My Life in New Zealand

Category: Travel

Off the Grid

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It has been two weeks and 3 days since my boyfriend, James Clark, had a terrible accident at Meadow Hut, near Cardrona. On Saturday evening James feel 30m/ 98ft off a cliff and was airlifted by helicopter to Dunedin Hospital. James spend 5 days in ICU before being transferred to the respiratory ward. James is now in rehab where he is currently fighting to overcome PTA before being allowed back home.

James is a miracle. He is alive and will make a full recovery in due time (expected 1 year until fully ‘James’ again) The health care professionals are all shocked with his rate of recovery as are friends and family… go James go! We are so thankful for the power of prayer and support and we couldn’t have done this alone. A friend of James set up a donation page where money is being raised for James’s rehabilitation as well as money to help support his family during this time. If you wish to donate please visit: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/supportingjamesclark

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Getting to know Christchurch

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A wee while ago Bessie and I took a mini holiday to Christchurch over a long weekend. We went to see Lorde live in concert however, the trip turned into a full adventure packed weekend! We biked through the city and explored the rebuilding of Christchurch – while it’s very devastating to see a city in such rubble, there is a spirt of growth and renewal that is expressed all throughout the city. We had the best time getting to know this city over three long days … from farmers markets, to container malls, biking the gardens, and punting the Avon, we did it all!

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Gillespie Pass + The Siberia Valley

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We woke up bright and early in the Young Hut (5am!) and decided to ventured over Gillespie Pass and into The Siberia Valley.  The night before we swayed and swayed – to do the pass or return back via the Young Valley – and decided that if we woke to sunny skies we would attempt the pass. Well we woke, and the sky was sunny so we began our big adventure. About 4 hours into the journey we realized we were not as capable as we thought and in fact should have had crampons and ice axes, but with careful steps and encouragement all around we made it to the valley and to the Siberia Hut where we were collected by a little chartered plane. It was an epic adventure and one I will never forget!

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Young Valley

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The other weekend Bessie, Anna, and I headed off to conquer The Gillespie Pass – starting by the Blue Pool and making our way across the Young Valley for our first night in the Young Hut. Unfortunately we were greeted with a bit of rain which made for a challenging and slippery day of hiking – but getting to the hut and staying cozy in our sleeping bags was perfect!

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Brewster Hut

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The tramp to Brewster Hut is situated just off the Haast Pass road and only about a half day hike! While the hike is usually around 3 hours, Bessie and I were faced with extreme weather and it took us more like 5 hours, arriving just in time as the sun was setting behind the snow capped mountains. While the hike was very exhausting and challenging – hiking through snow up to our knees – the outcome was more than we could have hoped for as we snuggled into a little red hut all to ourselves.

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Kinloch + The Rees Valley

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The other weekend James and I headed out to explore Kinloch and The Rees Valley… two location we have both already visited but always fun to go back again, especially on a sunny blue bird day!

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Mt. Aspring National Park

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The other weekend Bessie and I headed into Mt. Aspiring National Park and spend Saturday and Sunday exploring the West Matukituki Valley. On Saturday morning we hiked from Rasberry Creek Carpark, past Aspiring Hut, and onto Liverpool Hut. For the last two hours we practiced our rock climbing skills with a steep incline where we clutched onto rocks and roots hurling ourselves one step at a time. The Liverpool Hut was perfection – bright red with six bunks – perfect for a cozy evening with our new friend Georges playing games and drinking bagged wine!

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Snow Farm NZ

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It was one of those perfect early Spring days on the mountain – blue skies, warm breeze, and longer day, perfect conditions for my first weekend of cross country skiing with a few good friends! We decided to make a full weekend of it by cross country skiing into the Bob Lee Hut and staying for a night. We arranged for a snowmobile to deliver our bags of clothes and food for the night and we took our time getting to the hut- about 10km away from the main lodge. The next day I woke up bright and early and caught the perfect sunrise, complete with a pink sky!

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Milford Sound

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Ruyard Kipling called it the eighth Wonder of the World – and well, I would have to agree. Milford Sound is a fiord located in the south west of the South Island and it’s stunning any time of the year and in any weather conditions. We lucked out and had the best of both worlds, earlier in the day it had been pouring which made the falls strong and fierce, but as the day wore on the sun came out and we were blessed with clear skies and stunning views.

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Back on the Mountain

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After 5 sweet and sunny weeks back in the States, I must say it was fun being back in the snow … and this is something very new for me. I am definitely a summer gal, but with 2 ski seasons under my belt I am learning to love winter too!

After being back in Queenstown for a week a group of us headed up the Crown Range and hit Cardrona for a full Sunday of skiing and hanging out!

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