'Slow television' has been slow getting to New Zealand but it's soon to arrive in the form of Go South – a Prime TV programme taking viewers on a 12-hour journey from Auckland to Milford Sound.
The worldwide 'slow TV' trend – usually programmes about gentle, scenic journeys taken over a number of hours – was kicked off in 2009 with the seven-hour Norwegian programme Bergensbanen minute by minute – train journey across Southern Norway.
Many people find slow TV meditative and/or mesmerising, according to Go South producer Scott Stoner.
"Oftentimes people will tune in not really sure what it’s all about and find hours later they’re still watching it because it has a way of sucking you in".
Watch the Go South trailer below:
Go South offers a "curated" journey through the New Zealand countryside which many people don't have the opportunity to make in person, Stoner says.
“It takes a long time. They’re not going to take that [amount of] time off and if they are they’re not going to spend it driving across the country.”
The Go South journey is comprised of six different legs: the train ride from Auckland to Wellington, the ferry ride from Wellington to Picton, the train ride from Picton to Christchurch, the train ride from Christchurch to Greymouth, a drive from Greymouth to Milford and finally a visit to Land’s End in the Tasman Sea via heritage sailboat.
The beauty of slow TV is that it appeals to different people in a variety of different ways, he says.
"We’re not shoving information down people’s throats. It’s presented in a more passive way so people can engage.”
Go South is funded by NZ on Air and premieres on Prime TV Sunday 19 January.