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Ending the Porsche 911’s 60th anniversary year on New Zealand's curves

As “The Lord of the Curves”, Stefan Bogner never misses an opportunity to go on an adventurous road trip. Now he just finished exploring New Zealand’s South Island from behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 T for his magazine “Curves”.

A year ago, photographer and editor Stefan Bogner was traveling in Patagonia with two jacked-up first-generation Porsche Cayennes for his magazine “Curves”. After the South American adventure — and a detour to Corsica with the Porsche 911 Dakar — he ended the Porsche 911’s 60th anniversary year on the other side of the world in New Zealand. Despite the 12-hour time difference, we got him on the phone, just as we were having our morning coffee and Stefan had started editing the photos with a glass of New Zealand red wine.

Stefan, you were just standing on the Strait of Magellan in the south of Chile, what are you doing in New Zealand?

We wanted to experience another really nice road trip to mark the end of the Porsche 911's anniversary year. And New Zealand has always been at the top of my list of dream places. Of course, it's great to be on the other side of the world just a year after our last adventure in Patagonia!

What was the first thing you noticed in New Zealand?

The people! They are incredibly nice and deeply relaxed. This starts with immigration, where the officials ask in a very friendly manner whether you’re bringing in any foreign plant seeds in the remains of soil under your hiking boots, while also giving travel tips. The traffic also flows beautifully - no one honks their horn here. The whole South Island has a laid-back vibe that immediately relaxes you.

In your photos, you focus less on the people and more on the streets and landscapes around them. Has the New Zealand landscape lived up to your expectations so far?

We’ve known since “Lord of the Rings” that New Zealand is incredibly diverse and impressive. Simply put, the South Island feels like a best of compilation of Europe and North America. Sometimes it looks like Switzerland, sometimes like a US national park or Scotland. The climate is also pleasant and familiar for us Central Europeans. Spring is the ideal travel time. Everywhere you go you’re accompanied by the smell of herbs, flowers – and the forest. By the way, this is not a cultivated forest, but a jungle. It's funny, you hear the spruce trees trill and whistle like an old Nokia is ringing, and suddenly you see a colourful parrot sitting between the familiar needles.

Is traveling through New Zealand an adventure like in Patagonia?

The country is wide and generous, you are always in nature, but there are no wild or poisonous animals like in Australia. It's an incredibly smooth travel destination, so you feel at home from the moment you get there.

Did the Porsche 911 T work as a touring car?

Absolutely! You can easily explore the South Island behind the wheel of a 911. The Porsche 911 T is a little more minimalist, but that worked wonderfully too. The roads are well maintained, there are gas stations and nice hotels everywhere. You just shouldn't worry too much about the paint, a bit of gravel will fly past the cabin from time to time.

And how is the food? That doesn't play a small role for you...

The food is a good mix of everything. There a lot of young, experimental restaurants where excellent meat, fish and vegetables are served. There are many braised dishes; the chefs rely on roasted aromas and umami flavors, which I really like. The asparagus, the tomatoes and the kohlrabi from here are really powerful, and the lamb is insane! The most important thing, however, is that you can get excellent coffee everywhere.

Who would you recommend New Zealand to as a travel destination?

All travellers looking for a well-rounded adventure. New Zealand has as diverse a landscape as the USA, but is significantly less stressful. Its nature is incredibly beautiful and wild, so if you want to leave civilisation behind, you'll get your money's worth here. Anyone planning a trip around the world should also visit New Zealand: it’s a great place to relax if you’re leaving the hustle and bustle of Asia or India.

Will you come here again?

Absolutely! This time we only visited the South Island and I would definitely like to get to know the North Island with its volcanoes, beaches and Maori culture. Maybe we’ll return for the 65th anniversary of the Porsche 911.

Thank you, Stefan. We are looking forward to your comprehensive travel report - and the New Zealand edition of Curves, which will be published in spring 2024.


You can discover and purchase the latest editions of Curves, as well as most other books published by Stefan Bogner, in the Curvistan section of our CD shop.