British star visits Queenstown

Goldie, the British drum 'n' bass pioneer, one-time James Bond villain and friend of Prince Harry's, says he loves Queenstown so much he will bring his family back for a month long holiday next year.

The energetic DJ, actor, producer, graffiti artist and ''reality television'' star, a familiar sight with his trademark gold teeth and jewellery since his 1995 breakthrough record  'Timeless', made the most of his free time in the Wakatipu today, before playing his only South Island show in the resort's venue Revolver tonight.

Scottish-Jamaican Goldie, born Clifford Price, was accompanied by friend and regular lyricist MC LowQui, of London. They flew from Adelaide to Queenstown Airport this morning and stayed in The Rees Hotel, took a scenic trip with Over the Top Helicopters, plummeted to earth with NZONE Skydive and talked about the Nevis jump at AJ Hackett Bungy.

Their experiences, reactions and comments were filmed and the footage will be used by Tourism New Zealand and British media.

When told the options of skydiving from either 9000ft or 15,000ft, Goldie chose the latter and said: ''When in Rome, eat lions!

''Queenstown is in it's own world. It's like Austria, Venice Beach and Steamboat [Colorado] all in one.

''Coming to New Zealand feels like when I was going to New York when I was 18.''

Goldie proudly showed the Otago Daily Times the thigh-length scar on his left leg caused by a waterskiing accident, which kept him stationary in a hospital bed for a month.

The former party animal, who dated Bjork, Naomi Campbell and was married to model Sonjia Ashby, said the experience, coupled with turning 40, six years ago, made him decide he was ''not ready to lie down and and I was sick of getting wasted.''

The epiphany eventually led him to New Zealand.

''What made people and countries great was being adventurous, not sitting behind desks and getting lost in the internet,'' he said.

''You've gotta do it, you gotta do it here, do it with the best.''

NZONE Skydive business development manager Derek Melnick said Goldie was ''a golden nugget for us'' for the exposure in declining northern hemisphere tourism markets it was hoped his visit would bring.

''No English or Irish Rugby World Cup players were allowed to skydive for the perceived danger, despite bungy jumping and jet boating, which completely amazes us because our safety record is pretty impeccable over 20 years,'' Mr Melnick said.

''It's highly regulated and we've probably the most experienced tandem operators in the country.

''When the matches are done, hopefully we'll see them come out and play here.''