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The Girl Next Door


TomKat cruise around New Zealand

by Mere Mulu

Hollywood superstar couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are believed to have taken a first-class tour of New Zealand - complete with nine-month-old daughter Suri.

Sunday News understands the couple -dubbed by US media as "TomKat" - have been cruising the Kiwi coast on the luxury catamaran Douce France.

A crew member on the Douce France said the celebrity couple and an entourage cruised from Whangarei to Wellington aboard the luxurious 42m yacht.

The glamorous vessel boasts dining and living areas suited to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, sleeps 12 guests and has accommodation for a crew of eight.

After docking in Wellington, the A-list Hollywood couple treated their entourage to a helicopter tour of the Marlborough Sounds.

Sources told Sunday News the couple could have stayed at any of the swanky retreats in the Nelson-Marlborough and Abel Tasman region.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they stayed at the Awaroa Lodge," said the source.

"It's beautiful, serene and discreet.

"One thing's for sure, they could have a pick of the best, and the South Island certainly has it."

A helicopter pilot, who asked not to be named, added that most businesses would never reveal who their VIP guests are.

"Especially to media. If TomKat were in town and wanted discretion it would be in a company's interest to be discreet if they want that business coming back," said the pilot.

"Most companies sign confidential agreements.

"We've had the likes of (country singing star) Shania Twain and big golfing names, and they pay for privacy.

"Leaks are not good for business."

It is believed the couple will fly out from Nelson aboard a private Lear jet spotted at Nelson Airport.

Scientologist Tom, 44, is the only actor to have six consecutive $100 million-plus blockbusters on his CV.

The Hollywood hunk fell in love with New Zealand four years ago while filming The Last Samurai in Taranaki.

"I'm very happy," he said at the time.

"It's beautiful here.

"It's a beautiful place to work, and I'm hoping to get some time to do a little climbing, some hiking and maybe a little surfing.

"New Zealanders are known for their warmth and hospitality and generosity, and I certainly have seen every bit of that since I've been here."

Award-winning actor Tom and actress Katie, who achieved fame in the American teen drama Dawson's Creek which screened here on TV2, made international headlines with their highly-publicised relationship.

They met in June 2005 and were engaged two months later.

Tom revealed his happiness to the world by jumping on a couch during an appearance on Oprah Winfrey's chat show.

Katie gave birth to their daughter Suri last April and the couple married in a star-studded ceremony in Italy last November.