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Monday, June 24, 2013

Tourism NZ launches search for the FIRST Australian same-sex couple to be wed

Lake Wakatipu - Queenstown
To celebrate the passing of the recent marriage equality laws, Tourism New Zealand has announced it will be flying out an Australian same-sex couple for a ceremony on 19 August 2013, the first day the Marriage Amendment Act comes into force.

The national search for the first Australian couple to make history and wed across the Tasman will be conducted in close partnership with the Star Observer, kicking off on 24 June 2013*. Applicants are invited to enter via the Star Observer's Facebook page (link here), with winners to be announced in mid-July.

With a whole host of unforgettable locations to choose from, New Zealand is one of the world's finest wedding destinations, says Tourism New Zealand's General Manager Australia Tim Burgess:

"New Zealand has many stunning wedding settings to choose from. You can shout your love from the mountaintops or clink your glasses at one of the country's finest vineyards – and then take off for the honeymoon of your dreams. Add to this our luxury lodges, spas and gourmet food – and you have a match made in heaven.

"We are excited to be making history and working with one lucky same-sex couple to become the very first from Australia to be married here in New Zealand."

The recent decision to amend the Act has been hugely welcomed by supporters of same-sex marriage, with many commentators congratulating the nation for being progressive. New Zealand has never been one to shy away from pioneering state acts, having been the first country to grant women the vote in 1893.

Prize includes return flights from Australia, accommodation, a special wedding ceremony and stylish reception. The wedding location has not yet been announced; details will be revealed in July alongside the winning couple.

*The competition closes at midnight on Wednesday 10 July 2013.

New Zealand as a wedding destination

Tourism New Zealand's top 10 ideas for a New Zealand wedding:

1. Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
2. Picturesque vineyards in Hawke's Bay or on Waiheke Island
3. By helicopter at the top of the Tasman Glacier
4. A luxury catamaran – sail from bay to bay on romantic Lake Rotoiti in Rotorua or charter the Ipiriri and cruise the waters of the sub-tropical Bay of Islands
5. On the water's edge beside Wellington's stunning harbor or rugged south coast
6. One of New Zealand's boutique lodges – with four course meals and matching wines served in some of the country's most beautiful settings
7. In a mud bath at Hell's Gate in Rotorua
8. Rise to the occasion with a hot air balloon wedding
9. A world-class golf course such as Kauri Cliffs or Cape Kidnappers
10. The romantic Marlborough Sounds
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