The heartbroken fiancee of Raglan shooting victim Sean McKinnon has spoken about the man who "taught me how to love unconditionally."
Bianca Buckley spoke at McKinnon's funeral in Victoria, Australia yesterday, holding back tears as she shared how the 33-year-old had changed her life.
Buckley said her fiance was "so alive", so fully present", The Warrnambool Standard reported.
"He was so extraordinary, he almost couldn't belong to this world," she said.
"Thank you for choosing me to walk alongside you on this earth."
McKinnon and Buckley were freedom camping at the remote Te Toto Gorge carpark in the hills south of Raglan overnight on Thursday, August 16 when McKinnon was allegedly shot.
Buckley escaped and ran 2km in bare feet on a bush road to raise the alarm.
The 23-year-old accused of killing McKinnon allegedly drove off in the couple's campervan with McKinnon's body inside.
McKinnon's body was found in the rented van at Gordonton, north of Hamilton, at 8am the next morning.
At the emotional funeral, Buckley said McKinnon taught her to slow down and "really drink in the moment", The Standard reported.
"He taught me how to love unconditionally," she said.
McKinnon's eldest sister, Emmeline McKinnon, read a letter written by another sister, Mary, to the packed service, held at Our Lady Help of Christians church.
McKinnon was described as a "free-spirit" and "lovable larrikin" who loved nature and "danced to the beat of his own drum."
The family spoke of McKinnon's love of surfing and playing music. His sister said watching him do the things he loved was "a thing of beauty".
"He was unique and unconventional but with a certain beauty," McKinnon said.
McKinnon was said to have started travelling from a young age and had a knack for getting himself into tricky situations.
She said family members became accustomed to receiving calls from him telling them he had lost his wallet, credit card or phone.
But she said no one expected the call telling them he wouldn't be coming home.
McKinnon thanked the New Zealand Police and Victoria Police officers who had helped the family after McKinnon was killed.
"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you did for Sean and will continue to do," she said.
The Standard reported friends and family cheered as McKinnon made his last journey in his beloved Kombi van to the Warrnambool Cemetery.