Alpine Walks & Hanmer Springs

I was pleased to return to New Zealand after my trip home. I did not feel as though my discovery and time in the country was over.

I thought that I had a quiet period between returning to NZ and the beginning of the ski season (have I ever mentioned I like skiing?) however on reflection of my pictures, it was pretty jam packed. So this is going to be a quick round up with, a short video to fill in the gaps (at the bottom if you cba to read any further). How millenial of me.

  • First sunset back in NZ

 

We start on the 10th April 2018, exactly 106 years to the day after the Titanic set sail. The first snowfall arrived and Hanmer got it gooooood. There’s a short walk up Conical Hill (not Colonical Hill which I thought it was at first, *sigh*)

It really was snowy!

We then move to the 25th April 2018. Incidentally exactly 28 years after the Hubble Space Telescope was placed into orbit. Also the date me and Fred went to Kaikoura!

Fred went swimming with Dolphins and I did not. Instead I chose to do the walk across the peninsular and see the seals. Theres a 4(ish) hour walk around the coast where you get up close and personal to a lot of seals.

Me with seals that hate me

I’ve witnessed seals clapping, catching fish and they’re so cute. These seals hated me, to be honest. Growling at me. Threatening me. I mistook it for flirting at first, because that’s the kind of behaviour I have grown accostomed to in my dating life. But after attempting to flirt back, I can confirm they just wanted me to leave. Also a little like my love life, too. Wow, who knew I’d learn so much about myself writing about seals. Pass me a vodka.

Castle Hill

On to the 4th May, 39 years after Margaret Thatcher was voted as Prime Minister. *cue hate speech from entire mining community*

It was time for a roadie! This time towards Arthurs Pass, specifically Cave Stream and Castle Hill. I’d packed up some sandwiches and snacks and we had a really, really, really lovely day. Bit of walking. Bit of gossip. Lot of laughter. Few plant pots knocked over in the car park (Kate).

Kate pleased with her plant pot destruction

Cave Stream is actually a really pleasant walk. Apparently, you can walk through the cave. It is full of eels, so probably not my cup of tea. I would like to try it, just to confirm that it isn’t for me. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

We now move to the 19th May, 482 years after Anne Boleyn lost her head for cheating on Henry VIII. It’s a day I also lost my head at an AMAZING hike.

Avalanche Peak

Me, Amy and Fred tackled Avalanche Peak. Having had snow, I put 2 and 2 together and got 4 and dressed for the name.

Avalanche = snow.

Peak = cold.

Cold & Snow = thick socks and layers.

Stars at Castle Hill

We started the day with a shooting star show and sunrise at Castle hill. A little further down the road, at Avalanche Peak, we passed a man on the way up and he informed Amy and Fred that they had “no chance of reaching the top in those shoes”. Reassuring, 1 hour into an 8 hour walk.

The hike itself was steep and hard going. There were parts that were more like rock scrambling. But it was worth every single morsul of energy spent getting to the top. We didn’t make it to the peak because it got too snowy for Fred and his trainer socks. I was also concerned because he’d lost feeling in all his toes.

In protest, I took off all my clothes and demanded a picture before we tumbled made our way back down to the bottom. Of all the things I have done in New Zealand so far, this makes it easily in to the top 5. It’s hard but very rewarding. I would suggest the time of year we did it too – any earlier and it would be too hot. Any later and you’d fall victim to a lot of snow.

It was cold, but not cold enough that I wouldn’t do it again

 

30th May – myself, Amy, Lucy and Fred decided today was the day to get hypothermia. Snow had fallen in Hanmer, again, so we packed our coats and set off to a waterfall.

Winter Waterfalls

Upon arrival, ice clad the rock-face and it was in a completely shaded area. It was freezing. Honestly, freezing. But a waterfall is to be embraced and hypothermia isn’t the kind of illness that puts us off!

Hanmer Springs

When I emerged from the baltic water, I couldn’t feel my back. Like at all. I was fairing better than Amy, who judging by her shivering, couldn’t feel any of her body. We got down to the bottom of the walk and headed straight for the hot pools for a dip and some of the natural eau-de-egg scent. Does anybody know why sulphur does smell so eggy?

The final stop in this post is June 3rd, also Rafael Nadals birthday and the day of the Christchurch Marathon. There were a few of us from work who entered various events, most of us in the 10k. I’ve never ran a 10k race before. I actually did do some training. I ran an 8k and didn’t fall to pieces, so I assumed I’d be able to get to 10k and then fall to pieces.

The Christchurch Marathon

Turns out, the figure is more like 9.2k because, on completion of 10k, I couldn’t really walk for the next 3 days. But I didn’t care because I felt amazing that so many of us had took part, competed and completed it. Shout out to Fred, Tennika, Madi, Devon, Amy & Lucy. GO US.

This brings me nicely up to the beginning of ski season and boy WHAT a winter. I’m jittery just thinking about reliving it.

Walks (all highly recommended):

Conical Hill

Avalanche Peak (best walk I have done so far)

Cave Stream

Kaikoura Peninsula

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