My Family + I actually still do trips together. I know this is quite rare in adulthood but we make it work.

Each of us has strengths that make up a good team.

The group priority for this trip was Australia. Though Australia has always been a top travel priority, I was quite keen on seeing New Zealand.

Fully expecting to fly over solo for a few days, I shared my sight-seeing plans with the group and they were onboard and accompanying me on this mini trip.

We flew Syndey to Auckland and I rushed over to shot one of my favorite couples at a little park nearby just as the sun was setting. We were then off to Hamilton, just South of Auckland, as a base for our adventures in northern kiwi territory.

We did a modest Airbnb in the backhouse of a lovely couple. The next morning we were off to the land of the hobbits, Hobbiton. We all hopped on a bus + the Lord of the Rings theme song started playing right as a flock of sheep came up from the dewy hill and formed a line as they frolicked into the morning sun. It felt like I unlocked some kind of traveler’s bonus level.

Hobbiton has been there since the original filming of Lord of the Rings, some structures were removed but eventually rebuilt + set as a semi-permanent structure when they came back and shot the Hobbit series. The whole place was darling. Working on movie sets the better part of the last 7 years its always fun to see where movies are filmed around the world.

The second adventure of the day was north in the Waitomo area. We found an adventure company online that offered small abseiling tours. We found ourselves at the top of the mouth of a cave with the only way to enter by repelling a football fields length downward. We hiked through the cave, sat and viewed glowworms + climbed out of the cave through a series of ladders. Just the right amount of adventure.

On a plane + to the South Island + Dunedin the next day (Did I mention this was a quick trip? It was)

Highlights there where cows, stretches of green fields, sheep, the most insanely gorgeous, droopy clouds, goats, waterfalls, blue penguins. All of New Zealand felt a bit like Ireland mixed with the tropics of Hawaii.

I fell in love with the pace of the whole island and that people were a rarity. It is still one of the most impressive places I have ever traveled too.

Some of my favorite photos from this trip. Shot on Lilly, my Leica M240 on a Summilux lens duo of 50mm + 24mm.