My Life in New Zealand

Tag: New Zealand

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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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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Greenstone to Mavora Lakes

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This weekend Bessie and I hiked the Greenstone – Mavora Walk. On Saturday morning at 8AM we took the Info + Track bus from Queenstown, pass Glenorchy and into the Greenstone Carpark where we started the big 50km weekend! The first day we walked through the Greenstone and once reaching the Greenstone Hut made our way into the Passburn Valley. Up and down, over and under through hard ground and soft we eventually made it to the Taipo Hut where we spent Saturday night boiling creek water to drink and playing games.

Sunday morning we headed over a swing bridge and 12 km later reached the Boundary Hut. From here we kept on walking and eventually made it to Mavora Lake which we followed all the way until the end! Our ride had a bit of car troubles back in Queenstown so we hitched our way to Mossburn with two kiwi blokes from Gore – riding in the back of their dairy farm truck!

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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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Evening Cruise on Lake Wakatipu

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One of the benefits of living on the lake … birthday parties on the lake! There are a handful of great boating operators on Lake Wakatipu, and good thing for that since there are many tourists looking to cruise the lake. One of the most fun and funky businesses is the Luanda Experience – complete with lava lamps and shag carpet! And a 30th celebration just wouldn’t be complete with out a jump into the freezing cold Queenstown lake!

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Winter Wonderland in Queenstown

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The day before I left New Zealand to head back home for a 5 week summer holiday I decided to take a little walk up Queenstown Hill to give a proper farewell to Queenstown. I was awed by stunning views and a fresh dusting of new fallen snow! It made my transition into summer a bit jolting – but it was the perfect Queenstown goodbye!

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