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ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER:New Zealand virtual visit sounds good

Although travel to New Zealand is on hold, the country’s tourist board is inviting wannabe visitors to virtually journey through the North and South Islands listening to sounds unique to the South Pacific nation, including native birds, bubbling geothermal mud pools and the gentle sound of the breeze moving through the forest.

Under the artist name 100% Pure New Zealand, the album “Mindful Journeys” features four meditative audio tracks (two with narration and two without) to help calm the mind and disconnect from the world for a few moments.

With many more unique, relaxing and natural sounds to tap into in New Zealand, the channel will be updated with additional tracks in the future.

According to Spotify, New Zealand is only the second country to launch a channel specific to a destination.

Among the album tracks are:

North Island – Far North to Rotorua (x1 narrated in English, x1 non-narrated): The journey begins on the beaches of the upper North Island and the gentle sounds of surf and seabirds. As the breeze moves into the forests, there are noises of native birds and insects. After the earthy hum of the bush, sounds emerge from the geothermal area of Rotorua – steaming water, bubbling mud pools and the distinctive rush of the natural geysers.

South Island – Marlborough Sounds to the Canterbury Plains (x1 narrated in English, x1 non-narrated): The South Island track starts off with the gentle lapping waters of the Marlborough, then heads down the rugged beaches of New Zealand’s West Coast where the Punakaiki Rocks emit their distinctive sounding blow holes. After moving through the foothills, wind whips and distant keas call in the mountainous air of the Southern Alps. Next are the sounds of the many rivers that head down the other side of the mountain range. The track ends with the rich and textured noises from the regional birds and insects of the Central Otago valley.

Meanwhile, when able to visit again, 100% Pure New Zealand invites listeners to tune into some of the country’s other signature sounds:

• The call of the kiwi bird at night
• The song of the tui bird while they feed on nectar
• The sound of the Pacific Ocean colliding with the Tasman Sea at Cape Reinga
• Bubbling geothermal mud pools and the Pōhutu geyser at Te Puia
• The rush of waterfalls in Milford Sounds
• The sound of snow falling on the top of the highest mountain range in Australasia
• The quiet sound of stargazing in one of New Zealand’s International Dark Sky Reserves
• The quiet solitude of watching the sunrise from atop Maunga Hikurangi – one of the first places to see the sun in the world
• The chinking of jugs of Southfarthing Sackville Cider and Frogmorton Ginger Beer at Green Dragon Inn at Hobbiton

The tourism board cites Science Daily research that says listening to as little as 10 minutes a day of the sound of nature is proven to help people relax by physically changing the mind and bodily systems, thereby promoting general wellbeing and helping individuals be more resilient and able to handle complex and uncertain conditions at work (such as coping with a pandemic).

Link to Spotify Channel


Pororari Middi, photo/Stewart Nemmo

First published at Travel Industry Today

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