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A collection of photographs and stories by Invercargill photographer Rick Harvey

Our motorhome parked up at Monkey Island

Another Bucket List Item Ticked Off

What’s On Your Bucket List?

I’m sure I’d be correct in saying that to have a motorhome and live a life on the road enjoying our beautiful country would be a bucket list item for many New Zealanders.

It has certainly been on our bucket list for several years now, and has at last come to fruition.

We had paid a deposit on a motorhome just before we went into Covid-19 lockdown in March and have been waiting patiently since then for the company we purchased it from to be able to get back to work and have it fully refurbished for us.

Well the waiting ended a couple of weeks ago when we took delivery of our refurbished to like-new condition Carado motorhome from SmartRV in Christchurch.

After driving it back from Christchurch and kitting it out we hit the road on Monday morning for our first outing. As total newbies to the motorhoming world we decided to get away to somewhere pretty close to home and just for one night. After all this was to be our trial run!

So we headed for Monkey Island – a very easy one hour drive from home. Monkey Island is the island you have when you don’t really have an island.

Located near Orepuki in western Southland, Monkey Island is an island only at high tide, and can be reached by foot when the tide is out. Reputedly the name comes from the fact that there used to be a monkey winch on the island for hauling boats ashore. Legend also has it that before that, the island was used as the anchor stone for the Takitimu waka that was wrecked by three giant waves in Te Waewae Bay. The island was also used by local Maori as a lookout for whales.

Monkey Island is well known for the long, wide beach extending westward which is popular for family outings or for horse riding, motorbiking or just walking. And the area is also renowned for presenting beautiful sunsets over Te Waewae Bay.

So there it is – another bucket list item ticked off. Now – where is my map? Where shall we head for next?

another bucket list item ticked off our motorhome parked up at Monkey Island
Parked up at Monkey Island


Monkey Island near Orepuki Southland New Zealand
Monkey Island




Sunset at Monkey Island Te Waewae Bay
Sunset over Te Waewae Bay


Sunset at Monkey Island Orepuki Southland New Zealand
Sunset at Monkey Island


Crumbling cliffs at Orepuki Beach Southland New Zealand
The beach at Orepuki


Shiloh at Gemstone Beach Orepuki Southland New Zealand

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