Mercer wants to be on the tourism map.

The North Waikato town is trying to be more than a blink-and-miss, food and gas pit stop.


There's the New Zealand award-winning cheese located straight off the exit ramp. And not too far away is the John Hill Estate in Hunua, the Hampton Downs racing track and the famous Tuakau Hotel.


Mercer Backpackers manager, Kim Clarke is in the same facitlity as Go Skydive New Zealand at Mercer Airfield.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Mercer Backpackers manager, Kim Clarke is in the same facitlity as Go Skydive New Zealand at Mercer Airfield.


Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson said he has noticed a jump in visitor activities and experiences being developed in North Waikato.


There's a lot more tourism opportunities being explored in this part of the region, he said.


Set rate is $35 per person at the backpackers.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Set rate is $35 per person at the backpackers.


Businesses at Mercer Airfield are trying to get visitors to the area - starting with skydiving.


Go Skydive New Zealand opened in April, the first skydiving company to start up since 2012.


The company gathered visitor research from information centres and other tourism activities in North Waikato. 


Mercer Backpackers also has a cafe in a dome that was built in 1983.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Mercer Backpackers also has a cafe in a dome that was built in 1983.


"People often ask, what's there to do before I go to Auckland?" Go Skydive NZ director Darren Fletcher said.


"We found visitors that were at the tail end of their New Zealand visit were looking for places to stay and things to do before they had to drive to the airport.


"They didn't want to stay in Auckland if they didn't have to, and had a few days to kill. So, what can I do?


The skydiving and backpacking facilities are based at Mercer Airfield.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

The skydiving and backpacking facilities are based at Mercer Airfield.


"We want to be one of those options. People here, know it's here. But we want visitors to know that it's here."


The Mercer backpackers is also located at the airfield. 


Mercer Backpackers manager, Kim Clarke, said they want to promote the accommodation for tourists passing through, to girlfriends weekend getaways.


John Hill Estate winery is not far from Mercer in Hunua. A spokesperson said they've seen a spike in tourists, group ...
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

John Hill Estate winery is not far from Mercer in Hunua. A spokesperson said they've seen a spike in tourists, group bookings, and weddings.


The nine-room facility has a set cost of $35 per person. There is also a cafe situated in a dome built in 1983.


"It's a convenient yet unique spot away from the major cities, but with still plenty to do in the area.


"Grab some cheese and wine, those brave enough can do the skydive and relax and stay right here." 


SimSity is a racing car simulator set up on site at Mercer Airfield for entertaining guests who can pick tracks to race ...
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

SimSity is a racing car simulator set up on site at Mercer Airfield for entertaining guests who can pick tracks to race around.


Clarke also operates Simsity, a racing car simulator that is often on site at the airfield.


She said that can be a "bit of fun" too, taking turns on the track.


Dawson said the backpackers had been operational for a while now, and the skydiving was one of the best drop zones in the country.


"The new skydiving operation is a fantastic asset for our region and helps drive our 'stay and spend' message for the region."


Overall, the Waikato region's visitor expenditure climbed to $1.442 billion for the 12 months ending June 2017. Domestic visitors are the largest contributor at $1.07 billion, and international at $355 million. 


Dawson said he expects to see the region get more popular for tourism activities.


"Our close proximity to New Zealand's main international gateway, Auckland Airport, and Auckland as our main domestic drive market, will see the region continuing to benefit from tourism over the coming years."

x

Contact Us


Please enter name
Please enter your email
Please enter a subject
Please enter a message
x

External link


This data is stored on the WDC site, click here or wait 5secs. the page will open in a new tab so you can return to this site at any time

We are now redirecting you to an external site, we have no control over and are not responsible for