Goodbyes & New Beginnings

Aaaand that’s a wrap! My time in Queenstown and New Zealand has come to an end. I’ve been away for just over 10 months, and it is time to go home.

I’ve managed to do most of what was on my mini bucket list before leaving New Zealand.

Go back up Queenstown Hill

Okay, so I didn’t do this.

Last week many of the walking tracks were closed for ‘goat control’, including Queenstown Hill and Ben Lomond. Since then I haven’t had the time and decided that the one time I went up Queenstown Hill will have to do.

Milford Sound

Thank you to Tim, who managed to sort out a cheap trip for us, and drive the 4hrs there and back. We left at 6 am, bright eyed and bushy tailed, to catch the 11h30 cruise. The scenery was stunning, and there was a decent buffet on the cruise.


On the drive over


Fellow tourists – Tim & Greg


Impressive sights – it hadn’t rained for a while so there weren’t as many waterfalls, but it was still dramatic.


Seals chilling hard.


Pretty waterfall

Ohau to see Eri & Nate

At the weekend I hired a car and drove up to Ohau. On Sunday I continued up to Lake Tekapo before heading back down to Queenstown. It was lovely to see Eri, Nate and Keith too, who also worked for Pro Powder in Japan. The drive was gorgeous, the roads were quiet, and it was great to get out of Queenstown. There’s nothing quite like singing your heart out on an open road!


Coming in to Ohau


Pretty rainbow whilst having a beer.


Spot the flat peak of Mt Cook at the end of the lake.


Lake Tekapo

Eat at Fat Badgers

I can confirm that their pizzas are enormous and very good. It is possible to eat a 20″ pizza to yourself in one sitting. Food coma, food baby, pizza sweats – you name it, I had it all, but I was not to be defeated! My parents will be so proud.

I went half/half with  The Fat Badger and The Badger Experience. Needless to say, people were half impressed/half disgusted. I have no shame.



Climb Ben Lomond

I finally hiked Ben Lomond (1,748m) on Monday. I went solo and thoroughly enjoyed my tramp after being a little reluctant to go – there were a few clouds around and I wasn’t sure what sort of view I’d get at the top.

As it turned out, it was not the best…


Sweaty sweaty

Thankfully the cloud was only hugging the peak, so I had pretty views to look at on my way.


There were others on the track, and one nice lady took a photograph, accidentally capturing me in it. It wasn’t a bad shot, and she emailed it over to me there and then!


Spot the pink shirt!




Ben Lomond

I treated myself to a final Patagonia Ice Cream and Ferg burger – a productive day!

The Canyon Swing

Yeah, I didn’t have enough NZ dollars left for this and having done the Skydive in June, I felt I had done my ‘adrenaline rush’ activity in Queenstown.


There is still so much of the country to see, but I am not going to feel guilty about not having travelled around extensively. I am happy with what I’ve done, and hope that I will come back to New Zealand at some point in the future.


Thank you to Queenstown, NZSki and everyone I’ve met during my time here for winter #2 of 2016. It’s definitely been disjointed, but as a team we’ve bumbled on through. There’s been snow, wind, rain and plenty of sunshine. There’s been work, back-lining, and free skiing. I think I’ve skied every kind of snow condition, as well as even hit a box in the park (admittedly not always in the most effective way!). I even shadowed a snowboard lesson. I’ve taught such a variety of lessons and really enjoyed the work this winter.

I achieved some personal bests running up Fernhill and along the Arawata Track. I’ve been in the gym, over consumed in every way, and been fit and healthy to ill and injured. I’ve met some fantastic people and hope I’ve made some lasting friendships, as well as deal with the crazy social scene of Queenstown.

I feel fairly exhausted and ready to go home. I’m sure I am not the only one.


A few weeks back at Moke Lake – my favourite place in the area.


Life as a transient: it’s time to move on

I’ve moved around all my life, rarely staying in one place for more than 6 months. A transient way of life is exciting, adventurous and educational: only staying in one place for a short amount of time before moving and discovering somewhere new. Using my skills and what I love to do has enabled me to lead this lifestyle – what a lucky girl! It’s amazing how many incredible people I’ve met and friendships I’ve formed (I hope we’re friends!). I’m grateful and privileged to have visited, lived and worked in some wonderful places.

However, it sucks saying goodbye. The nostalgia felt when leaving behind beautiful places and people is stomach churning, clinging to precious memories and experiences for comfort.

Applying for a new job, finding somewhere new to live, planning the next step, saying goodbye, meeting new people – at least twice a year – is wearing stuff. It is exciting and fun, and good for you, but I find it wearing to do so frequently. This last year I’ve often felt lonely, and sometimes cynical and despondent at this constant changing.

I want to spend time with my family, and invest my time and energy into people, work and life when I know it’s for a longer term. People have said to me, “No! Keep moving, keep travelling whilst you can!” I crave stability though, and I’m coming back to Morzine/Les Gets, an awesome part of the world, to create a base for myself. It won’t mean I will stop adventuring though!

A slightly nerve wracking leap of faith into an exciting new job and coming home for longer than a few months, but I’m hoping and trusting that it’ll turn out for the best.


Mont Blanc from Les Platons, Les Gets. No place like home.