New Zealanders are travelling to South Australia in record numbers as they look to branch out from traditional Australian destinations in search of something new and different.

In the year to September 2018, Kiwi visits to the state were up almost 10 per cent to 42,000 people – and they spent up large with expenditure rising two per cent to NZ$58 million.

Stacey Kerr, Regional Manager, South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), says Kiwis are looking to South Australia for a diverse experience that takes in everything from food and wine through to attending major events and visiting some of Australia’s most scenic destinations.

“South Australia is renowned for its boutique, artisan and handcrafted food and drink. So visiting the state is all about scratching below the surface and finding its hidden gems, from delving deeper into iconic wine regions such as the Barossa and McLaren Vale, to discovering the many artisan producers on Kangaroo Island.”

Kerr says the introduction of Air New Zealand’s 787-9 Dreamliner in late 2017, which flies non-stop from Auckland to Adelaide, has played an integral part in the increase of New Zealand travellers.

SATC research found 81% of Kiwis now consider Adelaide or South Australia for a long weekend getaway, up significantly from 67% in 2017.

“It shows Kiwis are looking to branch out from traditional Australian destinations and experience a different side of Australia, which is made so much easier with Air New Zealand’s direct service to Adelaide.”

The New Zealand visitor results come on the back of South Australia hosting a record number of visitors in the year to September 2018, boosting the state’s visitor economy to an all-time high of NZ$7.3 billion.

Kerr says Kiwis stay an average of nine nights, which means they are visiting multiple regions during their time in the state, with top spots including the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and the Murray River.

She says while food and wine are a key part of the Kiwi holiday experience in South Australia, festivals and events are becoming increasingly popular thanks to the likes of Tasting Australia, the Tour Down Under cycle race, and the Superloop Adelaide 500.

As well as food and wine experiences, self drive journeys, houseboating and river cruises, and shopping are also popular among New Zealand travelers.

“With a 93% repeat visitation rate, we’re seeing growth in new regions as Kiwis return and want to see and experience something different. The Clare Valley, Flinders Ranges and Outback are regions seeing particular growth among Kiwis.

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