Filmmaker James Cameron has been in the news this week following his deep-water dive in a submersible under the Pacific ocean.
But when he's not risking his life with the fishes, the Titanic and Avatar director likes to call New Zealand his home.
Cameron recently bought a 2,500-acre farm in South Wairarapa and he's not alone in his Kiwi love - Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em star Michael Crawford has moved there as well, mainly to recover from chronic fatigue illness in a beachside house near Auckland.
Kiwi country is fast becoming the new celeb’ hotspot for a number of other luminaries too, including country and western singer Shania Twain, Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist Flea, former England rugby coach Martin Johnson and the Rocky Horror Show’s Richard O’Brien.
Personalities and other high-net-worth individuals are attracted to New Zealand's shores because “the rivers are full of fish, the mountains are laden with skier-friendly snow and even some of the women are good-looking,” says David Murray from Bayleys Queenstown, demonstrating the country's distinctive humour.
As well as being a safe democracy with a stable government and clean and green spaces, “celebrities like it here because nobody takes a heck of a lot of notice. It’s very quiet, a bit like the UK was 40 years ago, but on the other side of the world,” he says.
Although it’s not unusual for someone to pay more than £5 million these days for a large home with plenty of land, you can still find good value for your pound, which is worth xxx New Zealand ones.
For instance, a three-bedroom house on Oretangi Beach, only a 35-minute ferry ride to Auckland, costs just over £200,000, while a higher-end place in Queenstown (the equivalent of Chamonix with year-round actitivies) fetches about £1.5-2 million.
Even Christchurch, which is still suffering aftershocks from the recent earthquakes, is on the road to recovery.
According to Overseas Guides editor Richard Way: “Analysts here are predicting a surge in sales of new houses and areas, as people move out of the red zone. Demand in areas that fared better in the quakes, such as the western suburbs and North Canterbury towns like Rangiora, a popular choice for Brits, are expected to rise too.”
Kiwi country is fast becoming the new celeb hotspot for a number of luminaries