When the sun rises, we’ll see the first tomorrow in the world.
“We on East Cape time now!” says Tane, our driver, as we leave the teal and turquoise Pacific for a track dotted with the scarlet splashes of pohutakawa trees.
“No seatbelts!” mutters Hettie, turning the map upside down. “And where’s the lighthouse?”
“It caved in,” says Tane, “So we stop at Ronnie’s place tonight.”
The two Danish hairdressers glance at their phones as we rattle along, but we lost the signal somewhere between the sulphurous smoke of Rotorua and the glistening slate of Lake Taupo.
“Sorry,” says a bass voice behind me, “You said Regis Palace, ja?”
“Nah, mate,” says Tane to Heinrich. “Ronnie got a farm near Tokomaru. He says we can stay one night, maybe two.”
They did say this was an “informal tour” of the North Island. So far, we’ve delivered the post and had tea with Tane’s mum.
Continue reading “1001 words: The First Tomorrow”
I had washed ashore on the beach at the end of the world.
That wind-whipped afternoon, the ferry crossing over the dire strait from Invercargill had been, I’d scrawled in my diary, “like the Pirate Ship” – we rose and fell with each wave, the floor splashing with spilled tea. After an hour, I slid down the jetty with a handful of hardy fishermen, spangled with sea salt.
“Welcome to Stewart Island,” said the captain, shaking hands from a fish crate.
In the half-light of Half Moon Bay, I held my breath. The harbour was a glassy grey, scattered with small boats, clinking in the ripples. On the far horizon, the sun was a low glow of unearthly light. I felt, as I always do, the tingle of the unknown.
Continue reading “The Beach at the End of the World”
What you can do on a working visa in New Zealand: originally published on Overseas Job Centre