Travel.p 49 # – NZ in a Blogshell

I love living in New Zealand.

Taika Waititi
Author of this Blog

Coming down past the lakes, stopping for the sunset on the golf course at Tekapo and sleeping at Pukaki to get up for some yoga and shots at sunrise. The sunset was spending a lovely gentle light over the golden hills and golden grass of the area. We shared a beer and just had a good time while shooting some pictures. Pretty much the same happened the next morning except that we had white mountain tops added to the scenery and a bigger lake.

Tekapo

Getting closer and closer and finally arriving at Wanaka was a magic feeling. We stopped at a waterfall before and just chilled at Kates place in Wanaka for a day or two to chill and stop the rushing a bit. It was rainy and we were looking for better weather further south. After two days we left to the Fiordlands, where I have but further south. Never to Milford Sound. The home of the elves. I was getting excited to see it and it was a long drive down there. To Queenstown, around the lake, through a few hills, back into the Mountain range and finally approaching the steep Moutains of the area.

Gertrude Saddle

The tunnel to the Milford sound is quite steep. We had to wait in a queue at traffic lights to enter. It seemed impossible to build a tunnel through the mountain it was build through. It was very steep and seemed aggressive and dark, as if it wants to swallow you, pretty much what it did once the lights shifted to green. The tunnel was dark, every few meters was a light that spend light. It went on and on. We couldn’t see the end and were driving down and further down into the mountain. Water was dripping from the rocky walls and ceilings. The tunnel wasn’t smoothed off like tunnels in Europe and looked very ruff. It took us around two minutes to go through the tunnel until we emerged back into the light. It was as if we have just traveled to a complete different place. The mountains were very rocky and surrounding us nearly everywhere. We descended a long winding road until we reached forestry wet area. A few clouds were up at the sky but it didn’t rain, also I’d like to see these mountains covered in waterfalls. Once e reached the thick forest, we crossed a few bridges over big rocky gorges until we ended up at the Milford Sound. Even though we were not in high season it still seemed busy and we were early. We wanted to go for a little walk, but there was none so we just had a look. It definitely looked amazing but a bit over-hyped in my opinion unless you might climb the shallow knife ridges of the steep mountains, to actually experience the area properly.

Well after a few minutes we left and stopped at some interesting waterfall and later at the Gertrude saddle on the other side of the tunnel again. One of my favorite one day hikes in New Zealand so far. It is a lovely hike, not too hard, up to the saddle from where you can freestyle your way up to the top of a mountain next to the saddle. First the views from the saddle seemed amazing, but when we went up the rocky mountain to its right and looked down into the untouched area on the other side we had an even better view. It was a lovely spot for lunch to get the atmosphere and amazing views over mountains and lakes all over the area. After staying there a while we descended again over another random route, down to the valley and left to the spent the night at deer flat campsite. A lovely campsite at a river, we were getting too tired to drive on and decided to stay there. We had a restful, peaceful night with great stars above us.

New Zealand Hawk

After a good night sleep we woke up and hung out a bit on the campsite. We took some pictures of a New Zealand Hawk that was very patient with us and left to spent the last day chill out at Kingston, Lake Wakatipu, swimming, enjoying the view and reading. It is a lovely campsite and a great spot to spend a day or two just hanging out.

Again after a good nights sleep we wanted to get a pizza, but it was closed, so we just hung out enjoyed the view and parted at the airport where I nearly didn’t get my flight due to a stewardess that told me the gate is not accessible at the moment, but it probably has been. So I had to run through the checks and board my plane, taking the last few fresh breath of the Air I was breathing two years before, alright maybe the airport isn’t the best place for it, but I just liked the idea of it, haha.

Milford Sound

I was sad and excited. Excited to fly home and see everyone again, sad to leave New Zealand and the live I was leaving, the people I have met but proud to look back at all the experiences I have been through and made. It was a great time, I learned a lot, seen a lot and came to understand the beauty of nature and the liberty of life. The view of clear water, hikes through natural reserves, views over seemingly never ending oceans, sailing the coasts of the country, going through emotions and feelings that I never experienced. I got to love this life, the life of doing what I want to to, the life of deciding each day what I will do today, to look after my health, to talk to strangers, to trust people and to love everyone a bit more. In general to appreciate all of it more. I don’t want to waste my time anymore, sitting around, looking at the clock and waiting until work finishes. Never again. Even though I was able to sleep at work, had career chances, nice colleagues and not a lot to do, I prefer to do what I’d like to learn, what I am interested in right now. Not sitting and waiting and getting paid. Getting paid is a nice extra of a job, but what a job is actually for is the atmosphere, the fun of learning, the focus, you and your daily learning curve. You will always have a bad day, but then you stop and think you decided you wanted to do this, so do it. When you have a week or two where you can’t stand it, than it is maybe time to move on, or work on the things that disturb you. Everything is so strange and new, everything is so challenging for you, that is why I love to work in countries with a different language as well, so it is even more challenging and it needs all your focus and attention to improve and become a great team member, so good that it is gonna be sad to part in the end when you had enough and continue to look for the next challenge. But it’s fine if you like to do career and work for things and family. Get a house and a nice car. Maybe nice clothes and a big TV. Enough money for your addictions and going out for lunch or dinner at nice places, flying on holidays for a few days and giving money to you parents or people in need. Ask yourself if it is worth it to work for these things, rent, lease, bills, monthly paying for things you actually don’t need. Do you buy these things for you or to push your ego. Who would you be without all those things? Do these things give you as much as they take from you. A nice place to live at. With a nice view, that you can’t enjoy because you have to work for it most of your valuable time, and while working for all these things you get caught up in a vicious circle where you completely override your personality, your real needs, your health. Even if that all is fine with you, there is one sentence that you should always keep in mind. Money is the byproduct. The product is what we do to the world.

With that I written I am stepping into the plane. Enjoying the takeoff, the acceleration, getting pushed into the seat, when the first wheel lifts from the ground, the moment when all wheels lift from the ground, you’re feeling an empty feeling like in your head, nothing can stop you now, the sensation of flying. Taking the views of the mountains in until we reach the coast, watching the land disappear into the big blue ocean. All the memories are going through your head. No one knows that I’m coming home. Sad to leave and happy to see home I lay into my seat and get close my eyes and picture all the stories that I wrote down here, and all the magical moments I forgot to mention. I am not at all at the stage to write as good as I experience, and finally I don’t know if that is even possible. But I enjoy writing, and I want to get better, maybe one day you will be able to understand what I am talking about.

It is funny, I would like to never stop talking about New Zealand. I most definitely lost a good chunk of my heart to New Zealand. When ever you go there. Keep your rubbish down, try dumbster diving, take your rubbish with you, respect the nature and its animals, see and walk the country, don’t be a stupid tourist getting stuck on mainstream places, experience the place, live it. I could have done so much more. My days wasted are countable on two hands, but in the end I just would have loved to live more wild. More in the nature, living from it, experiencing its plants and rivers, its cold nights, its rainy wet nights, it steep dangerous bits, its challenges and beauty. I did a lot but not enough to say I am content – New Zealand I will be back, stay as beautiful as you are. Maybe get a working recycle system and less dairy farms. Stop polluting. You don’t have to be a global player, you have to stay and keep your beauty. Be self-sufficient, it is far more worth than Highways, great income, and therefore rubbing mother nature.

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