In 2019, I travelled 18,628 km across the world from Ireland to another marvellous Island known as New Zealand. While driving through both north and south Islands with a campervan there was so much to discover.
Driving a 7 meter long vehicle for the first time was adventurous in itself but what the scenery had to offer was more than expected. There were desert-like areas with volcanos, lush tropical forests, oceans and lakes with vibrant icy blue colours and not to forget the exciting geothermal areas, all on the same trip.
"Champagne Pool" in Waiotapu
The activities were just as magical and precious. To name a few, there was quad biking atop of "The Remarkables" mountains, water rafting in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, swimming with the Hector dolphins in Akaroa, feasting on Hangi and canoeing on Waka boats.
Fun fact: Water rafting in a Glowworm cave was beautiful until you find out why they actually glow, not so romantic or appetising then.
Swimming with Hector Dolphins in Akaroa
If you ever get the opportunity to swim with dolphins, don't hesitate and just do it! If you need more convincing, just look at the joy bursting out of me in the image above!
Flooded Volcanic Cone in Akaroa
While the official New Zealand bird, the Kiwi, is a lot more known and adorable, the bird that stole my heart is undoubtedly the wonderful and unique Tui bird.
This fascinating bird has dark shimmery feathers that have a hints of green, red, blue and purple depending on how the sun rays hit it. It has a fluffy white "beard" that reminds me of British judges from the 1800s with their court attire and collars in white.
The name originates from the Maori language where this bird has the meaning of being the messenger of Gods and Goddesses. In the spiritual world, this bird stands for life fulfilment, confidence and spiritual harmony.
It is such an unusual looking bird that I should not have been surprised by the outer-worldly sound it makes. It sounds like it could be used in a science fiction movie for special effects.
To get you immersed in the experience, here is a short audio clip:
Wasn't that beautiful? I loved the sound so much that I recorded it during my travels and now this bird accompanies me when I am waking up as my soothing alarm.
Leave a comment and tell us what the Tui bird sounds like to you or share it on social media with the tag #soundsoftui.
Now you know the story and inspiration behind the "Tui" bird design. Check out the "Tui" clothing, so that the Tui bird also becomes your new companion.