Driving to the West Coast (of New Zealand)


Seattle to Melbourne to Perth to Auckland. Sounds exciting, I know, but honestly I could use about 12 hours of sleep right now. I love traveling to new places, and catching a glimpse of life on the other side of the planet. Most of the time its just a blur of airports, hotels, and convention centers. However, this time I made room for AUSPC 010a couple days of downtime in a place I have been wanting to visit for quite some time. After attending and presenting at the Australian SharePoint Conference in beautiful Melbourne, I made my way west for a couple days to the most remote big city in the world – Perth – where I was able to meet with some Axceler partners and customers, and then present to a packed house at the Perth SharePoint User Group (#PerthSPUG).

If you were unable to attend my presentation, here are the slides (although there’s a lot lost without my witty narrative):

AUSPC 020While in Perth, I ended my long week by being hosted by Hadwin Fung and Paul Culmsee on a drive around the area, a short hike through the tree walk overlooking the city and river, watching the sunset at Cottesloe beach, and then a wonderful dinner with Paul’s family talking about everything from visual modeling to innovation games to music collections.

Departing Australia via Brisbane, and with a couple days until the New Zealand AUSPC 054SharePoint Conference, I decided to have a small adventure, renting a tiny car and bringing my lead foot and aggressive driving style to the south island. I started in Christchurch, then made my way west and then south along the west coast to glacier country. After spending the night in the small town of Fox Glacier, I planned to take a helicopter tour of the surrounding glaciers and peaks. Unfortunately, weather patterns were keeping everyone grounded, but 30 minutes north at Franz Joseph glacier they were reporting blue skies, so I made the quick trip and caught a short flight.

With my Kodak Playful camera running the entire time, we landed on the glacier in less than 10 minutes. Watch my adventure here:

Absolutely fantastic trip. After the flight, I jumped back in the car and headed back to Christchurch, stopping and taking pictures along the way, including near Castle Rock, which was used in some of the filming of Lord of the Rings (scenes from Rohan, left picture). In all, I drove about 1200 kilometers….and only once entered the highway on the right side (meaning, the wrong side) of the road. Thankfully, I was in the middle of nowhere and quickly corrected myself before causing an accident.

I’m now sitting in my hotel room in Auckland, preparing a few last edits to my presentation tomorrow at the New Zealand SharePoint Conference. More updates to come.


Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (https://rencore.com/), leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.