Waiapu river toward Mt Hikurangi
Mt Hikurangi from Tūpāroa Rd, Ruatoria

I love the East Coast. Not just because I have physical, historical and cultural links to the land and people. But also because it is so stunning!

Ruatoria, East Coast New Zealand

Pull up anywhere

Ruahine Range

I love being able to pull over anywhere to take photos. It was a pretty cold day for this time of year. The rain was almost sleet and the wind bitter. I was taking my time heading back from the East Coast when I saw the mountains through a small opening in the heavy cloud. There was a narrow country road cutting through farmland and heading straight to the ranges. I knew the cloud would eventually lift enough to get a half decent shot. And I didn’t mind waiting. This is one of the many advantages of travelling alone. You can take your sweet time.

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Van life

Van life (c)himionagrace2019

My van is small. It’s not fitted out professionally and I kept the seats installed because I may need them for passengers at some stage. I folded the seats flat and put a platform on top, threw in a mattress and bam! Instant van-lifer. I still have quite a bit of space for storage, cutlery, gas cooker, food and chilly bin (icebox) all my camera gear and guitar and clothes. It has all-round speakers and a DVD player. Whatever that is. I stole some curtains out of an empty office space, filled some bottles with water and headed down to the beach to park up for the night. I only live two minutes walk from the beach but I couldn’t wait to try out my van 🤣🤣