About Us

Well, we’ve got two sons.. Andrew who’s 35 and Alex is 33. Alex is married to Sarah and they have two sons. Andrew is still looking 🙂

I’m Chris, ex newspaper & commercial photographer and Fiona, Ex Nurse/Practise manager  .. known as Madam .. pronounced Mad – Dam..  a name invented by our sons. I’ve worked at the NZ Herald, Auckland Star and several overseas newspapers. I’ve been  self employed as  commercial photographer since the early 90’s and although I’m still looking after old clients and friends, I am slowly retiring without making a noise about it 🙂
My commercial web site is www.pix.co.nz.

Fiona has been a Registered Staff nurse for many years and a Mum. Over the last few years, she has become more involved in the administration side of healthcare after running our Internet company for 12 years or so. She is also retiring shortly as well.

Fiona nad I in front of the Globe 4 at the 2014 Dethleffs Owners Group meeting in MirandaFiona and I in front of the Globe 4 at the 2014 Dethleffs Owners Group meeting in Miranda

We’ve had Jet skis and a 40 ft historic Launch and I was very involved with the Classic Yacht Association for about 8 years while we did up Rorqual, our whale chaser. Being on the committee and arranging and helping others to arrange events for CYA Launches to go to meant that we felt obliged to go to all the events unless it was just silly… so we encountered some pretty interesting situations but it was a lot of fun and we met a lot of nice people.

It did get to a stage where we seemed to spending all our spare time with or on Rorqual and Madam invented a new word called “boat prison”!

Rorqual at Patio Bay, Waiheke in 2013Rorqual at Patio Bay, Waiheke in 2013
The saloon of RorqualThe saloon of Rorqual
Rorqual in the Marlborough Sounds as a WhalechaserRorqual in the Marlborough Sounds as a Whalechaser

One of the ideas we had was to try a caravan and see if that would eek out the lifespan of Rorqual, breaking it up with the odd caravan trip.

We bought a small 3 yr old English caravan called a Freedom Jetstream which were made in Poland by Enka as one moulded fibreglass shell with no joins. Completely self contained with Shower, Thetford toilet, Truma heater and boiler, Three way fridge and had a Queen size bed, the whole thing was only 600kg’s and 12 ft long!  Also Double Glazed and insulated within an inch of its life, it was amazing.. we loved it.

Another at tahuna ParkAnother at Tahuna Park
In the Marlborough SoundsIn the Marlborough Sounds – Momorangi Bay .. Madam in front

We did a trip around the South Island in “Rafe” (now referred to as “wee Rafe”)  and it was amazing… we were hooked.

Outside the Stone Store at KerikeriOutside the Stone Store at Kerikeri
At Simpsons Beach CoromandelAt Simpsons Beach Coromandel

Back in Auckland, we made a decision that we would sell Wee Rafe and buy a Motorhome that we could possibly fulltime in if we decided that was what we wanted to do.

After being spoilt with a European caravan, we knew that there was only one answer and that was a European Motorhome. After looking at what seemed hundreds, with the NZ dollar being as high as it was and the Euro being down, we went with a Dethleffs Globe 4 as it was from one of Europe’s biggest Motorhome stables and had won numerous awards in Europe. The Globe 4 is one of the largest vans of all the models giving us plenty of room for storage and living fulltime should that be what we decided.

May 2017 update.
We’re both about to completely retire and are heading to the UK where we’re meeting Motor homing friends, Gary and Dianne and in a rented Hymer, we’ll be travelling up to Estonia and back over 5 weeks. It should be a hoot.

When we get back from that in August, we’ll be full timing in Rafe but initially heading for the South Island.

2 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Hi there. Gather your living in NZ? But you mention coming over to U.K.
    Do you mean that you took your motor home overseas? If so about how much for the return cost.
    We would like to go to Oz for a while in a Motorhome. But do we hire, buy one in Oz, or take our own overseas. We are in the UK.
    Any advice gratefully received



    1. Hi Linda
      We leave next Thursday for Heathrow but we’re renting this time for an5 week trip from the Chunnel up to Estonia and back. I am looking at possibly buying a Motorhome next year in Germany, driving it around for 6 months and shipping it back to NZ with us when we return. The cost to ship is around $15k NZ (8.8 metre 5.5t). More info on this as I find out more.
      Looking forward to catching up with lots ts of rellies in Ely.
      Cheers Chris


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Fiona & Chris, two empty nesters put their dreams of doing something different into reality… Living in their Motorhome, come along for the ride.

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Touring Europe by Motorhome


A personal take by Christopher Macgowan on tourism, travel and motorhomes.

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A travelogue of museums, historic homes, and other curious destinations.

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