Taylor Swift’s day off on Waiheke Island is gold for tourism industry
Pop superstar Taylor Swift enjoyed her day off on Monday, following three consecutive Auckland concerts, by soaking in the sun on Waiheke Island and posting pictures on Twitter and Instagram of her idyllic adventure - to more than 44 million worldwide followers. Not bad for island tourism.
The 23-year-old star arrived by public ferry with an entourage of 11, including her mother Andrea and a small security detail.
Geoff Jewitt from Waiheke Executive Transport said he organised transport for the group on the island, including a private boat and vehicles.
Tourism Minister John Key said Swift’s unsolicited celebrity approval to all those millions of engaged online fans around the world was great coverage for Auckland and New Zealand. “Taylor Swift’s endorsement of the beauty of Waiheke Island is a classic case where social media can be gold.”
Five female pals joined her on the island excursion, including dancers Clair Ordaz, Caitlynn Lawson and Eliotte Nicole and back-up singers Kamilah Marshall and Melanie Nyema, who are part of Swift’s extravagant Red Tour.
The group of girls looked thrilled to be enjoying their day off in between a hectic tour schedule and posed for several shots, which Swift posted to Twitter and Instagram. “Some of my favorite people, onstage and off,” she wrote. “The more beautiful the scenery, the more we hug.”
At Mudbrick, the group enjoyed a relaxed long lunch on the rooftop terrace followed by a leisurely private wine-tasting with the vineyard’s winemaker, Patrick Newton.
"This is the second time Taylor and her friends have been to Mudbrick," proprietor Nick Jones told The Diary.
Swift visited the estate last year on her Speak Now tour. “She loves the laidback atmosphere of Waiheke. She’s incredibly relaxed, very friendly and really well-behaved - and left a very generous tip.”
Swift strolled through the fragrant gardens with her girlfriends, and later bought several cases of wine to take home, including Mudbrick’s Reserve Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
Then the group moved on to Stonyridge about 5pm for what was meant to be a brief visit, but owner Stephen White told The Diary they stayed for several hours, chilling out and supping wine on the deck. They left at 9.30pm after the sun went down, and Swift bought a few cases of the vineyard’s Syrah to take home.
"She’s a really good person with great values and morals. I was really impressed with her, so down-to-earth. She said she loves New Zealand and loves Waiheke.
"She just wanted to chill out with her friends and relax with no fuss," White said.
On Sunday Swift, wearing short-shorts and a pony tail, was snapped shopping in Parnell with her 55-year-old mum Andrea, who bought her daughter a $500 abstract painting from Parnell Gallery.
Earlier they’d had lunch at Thai Friends, eating green curry and coconut rice, and management told The Diary they closed the restaurant for the superstar. Alas, photos were a no-no, but she gave the maitre’d a guitar pick with her picture on it.
Swift is understood to have flown out on her Dassault Falcon 900 private jet late on Monday night for the Australian leg of her circus-themed tour.