NZ Week 5: Nelson Lakes and Skydiving 

We’d spent several weeks down South and it was a welcome change of scenery to arrive into Nelson Lakes National Park.

It was a long drive up but well worth it, with the landscape being considerably more lush. The first thing we did was to head up to a mountain to get a perspective of the landscape. We chose Roberts Peak, which was great fun and an awesome climb. 

The next few days were fairly strange as I had booked myself up for a skydive. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. 

It has now been several weeks since I’ve done the skydive, and I still don’t know how to describe it or put it into words. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

I’ll never forget the feeling of the plane door sliding open at 13,000ft, my first thought being ‘this isn’t normal’. Before I had time to process it, I was out the plane and accelerating towards the ground. Was it fear, was it excitement that I experienced? I’m still not sure, but after the first 10 seconds or so of screaming I relaxed and the feeling was like no other. 

Someone asked me in Australia what was one thing you have done that you would recommend everybody else to do. My answer now would be a skydive! 

NZ Week 3: Meg’s Hut – Arrowtown – Glenorchy 

One thing that we always hoped to do before visiting New Zealand was to walk to one of the huts and stay a night. Once our bags were packed with food supplies and warm clothes we started the 3 hour walk to Meg’s Hut. 

The walk was challenging at times but I think that’s because our legs were still aching from Roy’s Peak two days earlier. Finally in the distance the little hut appeared and our pace picked up speed as we got closer. 

We opened the door to find that we were the only ones there for the night, it was exciting. Unfortunately however we had forgotten to pack matches to light a fire and realised that we were in for a cold one. 

Then suddenly whilst lay in the bunk beds getting used to our new surroundings we both heard a few crackles. We rushed to the fire place and saw that there were embers still glowing from the previous night. Edd managed to get the fire roaring and we frantically spent the last hour of daylight collecting wood to keep us warm as darkness descended. 

It was quite an eerie but amazing experience being totally alone in the middle of the wilderness. I can’t say it was the best nights sleep but it was definitely an experience I am glad that we did together.

We couldn’t wait to get to Arrowtown to see the autumn colours and for a shower, Edd said we stunk after a night in the Hut, not being able to smell sometimes has its advantages. It was so lovely to walk around the little town with the colourful leaves crunching beneath our feet.

We passed through Queenstown quickly it was so busy and trying to find a parking space to explore was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

 The road to Glenorchy was windy and had amazing views, we were in Lord of the Rings country now. The drive is quiet, punctuated only by the odd near death experience as apparent maniacs fly by on the other side of the road.

We camped for two nights along Lake Wakatipu waking to fresh snow on the top of the mountains, quite a sight and a reminder that winter was on the way. 

Excited by the fresh powder we went for a three hour walk amongst the mountains to a day hut to take a closer look at the snowy peaks.

It had been an amazing week and one which fulfilled some of our pre-travel wanderlust.