Brit backpacker, 26, dies in crash days into ‘dream trip’ to New Zealand on Lord of the Rings tour after accepting lift

Brit backpacker, 26, dies in crash days into ‘dream trip’ to New Zealand on Lord of the Rings tour after accepting lift

A BRITISH backpacker who spent four years saving for his “dream” holiday in New Zealand has tragically died days into his trip.

Joseph Snode, 26, was killed in a one-vehicle crash on Otira Highway in Jacksons, Westland on January 28.

Joseph Snode, 26

Hobbiton was one of the first stops on Joseph’s grand tour of New Zealand

The backpacker, from Buckinghamshire, loved the Lord of the Rings franchise; Hobbiton was one of the first stops on his grand tour.

Joseph was killed instantly when the vehicle he was travelling as a passenger in crashed on the South Island highway.

His devastated family later revealed he had accepted a lift to Christchurch with three other people, who all sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Joseph’s mother Elaine said no words could express “the pain and despair” being felt by his family and friends across the world.

She wrote in a GoFundMe created to raise money for his funeral and memorial: “Joseph had so many plans for his future and he was literally living his dream life before it was taken from him.”

After graduating from university with a first-class honours degree, Joseph worked as the events and venue manager at Buckingham University for four years, and at festivals including Glastonbury, saving money to one day travel the world with his backpack.

His dream trip saw him visit Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Hong Kong.

Ms Snode explained that her son was especially excited about visiting New Zealand after going to Japan with friends in September last year.

She said: “He was so happy, meeting new friends and taking photos of his travels and the people he’d met.

“He even met his soul mate and she joined him on his travels.”

Joseph touched down in New Zealand in early January.

It was a place that was special to both him and his family, as they were all Lord of the Rings fans, Ms Snode said.

She continued: “He had a wonderful few days staying with a friend he’d met previously on his travels that had invited him to stay.

“Then he visited Hobbiton and other LOTR sites and had a few days hiking on his own along the Abel Tasman Coast Track.

“We had no idea these magical days were to be his final days in NZ.

“He was given a lift in a car to Christchurch that crashed, killing him instantly, the other occupants had minor injuries.”

Joseph, described by his mum as “one in a billion”, leaves behind his loving parents, his sister, his girlfriend, and many friends.


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