Globetrotting buskers Daniel Antoine and Clara Dominguez turned heads during morning traffic in central Whangarei as motorists soaked in some brief entertainment.
The couple sailed into Whangarei from New Caledonia on Saturday and plan to leave for Auckland this weekend but not before entertaining hordes of locals at busy intersections during peak traffic. They typically stand on pedestrian crossings at red lights and juggle before Ms Dominguez approached motorists for a tip.
The duo's timing at the lights is spot-on.
"We've had a good reception in Whangarei because people here don't see much busking. Whangarei is a nice community with nice and welcoming people," Mr Antoine said.
The 26-year-old is from Lyon in France and Ms Dominguez hails from southern Spain. Both met while busking separately in Europe about four years ago and wanted to visit exotic and faraway places in Asia and Oceania.
"Busking is our fulltime work. We also play flute, guitar and accordion, mostly on the streets, and this gives us an opportunity to explore New Zealand. We plan to stay in this country for three months," he said.
He started juggling at the age of 16 and busking a year later and said there was no looking back.
"While learning busking I realised I could actually make a living out of it. But you really need a lot of training to do this and then there are other things like people's moods you have to watch out for."
Busking does not yield much money but he reckons it is "enough for a living". Already on a shoestring budget, the pair plan to stay mostly in backpackers' accommodation while performing in other towns outside Northland.
Whangarei mayor Sheryl Mai praised the entertainers.
"It's great to see these entertainers brightening the day for a bunch of people going to work. We haven't had a word of complaint."