twitch has seen a 57% increase in hours watched! So it seems just right that New Zealand has redesigned the country’s picturesque landscape into a gamified walk-through.

Aptly named PLAY NZ, virtual tourists are guided through an open-world experience, accompanied by the familiar Kiwi actor now narrator, Julian Dennison (Paper Planes, Deadpool 2).

“This is the first virtual walk-through made by a country and I’m excited to take visitors on a journey through New Zealand,” Julian said.

“In the play-through, I guide viewers through experiences that I’ve done myself…except being a soaring hawk, obviously.”

Virtual visitors will take the disguise of an avatar named ‘Skip Hogan’ and follow him as he traverses the North Island’s Rotorua, encountering Kiwi locals along the way. Skip faces a series of adventure challenges, from mountain biking through the Redwoods Forest to white water rafting down Okere Falls, before coming face to face with music artist William Waiirua.

Andrew Waddel, Tourism New Zealand’s general manager in Australia said the graphics are so amazing that they’re actually real.

“We’ve created an immersive content hub online, where a further 18 VR experiences can be discovered and booked in the real world,” Andrew said. “Ranging from Wildwire Wanaka to EcoZip Adventures and AJ Hackett Bungy in Queenstown, you’re manning the controls.

“Never before has a country opened its virtual borders and created a lifelike immersive experience that feels like an actual game. Ahead of the trans-Tasman travel zone, keeping Australians engaged virtually is the most exciting offering in tourism right now.”

PLAY NZ would not be complete without a live gamer walk-through from Australian gaming heavyweight Loserfruit, using the power of Twitch.

With over 4.7 million followers across Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, Loserfruit said, “PLAY NZ squares up against fan favourites for its ability to mimic in-game play.”

Start planning your future holiday to New Zealand now with our selection of Action-Packed Adventures in New Zealand. We have also found their 9 Best Natural Wonders and we must give a mention to New Zealand’s Greatest Wine Tours.