Holidays and Helicopters

Seeing as we can’t leave New Zealand at the moment, we’ve been travelling down to the South Island during our family holiday time. This month, we flew to Christchurch, then grabbed a car and travelled around, trying to find the most random places we could.

Luckily, New Zealand is full of random places, so we were able to find a whole bunch of things to tickle our fancy and amuse our funny bones.

There was the giant pink doughnut statue in a town called Springfield. There was the map at Arthur’s Pass with a mountain called Mt. Horrible, situated right next to Mt. Misery. (Someone was clearly having a bad day.) There were also keas (native parrots) that tried to steal my handbag in Arthur’s Pass, and a terrifying walking bridge in Lake Tekapo (which I’m sure was supposed to be a delightful tourist attraction).

But what we also found were several amazing experiences that blew our minds.

We recently decided that we’re a mountain family. Sand makes me itch, I’m scared of sharks so I hate swimming in the ocean, and the sun just burns my delicate freckly skin.

But the cold? And the snow? And the mountains? They make me feel ALIVE.

Added to that, it’s my year of adventure, so I felt compelled to do something different to anything I’ve ever experienced.

So you’ll understand when I say that we were super excited to be able to visit Mt. Cook National Park Village, and from there, go on an awesome boat ride in the glacier lake at the base of the Tasman Glacier, cruising amongst the icebergs. Then the next day, we flew up to the top of the Tasman Glacier in a helicopter, getting out onto pristine snow on a sunny clear day and experiencing something that felt both brittle and exceptional.

It wasn’t just the experience of standing up there in the snow, although that was mind-blowing. It was also the helicopter ride itself. On the way up it was a smooth easy ride, nothing too scary. On the way back however, when I was of course promoted to sitting next to the pilot in the front seat, it was terrifying. We flew up near the top of Mt. Cook and flew at ridiculously fast speeds over the high mountain scenery.

I managed to capture a whole bunch of awesome photos from the flight, although I don’t remember taking most of them because my brain was mush from fear. I am totally afraid of heights, and the tiny helicopter didn’t exactly hide any of the visuals from me…

But even though it was terrifying, it was also exhilarating, and amazing, and the best part of our trip. I’m so glad we decided to take the plunge and do something so outside of our usual wheelhouse. The year of adventure is awesome and we’re already planning our next trip back there.

I think it might become the decade of adventure.

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