Finding New Zealand

In March 2016, I visited New Zealand on a magnificent adventure. While there, I shot this footage. This film is nine days of scenic stories sampled and woven together.

Locations portrayed include:

  • Arthur’s Pass via KiwiRail’s TranzAlpine route
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Kaiteriteri Beach
  • Rabbit Island
  • The Interislander Ferry arriving in Wellington from Picton
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Whitianga

The music is The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us! by Sufjan Stevens.

I would like to thank the following people for being on my team and helping me make this trip:

  • Elder Research, who funded me
  • Apple, who make very portable computers and cameras
  • Patagonia, L.L. Bean, and Chaco, who all make sturdy gear
  • Air New Zealand, who loved me enough to include both Batkid Begins and a Daft Punk documentary as in-flight entertainment options
  • The inspiring playful gibbon named Cian from Orana Wildlife Park
  • One zestful, happy train-riding photographer from Maine
  • Apex Car Rentals, whose counter employee in Greymouth recently got matching tattoos with her bestie
  • The bartender at Annie May’s who helped me locate glow worms
  • The Franz Josef Expeditions team, specifically their guide Brett, whose helicopter safety mantra “seat belts, headsets, selfies” applies in far broader situations
  • Marie at the Golden Coast Bed & Breakfast in Greymouth, both of which I desperately needed
  • My logging industry friend from Nelson who taught me about rugby over dinner at Speight’s Ale House
  • Wendy from Arizona, who moved with her husband Chris so they could show their children a new world
  • Kevin and Lois, who are dairy farmers
  • Silicon Valley Samuel, who showed me where to find groceries in Wellington
  • Steve Moore, who has hair and kindly handed me a Sufjan setlist from the stage at the Michael Fowler Centre
  • Patrick from Germany and Lucy from Argentina, with whom I formed a vigilante Tongariro shuttle after the shuttle companies forsook us
  • Matt, Wayne, Stefan, and Grant Ewing and his company Lidgard Sails
  • The Alexander family, who were kind enough to let me and thousands more tour Hobbiton, though I suppose money was involved
  • Zach Martin, who helped me both christen a special bathing suit in Auckland and make an entire pack of green apple soda disappear

The mysterious relationship between the gulls and their small chirping brown tormentors begs further study or at least expert commentary.