This is so real!

Miriam Lancewood is more comfortable living in the wilderness than she is in civilisation

This is so real!

Why Miriam Lancewood lives in the wild, hunting her own food

Posted on 09.11.2018

When Miriam Lancewood and her partner Peter set off to live alone deep in the New Zealand wilderness, they told their families they’d be back in a year.

But the couple came to enjoy their nomadic, off-grid lifestyle — foraging for edible plants and killing their own animals — so much that they’re still living it, nearly a decade later.

“It’s perceived as being scary but I see the wilderness as my home, so I feel very comfortable there,” says Miriam, who has written about her life in her memoir, Woman of the Wilderness.

Miriam, who was born in the Netherlands, says there is freedom in her lifestyle, one that is “without time”.

“We sleep when we are tired, usually when the sun goes down. When the first birds sing, we wake up,” she says.

“We eat when we are hungry. We don’t know the days of the week, or the date. That is irrelevant really.”

Ditching conventional living has brought significant struggles, but Miriam says it’s been worth it; she now feels deeply connected to natural beauty she once merely observed.

Killing to survive

I’ll be little Robin Hood running around in the forest

To prepare for her move to the wilderness, Miriam practised her aim with a bow and arrow every day for a year.

She and Peter had decided that, in their new living environment, she would hunt and he would cook.

“I thought, well, hunting will be a great success. I’ll be little Robin Hood running around in the forest,” Miriam says.

But things didn’t go as planned.

Miriam’s aim was excellent, but finding animals to target was hard work.

Also tricky was the fact that she was raised vegetarian.

“I was always like, ‘oh, no animal needs to die for me’. I was very judgmental of meat-eaters,” she says.

But there was an urgency to expanding their diet.

“We got so cold that we were losing weight just by living, and in the morning we would wake up with hunger pains,” Miriam says.

“Just getting through the night cost so much energy and so after a while — Peter was visibly losing weight — we said, OK, we have got to get onto this hunting.

“I ended up doing exactly that — killing animals to survive.”


“When I hunt, and come back with a goat for dinner, I feel, wow, this is so real.”

ABC News





Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On



Kooralbyn Valley MTB 4hr Endurance

Kooralbyn Valley MTB 4hr Endurance 7 km loop
Read more



Government support for business and industry

Information about the range of support and services available and how best to access them
Read more



Enclosed Sea Guide and Instructor Assessment

A full day assessment for the Paddle Australia Enclosed Sea Guide or Instructor Award
Read more

Latest News

Aussie Ark recognised internationally

... for its significance in fire and drought recovery

Read more
Affordable Alternatives to Screen Time

That Keep Kids Happy and Engaged

Read more
20 Minute Neighbourhoods

People love the idea, so why isn’t it top of the agenda?

Read more

Become a member

QORF welcomes applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More
Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten