North premieres on One

7:00pm Sunday, February 13 on TV One

After exploring the wild south in his last television series, Lush has gone to the other extreme of the country for his next show, North, kicking off an exciting all new line up for Sunday nights on TV ONE.

From lighthouses to lava flows, kayaks to kiwis, beaches to butterflies, Marcus Lush covers a lot of ground – and water – in his latest adventure about New Zealand’s special places and people.

Lush decided to head up north for a while after discovering renewed passion for the region while spending more time in his hometown Auckland for work last year.

“As a visitor back up north, the stories have become much more interesting to me, more relevant and resonant,” he says.

“The bottom of the South Island looks very different from the North, the cultures are different and the North has so much interesting history to explore, including plenty of lovely lighthouses and dramatic shipwrecks.

“There are the modern stories too, like the Mangere Bridge industrial dispute – the longest in New Zealand history – and, of course, the great harbour stories of the Manukau, Hokianga, Kaipara and Waitemata,” says Lush.

He was also thrilled to visit off-shore locations like the Three Kings, the Cavallis and the islands of the Gulf, which have not been documented on television since Shirley Maddock’s popular television series back in the 1960s.

Lush worked on North with his long-time collaborator, Jam TV producer Melanie Rakena, with whom he also made Off The Rails, Ice and South. At last year’s Qantas Film and Television Awards, the pair won best presenter and best director for entertainment and factual programmes.

In episode one of North Lush gets spooked and does a bit of spooking of his own, meets an astronomer with an observatory in her back garden, enjoys close encounters with dolphins, gannets and butterflies and discovers the ultimate man cave in suburban Mount Albert. And, yes, the occasional train chugs into view too.

Opening with spectacular aerial views of Lush arriving in Manukau Harbour by container ship, the show goes up the east side and down the west, taking in the Far North and Cape Reinga, visiting the Islands of the Gulf, and telling the stories of the great harbours of the Manukau, Hokianga, Kaipara and the Waitemata, before concluding 10 weeks later with an idiosyncratic A to Z of Auckland in classic Lush style.

In many cases he will be taking the road less travelled, via sand-barge, cement ship, on horseback or small local fishing vessels.

Missed an episode of North? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button

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