A Good Life

We’re just back from New Zealand, visiting my sister (Caitlin) and her family. We left with full hearts and plans to build bridges between our two islands to bring us closer. One of the reasons we love being with these folks is that they live through their hearts to craft a life which is true to them. And when you come across people like that (family or otherwise), you can’t help but be inspired and keep a bit of them with you always.

These guys are rocking the whole concept of living a good life, something that’s highly subjective and can look like many things. To us, it includes living locally and ethically, being creative, engaged with your community and having fun. Here’s how Caitlin and Matt do just that in very fine form.


These two spunks have built their own home on Matt’s family land on the edge of Coromandel – it’s a dreamy patch of *green* with a flowing creek, abundant veggie patches and orchards. Bananas and bamboo grow in the same neighbourhood as olives, figs, apples and peaches – this places flips my climatic understanding of what plants can grow where.



The local beach and Riley (below) one of the coolest little pups around.


Caitlin is an unusually talented artist who nails anything she tries her hand to. Pottery is her main craft and she does it really well, this year she was a finalist in NZ’s Portage Awards – the most prestigious ceramics award in the country . We are very proud. You can see more of her in action here, here and here.



IMG_7216Caitlin teaching Anton how it’s all done… And juggling Frida


She stocks the local Driving Creek Railway, a unique mountain railway along with a working pottery and wild life sanctuary, it’s amazing. She’ll also be opening her studio up for this years Coromandel Arts Tour in April – not to be missed if you’re around that way.



And then there’s Matt. He’s a musician and sound engineer who works with bands and a range of projects through his business Coro Sonic Lab. He also runs the Coro Summer Festival each year in their garden which is true beauty in action. Complete with compost toilets, top notch musicians and somewhere between 200-300 very, very happy people. We just happened to be there for this year’s – it looked like this…





12552616_10153863423097744_8580263321286474150_nMatt and his bloody awesome family, Pete, Anna and Vicky – we love this family.

One of the striking things about Caitlin and Matt is how they welcome people into their home *all the time*. Whether that’s us, 200 festival goers or their neighbours, there’s a lot of people care going on.


I once heard a saying; something about how if you have a good home, meaningful work and fulfilling relationships in your life, you’re sorted…. These guys are sorted.


*All festival photos are from here.

10 Responses to “A Good Life”

  1. Simon Blackwell

    My family and I are looking at how we can make NZ our nnew reality, and this article has just added fuel to the fire of intrigue in this beautiful country and people

      • imogen

        I have a ‘Caitlyn mug’ !!!
        I am from the uk but now live in NZ, when my Mum came over to visit I took her to the Coromandle and I brought a mug from the driving creek railway…. IT IS MY FAVOURITE MUG and has survived camping trips and near swipes!

        Actually my partner ask where my ‘caitlyn’ is if he is making me tea…… The word mug has been re named Caitlyn down here in Taranaki

        It looks beautiful where they are! Wonderful to hear of beautiful people doing beautiful things! x

  2. Linda Machon

    Wow. Gorgeous. Inspirational. I need to live in NZ. Most special place. So much goodness xx

  3. Lulastic

    Ah, what inspo! As I was reading I was like… Hmmm the Coro hey… And then you mentioned the festival and I realise that this is the couple who are great friends with heaps of our friends

  4. Evan Hog

    Always wanted to move to NZ, atleast retire there and live happily ever after. This beautiful abode of Matt and Caitlin has given a major push the idea. Really a paradise with greenery,farm fresh veg, fruits and lots of love.


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