Bitten by the travel bug

Back in 1961, after a two-year stint working in the UK, the newly-weds Beth and Ivan Hodge bought a brand-new Volkswagen Beetle for £439, and headed off on an unconventional and adventurous honeymoon – the couple had decided to drive their beloved Volkswagen car all the way back to New Zealand themselves.

Their journey took them through Spain, Portugal, France, the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East, and finally from Kolkata (then called Calcutta) in India back to Auckland. Thirty-five years later, in 1996, they retraced their journey on their second honeymoon, attracting the attention of the world’s media. Their experiences are recounted in their book “For Love and a Beetle”.

Now, 20 years on, their well-travelled companion will find a new home at Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) once Ivan and Beth Hodge have parted from their “love bug” with one last, farewell road trip across New Zealand.