Gay Christian wants Kiwis to 'carpe diem'

A gay Christian on a mission to break a world record has stopped off here in New Zealand - and the timing is no coincidence.

Mikah Meyer is paying tribute to his late father by attempting to be the youngest person to visit all 417 American national parks.

The 31-year-old is on his way to a park in American Samoa, and the timing is no coincidence.

"It was cheaper for me to fly through Auckland to get there, and when I figured out I could come over Auckland pride weekend and get some speaking engagements on the way, it was a no-brainer," he told Newshub.

Mikah Meyer
Mikah Meyer. Photo credit: Mikah Meyer/Instagram

Mr Meyer will speak in two churches in Auckland on Sunday to talk about his journey.

He says with 125 parks to go he's trying to change minds, as well as the history books.

"When I started this journey, there was no openly gay models in the outdoor industry. There still aren't. All we see are that Christians hate gay people, and that's obviously not the case - I am living proof of that."

He wants to share life lessons his late travel-loving father taught him.

"I decided when I turned 30 I would do something radical, something to share this 'carpe diem' message with the world, so they wouldn't have to learn this 'tomorrow's not guaranteed' lesson in such a hard way, as I had to."

His father died at age 58.

"We had a house we were building together as a family for him to retire in Florida and he never got to live in it," Mr Meyer told Stuff. "I saw him lose out on the 'American Dream'."

Mr Meyer's next stop is at the only US national park in the Southern Hemisphere.

The current record-holder is Allen Hogenaeur, who was 39 by the time he visited all 320 parks that existed in 1980.

Mr Meyer will be speaking at the Community of Saint Luke on Sunday morning, and St-Matthew-in-the-City in the evening.