Autumn to winter 2018 and goodbye New Zealand

Well our updating has been very slack over the last few months. Partly because of inclement autumn weather delaying us from doing anything worth writing about, and partly because I forgot the log in details for the blog, Twitter profile and associated email addresses.

So here we are with what will be our last update from New Zealand.

I write this sat by the log fire in the front room of our house, looking our at the mountains on what is a chilly, overcast winter morning.

A day of mixed emotions lies ahead of us. Sadness as we say goodbye to our friends and housemates, and the reality of possibly never being back in Wanaka finally sinks in. Excitement as we look forward to our trip home, a journey that will take in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and a little bit of Indonesia.

We have had the best experience of our lives out here in New Zealand. We’ve been lucky enough to share that with some great friends, colleagues, housemates and the odd visiting friend and family member.

Whether it’s hiking the iconic Milford Track in perfect conditions, being at the Westpac Stadium to watch the British Lions defeat the All Blacks, or learning to snowboard for a winter, we’ve got memories that we’ll always hold dear.

Speaking of which, here’s a few things we’ve been up to since February. We have:

  • Hiked Ben Lomond
  • Re-walked the route to Lake Marian
  • Tramped to Liverpool Hut in Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Camped in The Catlins and Mavora Lakes
  • Taken an uncle on a road trip around the South Island
  • Enjoyed a couple of wine tastings
  • Taken a scene if flight from Wanaka to Milford Sound
  • Signed up for a Masters degree (Steph only)
  • Quit our jobs
  • Arranged our trip home
  • Sold our campervan and almost everything else we own

There were a couple of things we didn’t get to do due to the winter snow arriving much earlier than expected. Hiking up to Meuller Hut being the main one we missed out on, which was a big disappointment. To say that is the only thing we really didn’t get to do in our ever expanding list is pretty good though. We leave with no regrets, just many, many happy memories.

Thank you to everyone who helped make it such an enjoyable time. Hopefully we’ll see you again.

Here are the photos from the aforementioned jaunts, days trips, weekends away and holidays with visiting family. We hope you enjoy them.

Steph looking out over Lake Marian in Fiordland National Park
The pair of us in front of Lake Marian as the mountains around us reflect in the still water
Sunset at Lake Gunn
Lake Gunn is on the road to Milford Sound
The sun sets in the valley behind Cascade Creek campsite on the MIilford road
Looking over Lake Wakatipu from the Ben Lomond track
The view over the mountains back towards Skippers Canyon from the Ben Lomond track
Looking down to Lake Wakatipu from the summit of Ben Lomond
Another view of Lake Wakatipu on the Ben Lomond track
Approaching Liverpool Hut in Mount Aspiring National Park
Liverpool Hut in the sunlight
Looking down the valley from Liverpool Hut
Ready to leave the hut and hike back out
Mount Aspiring and French Ridge hut seen from Liverpool hut
Enjoying a cup of tea while looking across the valley to Mount Aspiring
A view of the Dart River valley from Mount Alfred
Hiking above the clouds on Mount Alfred
The inversion layer begins to break up
Our shadows on the ridge as the cloud breaks up above the valley
Looking through the cloud into the Dart valley below
Steve’s uncle walking across a bridge on the Hooker Valley track in Mount Cook National Park
Mount Tasman and Mount Cook reflecting in Matherson Lake
Shafts of light beam through the cloud on the Milford Road
Camping in the van at Mavora Lakes
A campsite with a view at Purakaunui Bay in The Catlins
Sunrise in Purakaunui Bay
Steve and his uncle enjoy some autumn sunshine in Abel Tasman National Park
Golden sands in Abel Tasman National Park
One of the many quiet bays of Abel Tasman National Park
Raising a glass in the vineyards of Marlborough
Our transport for a scenic flight to Milford Sound from Wanaka
Flying over Lake Wanaka
Lake Wanaka from the air
Snow-capped mountains line Lake Wanaka
Cloud clears over the islands on Lake Wanaka
Looking up the Makarora river towards Mount Aspiring National Park
Flying over the Southern Alps
A glacier and frozen alpine lake seen from above
Flying over the Olivine Ice Plateau
The snow covered Southern Alps
Flying through Milford Sound
Our last view of Milford Sound
Leaving Milford Sound behind, flying back towards Wanaka
Flying over Mount Alfred
Looking down to Lake Wakatipu and the village of Glenorchy



To New Zealand, we’ll miss you. To our friends and family in the UK, we’ll see you in August.

Lots of love from Steve and Steph.

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