Over the past few years of jet skiing I have been very lucky to meet people from all over the world. Two years ago I was able to take a once in a lifetime trip to New Zealand and Australia. I had so much fun on my last trip that I decided to go again. This trip would be a bit different, this time I had somebody to share the experience with. I started my journey at McCarran Intl airport in Las Vegas, NV. My next stop was Los Angeles Intl airport where I met up with Demi Morgan. Demi was pretty excited to go on this journey with me and I was stoked to share the experience. Just like that we were off the New Zealand!
Upon our arrival we met up with my mate Roger who we would be traveling with for the next week or so. We got loaded up in Roger’s ute (truck) and headed north. I was stoked to see some familiar scenery and Demi’s head was spinning with all of the new experiences. We started driving on the other side of the road (that’s what they do there) and headed north to Whangarei where my friend Shane lived.
"I simply explained to the ranger that in America we don’t have rules and we could do whatever we want"
We stayed with Shane on his farm for a few days and got to experience a number of fun activities in the surrounding areas. The first day we headed to Lake Taharoa to ride some skis. During our session we got talked to by a park ranger about how we were riding. I guess they have rules or something down there. I simply explained to the ranger that in America we don’t have rules and we could do whatever we want. Luckily the ranger just saw us as silly Americans and let us off with a warning. After the lake we changed clothes and played some field hockey with Shane and some of his friends. Shane is part of a local team and he managed to let Demi and I fill for a day so we could see what it was all about. Demi had a blast. As for me, it was a bit different. I had fun up until I misjudged a swing and knocked another player’s tooth out with my stick. I felt terrible, but I was told it is part of the game. The next few days consisted of riding surf in Ngunguru, riding some dirtbikes on Shane’s property, and catching Scallops in the local bay. We ended our last night there eating fresh seafood on the porch with an amazing view.
The Festival of Freeride
Now it was time to head south to Waiuku for the Festival of Freeride. I attended this event during my last trip and I made sure to go again. The FOF takes place at a very unique beach with black sand. The surf at Karioitahi beach was rather tame, but still super playful. The weather for the weekend was phenomenal and it was awesome catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. During the event I just goofed off on a Superjet like usual and Demi did some decent tricks which led her to come home with the Best Aerial Award.
Our last day in New Zealand was spent exploring downtown Auckland. We saw a number of things including the Sky City tower, the marina, a marine museum, and whatever else we stumbled across while getting super lost in rush hour traffic. After our downtown adventure it was time to pack our bags and head over to Australia.
During our landing you could look out the window and see the beautiful beaches of Gold Coast, Australia and I immediately got pumped. We got off the plane, hopped in a rental car, almost crashed in the parking lot, and headed to Surfers Paradise. I had already been to most of the spots we stopped at so I knew what was worth seeing. Demi seemed to be in awe while she was looking around at the scenery. After a quick drive through Surfers we made our way to Jet Pilot Australia. Dallas, the sponsorship director of Jet Pilot, was kind enough to give us a tour of the facility and send us home with some fresh gear that we can’t buy in the USA. After our Jet Pilot stop we headed to Justin’s house where we would stay for the next few days. Justin and I have been friends for a few years and he’s always been more than welcoming when I come down to visit.
The next day we were on a mission, a mission for surf. We headed south to Kingscliff where we met up with a guy named Guy. Guy and I had never met in person, but through the ski community we got linked up and he offered Demi and I some skis to ride and a truck to use. Guy has it made! The ride spot at Kingscliff was amazing. Everything about that ride spot was great and it was only a few minutes from his house. After a quick surf session we asked Guy for his suggestion on things to see while we were in the area. We took his recommendations and headed south.
As we traveled south we ended up in Byron Bay, which was a neat little town with some great views and an iconic lighthouse. Demi and I spent a few hours exploring and then it was off for our next adventure. Guy told us about a beach that we could drive on if we kept heading south. Our rental car said it had “all wheel drive” so I thought it would be a good idea to take it for a rip on the sand. Just before sunset Demi and I found ourselves in South Ballina. South Ballina is basically in the middle of nowhere. We drove over a bridge, past a bunch of farms, and to a road that said “4×4 beach access”. We turned down that road and hit the beach and it turns out the adventure was worth the reward. This beach was untouched and beautiful. We drove around the hard pack sand for a bit and took a few photos. Then it was time to head home before it got dark. That didn’t go as planned. I was full throttle trying to get off the beach and make it back to the paved road. It turns out that full throttle was NOT enough to make it and we ended up getting our sweet “all wheel drive” rental stuck on the beach in the middle of nowhere. Nobody around for miles, no cell service, no sense of direction, and not much daylight left. Luckily we were able to dig the car out by hand, air down the tires, and get home without worry.
The next day Justin took us out on his boat to see the harbor and grab some lunch. During lunch we got to see a pelican feeding and I got to fight off some birds so I could eat my food uninterrupted. After our little boat adventure we dropped by AJSP and Worx racing. Next it was time to head home and get cleaned up for dinner. This Thursday wasn’t your usual one, it was Valentines Day and I booked a dinner for Demi, myself, and some friends at Sky Pointe observation tower. The views from our dinner seemed like something you’d only see in a magazine, it was amazing.
Now that we were done exploring Gold Coast we headed up North to Brisbane where we stayed with my friend Tim for the remainder of the trip. The following day we rode at the local seaport on Tim’s skis. I had fun trying to carve up the surf on the SXR 1500 it sure handles different than my Superjet. After riding Demi and I stopped by a local zoo where she got to see a kangaroo. Demi made it a point that she needed to see a Kangaroo before her trip was over. After our roo adventure we got cleaned up and headed out on the town. South Bank has quite a bit to offer for nightlife. We had a nice dinner, ate some fancy ice cream, and wondered around
The following morning was rough. It was 91 degrees and I had to return the rental car and get on a flight to head home. This was the last thing I wanted to do since I was told there was a cold spell waiting for me when I returned. Demi and I survived the long plane ride again and parted ways at LAX. When I got home it was snowing. Snow in Las Vegas is very unusual and this made me even more bummed about my trip ending. Overall I had an amazing time and I was stoked to share the experience with somebody. I really hope that I can make this trip happen again in the next few years. Escaping winter for a few weeks was the best thing ever.
Featured RIZNWILD Merch in this story: Wrench Twist Collection