Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), the economic growth agency for the Auckland region, has recently revealed that New York Yankees short stop Didi Gregorius has covered all bases during his time in Auckland, experiencing everything from swimming in waterfalls, jumping off the southern hemisphere’s tallest structure, flying in seaplanes and even riding a horse for the first time.
The Major League Baseball star has been in New Zealand holding training clinics for Baseball New Zealand with some of the country’s aspiring young baseballers – helping to grow the profile of the sport down under.
Gregorius had a jam-packed schedule but managed to fit in some time to enjoy Auckland and the rest of New Zealand.
His Auckland experiences included the SkyWalk and SkyJump at Auckland Sky Tower, learning how to shuck oysters with local celebrity chef Al Brown, taking a dip at the Kitekite Falls and walking along the black sand beaches of Auckland’s rugged west coast.
A highlight of the trip for Gregorius was taking the Auckland Seaplane to Waiheke Island where Waiheke Horseworx were waiting with horses to take him to the local marae for a special Maori welcome.
“My trip in Auckland has been amazing. I’ve got to see and experience a lot, and even learned some of the Maori way,” he says.
“Waiheke is a nice island, really laid back and beautiful. It was pretty funny riding a horse for the first time, and it was quite an honour to ride her as she was actually in one of the Hobbit movies.”
Gregorius has clearly enjoyed his short time in Auckland and is keen to get back and share his experience with his teammates.
“New Zealand people are awesome and so friendly. They’re really interested in getting to know you and I received a warm welcome from the minute I got here.”
“I am definitely going say that this is a place to visit. It’s been awesome and I hope to get back here myself again soon.”