Postcard From New Zealand

In Jessie and I, News & Stuff, Travel by David29 Comments

Hello from New Zealand. The Legendary H and I arrived something like 3 days ago, picked up the camper and hit the road. We’re now camped in a secluded little spot off the road near Huka Falls on the North Island, and by secluded I mean we pulled in last night and there were kiwi rednecks having a bonfire and looking very much like the words, “paddle faster, I hear banjo music!” would be in our future.

I’m now camped next to a stream drinking the first cup of coffee of the day while H sleeps off last nights camp tacos and Steinlager. These early hours give me time to think, to write, once in a while to make a photograph. I’m slowing down on this trip, trying to re-learn a lesson in receptivity and not chasing after anything in particular. It’s frustrating and if I see the so-called zen master in my subconscious that recommended this course of action I’m slipping him a tranquilizer and going back to my manic, but familiar, way of photographing.

Love it here. It’s serene. Beautiful. They also, it turns out, have sheep here. The postcard above was meant to be proof that there was at least 500 square metres of land unoccupied by sheep, but the little bugger on the top left of the ridge still managed to creep in.

Hope you’re all well. I think we’re on the North Island for one or two more days then we take the ferry and head south. As soon as we landed in Auckland, there was a vodafone outlet selling 3G USB sticks so we’re mostly online when we need to be, which is nice. I’ll drop a line the next time I’ve got a moment between finding the best fish and chips in the country, and looking for the muse.

PS – For those following the trip Jessie and I are taking, here’s a shot of the rooftent that will be mounted to her roof. It’s the size of a queen bed, so it’s larger than the one in my Yaletown Condo! I’ve also given my notice, and it looks like my landlord might just buy my furniture. Talk about leaving no room to change my mind! ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Wow, I love this shot – I can picture being there – and by the way, I really like the lone little sheep! This would really make an awesome wallpaper as well…a little calm to look at in my chaotic life! ๐Ÿ™‚
    BTW – all of these images that you are taking in your travels – they would make an amazing hardcover coffee table style book – I’d buy one! I could look at these for hours!
    This is a nice change from our weather – looking at this makes me jealous! I live in WI, and woke up – it’s 0 degrees out right now – we’ve had ridiculously cold weather. I like white Christmases (my kids do especially) but 0 degrees? Unreal!

  2. Pingback: Old photos, new post processing | Photo Pathway

  3. Your tent is amazingly awesome! That’s really ingenious. Good luck on the adventure.

  4. A lot of landscape and moment are coming back un my mind with this post.
    I spent one year there, and I discovered my passion for photograhy…


  5. One thing I truly admired about New Zealand is the space – both the land and the sky … and sea if you are on the coastline.

  6. He David,
    Wow looks like an adventure all again!
    After I couple of months of absence I returned to your website again, and read all of the missed blog items. You are having a lot of daring plans, so cool to get an insight in someones mind. See that everybody has its ups and downs, and doubts. I think it is very brave that you sold everything and go on the road with Jessie.

    Keep it up, I’m going back to your book, Within the Frame. Brilliant book and very inspiring!


  7. Such a lovely postcard David. I takes me back to my college days in textile school. I wanted to work for the International Wool Bureau so I could travel to England and NZ. I did work in the wool fabric manufacturing industry for a while but have not made it to NZ yet. We have a dear friend that lives in Taupo, so you have inspired me to make that a near future goal.

  8. What a fantastic place to be…opening up to what may come. Let me tell you, in my experience that is the best place to be. After I hit my first really big wall, I found that photography was/is my meditation. Nothing clears my mind faster and it stays clear for record amounts of time. I also find that when I am in this place, I am not looking for what I want to photograph, I find that I become receptive to what wants to be photographed. I love following the inspiration instead of “being damned I’m going to create it”. Rock on!

  9. As John Prine said…”…Blow up your TV. Throw away the papers, Move to the country, Build you a home. Plant a little garden, Eat a lotta peaches, Try to find Jesus, On your own…” Sounds like you’re heading there. Beautiful picture, btw

  10. South of the South island is stewart island david – if you have to time to visit it i can highly recommend it for some wonderfully peaceful time out. unless you never get seasick i would suggest flying as that bit of ocean is amazingly rough and makes even the most experienced sailors seasick. love your green hill, very senseous ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Be sure to try the visually unpleasant but quite tasty fried fish balls made with the little white eel like fish. Most of the ‘repectable’ pubs serve them as a staple

  12. Being interesting to hear your impressions of the South Island. Ive been there as well as BC and very there are many similarities landscape wise. Happy Travels. DG

  13. I was trying to resist making sheep jokes on Twitter, but, you know, there’s a lot of sheep!

    Seriously though, it is a beautiful country with great people. Also, can’t help but plug Fuel espresso, if you hit Wellington. They are hosting my Ladakh show here in HK and originally come from NZ.

  14. Kia Ora and Welcome to my chosen Home Country,
    hope you enjoy the fab. weather we have at the moment. What are your travel plans? Would love to be of assistance with sharing secrets of non-touristy highlight :o)

  15. nice postcard….reminds me my days of XP ๐Ÿ˜€
    everytime i see green grass and blue skies i go back into my XP days

    I really loved the postcard….it really makes me to visit this place..
    What location exactly it is ?

  16. New Zealand sure is amazing. We had a great rip there and even thought we had made a mistake moving to Australia instead of Kiwi land. If you haven’t already, try the kumara fries, they’re like delicious sweet potato french fries. And of course just about any dairy product there is fantastic.

  17. Wow, have a great trip, and be sure to remember to take along a ladder to climb into your tent on your year long trip. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  18. Glad to hear things are going well and great idea on the roof tent!

    If I can offer a thought as well, something my old aikido sensei once got me to do might help your receptivity and that was basically close your eyes and swap over to your other senses in turn. With scent as an example: try to identify everything from scent alone, then open your eyes and seek out each of the things you identified and how/why they are a part of the environment. If nothing else it helps show you all the things you knew were there but had mentally blanked out, and that’s usually quite a lot!

    Enjoy the trip!

  19. Love the postcard – I’ve got fond memories of New Zealand’s not-so-empty hills.

    I envy the heck out of your upcoming year on the road, but I can’t imagine spending that much time in a roof tent. I likely camp more than anybody, but climbing up and down a ladder to get to my sleeping bag would get old – especially if a few cold ones mean a middle-of-the-night descent…

  20. Now I feel bad for all your suffering, seems like it’s horrible there ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy, at the end of the trip you might be the Conquistador of New Zealand!
    Love your new home, not much room to store any souvenirs like miniature statue of Liberty or the White House, you can always ship them home, oh wait, you won’t have one!

  21. I moved here o NZ in 97 and still love every min – you will have a great time David. Take some time out enjoying the cafe’s in Wellington (voted recently 4th best city to visit in the world) my hometown now. You will love the south island – oh its great to be a photographer!

  22. Love the postcard. I think it’s charming that one little sheep sneaked in your shot. Still laughing at the banjo music. Nice that you get to sleep up off the ground, safely atop Jessie. Enjoy.

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