South Island Adventures

Recently Zac and I received an invitation to attend the wedding of our good friends, Alex Pledger (the basketballer) and his lovely fiance, now wife, Bailee Pledger.

Not not only were we fortunate to be a part of our friends special day but I also had the absolute honour of supporting Bailee as one of her bridesmaids. 

The wedding was at Gibson Valley on a Tuesday so Zac and I thought why don’t we make the most of this opportunity, and have a week’s holiday. We began by flying into Dunedin where Zac’s best friend has recently moved as his partner is studying medicine at Otago University. We spent a wonderful two days catching up with them. I was able to visit her school, we went to the beach, and for the first time in his life Zac tried a cheese roll!! 

As the weekend cam to an end we continued our journey by hiring a car and travelled back to Queenstown to help set up for the big wedding. Once in Queenstown we stayed at the incredable Hotel St Moritz which is perfectly situated in town with an overlooking view of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable mountain range. Inside offered a big fireplace close to where we had dinner and the spot where Zac would read his book for a few hours. The rooms were large in size and the bed was probably the best bed I’ve ever slept on. The view from our room was breathtaking so if you are ever planning a trip to Queenstown I highly recommend staying at Hotel St Moritz as the staff were so lovely and made our stay very enjoyable.

With a day to spare before the wedding, we crossed our fingers in hopes that Queenstown would have good weather for us to continue our exploration. Thankfully luck was on our side as the weather remained perfect and we were fortunate enough to get on a flight with the amazing Air Milford and visit the incredible Milford Sounds. Air Milford is a family owned and operated aviation company, specialising in personalised sightseeing excursions with particular expertise in Queenstown and Milford Sound scenic flights. Zac had never been here before either and as you can imagine he was simply blown away! 

The flight was incredible and last minute, we decided to book the ferry which took us on a 2 hour trip in and amongst the Mountains.  Milford Sounds is such an inspiring place to visit, even on a bad weather day you can’t go wrong as you get to see all the waterfalls. I highly recommend an adventure with Air Milford and their amazing team.

Tuesday came and it was the day of the wedding, obviously when you’re a bridesmaid, it’s a busy day so I didn’t take many photos, but I did snap a few behind the scenes of @womensday doing their wonderful work. Surrounded by good company and delicious foods, we were definitely grateful to be a part of such a beautiful day so big thankyou and congratulations to @alexpledger @fivefootnothing.

Wednesday came and we left Queenstown with full hearts and headed to Lake Tekapo now, Zac had never done this drive before and you can imagine his draw dropping sounds as we drove through Lindis Pass! 

When we arrived we went straight to the Tekapo Springs where we were able to watch a live game of Ice Hockey whilst standing by a large heater.

And then that night we went stargazing!  Tekapo Star Gazing is the only guided hot pools and star gazing experience in New Zealand. The tour operates from the renowned facilities combining the stunning Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve with their soul-warming hot pools. It was the ultimate in stellar relaxation,  honestly there’s nothing better than learning about our solar system while you’re bathing in a beautiful hot pool. So I highly recommend doing that. 

The next day we went back to Tekapo Springs and Zac had a hot coal message for the first time at their day spa and I had a chocolate scrub, I was covered and top to toe in some sort of chocolate formula and it was so yummy. They then covered me in this tin foil wrap like you are baking food in the oven and I was left to heat in the scrummy hot chocolate for a couple of minutes. 

After being emerged in chocolate I soon jumped straight in the shower to wash all the chocolate off my skin and soon realised how smooth and shimmery my skin was after that body scrub. Our day ended with another swim in the hot pools because we wanted to make the most of our time here, why wouldn’t you!

After our stay at Tekapo, we continued our adventure by driving down and around to Fox glacier where on the way I spotted the biggest irrigator I had ever seen in my life! They do not make them that big up here in the Waikato.

We passed and stopped at Lake Hawera as Zac proposed to me on The NZ Navy Ship “The Hawera” so that was pretty special spot for us. We then drove up to Nelson and flew out of there after catching up with more friends.

It was just the nicest little trip. Just to get away and see our beautiful country and because we drove, we were able to do it on a budget. It was so nice to have that time with Zac, in the car, and during the week and supporting our tourism industry and seeing how amazing our own backyard is.  Get out there this winter team and support local.

Love Erin Simpson

insta @erinsimpson13
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