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Insight into travellers’ wacky misspellings

Wotif you don’t know how to spell it?

Orkland, Gisbourne, Toorangi, Tawpo, and Hammer Springs:’s new text search function accommodates everyone’s requests – even if the spelling is a little iffie.
Auckland – 13 November 2007, (, Australasia’s leading online accommodation website’s text search function, makes navigating through the company’s website, easier than ever – regardless of whether you can spell.

While the text search function was designed to offer customers the opportunity to tailor their accommodation searches to satisfy unique requirements, it’s also providing insight into travellers’ weird and wacky misspellings for some of New Zealand’s most popular destinations.

“Some of the searches, like Tawpo (Taupo) and Tawranga (Tauranga), have raised some chuckles around the office,” New Zealand Manager, Tania Witheford said.

“We were surprised by the spelling of Piehere (Paihia) and Whycato (Waikato), while we felt that Wanka was just a Freudian slip for Wanaka. Some we had to look at twice to work out where they might be referring to.”

As a result, common misspellings, such as Gisbourne, Hammer Springs and, Glaceer and Glasier (for Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers), have been added to the intuitive search engine to ensure that even those who can’t spell, can still find somewhere to sleep.

“We’ve also added nicknames commonly used within the Kiwi vernacular, such as Rotovegas (Rotorua), Dorkland (Auckland), The Nacki (Taranaki), Welliewood for the Capital (Wellington) and CHCH for (Christchurch),” Witheford said.
It seems the search functionality, custom-designed and installed by’s in-house IT team, is also proving popular with those who can spell.

“We’re noticing a lot of searches for sports venues or conference centres, as travellers look to secure accommodation nearby.”
Witheford also said the tool, which can be used to either guide a search or refine one’s existing results, provided greater functionality without compromising usability.

“For seven years, has led the online accommodation industry through technological innovation, and this is something to which we remain dedicated.”

According to Witheford, ease-of-use remained at the core of all enhancements to the site.

“The ‘text search’ tool clearly demonstrates this focus; it’s there to provide advanced functionality to those who want it, yet it doesn’t infringe on our customers’ traditional search habits.

“And for those who can’t spell, it appears to be a gift from the gods.”’s Top 10 unusual searches in New Zealand
Term searched on Actual destination
1. Orkland Auckland
2. Piehere Paihia
3. Wanka Wanaka
4. Whycato Waikato
5. Gisbourne Gisborne
6. Rooapayhu Ruapehu
7. Tawpo Taupo
8. Hammer Springs Hanmer Springs
9. Glassier, Glaceer, Glasier, Glassier Franz Josef or Fox Glacier
10. Te Rnow, Te Arnow, tearnow, trnow Te Anau


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