January 11, 2024

Over 700 bunds raised while hiking across New Zealand

Floris van Berkel is in the midst of an incredible journey. The 53-year-old Dutch tour guide is hiking ‘Te Araroa’ (The Long Pathway) across New Zealand; one of the most challenging hiking trails in the country. With over 3000 kilometers and six months of daily hiking and camping in the wilderness, Floris hasn’t made it easy for himself. But – as you undoubtedly already expected – he doesn’t do it just for the challenge and nice views. He raised 713 bunds among his friends, family and Instagram followers in support of our projects and the regreening of the planet!

Among the Kiwis

When we spoke to him about 2 months into his trip, Floris felt very much at home among the Kiwis. Even though New Zealand already was his favourite holiday destination (which isn’t an easy choice for an experienced tour guide!), the hospitality and helpfulness of the New Zealanders continue to lift his spirits when things get tough on the road:

“I’ve been left completely speechless by the friendliness and warmth of the Kiwis on multiple occasions. When people hear what I am doing and for what [the good cause], they go out of their way to help me. I get offered a place to sleep, a ride, fresh food, you name it. I kid you not, it’s almost a daily occurrence by now. I am grateful for all of it; it’s as beautiful as the nature in this country.” 

Planting seeds in New Zealand

During his trip, Floris has been an amazing ambassador for Justdiggit and our projects, for which we are incredibly thankful. He has placed a QR code on his backpack that people can scan to go to his bundraiser page. He has noticed just how many people dig the simplicity and efficiency of regreening the planet with nature-based solutions: 

“When people are curious about what I am doing here and what I am about, it’s cool to see that many Kiwis are already aware of Justdiggit because they’ve seen you on television. Whenever the topic comes up, I always tell people how effective and simple the solutions are and show them footage of the bund digging. People always respond positively when I tell them that these regreening projects help both the people that are living in the project area, and the planet as a whole. 

I usually ask people I meet to scan the QR code so they can look up my bundraiser and story for themselves, or pass it on to someone who might be more interested in it. I hope these heartfelt conversations about climate change and the health of our planet plant seeds in people’s minds for them to come to fruition in the future. Hey, who knows!’ 

Floris has raised 713 bunds (and counting) with his bundraiser. Thanks to him and the donators who support Floris on his journey, we can regreen over 86,000 m2 in our regreening projects! If you want to know more about Floris and his epic journey, you can follow him on Instagram