I’m great at being the worst but Underhill was the best

Huh. 2 months have passed since last I posted. It’s funny how time flies when it’s winter and everything is terrible.

Okay it’s not that everything is terrible. Quite honestly I was rundown with studying, and then general laziness after I handed in my final paper. I ended up with an A overall in my Archives Management course, so I guess the stress was worth it?

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I haven’t done much hiking lately. I’m still taking every chance to go outside and camp though. For my birthday, we went to Underhill – a unique glamping experience in a hobbit hole on a farm in the mighty Waikato.

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There’s something wonderfully satisfying about stoking up a fire and cooking on a coal range. It was chilly – of course, it’s winter – but being cut into a hill, the hole stays quite warm, especially when you have the coal range going. We left those massive doors open until shortly before bedtime.

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We opted for simple fare easily prepared on the coal range.

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Quite possibly the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in…

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And waking up like this is pretty fabulous.

All in all? 10/10 would recommend if you have money to spare. He sure is good at choosing birthday gifts, and it was a great way to wind down after my semester finished.

D

*Disclaimer: All photographs are taken by my husband. Check him out on Instagram.

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Getting out of the city is therapeutic

I’ve had a lot going on, on a personal level. My husband and I are moving house this coming weekend – we’re moving into my nana’s house. Having spent a good portion of my childhood growing up in that house and being raised by her… it’s going to be strange living in her bedroom and knowing it’s not really hers anymore.

After we buried her ashes on her birthday, the 5th of May, I needed to get out of the city. It was a lot to process and I’d just made my sister have a meltdown when I mentioned the possibility of getting rid of Nana’s landline phone number (which we won’t use). I just needed some time away. I’m lucky that my husband is keen for adventuring whenever we can. I suggested we head out for a spontaneous overnight camping trip for the weekend.

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Casual af on the Windows Walk
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Waitawheta River
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Crown Track
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At Dickey Flat campsite

We headed down to Karangahake Gorge – lovely easy walks, some cool historical features (it’s an old gold-mining area), and a gorgeous natural setting all makes for a great day out. I thought that perhaps we’d camp at Dickey Flat campsite, a super basic site that’s usually not busy. With the weather moving into winter temperatures, I was disappointed to find that there were still a few people around – so we jumped in the car and drove. And drove. With no plan.

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Sunset

There’s something to be said for just getting in the car and driving. We made soup and sausages for dinner on a picnic table at a random waterfront reserve god knows where (I could not tell you), and enjoyed a lovely sunset. Then we got back in the car, I used the Camping NZ app to have a look for nearby sites, and we found a nice holiday park to crash in for the night. Karl even managed to spot the meteor shower in the early hours while I snored beside him.

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Am I a princess now??
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The beardiest princess

The next day we followed a roadside sign to the Katikati Bird Gardens. We knew nothing about it, except that Bird Gardens sounded like a thing we wanted to have in our lives. It was a really neat activity that made for some awesome photos and a lot of laughs.

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Owharoa Falls

Coming back to the city is always a disappointment after a weekend away. But I think we’ll be doing this more often – it might be getting colder but when you’re sleeping in the car it’s not so bad.

D

 

Getting up that mountain was no walk in the park

*Disclaimer: All photographs are taken by my husband. Check him out on Instagram.

ANZAC weekend was a pretty good one. It was hard as fuck, but it was good. I climbed to Mueller Hut in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. It’s quite a popular tramp these days, but it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Near Sealy Tarns

It starts out one step at a time. For approximately 2,200 stairs. Now, with legs my size (short, heavy, and very tubby), and a pack with stuff for 2 nights in a back-country hut/camping… not so easy. Granted, it’s a pretty cushy hut. There’s gas up there already. You have to take your own toilet paper though.

Heading back down Sealy Tarns Track

Those 2,200 stairs (and a bit of gentle uphill slopage to start the track)… elevates you by approximately 530m and gets you to Sealy Tarns. It’s a nice walk if you’re into stairs, and offers wonderful views of the Hooker Valley and Mueller Lake. Past Sealy Tarns, the track to Mueller Hut continues to climb and becomes a bit rougher. It’s no longer a manicured track with purpose-built stairs – it becomes an alpine route.

Alpine camping

Another 500m of elevation, including clambering through a boulder field and scrambling up a steep scree slope, and you’re there.

Sunrise

Man oh man, is it worth it.

Sunrise

If you’re ever there, go outside at night. Trust me.

Mueller Hut at night
Our tent at night

We had a fantastic weekend. Sure, for about a week afterwards I struggled walking up and down the stairs to work, but hey. Worth it, right?

D

*Disclaimer: All photographs are taken by my husband. Check him out on Instagram.

Being fat and going outdoors is scary

You don’t fit in. Look around you. You’re the only one who can’t wear yoga pants and a t-shirt. Well, I mean, you can… But you’ll look like the quintessential stuffed sausages girl. 

You know what? Maybe I am the only fat girl out here in the wilderness. But maybe it’s because I’m the only one who says FTP there is too much out there for me to see. I don’t want to miss out on life just because I have a medical condition that makes it hard for me to lose weight.

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Being fat and going outdoors is scary.

But I think it’s the good kind of scary. Because even the fit people start huffing and sweating when climbing mountains.

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Tomorrow I’m heading up to Mueller Hut.

RIP me.

D