A teenager who was able to fulfil his wish of eating his way around New Zealand died yesterday surrounded by his family.
Daniel Baxter was diagnosed with cancer last January and in September, not long after his 16th birthday, was told it was terminal. He had always wanted an "eating" tour around New Zealand - crayfish in Kaikoura, whitebait from the West Coast and oysters from Bluff were on his Kiwiana must-do list. And pies from just about anywhere.
A tribute on the Aucklander site said he wanted to eat the best of the food New Zealand had to offer. Callum Turner wanted his best friend to have that, too. He set up a Facebook page to raise funds for the Baxter family and - thanks to people's generosity - Daniel and his family enjoyed a six-week trip.
The Facebook page attracted about 3000 followers.
The eating adventure began in early December and involved prawns in Taupo, cheese and icecream in Lindale and a feast at Logan Brown's restaurant in Wellington and, back in Auckland, he visited Euro restaurant at the Viaduct.
The support from people he'd never met allowed Daniel to take his friends to Wildfire restaurant on Auckland's waterfront before he left on the trip with his family.
It wasn't just culinary delights the family were treated to either - they visited Hobbiton in the Waikato and got up close with whales in Kaikoura as they toured the country from the Far North to the bottom of the South Island in their Maui campervan.
Callum's mother Chantall Turner said the family wanted to thank everyone who helped make Daniel's dream come true.
"Without their support he wouldn't have had a great holiday like he did," she said yesterday.
Mrs Turner said it helped boost Daniel's spirits during his final few months.
His funeral will be held on Thursday.