Marlborough as seen from space by Chris Hadfield
World-famous astronaut Chris Hadfield says the place on earth
he would most like to visit after his space odyssey is
Hadfield, whose version of David Bowie's Space Oddity while
orbiting the earth went viral on YouTube, spent five months
as commander of the International Space Station (ISS) during
which time he took thousands of photographs of earth.
Asked in a BBC interview where he would most like to visit as
a result of what he had seen from above, he said: "The wine
country of the South Island, at the north end, of New
Zealand. It just looks so beautiful, and with the beautiful
volcanic mountain at the south end of the North Island [Mt
"It's just so, so beautiful, that part of the world, to come
across. And the beauty of New Zealand also is after you cross
New Zealand you have the long passage across the Pacific so
it's your real last sight of land for what's going to be,
gosh, it takes almost a half hour to cross the Pacific. So
looking at New Zealand is just beautiful."
Blenheim Mayor Alistair Sowman said it was highly flattering
to have the famous spaceman give a shout out to the region.
"It's brilliant to have such great publicity for Marlborough.
I can't think what it must look like from above, though."
He said the region was becoming increasingly cosmopolitan and
would welcome any visitors from out of town, or outer space.
"Come down to Marlborough, it's a great part of the world."
The wine-growing areas were particularly popular at this time
of year, but the jewel in the region's crown was the stunning
Marlborough Sounds, he said.
The Canadian astronaut has embraced social media and has
scores of followers. He has posted multiple videos on YouTube
sharing life aboard the ISS and also partaking in a Reddit
"Ask Me Anything"live chat.
A highlight came when he posted a polished video performance
of himself singing David Bowie's Space Oddity while orbiting
Earth. The video has had more than 20 million views.
Bowie described the cover as "possibly the most poignant
version of the song ever created".