I grabbed a job working on treble cone ski field. Found a house in wanaka town, and drove my cousins scrapper around. The towns amazing and the people are so laid back its almost ridiculous. You have to make an active effort to be unhealthy as everything is organic and well sourced. Everyone is into yoga and sustainable living.
Working was fun, I was part of a great team and learnt how the ski fields work. It’s made up of very hard working and dedicated people, snow makers worked all night and sometime their work was undone by rain at dawn. Patrol kept the mountain safe and us in services kept the guests happy.
The hiking was beautiful. You had the short walks like rob Roy glacier and Mount iron, then you had longer ones like Roy’s peak etc. I left before the real snow hit after 6 weeks of work (it was a bad start to the season as the snow never stayed), I really needed to go home to the UK!
I knew I would miss the landscapes, the water is so pure in the south you can drink straight off the rock or icicle. The low population meant that there was never a rush hour and wild food ‘pot luck’ dinners were a thing. The conservation status was very unique as humans actually fight nature to try and undo what the invasive species have done (the invasive species being us as we brought in ferrets, deer and rabbits etc)…When I was working with doc I’m my first job I was lucky enough to work with the bio team setting up tracking tunnels. In doing this we could get an idea of the rodent population, with the beech mast year it was important to get it right as further action may need to be taken to help fight the battle for the birds. We were flown by helicopter into the Iris Burn Valley in Fiordland. We spent two days working, protected from the intense sun by the mountain beech. Our footsteps were cushioned by the sphagnum moss. If you leant on a tree it usually fell as the moss had enveloped and rotted it. Black robins and fantails would closely follow your every move to gorge on what lay under the grounds foliage. We used a gps to keep ourselves from getting lost but the deer leads below and distinct mountain peaks above meant we would have stood a chance if technology failed.
All in all New Zealand’s landscapes have set the bar high.