Cashless couple rely on charity, dumpster diving to travel around New Zealand

If you don't mind eating occasionally at a soup kitchen, a lack of cash is no barrier to seeing a country.

German tourist Anna Karg and partner Enoch Orious, both 25, set out from Auckland on holiday two weeks ago and so far haven't spent a thing.

The pair have eschewed money in favour of trading, dumpster-diving, charity and the kindness of strangers.

After New Zealand, they hope to work their passage to Australia, and ultimately the world.

"It's about living our truth, and showing people how much love there is out there in the world," Orious said.

But their behaviour has not impressed Wellington city councillor Brian Dawson, who said people should use soup kitchens out of need, rather than choice.

"It does annoy me that people think it's a way to get around the country on the cheap," he said.

It was not the first time he had heard about tourists relying on social services. "There's a huge difference between doing this for a cheap holiday, knowing that afterwards you can return to another lifestyle."

The practice of "beg-packing" by European travellers, particularly in southeast Asia, attracted huge criticism last year.

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Thai authorities now demand that tourists prove to immigration officers they have 20,000 baht ($A806) in cash on them before they are allowed into the country.

Karg and Orious, both 25, met three months ago at Wilderland, a sustainable-living community in the Coromandel, New Zealand.

They believed in trading goods, working for accommodation, and minimising resources, even going as far as not showering, Orious said.

"We just don't want to be part of the rat race any more. We know we can live without money – we just wanted to see if we can travel without money."

They won't accept money or allow people to pay for things they need. Instead they approach businesses to ask for unwanted food, and raid rubbish bins for produce still good enough to eat.

Orious denied that, by eating in the Sisters of Compassion soup kitchen in Tory St, central Wellington, they were using resources needed for the genuinely homeless or impoverished.

"We're in the same boat as them really. A lot of them have incomes, but it's a service that's been provided.

"We're not taking it from people who need more. We're all there for the same thing."

Karg said the pair had "back-up money", but had not been tempted to use it, although they came close a few nights ago.

Arriving in Wellington on Tuesday, too late to find a bed or pitch their tent, they sat on the dark street with a sign asking for a couch to sleep on.

"A nice person said we could go to the internet cafe, and they let us sleep there."

The pair were currently looking for a boat they could travel on to the South Island, and hoped they could swap labour for their passage to Australia when Karg's visa runs out in March.

They write about their cashless travels on the Facebook page Free From Money.

Stuff.co.nz

See also: Crackdown on 'begpackers' after meditating beggar picture goes viral

See also: 'Begpacking' and 11 other travel trends that need to die in 2018

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