Monday, October 2, 2017

E Noho Rā, NZ

Click here and scroll down to hear the Maori pronunciation of "goodbye."

Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud and the cleanest air I've ever inhaled. Seven months to the day, Oct 4, and I could start another seven tomorrow. We're deeply grateful for the chance to live here so long, but today our goodbyes are keenly felt.

Behind each photo are a dozen Kiwis who were kind to us, extending friendship, concern, and good humor (and asking us how the US could have elected such a racist putz).

Which is to say Kiwis feel like a people apart. It's not that we don't know and love good-hearted people in the US--there's you, after all--but in NZ, ranked the second safest country in the world, people outside of major cities don't even lock their doors.

There's a pervasive sense that Kiwis know how to live the best possible life. Is it inherent in the culture? We will never forget the generosity of spirit extended to us every day. Or the approximately 900 flat whites we sipped in the exquisite landscapes of this country.

4816 miles later, a look back. Some stops were like re-visiting old friends, others new to us. Here are a few of our favorite things...

Auckland, City of Sails

Fish, god the fish

2015 friend Selwyn, who keeps the Rover for us

 Surf town Raglan, on the west coast of the North Island

New friends Hannah and Logan, his six-month campervan healing journey a success

Lake Hawea, South Island 

Anything cooked on Art's homemade grill

Lake Wanaka, South Island

The ability to walk for hours

The Queen Charlotte Track, SI

Raw milk from a 24-hour dispenser

 Inscrutable sheep

Art's sheep-horn walking stick

The Abel Tasman Great Walk, SI

Every organic shop we visited

Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park, SI

Lambchops (forever)

Cape Foulwind, West Coast SI
Getting soaked on a Buller River jetboat ride (Murchison, SI)

This campground in Punakaiki (West Coast, SI)

NZ rain showers

Blue Gorge near Hokitika, SI

A little caffeine in case you're growing tired

Road to Haast, SI


Lake Hauroko, deepest in NZ, SI

Riverton, SI

Stock crossings

Lake Te Anau, Fiordland, SI

Lake Manapouri, Fiordland, SI,

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland SI

The Catlins, SI
The road to Nugget Point Lighthouse, SI

Dunedin, SI

The Otago Peninsula, SI
Allans Beach on the Otago Peninsula


Sea lions on Waikouaiti Beach, SI

Fleur's Place (and Fleur herself) in Moeraki

Moeraki, SI

The historic quarter in Oamaru, SI

The inland road via Lewis Pass, SI
The Aorere Goldfields hike in Golden Bay, SI

Collingwood Beach where we camped in Golden Bay

Wharariki Beach (bows deeply), Golden Bay

This French girl at the Farewell Spit Cafe

Farewell Spit, Golden Bay

Patons Beach, Golden Bay

Totaranui Beach, Golden Bay, SI

The road to East Cape Lighthouse, NI

The beach at Whangamata, Coromandel, NI

Hot Water Beach in Hahei, Coromandel, NI

The Kauri Grove outside Coromandel Town, NI

 The view from Ben's airbnb in Kuatunu, Coromandel, NI

Until next time, campers, kia kaha


  1. Thank you for taking us along on your journey! You've brought immeasurable joy to some dark days on this side of the world and I'm so grateful for it. We'll miss the beauty of it all, but will be SO HAPPY to have you home!!! xoxo, HRM