leonie wise & sprit guide. photo by david duchemin

me and my spirit guide. hokkaido, japan, jan 2015. photo by David duChemin

Kia ora (hello) – I’m so glad you’re here!

I’m a travel, adventure and lifestyle blogger based on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. A small island that’s a 40 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. We are far enough from the city to feel like we live in a remote getaway, and close enough to commute for work. Waiheke is an island of surprises, with more than 20 wineries, over 100km of walking trails, breathtaking views and safe swimming beaches. There’s annual jazz festivals and beach races, a bi-annual sculpture festival and talented local artists that make everything from ceramics to sculpture.

I grew up playing outside in a tiny place called Golden Bay and naturally gravitate to open spaces wherever I find myself in the world. Some of my favourite things are camper van travel & camping, adventures near & far, trail running, island living, good food and dark sky places. I am also a sucker for a good story and love hosting small gatherings to bring two great loves – friends & food – together.

I didn’t start travelling until I was in my 30’s and picked up a camera so I could send ‘postcards’ to friends and family back home. I have been blogging for a really long time, and return to it no matter how the rest of the social media landscape changes. This little piece of internet real estate has led me to some amazing friends and incredible experiences, and I have embraced these in my offline world.

My thin places are found on coastlines, mountains and in the cool darkness of native forests. I have a fondness for wild swimming in rivers and lakes and exploring neighbourhoods & landscapes near and far (giving me a recurring and persistent sense of fernweh). My cameras and writing are a way for me to make sense of the world, one place at a time.

My words and photos have been published in websites and in magazines in New Zealand, UK, USA and Canada. My art lives on walls around the globe.

23 thoughts on “hello

  • Hello Leonie – I came across an inspiring collage of yours on Pinterest and I’d like to cut it out in vinyl and post it on my wall on the entrance of my wellness clinic in downtown Toronto. Am I able to buy it from you? I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Hello Leonie,
    Thank you for posting such kind words on my words press site about the books that I have written, inspiring your journeys through the UK. It’s always treasure for an author to receive news that what they set out to do and share has truly touched the lives of others, so thank you for reaching out and connecting. Your words are most generous and your tracking me back to brigidbenson.com is really cool! I appreciate all the effort you took to share your enjoyment of the book that, for me, was a great privilege to write and research and travel.
    So I hope that ‘North Coast Journey’ inspires you to discover the magical northern highlands of Scotland!
    Let me know how you get on! I look forward to seeing the photos!
    With warmest wishes, Brigid Benson

  • Hi Leonie,

    I’m the Community Manager with Anagram Interactive, where we specialize in connecting established brands with prominent bloggers. We are running a campaign with Paperless Post, an online paper stationery creator that allows you to custom make designs that best represent your individual aesthetic, and want you to be involved!

    Your blog has beautiful photography and your artistic ability is remarkable. You have thoughtful and engaging posts that make us want to come back for more. We were impressed with the imagery featured on your blog and would like to work with you for our Paperless Post campaign.

    We would like to offer you 800 digital Coins (a $80 value!) for free to try out Paperless Post’s innovative online service and write about your experience. Paperless Post’s Coins can be used for any digital invitations or digital cards on paperlesspost.com.

    Paperless Post boasts collaborations with many leading fashion brands and lifestyle designers, including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, and Jonathan Adler among others. It’s a great way to display your photos and we think you would love using it. The company has sent over 85 million cards to date and we want to get your feedback and opinions on the service.

    Please let me know if you would be interested in working with Paperless Post. I look forward to hearing from you!

  • I am just so loving following along with you– you need to KNOW this– I am on the other side of the screen reading and sighing with joy at the loveliness of your photos and the poetics of your words and reflections. XOXOX

  • hi,leonie! i enjoy each and every post you have. your pictures are all so beautiful and your messages inspiring! thank you! :)

  • Your site brings me such happiness! Do you sell your images? Is there a collection online somewhere? I’d love to decorate some of my empty walls with images that bring such wonder to my life.

  • You have a beautiful website…I love the way you see, you are truly talented and have a great essence of spirit!

  • Wow. I’ve had the fortune of stumbling upon your blog after googling something insignificant. I think it was fate… the writing, the photos, the layout, the intention. It’s all so inspiring, you are a definite bookmark… some of your photos are so terrifically raw I want to cry. Thank you for creating what might be the most lovely blog I’ve ever encountered, your blog is like escapism into a world free of material things, hatred and insignificant worry… it’s like taking a step backward and just looking on at how magnificent life and the world really are, good things, bad things- they all just roll into one to create this beautiful planet we call home. That a blog could get that across to me, well – you’re quite fantastic at what you do, really… That you come from Wellington is a huge plus. It’s just so amazing we have such talented real people to emerge from this city. I am 15 and I will be checking in on your blog for many many days and years ahead now, I just know it. :)

  • We met at my first gift weekend. We shared a bunkbed,AND I THINK OF YOU SO OFTEN!! My new married name is Bridget Smith I’m on face book look me up.

  • Sas gifted me with your *amazing* poetry book and I have wrapped your words around my mind like an alpaca blanket. I am honored to have met you through your writing, your photography, your book- and I look forward to continuing this life journey, enriched by such a kindred spirit.

    I, for one, am delighted beyond words to have found you.


  • very lovely to virtually meet you! I look forward to coming back and getting to know you better via this wonderful blog!

  • You my darling are a gem, just read that poem
    “between the fold” just beautifully captured like art.
    Will be lovely to see you again when ever that is but i feel you from here oh darling, gracious,wise, beautiful one.
    MAny blessings to you x x x x x x x x x x

  • just remembered… we made a date….sitting duck 2010. can’t remember the specific date and the diary I wrote it in is long gone :-) hope all is very well in your world.

  • Thanks for linking to my site. After reading your posts and your bio, it’s quite an honor. You are swimming in artistic talents. How you ever left New Zealand for London is beyond me. I lived in London for 10 years and if had a home like New Zealand, I’d be there in a flash! I hoping to at least visit here once…for a long, long time.

    All the best!

  • hello beautiful sister, i liove your blog, you never cease to amaze me, you inspire me
    i feel you on the page and miss you x x x
    love and hugs Rene

  • It’s a pleasure to “meet” you here, Leonie. :-)
    You are a beautiful soul! I look forward to getting to know you better through your wonderful work here.

  • I do not know how I missed this page on your site. (darn that RSS reader!)

    But yay! I love this and I love you.

  • Wow, what an amazing sister I have. you are really blossoming into the prettiest flower I can imagine. I have only the best thoughts and memories of you. mostly your smile either with or without tears. you are doing the most amazing things and I am proud of you.

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