Visit Wellsford has been conceived, designed, developed and promoted by Whangaripo Valley web design and marketing studio Get Spotted.
When we first moved to Wellsford, the town seemed to be struggling. The main street looked a little scruffy and a number of buildings were empty. Given the volume of traffic that drives through Wellsford on a daily basis, there should have been plenty of people to keep businesses thriving.
That summer, we read an article in the Mahurangi Matters covering the results of a survey that the local business association had run. The survey showed that Wellsford businesses saw the volume of through traffic as a bonus but they worried about low foot traffic at the same time.
Drivers just weren't stopping. Why not? We had a couple of theories.
1 - it can be intimidating trying to parallel park on the main street when traffic is heavy
2 - there wasn't a compelling enough reason to stop
Next, we did what travellers do when researching a trip and looked online to find things to do in Wellsford. The results weren't surprising - the largest traveller review site on earth - TripAdvisor - said the only thing to do in Wellsford was to go horse riding on Pakiri Beach.
One traveller website bluntly said you shouldn't bother stopping anywhere between Warkworth and Whangarei. If you did stop, it was difficult to find anywhere to stay because any tourism sites that did reference Wellsford offered only a couple of accommodation options at best.
And yet, people who did stop, eat, shop and stay were consistenly pleasantly surprised at what they found. That's fantastic but at the same time, their surprise suggests they expected something less.
Visit Wellsford is not here to fix the parking
But, we can help to raise Wellsford's profile and change the perception that there's no reason to stop. We can point out where the good parking is too, because it's easy to miss!
We've explored Wellsford from coast to coast
Camera in hand and with the help of locals' tips, we've captured the area's best features from regional parks to pristine beaches and the local town. We've found things to do, sights to see, walks to take, accommodation and places to eat and featured them.
Our business and services directory is funnelling customers into local businesses and is helping businesses that don't have a physical store to be found.
The site is still a baby
Visit Wellsford launched in February 2017 and each month sees around 50% more visits than the month before, as our work on getting the site found progresses.
We'd love to have your business listed with us and our most basic listing is completely free so please, hop on board. While we're growing, we'll do you a hell of a deal on any paid listing too, so please don't hesitate to ask.