Was it Taylor? All signs point to yes.
Soon after a Gulfstream G450 private jet landed at Queenstown Airport from Auckland yesterday, Grammy Award-winner Taylor Swift discreetly descended the landing stairs.
Swift, who is set begin the Australian leg of her 1989 World Tour in Sydney on Saturday, kept her face turned away from waiting media as she exited the plane about 10.15am.
Several men – many wearing earpieces – left the plane first and stood at the base of the stairs.
Swift, wearing a long black puffer jacket with the hood pulled up, black trousers and tan ankle boots, immediately got into a Range Rover and minutes later a motorcade of at least five vehicles pulled out of the airport.
Their destination: Paradise, where the 25-year-old was believed to be filming for a music video for Out of the Woods.
The Associated Press reported Swift was absent from Monday’s American Music Awards because she was “filming a new music video overseas”.
Land owned by the Paradise Trust was a hive of activity by early afternoon, with several tents and a large screen erected, Portaloos in place and catering trucks parked on site.
But it was not long before the hunting media pack became the hunted, with one of the earpiece-wearing men accompanying Swift training his binoculars on media, watching from two cars parked on the road.
Several rental cars containing snap-happy tourists pulled up on the Glenorchy side of the Paradise Trust land, completely unaware the chart-topping United States performer was less than a kilometre away.
In the Glenorchy township, it was business as usual.
Residents had heard Swift might be in town but none seemed to be particularly fazed. When asked if there had been any sightings of Swift, a Glenorchy Lodge staff member replies: “Loose lips sink ships”.
Across the road at the Glenorchy Cafe, staff member Jess Scott says she is not aware of any fans on “Swift watch”.
Her mother, Sue Scott, of Heli Glenorchy, says she had heard in the morning Swift might be on her way to the area, but she had not noticed anything out of the ordinary.
“I know nothing. It’s just business as usual.”
It is understood Swift will leave Queenstown today bound for Sydney where she will also be filmed in the Blue Mountains.
Earlier this week, Swift angered Auckland beach-goers who say she put a rare native bird at risk when filming her latest music video at a west coast beach.
She was photographed filming her new music video at Auckland’s Bethells Beach earlier this week, where it is alleged the Shake It Off singer and her production team breached a permit for two vehicles, bringing up to 12 on to the beach.
The beach is home to endangered baby dotterels. Waitakere Ranges local board chairwoman Sandra Coney alleged on Facebook Swift broke the conditions of her filming permit, and voiced her concerns for the endangered coastal bird.
Swift’s record label, Universal Music, declined to comment.
Swift’s 1989 World Tour began in Japan in May and will finish with seven concerts in Australia.
Otago Daily Times and The New Zealand Herald