#TravelWithShinola to New Zealand

BY Taylor Rebhan

Last month, Detroit-based photographer Joe Gall, better known as Camera Jesus, stood on top of an active volcano in New Zealand. The traveler, father, and infamous adventure-seeker may have reached his furthest point from home. We were lucky enough to be with him every step of the journey.

“The weather went from hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions to a slight breeze and sunshine just long enough to climb up and descend,” he says. 

We commissioned Joe to photograph his adventure along with a few travel essentials for his trip. Take a look at some of his favorite moments below and be sure to show us where your Shinola products travel by tagging your photos with #TravelWithShinola.


Lake Mangamahoe with Mt. Taranaki in the distance the morning of Joe’s climb. (pictured above)


Left: Climbing down the cliff side to a rarely visited black sand beach near Piha while wearing The Runwell Sport Chrono 48mm.

Right: Piha Beach, a popular surfing destination near Auckland. 


Joe used the Shinola + Fisher Bullet Space Pen and a Monogrammed Journal on his trip to keep track of all the locations he visited and any people he met along the way.


Joe switched up his look with the Runwell Chrono 41mm while hiking throughout the Milford Sound, a fiord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island within Fiordland National Park.


The Glen Esk stream leads up to KiteKite Falls. “This place reminded me of Jurrasic Park — dinosaurs roamed here at some point,” Joe says. 


“This photo (left) was shot from the road leading to Milford Sound,” Joe Says. Milford Sound is surrounded by steep cliffs and dense rainforest, and is by far the best known of all of the fiords in New Zealand.


The Shinola Bolt Bifold Wallet kept all of Joe’s cards and cash safe throughout his trip.


Left: While wearing Shinola’s Runwell Sport Chrono 48mm, Joe encountered these fuzzy creatures called shamel. Local to New Zealand, shamel’s are half sheep and half camel. 

Right: This photo was taken while driving to Milford Sound. “This is without a doubt one of the best road trips one can take,” Joe says. 


Shinola’s Large Carryall was Joe’s right-hand bag for the duration of the trip. This weekender bag is designed to fit everything a short trip or carry-on bag might call for — the signature leather carryall is both roomy and light enough to take on your journey. A longer shoulder strap is removable, adjustable and is fit with a leather pad for comfort and ease. 


Joe used the Large Carryall leather bag, Bolt Bifold Wallet and Runwell Chrono 41mm watch on his trip. (pictured above)


“This is Lake Wanaka and the famous lone Wanaka Tree with roosting birds at sunrise. Get here by making the 50 minute drive from Queenstown over the magnificent Crown Range Road,” Joe says.


Joe wore The Runwell Sport Chrono 48mm while hunting for the best surf spots on Piha Beach. Piha is a laid-back seaside village 45 minutes west of Auckland city and this dramatic beach is marked at each end by rugged cliffs. The water has strong and often dangerous currents making it a popular surfing location.


The road to Mt. Taranaki — the active volcano that Joe climbed on his trip. This summit is clearly advised to only be attempted in good weather by experienced trampers with proper equipment. 


Left: The Remarkables Range part of the Southern Alps as viewed from Lake Wakatipu, Queensland, South Island.

Right: “From Detroit, Michigan to the summit of Mt. Taranaki, my passport stayed on me at all times with Shinola’s Passport Wallet,” Joe says. “I also created most my trip memories while wearing the Runwell Sport Chrono 48mm — that watch and I shared many adventures together.”


“This is an iPhone photo my guide snapped of me while kayaking through the Milford Sound,” Joe says. “After kayaking, I turned the sound into my own personal pool as I jumped in for a swim in freezing glacier water — very refreshing!”


Left: Joe used a Shinola Luggage Tag to keep his belongings safely marked.

Right: “All aboard the Milford Wanderer — my hired vessel for an overnight cruise.”


Joe wore the Runwell Sport Chrono 48mm on the North Taranaki coast, near Tongaporutu.”This beach comes and goes with the tide, so it’s important to keep track of the time to avoid getting wet or worse,” he says.


Left: “The Crown Range Road is an exciting drive located in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand, linking Queenstown and Wanaka,” Joe says. “It’s one of the highest roads in the country reaching an altitude of 1.121m (3,677ft) above the sea level. This road is not for the faint hearted and several of the bends are actual hairpin bends — many with 35km to 15km sharp bends. The drive on the descent drops away to a seemingly bottomless gorge and there are some switchbacks on the descent.”

Right: The view from Stratosfare Restaurant overlooking all of Queenstown.


“The Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve is on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, covering an area of 2,100 acres, and accessible only on foot, boat or kayak. This famous Cathedral Cove is one of the “must visit” sites on The Coromandel,” Joe says.

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