Lake Wanaka

Monthly News: June

Considering I’m now settled in Wanaka, New Zealand for the foreseeable future (hopefully until next year at the very least), I won’t be travelling around as much. I thought I’d start a monthly blog to show what I’ve been up to and where I’ve been photographing, as well as links to any New Zealand and/or Asia posts written during that time.

Lake Wanaka

This month has been an important one – after nearly a month of searching, I finally found a job (or two) in Wanaka. Currently working in both a gorgeous lakeside bar/restaurant, and in a cutesy cafe, I can now start saving up for my next big trip away.

At the beginning of June I drove to Mount Cook village for an overnight stay and the opportunity to hike in the area. Due to recent snowfall the whole area was dazzling white and super icy which made hiking a nightmare, but it was a totally new experience for me and I loved the change in scenery. Some of the photos I took from the Hooker Valley Track are amongst my favourite New Zealand ones so far. The trail took me over three shaky swing bridges and along a river with great views of Mount Cook (the tallest mountain in New Zealand) and Mueller Glacier, before ending at a glacial lake at the foot of Cook.

Hooker Valley

Swing Bridge at Hooker Valley

Mt Cook Glacial Lake

Since Mount Cook I’ve been taking on as many work shifts as possible, and therefore haven’t managed any further hikes in the area. I have however started running again though, and Lake Wanaka has a beautiful track running around it which makes for a great and scenic morning jog.

As far as photos go, I did haul myself out of bed super early one morning for sunrise (okay, sunrise here is at around 8:30 currently, so maybe it wasn’t that early…) and took some cool shots looking out over the lake and its famous tree.

Lake Wanaka Sunrise

Lake Wanaka Sunrise

Lake Wanaka

My Instagram following has been increasing slowly over the past year, and this month I finally hit 8,000 followers, which I’m extremely excited about. The most popular photo I posted during June was one taken at Lake Hawea, just up the road from Wanaka:

Lake Hawea

This month I’ve only managed to put two blog posts out there:

Life Lately talks about my move to New Zealand and some of the things I’d been up to during my first month.

Seven Wonders of Ayutthaya is a write up of my time spent in this historic city in Thailand last December.

I was lucky to be offered a guest interview on a great travel concierge site – Alex Finds, and this month my writing and photos were featured on their interviews page. Click here to see the finished article!

I’ve also started working with a new friend (another Charlie) in Wanaka, who runs a fabulous platform for sharing travel blogs – find her website the Voyager here; I’ll regularly be uploading blogs to there also.

That’s everything that’s gone on in my new secluded life in New Zealand’s south island during June. I definitely have a few small adventures planned for next month, as well as more Asia stories to tell.

Baaa

Life Lately

Hey I’m back, after a massive blogging break. Apologies for the huge hiatus; here’s what I’ve been up to:

At the beginning of May Jeni and I took our final flight from Bali to New Zealand, stopping off in Sydney en route. After too few hours in the city catching up with friends around Darling Harbour, we met Jonny at the airport for the last leg to Christchurch.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Darling Harbour, Sydney

Darling Harbour, Sydney

Champagne at the Opera House

Champagne at the Opera House

On a tipsy night out in Cirencester a couple of years ago, Jeni, Jonny and I agreed to emigrate to New Zealand together, and whilst I’m sure none of us took it too seriously at the time – our plan had finally materialised!

Arriving into Christchurch, we spent a day shopping for winter clothes (mainly me and Jen) and watching the sun set over the city, before boarding an eight hour bus southwest to our new hometown of Wanaka.

View over Christchurch at sunset

View over Christchurch at sunset

Christchurch Mountains

Christchurch Mountains

Sugarloaf Reserve, Christchurch

Sugarloaf Reserve, Christchurch

The last month or so has passed in a total blur. We were very lucky with securing a gorgeous 4-bed house during the first week, and have gradually since all started working.

Sheep!

Sheep!

I’ve tried to fill my spare time exploring the area, and whilst Wanaka is quite possibly the most beautifully located town, the surrounding villages, lakes and hiking trails have all literally taken my breath away. New Zealand has, simply, the most outstanding scenery. Here’s just a taste of my first month:

Walks around Wanaka…

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka

The Infamous Wanaka Tree

The Infamous Wanaka Tree

Wanaka Road

Wanaka Road

A house hike up Mt Iron…

View from Mt Iron

View from Mt Iron

View of Wanaka from Mt Iron

View of Wanaka from Mt Iron

Hiking to Diamond Lake and around Rocky Mountain…

Diamond Lake

Diamond Lake

View of the lakes from Rocky Mountain

View of the lakes from Rocky Mountain

Wine Tasting…

Rippon Winery

Rippon Winery

A short visit to Cromwell (for an interview)…

Cromwell Heritage District

Cromwell Heritage District

Lake Dunstan, Cromwell

Lake Dunstan, Cromwell

Cromwell Heritage District

Cromwell Heritage District

A day at Tekapo Hot Springs…

Tekapo Hot Springs

Tekapo Hot Springs

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

A very icy hike in Hooker Valley, Mt Cook…

Hooker Valley

Hooker Valley

Mt Cook Glacial Lake

Mt Cook Glacial Lake

Swing Bridge at Hooker Valley

Swing Bridge at Hooker Valley

What’s next?
In terms of travel plans, my main one for now is to stay put in this incredible location and work work work until I’ve saved enough to take a few more months off. In the meantime I’ll be out hiking when possible and taking a few short trips away – Jen and I have our hearts set on Fiji later in the year!
For my blog, I have a zillion stories and photos from Asia still to share, so expect a mix of New Zealand and Asia over the next few months.

Snow Bunny

Snow Bunny