Billy Connolly's World Tour of New Zealand


Billy Connolly is back with the fourth in his massively popular World Tour series. This time Billy journey's to the other side of the globe to New Zealand, a country he has been visiting since the 1970's and of which he is immensely fond. Billy's extraordinary journey covers the length and breadth of New Zealand and is mixed with the best of his comedy from sell-out shows around the country.Filmed in 2004 during the first leg of his Too Old To Die Young Tour this series is a stunning journey around New Zealand's two islands from the Southern-most tip to the far north where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific. Along the way Billy takes in Maori traditions, sand paintings, whale-watching, a 90 mile beach and much more to give us a fascinating insight into the spectacular scenery, culture and people of this amazing country.

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Episode Description


Stewart Island

The popular Scottish comedian tours the 'Land of the Long White Cloud' with his stand-up show Too Old to Die Young, taking to his trike for a spot of sightseeing along the way. His first stop is Stewart Island, where he performs to 255 people - half the local population - before travelling from Bluff to Dunedin, the country's answer to Edinburgh. Billy gets off the tourist trail and learns to fish Maori-style as he uncovers the real New Zealand



The Scottish comedian travels to Queenstown, where he takes a nostalgic trip on a 92-year-old ferry before baring all in a bungee jump from the Nevis tower. The map leads him on to Greymouth, and an encounter with a Bush-music band evoking the 'white' sound of New Zealand, followed by a meeting with a Maori who demonstrates various uses for jade. Billy ends his visit on a high note as he soaks up the breathtaking views during a helicopter ride over the famous Fiordland



The comedian marvels at the scenery as he trikes through Arthur's Pass, travelling on to Christchurch, where he plays to his largest audience in New Zealand - 14,000 in two nights. En route to Nelson, Billy pauses to recount the story of how a Maori woman rescued all but one from the ill-fated ship Delaware. He continues on to the Museum of Wearable Art, which houses a collection of unusual garments, but his enthusiasm knows no bounds when he spots a couple of sperm whales during a trip out to sea from Kaikoura.



The comedian heads for the North Island of New Zealand on waters which witnessed a disastrous accident in 1968 involving a ferry made in Glasgow, an incident which left an indelible mark on the Scottish city. His first stop is Wellington, where he pays a visit to an architect friend and an artist who makes pictures entirely out of toast, before boarding a train to New Plymouth and pointing out the site of the country's worst railway disaster. Billy also finds time during his journey to pause for breath and offer an insight into what it means to him to perform on stage.


North Island

The comedian wends his way by trike along the stunning Forgotten Highway from Wellington to Palmerston North, before taking a helicopter ride above Lake Taupo, which Maori legend has it was created when six male mountains that surround it fought a fierce battle for the affections of one female. His next stop is Napier, rebuilt in art deco style after being destroyed in 1931 by the biggest earthquake in New Zealand's history. Billy then travels on to Rotorua, where the Waiotapu Park's multitude of geysers and thermal springs bring thoughts of hell and hunger to his mind


Mount Tarawera

The comedian climbs Mount Tarawera, one of a chain of volcanoes that erupted to devastating effect in 1886, annihilating the nearby Pink Terraces. His journey then takes him to the Waitomo Caves and a kiwi reserve in Hamilton, where the country's national bird is raised in safety before being released into the wild. Billy visits a gathering place where Maori learn about their culture and traditions, a sacred grove and an opencast gold mine. This form of mining can leave the area looking ugly, but plans are in place to turn the pit into a lake once it is exhausted



The comedian arrives in Auckland, where he spends time with a colony of penguins at an aquarium, learns about one of the world's unsung aviation pioneers, and decides to throw himself off the top of the highest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Billy is then taught about the significance of Maori face tattoos, known as Moko, and how they represent life's achievements, before heading off to the island of Waiheke, where he is amazed to discover a herd of corrugated cows.



The comedian takes a poignant trip to Russell, visiting the oldest church in New Zealand, where wife Pamela Stephenson's parents are buried. He discovers the public toilets in Kavakava have become something of a tourist attraction and visits the historic site in Waitangi where the treaty between the British and the Maori was signed. Billy reaches the end of his journey at the northernmost tip of the country, a site from which the Maori believe their souls depart on the journey to Havaiki , their ancestral home