Before New Zealand
Originally from South Africa, and having grown up with mountains and the ocean on our doorstep, a love of the outdoors and adventure has always been in our blood. But as much as we loved SA, in 2003 we decided it was time to broaden our horizons, so we packed up our lives into two suitcases and moved to the United Kingdom to work and travel. Somewhat naively, we had a five-year plan, always intending to return to family and friends in South Africa and ‘settle down’.
Five years became seven years which became ten years and somewhere along the way we got lost in the daily grind. We have no regrets of our time in the UK, having experienced so much there and in Europe, but living in London, getting ‘outdoors’ on weekends meant braving the M25 motorway for two hours followed by driving for another two hours to reach anywhere that felt even vaguely remote.
During this time, Debs worked for a great company that hired a real mix of nationalities including a strange breed of people called ‘Kiwis’ who spoke a weird tongue (“sweet as bro, yeah…nah, she’ll be right, now pass the pavlova”) and told stories of volcanoes, lakes, glaciers, white sand beaches, black sand beaches and little people with big hairy feet (ok, that last bit might have been Lord of The Rings). We knew instantly that we just had to see this place for ourselves and with our adventurous spirits rekindled, dreams of our next exciting chapter were born.
Immigrating to New Zealand
To cut a long, and somewhat arduous story short, we made our move to New Zealand in late 2013 and on arriving here, we immediately felt at home. After the hustle and bustle and oftentimes ‘coldness’ of London, we found Auckland almost quaint by comparison if you can believe that. The pace of life was less frantic, the people warm, friendly and welcoming and despite living in a sprawling city, in less than an hour we could be somewhere that felt remote and almost untouched by civilisation. And so, we settled into our new lives, using every spare moment to immerse ourselves in the spirit and beauty of the land.
So what’s Out There Kiwi all about?
Since arriving in New Zealand, we’ve seen and experienced a fair amount of what this beautiful country has to offer, from the stunning beaches of the far north to the epic glaciers, mountains and lakes of the south. Of course, like many, we created a blog to share our travels with the friends and family we left behind (in the hope they’ll come visit someday).
We continue to explore New Zealand with the same sense of wonder and appreciation that we had when we first arrived and we continue to share our experiences here on this website. Our aim is to:
- inspire outdoor adventurers to visit New Zealand and do the kinds of things that we enjoy doing like hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and scuba diving
- provide practical advice on planning a trip to New Zealand and touring around the country
- make recommendations on where to go and what to do with a particular focus on the outdoors and exploring off the beaten track
- promote local operators who provide unique and individual outdoor experiences.
We hope that you find our site useful in some way and we invite you to follow us as we explore and share our experience of New Zealand, one outdoor adventure at a time. If you have any feedback or questions about our site please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.
Martin & Debs – April 2016