Getting Local Adventure

Last week I wrote about how bored I was, waiting for work to start, waiting to have enough money to buy a car, waiting for rides to pick me up, waiting for the bus, etc. etc. etc.

Luckily for me, shortly after writing that post I was taken on several small adventures within a very short amount of time, which alleviated the boredom just enough for me to start getting creative and inspired.

I firstly took a small trip to Mt. Aspiring National Park, beyond Glenorchy on the North Western edge of Lake Wakatipu. There I participated for the first time ever in an ecstatic dance class in a field, surrounded by enormous mountains. Ecstatic dance is a whole thing on its own that I don’t really feel I can comment on at the moment, but it was very cool to be out there. The immense nature of the place really started to take hold, and the puzzle pieces of the landscape- how’s its shaped, how things are connected, the scale, etc. all began to come into place. When the sun finally came out I started getting pretty psyched to do some mountain climbing- but that will probably have to wait for a time.

My second little adventure was on Christmas Day. I went with some restaurant co-workers on a little camping trip, out of the mountains of the western edge of New Zealand (hereby NZ) and into the rolling, dry hills of Central Otago. There were many finger lakes, wine fields, and dry hills with lush streams cutting through. Everything was extremely, almost eerily quiet thanks to it being Christmas. Out destination was a small lake that is only a lake because it was once a mine. One of those lakes. We did what people do while camping on a holiday at the edge of a lake: swam, drank, and ate. There was plenty of chatting as well, of course.

I was feeling a little blocked when I got home from this camping trip. I haven’t been able to exercise nearly as much as I am used to by virtue of simply not really knowing where to go. The camping trip was what I needed to kick myself in the butt and just out and do the thing. Arrowtown is tucked right up against a lovely set of hills and the town is very proud of its trail system that snakes into the hills and out into the valley towards Queenstown. I might not have a car, but I have been generously given a mountain bike, and that is enough to get me where I need to go.

While I don’t practice mountain biking, I figured that as long as the trails were flat enough I would be able to muddle my way through the path. I chose a trail that was marked as a mountain biking trail, and went forth. At first, the trail, about a meter wide was smooth and very cool to ride. Then I got a taste for just how gnarly mountain biking as well as NZ really are. This mountain biking trail was so steep and gravely. There were at least 10 stream crossings and four hairpin turns on scary gorges. I walked my bike about a third of the way up before throwing in the towel, locking it to a tree, and continuing on foot.

Once back in my element of my own two feet, I go to take in the general splendor of the trail. Once it made its way out of the stream gorge, it took me to a semi-alpine meadow that was story-book New Zealand. The trail followed the stream through the meadows, into a small grove, and out into a meadow again before leading up to a small saddle that overlooked the valley.

I’ve determined that while I am without a car, I should make it my mission to do all the local walks here in Arrowtown. They might not be grand or extreme, but they clearly have a lot to offer. After my walk yesterday I started to feel like myself again. A girl who likes to walk around and look at nature. I guess I’m lucky that I’m so easy to entertain.

I hope you seek and find your own local adventures!



A map of my adventures. The gold dots are the locations. Chinaman’s Bluff to the NW, Arrowtown in the middle, and Blue Lake to the NE

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