The South Island of New Zealand has always had a special place in my heart, it is the first place I have seen snow capped mountains and true alpine wilderness.
A few years back my partner and I travelled around the South Island for a few weeks taking photos, documenting our travels and finding any body of water to jump into, given it was the tail end of winter we didn't stick around in the water for long.
This first interaction with the south cemented my love of her and have been drawn to her ever since.
Since then I have been cutting my teeth in various regions of Victoria and Northern New South Wales, working out processes, managability, navigation and location scouting.
My most recent trip to the South Island was a brief expedition, running into difficulties from the get go. Every time I head out on any trip there are lessons to learn and grow from. Landing around 2 a.m in a drowsy state my long checklist began, as much as I want to just hit the road I have to start prepping for the journey and organising any extra pieces of materials and tools I need for printing.
A 2 hour nap and the new day was here, I fuelled up, stocked up, organised my kit with essentials and hit the weather radar to gauge which route to take.
A warm front was pushing from the north and with it bringing some heavy rains. Leaving Christchurch I headed south via the Inland route to our run the rains. Over the last year there has been wild storms and weather hit the south leaving a trail of destruction, driving past countless piles of debris and fallen trees I knew there would be something for me out there to find.
I feel at ease in the south feel like I know the roads like they were my own, no trip would be complete without a visit to Mt. Aoraki and it had been too long since I last saw her. She was capped with snow on a blue bird day, in the valleys leading up to her you could for the arctic air flow through and slowly freeze everything it touched. My plan was to spend a night in the Mueller hut south west of the summit, cold and wet winds had left the steeper inclines hardened with firm ice and with out appropriate gear I was unable to reach the comfort of the warm hut. I headed back down after making a coffee and having a little lunch with the mountain.
When I returned to the base I reorganised and set off for my next destination Queenstown.