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Middle school teacher on hiatus/budding permaculturalist currently cycling the world. Sometimes he acts in plays and film. Mostly he travels and blogs about it. Christian is one of the founders of

Napier: A Pretty Decent Proposal

December 5th was Bronwyn’s 31st eighth 24th birthday, and on that morning we woke up in a sorry state. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing took a lot out of us; we were glad to not have to cycle at all the next day. We had looked into riding from Taupo down to the lovely coastal (and Art […]

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One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of Taupo’s destination adventures. A one-way trek shuttle and pickup is the mainstay business venture for a number of companies that operate out of Taupo; hundreds of enthusiastic outdoor tourists pay to have themselves taken out and picked up in order to complete the 19.4 km walk across the […]

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Kakariki – The Green House Effect

We managed to avoid detection in our nearly-private bush on the edge of Lake Taupo, but it felt like we should wake up early and pack up in order to avoid any unwelcome confrontation that might arise form our stealth camping setup. Looking back, Japan was really an easy place for stealth camping: a roadside […]

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Tauranga Fortnight

After returning to New Zealand proper from our trip to Middle Earth, we headed north to Tauranga and into Mount Maunganui to visit with our wonderful friends (and eventual NZ hosts) Al and Natalia. I’ve known Al since 2007 when our paths crossed on a sweltering bus ride between Bangkok in Thailand and Siem Reap […]

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Speak, Friend, and Enter

While the story of Middle Earth can be more or less neatly superimposed over the geography of the United Kingdom, New Zealand boasts the actual geography used in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the Lord of the Rings books and his rather needlessly overextended version of The Hobbit. And what would a trip through New Zealand be without […]

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Tamaki Makaurau – The Place Desired By Many

Auckland is pretty big, especially by New Zealand standards. While Wellington is the political capital of New Zealand, Auckland has it beat in size, population and population density. I mean, Auckland’s got three times as many people as the next largest city, and almost four times the population of the third largest city. But the […]

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The Gentle Giants of Waipoua

As we continued our journey southward, the landscape began to change dramatically. New Zealand, as we’ve mentioned countless times already, is a true feast for the eyes. After the sand dune surfing we made an attempt to get to the west coast to see the infamous Ninety Mile Beach, but the stipulations of our camper […]

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Surf’s Up at Te Paki

A quick note before today’s post: Just after midnight on November 14th, the town of Kaikoura in South Island experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. While the intensity was significantly higher than the 6.3-level earthquake that rocked Christchurch in 2011, thankfully the distance from the epicentre meant that there were fewer injuries and less damage than the […]

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Double, double, no toil, no trouble.

Happy Hallowe’en, everyone. This year, I’ve decided to go out as a shaggy-bearded tramp who roams through distant lands in his camper van. Our second night in Auckland was our first night in the camper van and it was a huge step up from our hostel experience. We took the eastern coast north of Auckland […]

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Kia Ora, New Zealand!

We have arrived in New Zealand. After 21 hours of transit from Japan (Fukuoka to Manilla, Manilla to Cairns and Cairns to Auckland), we were more than happy to get to the Auckland airport and have our belongings x-rayed and scanned for biological invaders (especially our tent, which at this point is definitely a biohazard […]

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