Virtual Australia visitors settled into virtual reality stations to, among other experiences, swim with sea lions, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or hike the Three Capes Track in Tasmania.

Air New Zealand brings Australia to Vancouver
Air New Zealand brings Australia to Vancouver

Vancouverites surfed Australia’s Gold Coast and watched the sun set over Sydney Harbour this weekend, all without getting on a plane. These were two of the 17 immersive experiences at Virtual Australia by Air New Zealand, a first-of-its-kind pop-up virtual reality exhibit presented as part of a three-year partnership between the airline and Tourism Australia.

After checking in with Air New Zealand flight attendants, Virtual Australia visitors settled into virtual reality stations to, among other experiences, swim with sea lions, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or hike the Three Capes Track in Tasmania. Those feeling a bit wobbly after bobbing around on the ocean could rebalance with a flat white, an Australian-created espresso beverage that’s only recently caught on in Canada, or try out the unique Air NZ Skycouch – a row of three economy seats that converts to a flat space for sleeping or flexible family space.

While home viewers can’t experience the fully immersive nature of the virtual reality goggles, they can watch the interactive videos used in the exhibit at www.australia.com/360.

Air New Zealand flights from YVR to all of the seven destinations featured in the Virtual Australia exhibit – Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Adelaide and flights are on sale until March 31.

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