NZ Roadtrip Bro ~~

By Monday, July 14, 2014 1

I was lucky enough to be able to organise a mystery roadtrip around my homeland for some of the Billabong athletes earlier this year. What an incredible and truly rewarding experience. The idea was to take the girls on a roadtrip without them knowing anything about where we were going or what we were doing each day, all the while gaining content for social media. First up we packed their bags with each girl representing a different collection from our winter range; it was their job to style the pieces whichever way they liked, post about the trip and to have an amazing time in the present moment as they didn’t know what was coming next. Off to the land of the long white cloud we went.

Kiwi Plane

1st stop Auckland: We arrived late to a very unwelcoming chilly Auckland but were greeted by the cutest Kombi I have ever seen (we later named him Ernest Aristotle), as well as Steve and Lynne from Curl Mag who took us back to their home in Whangaparoa. Lynne spoilt us with her Mexican cooking skills and we all settled in for the night ready to tackle the first day of adventure. The next morning we headed into the city centre and little did the girls know, I had planned for them to be thrown off the Sky Tower which is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. They were actually fortunate they had no idea – because I did and I had been nervous about it for a week. Travelling up to the 53rd floor in a glass bottomed elevator really didn’t help the situation, or the fact I offered to go first! It was such a weird feeling. Can you imagine stepping off a building into a concrete jungle…your mind just has this huge battle with your stomach – it’s bizzare, and then it’s all over in 11 seconds! After Turkish tapas with the Billabong NZ team we hit the road. Driving the Kombi was so fun! Lucky I have experience driving 50 year old VWs (I have owned 2 beetles) – it was so slow we got to take in all the stunning scenery NZ has to offer. I have to admit I did freak out when the keys dropped out of the ignition but we kept chugging along. Oh Ernest.

2 3 4 5

2nd Stop Whangamata: Now this is a place I could call home one day, a quiet and quaint beach town that has my kind of waves!  We picked up NZ team rider Grace Spiers who greeted us with her infectious smile and welcoming spirit and the girls jumped in the water in the dying daylight whilst we found our bach, unpacked and organised dinner. The place we stayed was incredible, right on the sand, with a relaxed beach house vibe. Dinner and storytelling under the full moon was the perfect end to our first day.





 The next morning I was woken by the most spectacular sunrise I have ever seen – and that’s not an exaggeration. I think it was Ranginui (Father of the Sky) wishing me a Happy Birthday on my home soil. The morning was spent drinking tea and stretching on the deck as the sunshine warmed our shoulders and dried our surf capsule. The sea was flat so thanks to some local knowledge we borrowed some paddle boards and made our way 1km out to sea to Whenuakura, also known as Donut Island.  It was a little daunting trying to time the swells to make it through the dark cave entrance but totally worth it as there is a small stretch of sand in the centre of the island’s collapsed blowhole where we parked up and took in the breathtaking scene. Filtered sunlight was streaming down through the trees onto turquoise water that sparkled so much it looked like the sea was full of diamonds – It was surreal and an amazing place to see on my birthday!



NZ Cave

NZ Cave

SUP Whangamata

 It was only day 2 and I was already overwhelmed with how much we had squeezed in. Part two coming very soon 🙂

Blissfully unaware of the beauty of NZ


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