Music / Features
Sunfruits in Aotearoa/New Zealand -
Tour Diary
Words by Sunfruits
Friday 17th February, 2023
Off the back of their recent run of shows across Aotearoa/New Zealand, our friends in Sunfruits were kind enough to give us the insider goss on what exactly went down when they brought their colourful psychedelia over to the good people of NZ. Come along for the ride!
Day 1:

It was our first time playing shows internationally so we were very excited leaving for the airport, but we accidentally got taken to the domestic area and called two maxi taxis in our frantic energy. We got to Auckland airport after a champagne breakfast in Melbs and were greeted by the friendliest airport staff ever, a sign of what's to come? We stayed with pals Joe Ghatt (Third Eye Stimuli artist) and Courtney Harper (epic visual artist) in Auckland and we honestly can’t thank them enough, they were the best.

Jamming at Joe and Court’s place pre tour

Day 2:

We spent our first day cruising around Auckland’s K-Road, hitting some op shops, the local eateries and NZ’s answer to Woolies - Countdown. We also picked up our twelve seater van with our tour manager/driver/label manager and all round legend Josh.

Josh holding up a whole lane of traffic in the van

First van pack

Day 3:

The first show was in Gisborne, a 4/5 hour drive away from Auckland so we hit the road. The drive didn’t disappoint as we stopped alongside Waioeko Gorge and took in our first bit of NZ scenery.

Sunfruits at Waioko Gorge

We pulled up to the venue ‘Smash Palace’ in Gisborne after our first swim in the ocean right next door and noticed a full size plane onto of the roof, this wasn’t even the most eccentric part of the place and it was a great way to kick off the tour.

Day 4:

The next day we were off to Mt Maunganui but not before we had our second swim in a beautiful mountain river on the way. Some of the bluest water we’d ever seen! The venue was called Totara Street and was really beautiful theatre vibe. It was another great show and a new pal Fran gave us two avocados with our song lyrics written on them!

Live shot from Totara St/Mt Maunganui by Fran Scrimgeour

Day 5:

After this regional stint, we were back in Auckland to play the iconic Whammy Bar. We were super psyched about this show and it was one of the highlights of the tour, sweaty dark packed rooms are always fun. The Oogars also joined the tour at this show!

Live shot from Whammy Bar/Auckland by Fran

Day 6:

The drive to Coramandel and the infamous venue Eggscentric was a mammoth one. Due to landslides, rain and a power lines over the road, we got stuck in traffic for six hours. Luckily we got stuck in another beautiful landscape and did some band meditation next to a river. Once we got moving the drive got even better and we eventually got to Eggscentric. We hit another pre-show swim in the ocean next to the venue and had a wild show that night which featured a rare encore feat Gene vocal improv.

Side of the road during the traffic jam

The mystical entrance to Eggscentric in the daytime

Day 7:

The next morning we found out why it was called Eggscentric and had a beautiful morning swim/brekky combo after sleeping upstairs.

Winnie and Charlie bunking above the stage at Eggscentric

After a respectfully leisurely morning, we went for a Third Eye Stimuli Records swim with all the bands at a nearby beach and it was marvellous. We then drove our way to the other side of the country to the beach town of Raglan. After working out the local village beef between some venues we parked the van and set up for the hottest show temperature wise of the tour. After our fifth show in a row we were defs feeling the heat and keen for some RnR.

Josh, Charlie and Elena after Eggscentric morning swim

Live shot from The Yard/Raglan by Fran

Day 8-10:

Had some time off in Raglan and enjoyed the local vintage stores, river and oceans, hostel spa and bed bugs (unconfirmed).

Sunfruits v Third Eye Stimuli v The Oogars Monopoly Deal Edition at Raglan Backpackers

Serious pool game – all the money from the tour rested on this shot

Day 11:

After the days off we were keen to get on the road again as we drove to New Plymouth/Taranaki. On the way through we stopped by a Hobbit film location and Waikato falls where we got drenched by the powerful water. Gene also jumped the fence at the Hobbit location to really get the full experience but was promptly told off by the staff.

Josh soaking in the power of Waikato Falls

Hairy Feet Hobbit Film Location

Day 12:

In the morning we drove up to Mt Taranaki and took in the foggy views. New Plymouth was the second last show of the tour and before the show we got let in to the Len Lye gallery up the road. Shoutout to Naomi for giving us the private tour! This show was very loud but very fun.

Charlie/Elena percussion team at The New Plymouth Show

Live shot from New Plymouth by Fran

Day 13:

On the drive to Wellington and the last show of the tour we were keen to let it all hang out. We saw a more clear view of Mount Taranaki and were in awe!
The last show of the tour was at San Fran in Wellington and we really dug the vibe there. It was a sick way to end the tour and we had a lot of fun with the tour crew post show.

Live show from San Fran/Wellington by Fran

Post show r&r

Day 14:

After a rough morning and Maccy Ds brekky, we hit the seven hour drive from Wellington to Auckland. Shoutout here for Josh from putting in some serious driving hours. After getting out of the city we realised we were about to drive through literal Mordor and Mount Doom (were they filmed these locations anyway) so we stopped and took in the powerful energy.

After this we were all feeling very lucky about all the beautiful landscapes we were seeing as pulled into Lake Taupō. This lake is the size of Singapore and was the clearest water ever (true I reckon). We had what was our last swim of the trip and drove the rest of the way back to Auckland.

Sunfruits swimmin in Lake Taupō

Evie and Winnie at Mordor
Day 15:

We spent the last day/night seeing Pachyman and Automatic at Whammy Bar and loving every second if it.

All in all this tour was a very special time for all of us and we feel very lucky to have done it. Seeing the beautiful landscapes combined with the beautiful music community was such an amazing combo and something we’ll never forget.

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