Introducing my van… Morrison (geddit?)

 —  12/01/2010

I saw this van for sale on Trademe last year – and just had to have it when I saw the paint job! Could there be a more fitting vehicle for a nature nerd such as myself!?

Me and my lovely van, Morrison

Morrison and I hit the road!

Morrison is an ex-rental backpacker type campervan – which means he’s already kitted out ready for camping – and although he’s done a LOT of kilometres, he runs pretty well (but slow, so no worries about speeding I say!).

Anyway, for those of you not familiar with the half-hour Conservation Week special we filmed for Meet the Locals last year – Morrison has become a character in the show too – he even has his own animated character in the episode! 

The TVNZ crew and I have started filming already for a half-hour special for Seaweek and in honour of the marine theme, we had the last blank space on Morrison painted up by the Morrison’s original artist – Dan Tippett. Dan was a legend, and had this Maui dolphin painted in just under half an hour.

Dan Tippett, artist, shows Nic the new paintjob he's done on her van Morrison.

Dan all finished his beautiful new artwork of a Maui's dolphin

Maui dolphins are a particularly fitting species to have emblazoned on the front of my van – since they are now so endangered, there are thought to be only around 100 left in the whole world.  They are the North Island subspecies of the Hector’s dolphin (also endangered), and are found between Taranaki and Dargaville on the West Coast of the North Island. See this video for a look at why Raglan Area School (an Enviroschool) thinks Maui dolphins are so special.

So next week I’m hitting the road again –  more filming for the Meet the Locals Seaweek special – we’re thinking Maui dolphins (hope we can find some!), New Zealand sea lions and we’ve already been shooting in one of the most special marine places in New Zealand – the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve (which was described by Jacques Coustea as ‘one of the top ten dive spots in the world’).

Can’t wait to get my feet wet! See ya!