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Local attractions broadcast to the world

Zoo News - Posted 9 December 2015

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International travellers can now explore Hamilton’s most popular tourist attractions from the comfort of their armchairs.

Hamilton Gardens and Hamilton Zoo have joined a growing list of international destinations to be photographed by Google Trekker.

The initiative is part of the Google Street View Special Collects programme which has already showcased attractions from around the world including the Grand Canyon, Galapagos Islands and New Zealand’s own Great Walks.

Google Trekker Matt Jenke visited Hamilton earlier this year with a high-tech camera designed to capture areas only accessible on foot. The 360-degree panoramic images are available from Google’s website.

The New Zealand-born adventurer says people get a surprise when he walks around corners with his 18kg camera wedged into a tramping pack.

“The camera is an unusual looking piece of equipment so I do get quite a lot of confused looks!” he says.

“I’ve spent two and a half years collecting imagery of the most beautiful and iconic sights right across New Zealand, and it’s been great exploring some of the hidden gems in the cities.

“Hamilton Gardens was a great highlight for me: I've visited the Gardens before and to bring this amazing natural attraction to a worldwide viewable platform is something quite special to Hamilton as a city.”

Hamilton Gardens Director Dr Peter Sergel says having the gardens accessible online will be a boost to tourism.

“Visitors research their visit quite extensively before booking their travel,” he says. “Having this tool online is exciting because it will give potential visitors a tantalising glimpse of the gardens and hopefully inspire them to visit the gardens, the zoo and the wider region.”

Street View was launched in 2007 and now covers more than 56 countries. Special Collects aims to preserve images of heritage monuments, touristic sites, museums, national parks and remote areas.

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