Existing Member?

Grogan Teek Travels


NEW ZEALAND | Wednesday, 28 May 2008 | Views [569] | Comments [1]


Now this was a cool New Zealand experience that you can’t get on your average two-week vacation.  When we first arrived here I started looking for drama opportunities for the girls, since they both have been involved in acting, singing and dancing back home. (Don’t ask me where this comes from – I certainly had no talents in that area and was never particularly interested in it myself.)  So I signed up for this website that sends information on opportunities.  There was a casting call for actors 10-13 for a music video.  I sent in the girl’s photos and was amazed that they asked both girls to participate. The only problem was that the video shoot was to be in Auckland, but we are fairly flexible so we decided to go ahead and combine a little travel with this unique opportunity.


We hoped in a rental car and drove to New Plymouth – a small city on the west coast, primarily known as an entry way to Mount Taranaki.  Taranaki is NZ’s version of Mount Ranier.  It is a single peak, often snow-covered, that is just beautiful, see the pictures.  It also has an interesting Maori legend: Taranaki apparently once lived further inland with the other mountains, but was caught fooling around with a bigger mountain’s girlfriend.  When he was caught he ran away to the coast, where he now sits lonely and alone.


We stayed at a Holiday Park. This was a compromise of sorts with the girls, who wanted to rent a camper (here called caravan). Dave wasn’t too thrilled with driving one through the mountains and I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of no toilets or showers.  A holiday park is a campground, but many also have cabins and hotels. We found one right on the beach with “chalets” – which are little pre-fab buildings with bathrooms and kitchenettes.  A fine compromise.  The beach was gorgeous, with one of the best sunsets I have ever seen. I took a million pictures, but will only post a few ;)


Then it was off to Auckland and stardom. We met the rest of the cast at the musician/composer/producer’s house.  He is a German musician of some repute who has done some pretty impressive work – not exactly a household name but known in certain music circles.  The product is to be a music video.  The girls were costumed then it was off to the beach.  Like many Pacific beaches here, the beach was stunning. There are huge cliffs in the background and bright blue water. The sand is sparkling, black, ground-up volcanic rocks. There were caves and cool rock formations.

Acting in the video included dancing on the beach, which meant skipping and twirling in a circle over and over. Then they had to lie on rocks (until the potion woke them up). The rock thing went on for some time.  I have to say it was a beautiful spot – the water came bursting in with sprays of waves in the background – and occasionally spraying on the girls.  As the day wore on it got cooler and cooler and the girls got wetter and wetter. They were real troopers sitting there for long periods for their close-ups.


The video won’t premier until at least August, so we will miss the red-carpet event, which upset them a little. Who knows – maybe someone will see them and decide they are perfect for a movie.  Mackenzie would really like a part in the new Hobbit films they are going to make here. America may be the land of opportunity, but sometimes opportunity comes in other places as well. 





Hi Patti!
A slightly beleated happy birthday to David - and next year's the big one, right? I was just down home-home (Cocoa Beach) the other week and your names came up...the Internet may not make the world a smaller place but it sure helps with contact! New Zealand...wow...that's a trip. I cringe at flying to Houston.
Best wishes,

  Jay Michael Jun 6, 2008 12:31 AM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About florida_family

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about New Zealand

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.